What are some misconceptions people have about what you do as a working artist? Or aspects to being a working artist that people don’t talk about much but should?
When people hear that you’re a professional athlete, I think the most common public misconception is that you’re making good money. And I think people don’t understand that it still involves hard work. People definitely just assume it’s living the dream and the thing is, I’m okay with people thinking that because for the most part, that’s still true.
I think the process of making a good ski film is way different than what it looks like in the finished product, for sure. I think when people see it on film, they’re like, That came together really smoothly, they’re skiing this sick pow on a sunny day. But people just see those good moments and don’t understand that you could have just been hanging out for ten days doing nothing, going insane, waiting for those moments.
A lot of the stuff is accurate. It is still a pretty good thing to be doing. A lot of people end up doing work that they fall into but don’t necessarily choose. It’s still just choosing to do something, having a directed energy for a path that you choose. I think it’s a privilege having the freedom to go skiing a lot and practice the craft.
The really glamorous part is you go out to this really rad spot and you get to shoot really beautiful stuff and have a fun time with it.
But it’s putting it all together that really is the most important part and it takes hours upon hours upon hours of solitary work by a person to put everything together and then present it to the rest of the team, get it completely shredded and ripped apart and then have to go back and make the changes.
I think there’s a very common misconception that editing is easy and that it happens fast, that it’s just kinda like, I’ll just edit that together. I hear that all the time but it’s really not that easy and it’s a ton of really hard work.
I always joke that one of the jobs that no one ever applies for is editor. No one really wants to be an editor and sit in a dark room eight hours a day, every single day, 40 hours a week.
Some of the more successful editors I know will work really hard for a couple months and then take a month off because it can be a burnout job. Even our primary editor, Scott Gaffney who edits our ski films, he’ll really crank on editing on the ski film in June and July, but then the rest of the year he doesn’t do much editing.
Editing’s not glamorous. There’s no other way to say it. It’s fucking hard work. It’s just like accounting or any job that you’re sitting in front of a computer for 8 to 10 hours a day, sometimes longer.
And then also there can be challenges with traveling for long periods of time and getting burned out on the road. The days get really long. Shooting days can be 14 hours and there can be 10 of those in a row. It can be pretty exhausting, especially with small productions where you’re doing it all.
The other thing is no one wants to ask people for money to make their projects. It’s a grind. It can feel discouraging. People say, Oh, I emailed so-and-so, he never emailed me back. Or, I called so-and-so, they never called me back. I always laugh. No one’s gonna email you back. No one’s gonna call you back. Just get used to it. It is hard work. It’s not always the most fun thing but don’t be discouraged. Keep grinding and keep going.
Nobody talks about the path of being successful, right? You either see someone who started out or you see they’ve made it. But that entire middle area nobody ever talks about. Nobody cares about that middle — what it takes, the struggles and challenges along the way, how people deal with it. It’s a really weird thing to talk about with people or mention, like, Hey, I’m having a hard time here because I’m having success. Nobody wants to hear that.
I’ve tried to find books and wish there were more resources, but it’s just figuring it out as you go.