Happy Canada Day Powder.com Readers,
Boy oh boy, you guys didn't like that last intern email interview, huh? No worries because the editorial staff locked us in the basement for 24 hours and I'm back, T-N-G, for another week and another new guy. This week we have Matchstick Productions' Gus Kenworthy, a kid that once put out an edit of himself skiing in the park and was then launched into the ski world like a frigen 4th of July firecracker. Kaboom!
Name: Gus Kenworthy
Hometown: Telluride, CO
Where you may have seen me before: Between the pages of Powder Magazine (The Draft…Feb. 2010), Rage Film’s “Such Is Life” and “Pretty Good,” and Matchstick Productions' The Way I See It, dropping this fall.
How did you hook up with the guys at MSP? In March, I flew out to Idaho for a Smith photo-shoot in the Smiley Creek backcountry outside of Sun Valley. The day that I was supposed to leave the shoot, Bobby [Brown] was flying down and bringing the Matchstick guys with him so he could keep logging footage for the upcoming movie. It all sort of came together and I was able to stick around and shoot with them. Unfortunately, Bobby got badly hurt on the first day we were skiing and had to go home, but I got a few shots, made a good impression with the MSP boys, and they invited me to do the park shoots.
Tell us about your filming experience with MSP over the course of the season: The first shoot with Matchstick was that shoot in Idaho. I wasn’t really that nervous at first because I had already been shooting on similar features with Smith, and I was going to be skiing with my roommate and best buddy, but then after Bobby got hurt I was shooting alone, and my nerves got to me a little bit. I just really wanted to impress the MSP guys and ski well, and I didn’t have anybody to pump me up or anything like that, so I got a little anxious. The other times that we shot together were in Steven's Pass, Keystone, Alaska, and a pipe shoot in Mammoth. The shoot in Steven’s was kind of a bust. We were there for 11 days and had 10 down days. The first day I got there was the only skiable day. I got a shot on this crazy up-rail that I was really pleased with.
Keystone’s shoot was great, and I got a chance to meet Steve Winter. Russ Henshaw, Richard Permin and I sessioned the jumps there for two full days, and I think that Steve and the crew were pretty happy with how we all skied. The Alyeska, AK shoot was absolute insanity. It was the first shoot that Bobby was able to make it to after his injury, and he didn’t have any trouble getting right back where he left off. Richard Permin, Russ Henshaw and Colby West completed the group and together we went to town on this 120’ish semi step-down. We learned new tricks, landed old tricks better, and between the helicopter and sunset, it couldn’t have come together more perfectly. Bobby, Colby and I finished up the shoots with a short trip to Mammoth for two days. We were just cruising in the public park, and trying to get some pipe footage to round out the film. Everything went well and I learned a few new pipe tricks that I was really stoked on. All in all, my experience filming with MSP was a total dream-come-true, and I can’t wait for next year!
What is your favorite segment of all time? There are a ton: TJ [Schiller] and Simon [Dumont]’s sections in X=10, Tanner Hall and Pep Fujas’ in Session1242, Tanner Hall’s parts in W-Ski and Yearbook, etc…
If you could produce your perfect segment, what’s in that segment? Where are you skiing? I’d say it would divide up with like 25% urban 35% park and 40% backcountry jumps, or something like that. The urban would be a mixture of creative jibs and techy rails; the park would be really unique features, huge jumps, and really gnarly tricks; and the backcountry would be a combination of mostly BC booters, pillows, cliffs, and maybe even some lines and stuff.
What are your plans for the summer? At the moment I’m sitting in a hotel room at Sammy’s event. Literally, like 30 minutes after flying into Portland we stopped by Windells because Sammy had a meeting. I was skating around and I messed up my ankle pretty badly. I’m not sure if it’s sprained or broken or what’s going on with it, but I can’t do the event. I’m really bummed. My plan was to go from here up to Whistler, and then onward to New Zealand, but I’ll have to reevaluate and figure out what I’m going to do. Hopefully it doesn’t hold me back too much, and I will be back on schedule in time for NZ.
What can people expect to see from you in Matchstick Productions’ new flick this fall? Honestly, mostly just park stuff. I got a bit in the BC in Idaho, but nothing too crazy, the snow was starting to get sun-baked and it wasn’t really the ideal conditions. I think I skied pretty well at all the park shoots though, so hopefully I’ll have a good representation of that in the movie. As far as tricks go, I tried to cover all the grounds: slow smooth tricks, some doubles, right and left side stuff, the norm.