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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Brain Dead Heart Attack

By Matt Vanatta
XGames.com

"Brain Dead Heart Attack" may sound like a zombie flick, but once you see how many radical moves are going down in the newest snowboard movie from Think Thank (available now for download on iTunes) you will know these shreds still have a pulse.

For years Think Thank has had an uncanny ability to find fresh faces, recruit them to film, which inevitably projects them into the next level of pro stardom. So we decided to check in with some of the most prestigious alumni from Think Thank's early projects to get their take on what filming for TT is all about, and what kids to keep your eyes on this year.

How did filming with Think Thank help you find your place in snowboarding?
Gus Engle:
In a way, Jesse Burtner created a whole universe for us weirdoes to snowboard in when he started Think Thank. I don't even snowboard with him all that much anymore -- we don't live in the same city -- but just knowing he's out there keeps me working hard. It keeps me from becoming disenchanted.

Jess Kimura: Filming a part for "Right Brain, Left Brain" gave me a chance to finally break out and show what I was capable of. It's funny because I was watching "Cue the Birds" when I got the email from Burtner, out of nowhere, asking me to film. I was just screaming in my living room. That was the ultimate dream -- because it wasn't just any video production company, but my hands-down all-time favorite dudes.

Getting to film that part changed my life without a doubt. It sounds drastic, but I probably would have never gotten a chance to ride professionally without that opportunity. I probably would have gone back to school and gave up after that season.

Jason Robinson: Filming with Think Thank helped me realize how fun filming can be. My love for snowboarding and filming video parts grew because of shredding with them.

Scott Stevens: Think Thank opened me up to Jesse Burtner, Gus Engle, Johnny Miller, Mark Thompson, and other guys who were really inspiring and creative riders. It was a huge step for my snowboarding.

What Think Thank riders are you most stoked on these days, and why?
JK:
First and foremost, I'm so stoked Desiree Melancon is filming with those guys now. People need to see what that girl is capable of in terms of creativity, style, and progression. Her video part this year reflects that for sure.

I will always be stoked on Burtner -- he is the one who introduced me to an alternative mindset when it came to video parts. The way his brain works shows in his riding and he and Pika [Burtner] have contributed so much to snowboarding over the years. The young guns are crazy too -- so much creativity and hunger and style. It's inspiring to watch from all angles.

JR: The whole crew is so rad, full of talent and good energy. The first standout is Curtis Woodman, because he is killing it and just out surfing the Earth and doing it all with the biggest smile on his face. Brandon Hammid is raw and slaying it so hard. Jaeger Bailey is constant entertainment and will keep you asking yourself, "What the hell just happened?" Everyone kills it!

GE: Desiree's part was great, maybe the best women's snowboard part of all time -- dare I say? Burtner was like some sort of one-footed serpentine god out there. Johnny Miller's footage, although brief, was a kin to catching a glimpse of a white wolf in the forest underneath a blood moon. Brendon Hupp had the smooth style and grace of a gentle fawn. Freddy Perry's layback to thread the needle was a highlight. Brandon Reis had some really heavy rail moves.

Chris Larson's ender was one of the most irresponsible things a human's ever attempted on a snowboard. Chris Beresford has one of his best parts, and the list goes on.

[My Think Thank] part changed my life. ... I probably would have never gotten a chance to ride professionally without that opportunity.

-- Jess Kimura

SS: Burtner, Beresford, Sean Genovese and Ted Borland are my favorites, but the list goes on for days. Everyone who has a part in those videos always makes me happy and stoked to ride and progress.

Who are you filming with now that you're not with Think Thank anymore?
SS:
This year I did Videograss' "The Last Ones."

JK: Right now I'm getting ready to film for next season's CAPiTA team video.

GE: I'm filming a two-year part for Videograss and I'm making an independent web series with my wife, called "Pozi Pozi."

JR: I mainly shot with Absinthe Films for "Dopamine" and I plan on filming with them again this up coming season.

Why has Think Thank had continued success on the wild world of snowboard videos?
GE:
I suppose it's just because they're massively entertaining! There are always new kids and new tricks. Other video crews keep stealing riders from Burtner and he keeps on discovering new great ones. He's got a bit of the Midas touch, too.

JK: It's pretty hard to do anything different these days, unless you have been doing something different your entire life -- like Burtner and the way he approaches snowboarding, videos and life in general. I think the fact that they are always doing something unique and outside the box has created their cult following. I also see a lot of people outside of snowboarding who have such a good reaction to seeing their videos. I think their videos are eye catching and unique, whether you snowboard or not.

SS: Jesse and Pika, they are dedicated and they are very passionate and take on riders who want to work hard! Not to mention they have Ross Phillips and Sean Lucey filming! That team of filmers and riders is constantly pushing tricks. I think that's a big reason, and helps them keep it fresh. To me that's a huge deal.

JR: After ten years Think Thank may be the most loved video because they have more fun then anyone else in snowboarding and it shows.