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Block Island, R.I., isn't your typical hometown for a pro skier, but Clayton Vila is not your typical skier. Vila, who's at the forefront of the street skiing movement, emerged onto the scene through Stept Productions' film "Network." Vila got his start by competing in slopestyle contests, but when he moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado Boulder, he stopped competing and put all of his focus into creating video edits. Inspired by the skateboarding world, Vila has compiled his footage from Teton Gravity Research, Poor Boyz, and Stept and this week, he released an edit that will become a milestone in the jib world entitled, "The Creep."
What was your inspiration for creating "The Creep," and how is it different than other video edits?
It's a little more frustration than inspiration. This has been my second year of filming with multiple production companies, and while that goes well for commercial work, working with other film projects, and promoting myself, it doesn't always show all of my skills in one place. The last time I was able to focus my entire year for one segment was "Network." Being able to have all of your focus in one place, for an entire season, allows you to put out exactly what you want to. My dream was to get all of my footage and have everyone see what I'm capable of in one place. I hope to one day reach a time when I can focus on one project all year.
I remember seeing members of your Stept crew during a short interview at the Dew Tour on TV. You guys emphasized that you were there to simply have fun and show style in the sport. How important is the style element as tricks become more technical and slopestyle enters the Olympics?
There are a lot of very different people with different styles and aspirations. A lot of inspiration in our sport comes from filming and viewing video segments. It's like in skateboarding -- you create edits for a level of satisfaction and respect. I would hopefully like to see all pro skiers and up-and-comers think 'I want to make a great segment not just win a high profile contest.' Video or great segments are timeless, but it's hard to remember who won what and when.
You film heavily with Stept, one of the best if not the best in capturing the street skiing movement. Where do you see street skiing going in the next few years?
Each season we begin with a lot of ideas. Everyone in our movie lives in one house, and we're all good friends. In the end we just wait for snow. With urban, and especially in new locations, you usually don't have any idea where to start. So you go drive around and see what you can figure out. This year I think we'll see a lot of progression of the tricks onto urban features.
What is the plan for this winter?
Filming a bunch, going out and just skiing. I consider myself a skier, so I'll keep traveling for the snow either in the city or maybe even in the backcountry. Lastly, I'd love to thank all those involved in this project. Mike Rogge at Powder for allowing me to write about my take on skiing for the better progression of our sport, K2, all of my sponsors involved with me as a rider, and a shout out to all my homies on Block Island.