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In November, "Look on the Bright Side," the newest film from Voleurz, will be available online for free at Voleurz.com. This is the seventh film directed and produced by Darren Rayner, co-founder of Voleurz Clothing. Last spring, Rayner along with filmer Michael Clarke and skiers Ian Cosco, Justin Dorey and TJ Schiller, won the 2010 Jon Olsson Super Sessions as Team Canada. Rayner, who runs Voleurz's marketing and sales, isn't an easy guy to track down: He spends his winters travelling, filming, cavorting with the team, hiding out in dark bars in Sweden and selling product around the world. But ESPN Freeskiing caught up with him via Skype while he waited for this year's production to render for film festival showings and distribution.
ESPN: So what the heck is a "Voleurz" anyhow?
We're a family of snowboarders, skiers, skateboarders, surfers, artists and musicians, most of whom live on the west coast of Canada and the U.S. We make clothing and snow/skate/surf movies.
|Darren Rayner, multi-tasker.|
Any drama between snow shredders and skiers or any cynical artists being skeptical of the athletes?
There's definitely some drama between skiers and snowboards -- not within our crew, but between the two sports as a whole. We decided to go the multisport route because that's who we are, and it's what we've believed in from the start. What's really cool is that we've noticed the animosity between skiing and snowboarding is reducing and we've seen more multi-sport crews and companies rising. I hope we can be a small part in the push for snow shred companionship.
The Voleurz crew seems like a pretty fun-loving group of people. Is that where the title of the new movie "Look on the Bright Side" comes from?
The title actually came from a t-shirt we produced for our current fall 2010 clothing line -- we liked the design so we based our movie off the shirt. We never stop playing. Our crew is slightly demented and we all embrace that. (See the Volympics segment in "Look on the Bright Side" ... and the intro ... and Max Hill vs. the intern ... well, pretty much the whole movie.)
|The t-shirt that inspired the film's name.|
What's the idea behind releasing the video for free on the web?
We decided to start releasing free movies with our 2008 release "Outdoor Education." We felt we needed to do something different at the time in order to expose our athletes and our brand. In 2008, we were one of few who released free movies online, and now almost everyone is doing it. DVDs have their time and place, and I'll always buy the new Absinthe and Level 1 movies, but selling a DVD isn't for us.
Let's talk about JOSS. You don't seem like the competitive sort and your video wasn't a traditional ski flick. You must be proud that you won doing it your own way.
Our team in 2009 and 2010 did not go to JOSS primarily to win. We went to have fun, hit big spring jumps, learn new tricks, represent Canada and enjoy the Swedish culture. And in a sense, Michael Clarke and I tried to capture these elements of skiing and the surrounding lifestyle as much as possible, and to not feel the pressure of such a largely publicized event. I can speak for Team Canada in saying that being able to show the world what we produced in two weeks was a privilege, and winning was an incredible experience.