I’ve had the honour of knowing my man Russ Lee since I moved up to the PNW. He was one of my first homies in the area and the first guy I did any filming with up at Seymour. Although he is one of my favourite snowboarders, the subject of this little jam is his recent projects “Year of the Snake” and “Seymour the movie.” Russ (aka The God) is the ideal snowboard filmer. He loves to ride both snowboards and skateboards, has a deep knowledge of both sports and has experience in different construction fields (so he actually SHOVELS at spots) which lends itself to his awesome attitude and hard work ethic. Always down to drop everything and go film some moves, Russ is the shit. As long as he’s got an extremely high powered strain of THC and a charged battery, you know your boy is gonna put in work. This past season was the first time where Russ handled all aspects of the projects he was involved with from filming, editing and getting a few bangers as well. Read up on the God and go check the movies out. If you value hard copies jump over to www.dinosaurswilldie.com/yearofthesnake and Russ will personally send you a copy!!– Matt Heneghan
MH: What’s your creative process look like? When do you like to do your editing and national geographic-esque filming of owls?
RL: My creative process isn’t much to look at.Â I imagine myself going crazy listening to the same song over and over, watching the same clip repeatedly.Â I have a hard time editing around others, I can’t focus for some reason.Â If I’m feeling it, I’ll stay up real late. You know multiple coffees and excessive weed.Â Sometimes shit works naturally and things go together without really trying. Other times you just stare at the screen or get side tracked with something else.Â As for filming owls, that’s gonna be in my demo reel if I make one B.Â That lil dude hit the side of our apartment building and fell all the way to the ground level where we live.Â We felt bad cause it had a broken wing and we were blinding it with the light. But we called SPCA and the nice lady came for it.
MH: What was your first camera?
RL:Â The sony vx2000
MH: How long did you run that old PC with adobe premiere after final cut had dropped?
RL: I used that from I think around 2004 to 2011.Â It was a E-machine budget brand computer from future shop.Â I had to buy a new one for HD.
MH: What movies are u hyped on right now? Tell me something about Japanese French fusion skateboarding?
RL: For snowboarding movies this year there were many parts I really liked such as Bennee, Jed, Kuzyk, Joe, Danimals/Gus/Jonas, Hupp/larson, Al/Layne/Keegan.
Otherwise I have really been into some skateboard vids.Â Anything by Yoan Taillandier who is a dude from Bordeaux France and films for Magenta skateboards.Â I guess his crew was super hyped on this OG skater from Japan, Takahiro Morita who had made videos over the last 10 years under the name Far East Skate Network. So they went out to skate Japan from watching all these videos and met up with the dude and became friends. They even gave him a guest board on Magenta.Â It’s really dope when companies like Krooked and Magenta give out guest model boards to skaters they are fans of.Â Anyways these guys strive to connect/unite people worldwide though skateboarding/video and I really feel that.
The hands of Jake Kuyzk
MH: You aren’t just some pile with a nice camera who can barely ride, but thinks he’s cool. You actually ride hard and film parts. What’s your favorite shot someoneÂ filmed of you last season?
RL: Ha thanks. I definitely don’t think I’m cool, but I am jaded..Â and as far as filming parts goes that doesn’t really happen, more like a few clips here and there!Â The one you filmed of the wallride to noseslide at Glenrosa has to be my favourite though.Â That was a real good day. Warm and sunny.Â We had myself, you, Jordan, Joe, Kuzyk , Sam Fenton and Keith Henry all at the spots, but as two crews.Â Everyone got something, you found a 100 bucks, and we got some burgers after.
MH: Shooting film for the first time. How’d that treat you? Also photos. Multimedia shit
RL: I shot some super 8 rolls last season that was very cool.Â It was relieving to find out that most of the film turned out.Â That made me want to shoot more film, but the cost of shipping, developing and scanning adds up fast.Â I wanna thank ECS for giving me a Canon 35mm that I have been using for the last two years.Â Also to Dan Heringa (Salmon Arms CEO’s dad) for hooking up a shit load of film! I’m set for another season probably.
I’ve never owned a digital camera, but I really enjoy fluking off some photos I’m stoked on once in a while.
MH: What do you think needs to change in the snow vid game in order for it to continue to be relevant?
RL: Relevant to myself or the average snowboarder? Working construction for 10 years has made me bitter, but I’ve been disappointed by snowboarding these days.Â Companies using people for years then dropping them bums me out, but that’s nothing new. There’s not much that appeals to me anymore.Â DWD, DOPE industries, and Salmon Arms have given me something to believe in, and I am thankful for that.Â I don’t know if I can say what specifically needs to change as everyone has a different opinion on what they like.Â But hey, you can’t have deep disappointment without deep love.. or something.Â Brocklebank has a theory that Robot Food ruined snowboard videos. After that everybody was trying to copy what they did!Â Tastes/influences change all the time, it’s part of growing up right?Â For people making snow vids, just do whatever you want to do and if your stoked on it, great. As much as some people don’t care for DVDs anymore, getting a physical copy of something I am stoked on, is something I value.
MH: You released two movies this year? What was the idea behind Seymour the movie?
RL: This year I edited Year of the Snake and Seymour the Movie.Â YOTS is our full movie with all the street/backcountry footage. Thank you to everyone that contributed footage. Seymour the movie is a short video entirely on Seymour with no park which was filmed very lazily over 2 seasons by myself and a few clips from my homie Nick Felice. The titles were done by Rahim Dina.Â For Seymour the Movie I wanted to make something like a time warp.Â Some of the footage looks like it could have been filmed 7 years ago.Â There is something special about Mt.Seymour.Â Since I was a kid it was this magical spot for boarding in my mind.Â Not everyone feels this way, but for myself and many others it’s a 2nd home.
MH: Whats the plan for this season?
RL: Hopefully snowboard enough to where I feel comfortable on my board again and personally feel like I had a good season, without getting seriously injured.Â Film for Brendon Hupp’s project ‘End Search’.Â Heringa and I have been talking about a Salmon Arms promo vid as well.Â We’ll see how that goes.Â Also mobb with Brocklebank and crew for The Duh Bolts video.Â That seems like a lot though!
MH: Who is your dream line up if you could make a video with anyone and unlimited budget?
MH: Where do you wanna film that you haven’t been to yet?
RL: Japan. Interior BC mountains. Nelson, Alaska. Newfoundland.
Follow Russ on instagram!! @stylinginmonrovia