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Fan Mail: Should I Donate to Absinthe Film’s Crowd-Funding Campaign?

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2017 has been a crazy year. First an Internet troll was sworn into the highest office in Americaland, then we told you it might be time to be cool with skiers. And now, Absinthe Films is asking for your help to pay for its new snowboard movie “Turbo Dojo”. Some people aren’t sure how they feel about this change to the classic movie-funding model, for example Grant did some crowdsourcing of his own by looking for answers on the Catfish Chronicles Facebook page

Thanks for your great question Grant! First we’d like to say that Absinthe has been in the game longer than anyone else, produced some really cool snowboard films and promoted some really great riders over the years. Also, Nicolas Müller is a genuinely good dude who truly loves snowboarding and is ridiculously fun to watch ride. Now that we have the warm and fuzzy bullshit out of the way, here’s what we really think, point-by-point.

1 I hate crowdfunding…

You, me, and everyone else. I’d wager the phrase “I hate crowdfunding” came out of everyone involved in Absinthe’s mouth several times over the years. Why should anyone want to use money they’ve earned through hard work to pay for someone else’s “dream?” But unfortunately, snowboard industry funding for this sort of project is gone. It’s sad, but true, and so the riders and producers of Absinthe have had to look for other revenue sources. Seeing as Full Moon films successfully pulled this off for its 2-year project in 2015 – it certainly is an option – and there are some rabid snowboard fans out there who make more money than they know what to do with and may be willing to kick down some cash to help.

2 …unless it’s for a good business idea, in which a project is offered.

Big budget snowboard films (ie those that require RED cameras, multiple filmers and helidrops etc) are just not a “good business idea” in 2017. If they were, Drink Water would be paying for the entire project themselves from all their hoodie/water bottle sales or Nico would take the extra $80,000 required out of his savings account (assuming he has one after a career of riding for brands such as Nike and Oakley, of course) to foot the bill.

3 Products are being offered, which is good.

If you’re referring to the video itself – yes a full snowboard video is a product, but unfortunately not one the majority of consumers are willing to pay for in 2017. Even in the gravy days of snowboarding, when everyone wanted in, DVD sales were not the bread and butter. Videos such as these are a marketing tool. And in 2017 brands now have a lot more media options to choose from (ie social media, producing their own videos, independent blogs, etc.)  That said, there are some sweet prize incentives if you donate, so maybe that is the consumer product now?

4 Isn’t Absinthe buy-in like 20 grand?

Because these are considered “trade secrets,” we can only speculate on this based on rumors we’ve heard but yes, that sounds about right. For a brand to have their rider/logos included, they have historically handed over a decent chunk of change for the pleasure aka the “buy-in.” The real budget for something like this though, is way over six figures – that flexible 80k goal only gets the video producers part of the way. Again, heli drops, cat time, flights to exotic locales, baggage fees, camera equipment and filmer salaries do not come cheap. They never have, but in the past things such as energy drinks, footwear giants and huge multi-sport apparel brands have covered most of that cost.

5 Why are they bringing a band and filmers on an expensive premiere tour?

The premiere tour is the only time most people are going to watch this video. Without it, the core Absinthe audience – people who will actually pay for an iTunes download or tune in during the 24 hour web premiere- is “too small” for a brand (of any size, really) to invest in. That said, this seemingly expensive tour is actually not that expensive. Bands play cheap for “exposure” and traveling without snowboard gear – especially around Europe with its amazing public transit systems – is a negligible expense in the grand scheme of things. In fact, charging a $10 cover at the door probably covers most of those costs, and the marketing value of real-world events is actually much more valuable than anything online. It’s a real, tangible experience that actually gets people excited to snowboard – helping to foster the community which we all hold so dear. Plus it’s a place where people buy beer and snacks – which is another way to make money.

In conclusion – if you have the money and want to watch another Absinthe movie or attend one of the premiere parties next year – you should definitely donate. If not, then you shouldn’t.  We really hope this helped answer your questions, college boy. See ya in the real world in a couple years.

Dontate to Absinthe’s IndieGogo Campaign here. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

Update: Grant said he loves Absinthe and plans to dontate anyway.

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Comments (35)

  1. We will personally mortgage our houses to see more snowboarding of Brendan Gerard. That being said, we expected a much funkier, atomospheric, and really just a more Absinthe-esque indigogo video.

     
    • It’s not just snowboarding that is dying. The economy has never recovered from the “recession” of 07/08. Retail in general is dying. The issues with snowboarding are shared with surfing, cycling, skateboarding, etc. Worst time in 30 years to be a “Professional **”
      Haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

       
      • um since the recession of 07/08, stocks have not only recovered their recession losses, but have also stretched to new record highs. Snowboarding is an unattainable sport for many people and thus is why you’re seeing a decline in interest.

         
        • the prices of stocks =/= a recovered economy. Its not an indicator of how much disposable income the average person has.

           
        • your a moron …..only some big corporate stocks did well …most tanked…..DICKS sporting goods is down %68 this yr while FERARI is up %78 in last 6 months …. … OBAMA printed money .loaned it to his favorite corporations ..they did stock by backs ,,,to give a artificial recovery ,,that did nothing for any small or mid cap stocks ….you are a OBAMA loving moron ..

           
        • The “stock price” is a calculated estimate. Most of the money circulating in the system is totally worthless and built on speculation. We bailed out all the big financial companies and prevented them from failing because the whole system is apparently built on those debt-generating institutions. The problem is that they make their money through debt. That crazy amount of money used to bail out Goldman Sachs could easily go some place else where people would use it to start a business or at least support things on a more local level that is measurable to most people.

          Don’t even blame Obama, Clinton,or Bush even though they’re complicit. This is just the problem with our entire political system. The money is where the real power is. And when we bailed out all those huge institutions built to make money out debt, we’re just perpetuating those issues that led to that initial financial collapse. Literally sweeping the cause under the rug and hoping it won’t bite us in the ass. The day to day bullshit of the stock market is just a silly numbers game that’s giving the illusion of a “growing market”. There’s no actual “growth” there, no unless you can point to normal people actually going out and spending money. Massive companies generating debt and us bailing us out is what’s going to crash the system. But it needs to happen.

          The “collapse” is just the financial system getting rid of the structures that are weighing them down. Because the stock market is like 90% debt, but I’m sure in reality it’s closer to like 98% debt.

           
        • The stock market and the real estate market are not the economy. The gains in both are largely due to fed policy. The piles of easy money have to go somewhere and they did. As if DOW 23K is somehow normal. Best of luck with that understanding of how things work.

           
      • Retail is dying, snowboarding is dying!!!? FOr fucking who!!!?! Avg. riders, people who roll up to mtn, ride lift and repeat!? Fuck no. Its fantastic actually. 2 good snow years, easy to find, cheap quality product. The state of snowboarding is amazing. Now if youre a person who is looking to make a career off the sport in retail, pro, design and or marketing–maybe not so much? Sorry, maybe a niche sport for the monied classes just isnt enough to pay the bills so you can live in Huntington Beach–cry me a fucking river please. The warped and distorted early years have created false expectations for everyone involved in the industry. The industry doesnt owe huge salaries to the riders –their profits just dont require it. There is a huge amount of talent–talent is cheap. I am fine with the sport shrinking–not cool? Sorry fool…Im going shredding. Like Gillian Yoder said years ago, I wish I could wave my hand and make the entire industry disappear!

         
        • “Now if youre a person who is looking to make a career off the sport in retail, pro, design and or marketing–maybe not so much?”

          Thank you for re-making my point.

          “The state of snowboarding is amazing.”

          The core of snowboarding will always be amazing. It’s really fun, how could that be anything other than amazing. The idea that people shouldn’t be able to make a living off the industry and that what has taken place to date is somehow a fluke because misguided early years is a wee bit myopic. Core shops closing, summer camps closing/consolidating, film factories closing, sponsor money drying up, 50% off last years gear at backcountry.com are all signs of contraction within the industry. Does snowboarding require core shops and summer camps? No but it’s a lot cooler because they existed. Snowboarding/skateboarding is way better for Joel Gomez having the ability to carve a living out of the industry. The experience you got from hanging out at Sessions, Northwest Snowboards, Side Effect, SnoCon is way more core than shopping at dogfunk. The next generation is going to be Mall Grabbing their way on down to hang out at Zumies. Shit is getting lean and it’s not good for all aspects of snowboarding.

          Anyhoo, you pretty much made my point repeatedly. As for snowboarding at its core I’m on day 6 with day #7 lurking good later this week. Shit, I’ll ride a dropped Slurpee in the 7-11 parking lot. You’re correct in that we don’t need all of that to enjoy snowboarding but some things make snowboarding culture better and it is kind of a bummer to see it go the way it has.

           
          • I never had any use for shop goons trying to sell me overpriced shit. Sorry, I don’t feel bad that Internet brokers have changed the business model. Do you buy anything over the Internet? Yeah, I thought so.

             
        • GILLIGAN YODER RULED ON LAMAR BOARDS.

           
  2. BECAUSE…Obamas fake recovery was no recovery at all …1% GDP growth is not a recovery …only big corporate got big $$$ …OBAMA lied to you

     
  3. THEY don’t know what GDP growth means , they sit in there moms basement jerking off ALL DAY , ripping on TRUMP ,,,,hoping for the first big dump …

     
  4. cool if you crowd source the video, but PLEASE don’t preach about sustainable lifestyles when you are burning 1,000’s of gallons of fuel in helicopters, sleds, cars and planes to travel and film this.

     
  5. FLUCTUATING REVENUE STREAMS GENERATED FOR MEDIA CONSUMPTION ARE GENERALLY DIFFERENTIATED BY REFERENCING PRE-MARKETED PROFIT PROJECTIONS.

     
    • GET CREATIVE WITH THE PREMIERE EVENTS IN AN EFFORT TO BRING MORE NEW PARTICIPANTS INTO THE SNOWBOARDING WORLD. I THINK THE FUTURE OF SNOWBOARDERS TRYING TO FILM WORLDWIDE IS WRAPPED UP IN THE PRODUCTION COMPANIES’ VISION. IT IS ULTIMATELY THEM THAT NEED TO DESIGN HOW THE SUPPORT CAN BE GATHERED TO COMPLETE A VIABLE MOVIE EDIT.

      THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY TO SELF SUSTAIN OUR SCENE WITHOUT HAVING TO ALWAYS SOLICIT FUNDS FROM SOURCES OUTSIDE THE GAME.

      CORPORATIONS OPERATE BY ADHERING TO THE BOTTOM LINE FIGURES ON THEIR POWERPOINT CHARTS.

      SNOWBOARDERS OPERATE BY ADHERING TO THEIR OWN UNIQUELY ORCHESTRATED BUSINESS GOALS ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. THE SHREDDER’S DO IT YOURSELF ETHOS WON’T GRAVITATE TOWARDS THE NORM…IT WILL INSTEAD GRAVITATE TOWARDS THE INTENSE.

      THAT BEING SAID, FULL PROPS ARE DUE TO JUSTIN HOSTYNEK HAS BEEN PUTTING HIS HEART AND SOUL INTO MAKING THESE FILMS THE RIGHT WAY SINCE DAY ONE. AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, JAH IS THE ONLY FILMER LEFT IN THE GAME THAT HAS BEEN ACTIVELY MAKING SNOWBOARD FILMS SINCE THE EARLY NINETIES.

      USED TO BE:
      1. MACK DAWG PRODUCTIONS
      2. ABSINTHE PRODUCTIONS
      3. KINGPIN PRODUCTIONS
      4. FALL LINE FILMS
      5. HIGH VOLTAGE FILMS
      6. ADVENTURESCOPE FILMS

      HOSTYNEK IS THE ONLY ONE LEFT.

       
    • THE AVERAGE TOURING ROCK BAND CAN USUALLY BE FOUND PLAYING APPROXIMATELY 4-6 MONTHS OF BOOKED PERFORMANCES IN ORDER TO PAY THE NECESSARY OVERHEAD TO OPERATE THE BAND. THEN, SAID BAND IS EXPECTED TO SPEND AT LEAST ANOTHER 4 MONTHS WRITING AND REHEARSING AND RECORDING NEW MATERIAL. THEN THEY GO OUT AND PLAY THE NEW MATERIAL TO TEST THE SONGS OUT WITH A LIVE AUDIENCE. ONCE THEY FEEL CONFIDENT WITH HOW THE NEW SONGS ARE BEING RECEIVED IN TESTING SETS, THEY THEN REDUCE THE MATERIAL DOWN FURTHER INTO WHAT WOULD BE RECORDED LATER ON INTO A FULL ALBUM’S WORTH OF MATERIAL ( WITH LEFTOVERS WAITING FOR A LATER RELEASE DATE AT SOME POINT). MAKING MUSIC IS METHODICAL AND METICULOUS AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF PRODUCTION.

      TOURING THE FILM RELEASES EACH YEAR AROUND TO MORE NEW CITIES AND RESORT ORIENTED LOCATIONS FOR LONGER STRETCHES OF TIME IN ORDER TO FUND THE UPCOMING WINTER’S PRODUCTION MIGHT CONTRIBUTE TO THE GOAL.

       
  6. “…It’s a real, tangible experience that actually gets people excited to snowboard – helping to foster the community which we all hold so dear. ”

    yuup

     
  7. 11. VERTICAL ADDICTIONS (JUSTIN HOSTYNEK)

    HOSTYNEK’S SECOND SNOWBOARD VIDEO WAS CALLED “ANTHEM”, RELEASED IN 1992 OR 1993, AND IT ‘S CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE COOLEST SNOWBOARDING FILMS OF ALL-TIME, HANDS DOWN.

     
  8. Maybe they shoulda charged a cover at the premier in Bellingham instead of doing a free movie? Here’s my two cents…
    Brick and Mortar retail is dead or about to be dead. Zumiez and Backcountry.com killed the core shop. Watching Absinthe videos are great but c’mon where is this money really going? Inside Justin, Shane and Brusti’s pockets. None of the riders get any of that dough. The days of shelling out 30 bucks for a dvd are over. If it’s not 10 bucks on itunes I won’t buy it. Sorry, but not Sorry for these guys, they all made tons of loot off of snowboarding in it’s heyday and now sponsors don’t want to shell out 20k plus heli time for their riders footage to end up on the cutting room floor. The best thing Absinthe did was cut Cale Zima off the roster and replace him with Brendan, kid is 10x better and actually well rounded. I’d rather watch Pirate films next installment anyways. Now put that shit out on ITUNES already so I can watch it without shelling out a days wages.

     
  9. Hey guys, please go to your core shops and buy my mag and anything else you can afford. I’m worried my money stream is dying here!! Please, someone save snowboarding!

     

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