The newest film from Keep the Change, Homage, is a fitting tribute to the snowboard videos that have paved the way for upcoming crews trying to make it in the competitive world of filmmaking. In typical Videograss fashion, Homage is as core as it gets, managing to maintain an underground feel despite KTC’s rise to the spotlight in recent years. Led by Colton Feldman, the producers of Homage keep it real, 300, or whatever you want to call it, from beginning to end.
The first thing I noticed when the Homage teaser dropped earlier this year was that the roster was slimmed down from 14 riders to 7. A few people from Roll Call were taken by the new Snowboarder Mag movie, a few others snagged by CAPiTA for Stay Bad Ass, and even more went their separate ways. To cope, the Keep the Change crew added a few heavy hitters with the additions of Tommy Gesme, Johnny Brady, Ian Hart, and Riley Nickerson. While a few crew members from Roll Call may be missed, full parts from the aforementioned additions more than make up for any losses, Nickerson and Gesme in particular. In addition, the slimmed down roster allows the viewer to focus more on the riders and their separate parts, instead of being bombarded by new names and faces.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Homage undoubtedly showcases some of the top street snowboarding of the year. If you want a more detailed overview, continue reading, but this is your SPOILER ALERT, don’t worry though, no tricks will be given away.
Tommy Gesme’s opening part proves that gnarly features can be approached with the laziest style. While his various 270 and 360 variations are impressive and stylish, it’s his presses that really set him apart. Following Gesme is a decisively more aggressive Ian Hart. While Hart doesn’t have the same lazy style as Gesme, he does possess the same “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that resonates throughout the film; his ender is particularly reckless. Derrek Lever continues the video with a feel-good song and equally feel-good snowboarding. No other part made me want to go snowboarding with my friends more than Lever’s, and that is ultimately the goal of any snowboard film, right? Ian Boll continues in similar fashion, but what I like most about Ian’s part are his creative spot choices, you can also tell he went to some exotic locations to film. Next up is Riley Nickerson, when his part dropped at Snowboard on the Block his song had heads bobbin’ like crazy, but it was his lanky care-free style that really got people hyped. Johnny Brady’s part opens up next and you can immediately tell he was out for blood while filming for Homage, his spot and trick selections are nothing short of reckless. Finally we have Mark Wilson, from his opening boardslide you can tell right away that Mark was on another level the whole year. Some of the rails he handles with ease are simply ridiculous, his backlip variations are particular favorites of mine. Definitely deserving of “ender” status.
All in all, Homage, is a must see snowboard film. Everything from the soundtrack to the group of riders help to create a cohesive feel that is so often missing from big-budget productions. The consistency of spots throughout the film let you know how much traveling these guys actually did together, creating a more “crew” feel than big name films where each rider just sends in footage to be compiled. If you have any interest in what’s next in professional snowboarding, go buy Homage now.
Homage can be purchased in stores or online from KidsKNOW distribution.
Review by Darin Evangelista