We chatted with Evan Williams, the 21 year old Burlington native behind the New Intelligent Group, about filming, travelling and making a name for himself on Newschoolers. Here’s what he had to say –
Years Shooting: 7
Now Hangin’: Boston, MA
Accomplices: Kohl Schoening, Derek Spong, Ian Compton, Matt Benedetto, Peter Engen, Tyler Audette, Joe Tyson
Role Model: My brother Ryan.
Off-Snow: Skateboarding, filming, photography, and such.
Camera: Panasonic DVX 100B, Canon T2i, Pentax K1000
Gear: Line Skis, Uni Threads, Smith Optics, FASC, Dermatone, Ski Rack
Last Purchase: Just bought a bike. That was pretty exciting.
Next Purchase: New lenses / various accessories. Camera gear is like crack!
Hey Evan, how’s it going?
Good! Chillin’ in Boston, and have class in a few hours. Not too pumped to go to that.
What are you studying?
I’m a Business major with a concentration in International Business. I’m about to start my senior year of college this fall in Burlington, Vermont. Can’t believe I’m almost done with school already. Crazy.
What comes next?
No idea. I wanna take some time to just ski a lot when I graduate but obviously if my dream job presents itself I’ll definitely take it. I’ll be skiing a lot regardless.
How was your season?
It was amazing. Definitely my best season to date. I spent the first quarter of the winter in Switzerland – which was unreal. That place is awesome and if you have a chance to go abroad while in college, definitely do it. It was the best experience ever.
After that I headed back to the states in December. Shot some handrails in Boston with Meatheads early January which was real cool as I’ve always wanted to shoot in my hometown.
Filmed a few edits in February on the east coast with the New Intel crew then headed back to Switzerland for the Survival of the Fittest Big Air in March. I finished up the season in April at the Meatheads spring park shoots. Good times!
You must have some pretty good stories from your winter. Any favorites you’d like to share?
Oh man. This January Peter Engen, Will Hibbs, and myself were filming a drop feature just outside of downtown Boston for the new Meathead’s movie. It was getting pretty late and we had been sessioning the setup for a bit. We were in a pretty residential area which attracted lots of locals who were curious to see what the hell we were doing skiing in Charlestown. This guy approached us, obviously highly intoxicated, blabbering about how he just saw the newly released Hollywood flick “The Town”, which is set in Charlestown. Dude had the heaviest Boston accent, he pounded like 10 beers and kept peeing all over the walls where we were skiing. He randomly stopped us and asked if we wanted any of his “beef stew” – I was pretty sketched out by that. Geoff ended up saving it and bringing it back home that night. I think he ate it cause it wasn’t there when we woke up. Mowing down on sketchy homeless man stew is never a goodidea.
Ian, Evan and Max hangin’ in Swizzy
Had some pretty solid memories from Switzerland in March. Got to see all the swiss homies and made a lot of new friends. Max (Hill) and Ian (Compton) got in physical fights regularly. Max always sneak attacked Ian when he was least expecting it, like lifting him up by his groin area, AKA “forklifting”, which made for some hilarious reactions. I got multiple shots of it, didnt end up making the edits. Now that I think of it I should make a B footage edit of all the shenanigans we got into that week. That whole trip was awesome.
What’s your plan for the summer?
I’m in Boston for the summer taking summer courses and working my ass off so I have money to ski all winter. Not the most fun summer, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
If money wasn’t an issue, how would you be spending it?
Traveling as much as a could. There are so many amazing places in the world. I wanna go to as many of them as I can, and ski a lot of course.
How old were you when you got into action sports and filming edits? What spurred you to create New Intelligent Group?
I think I was about 12 or 13 when I got my first pair of twin tips. I had always been into skateboarding as a yougin’ and we used to film all sorts of stupid shit with this little handy cam of mine. I still have all the HI-8 tapes, I actually took a look at them recently, some pretty funny throwback footage of us snowblading in our yard haha.
The first time I actually filmed skiing I was 13. My friends at the time gave me a camera and told me to “press record” and film them on a jump. I ended up missing everyone’s tricks because I couldn’t figure out how to work the camera. Turns out I had the lens cap on the whole time which was the reason the screen was black haha. It’s funny to look back on it because I caught so much shit for it at the time. I don’t think any of my friends thought I’d become so into filming after that little mishap.
New Intelligent Group started in 2006. At the time I filmed all my friends for fun and put together edits to post online. People responded really well to them. We made an edit at Mt. Hood that summer which was the top rated video on Newschoolers.com for about a month. I figured we could definitely make more edits of the same caliber so we we came up with New Intelligent Group and set out to make a full length video called “Memo.” Jeff Kiesel actually crafted the original “glasses” logo.
How big of a role did Newschoolers play in the success of New Intelligent Group?
Huge role. Man, without Newschoolers a lot of my skiing successes wouldn’t exist – it’s the best place to get your edits out there. Such a valuable media outlet.
Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
Obviously have fun with it, do your own thing, and create your own style. Filming is a lot like skiing. There is a lot of different ways you can go about doing it style wise. Its easy to copy another person’s style, but you get much more out of being unique which is what I think filming is all about. I see so many videos where people just do follow cams the whole day. The use of a tripod and getting a variety of different style shots is essential.
What’s the best and worst parts about filming urban?
The best part of the process is definitely the satisfaction of getting a shot your psyched on. The hard work that goes into setting up the lights, drop-in/winch, shoveling snow, setting up cameras, etc makes it that much more satisfying when you come out of it successful – but that much more frustrating when you walk away with nothing. It’s easier to be proud of something you worked really hard on then something that takes no time at all.
Spending time behind and in front of the lens, I can vouch that it’s definitely stressful for both parties. The rider is working hard doing their thing and the filmer is making sure the shot is prime. The last thing you want as a filmer is to show the rider the shot of the trick they have been working on for hours and have it be crap filming. That creates for an awkward situation! At the same time as a skier you don’t wanna disappoint the filmer by not getting any tricks and making them stand around in the cold and film you for hours but get nothing out of it.
But yeah, when you break it all down all the stress and work involved is definitely worth it in the end.
Any big plans for the upcoming season?
Got some big things in the works with Ian Compton. Nothing set in stone yet, but were planning on partnering up doing our own take on an edit series, just traveling around shredding and having fun. More details soon!
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Still skiing obviously., and having a solid job would be nice. I’m stoked to be done with college next year. Hopefully I can choose a career path I actually enjoy. Id love to still be involved in the ski industry either filming or on the business side of things and actually apply what I’ve gone to school for. I’ve always wanted a skiing related job right out of college. Literally my dream lifestyle. But who knows! Ill just take it one step at a time! I’m only 21 right?