The always entertaining Joe Schuster talks filming vs competing and gives us the scoop on what he got up to this summer, the season edit he recently dropped, and his plans for the upcoming winter.
Hey Joe, how’s it going?
It’s going good. Just hanging in Whistler at the moment, waiting for the snow to start falling.
Joe at Camp of Champions in Whistler, BC. Photo: Jeff Schmuck
How was your summer, and what have you been up to this Fall?
Summer was awesome. I coached at Camp of Champions for my seventh year in a row, which makes me feel old but it was awesome as always. Lately I’ve just been hanging around Whistler and Vancouver, and have been attending some premieres, which is always a good way to spend the Fall. I went to the Poor Boyz world premiere in Seattle, then iF3 in Montreal, iF3 in Whistler along with a few others.
Looking a little further back, how was last winter for you?
Last winter was amazing; I would say it was my best season to date. I did a trip to Bulgaria with Liberty for a feature in Issue 2 of SBC Skier, a trip to Alaska in the spring with Eira that was super productive, and then other than that just hung around BC and Whistler mainly, focusing on filming as much as possible to put out a stand out segment. I had a few days between March and April that really brought everything together for me, as without those couple of days I don’t think I would be half as proud of my new video part.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Issue 2 when it hits newsstands next week to read about Joe’s trip to Bulgaria with Liberty. Photo: Tom Winter
Now that it’s begun snowing at resorts across North America, what are your plans for this winter?
I’m really looking forward to this winter. As most people are likely aware, The Kids have been planning on making a movie for a while now, but it unfortunately hasn’t gone through yet, because it’s really hard to get all the necessary funding and things lined up on the back end before you can go out and start filming and put together a movie. That being said, we have been doing a lot of work this Fall and are making a huge push for this movie as we speak, so I’m optimistic it will happen this winter, which I honestly couldn’t be happier about. I’ve also got some team trips lined up with my sponsors, and have been talking with Sean Pettit a lot lately, as he has some new things in the works for this upcoming season, so it would be great to work with him on some of those projects.
Around two years ago, you made the decision to stop competing so you could focus solely on filming. What prompted you to make that decision, and how has it worked out for you?
Back in the Theory-3 Media and Rage Films days I started sledding and filming in the backcountry and was starting to learn all about it, but unfortunately both of those companies went under, so I wanted to stat focusing on the contest scene. I did that for a couple of years, got some top 10’s at the Dew Tour, World Skiing Invitational , European Open and other top level events, which was sweet, but eventually when you don’t climb the podium for a few years it gets to be a little frustrating, and at the same time I started filming again in the backcountry with Poor Boyz. The lack of stand out finishes on the contest scene, plus the amount of fun and exposure I was getting by filming with PBP made it an easy decision for me to make a move with my career, and I think it was for the better.
Whistler, BC. Photo: Jeff Schmuck
Speaking of filming and PBP, you’re currently featured in their new film, Tracing Skylines, where you ski alongside many of your best friends, including Sean Pettit, Riley Leboe, Mike Henitiuk and more. For anyone out there who hasn’t had the chance to check it out yet, tell them why they should, and what the movie is all about.
The movie is centred around a few locations more so than athletes, including BC, Alaska, France, Detroit and Stevens Pass. Each segment features a few different skiers, so it really brings together the best skiers for that area or aspect to make group segments focused on the location, which is a really different and unique way of putting the movie together. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out!
As many know, judging by the view count, you recently released a kick ass season edit. Give us the scoop on it, along with why you opted to put one together.
Well the segment is just basically all of the footage I gathered with PBP last winter, put together ski porn-style to a good ol’ Bob Seger track, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I wanted to put this segment together because as you may or may not have noticed, not everything you film in a season gets showcased in the movie you are a part of. Sometimes it’s due to the way the movie is put together and if the footage fits appropriately rather than if it’s good enough or not, other times it comes down to politics in the industry. Either way, it’s very rare that a skier watches the movie they filmed for all year and is 100% satisfied, or thinks to themselves “Man, absolutely everything I filmed last year was in the movie”. So this video segment was a way for me to get all of my footage out there for everyone to see, and put together the way I like to see it. I’m super proud of it.
What would you say your plans are over the next five years?
Over the next five years I’m planning on staying on the path that I’m currently on. Focus on backcountry skiing, learn more about the mountains, be out in the backcountry with my friends riding pow and do everything I can to get the best footage I can. I love what I’m doing right now; it feels like it’s something I’m meant to do.
Any shout-out’s to dish out?
Well of courses I gotta thank my sponsors for helping me out so much and making this all possible. Eira, Liberty, Dragon, Pow, Whistler/Blackcomb and Cariboo. But I would definitely like to thank my friends and family more than anything, as they’re the ones who keep me motivated, appreciative and having as much fun as I am.