Behind The Scenes: Real Snow Gigi Rüf

Gigi Rüf and Jake Price are in the semi-finals for the ESPN Backcountry Real Snow contest. We caught up with the boys to find out exactly what went down during the filming of their Real Snow edit.
Gigi and Jake getting down to business. Pic: Carlos BlanchardHey guys, firstly congrats to both of you on making a sick edit. How is it to be involved in this competition?
Jake Price: This is what we do everyday. It almost didn't even feel like a contest. We basically just laced up the boots everyday, hiked around a bunch, moved a ton of snow and logged some frequent flyer miles. It is always such a great experience snowboarding and filming with Gigi.Jake self portrait in the ArlbergGuess you were pretty lucky that Austria had an amazing start to the season and you didn't have to travel too far, where was this edit mainly filmed and was it an advantage to shred in your home country?
Gigi: Getting to kick off the season with the amounts of snow that fell already had me throwing flips out there before filming came to mind. Once New Year came around the pressure cooker was on for this Real Snow piece but I had to wait until Jake Price had his full camera equipment ready and finally boarded the plane to come to my home mountain. From the day he arrived it was on, my motivation was high, hiking and riding only at my home resort in the Arlberg.
Gigi enjoying the pow at home. Pic: Carlos BlanchardHow stressful is it as a rider and filmer to log a 2 minute part in less than a month of riding at the beginning of winter?
Gigi: Actually it only came down to a 10-day window for me to collect the shots before editing, along with the whole soundstaging that had to be done. The routine was to build and session a feature and possibly build another one for the next day. Luckily I had motivated riders like Arthur Longo and Curtis Cizcek to help me go about it.
Jake: We both have the same approach to snowboarding. Don't force it, and follow your nose. We only got about 7 days on hill, so we really powered through it. The editing process for me is the most stressful. When under a time constraint, you really have to commit to a final edit. All the handwritten animations took me many hours of tracing and drawing. I felt like my monitor-eyes were going to explode. I also spent 6 months developing the satellite camera featured in the edit.  Lots of trial and error getting that rig to perform correctly.
Gigi boosting a lofty cab 3. Pic: Carlos Blanchard
Gigi, I noticed you had a couple dubs in your part, did you just learn this trick during this filming session?
Gigi: Yeah, I pulled the BS10 double on my fourth try. Then I tried to land it better, but I really ate shit. After a day-long session and getting multiple tricks, I was so happy that day.
Gigi chucking a tasty BS10 double cork. Pic: Jason HortonJake, what is the biggest difference between filming a clip like this this and making a full length movie?
Jake: When you have Gigi, you can almost make a full length movie in 7 days. He is just that fun to film and watch on a board.
Gigi double corking his way into round 2What were your initial thoughts when you saw all the edits come out? Were you nervous, disappointed, confident, content or a mix of all?
Gigi: I already knew that this Real Snow contest would give the usual video part production cycle a new spin of motivation. The riders are all in it to win it, which made it so unbelievably sick. This simply could not be anything half-assed so I gave it my best. Plus my sponsors allowed me to work with a motivated crew of friends.
Jake: We were up against 8 of my favorite snowboarders. Everyone gave it their all and it shows.
Gigi Smalls is the real deal! Pic: Carlos BlanchardBesides your edit, or if you weren't in the competition, who do you think has the best edit and why?
Gigi: Simply already getting my fix of watching the best and most creative ways to snowboard on the hill is mind-blowing. Nicolas is up there for sure, even if I had to pick an Idol in snowboarding.
Jake: I personally liked Iikka Backstrom's edit. The snow looked so deep and fun for him to ride.  I was definitely jealous of all that pow.
Gigi and the crew building this beast in Sonnenkopf. Pic: Jason Horton
Do think this contest is an additional avenue to show a conventional market a different side of snowboarding rather than the usual half pipe, slopestyle and big air competitions?
Gigi: It certainly is! The creative forces of limitless riding paired with the essential vision of the filmer who for my Real Snow edit even worked with a sound producer named Baron to create an original soundtrack. Jake Price along with Volcom pushed the envelope to put out a representative and simply mind-blowing piece for every viewer and voter of this modern contest format.
Always smiling. Vote for Gigi! Pic: Carlos Blanchard
Tell us one memorable moment that happened during shooting?
Gigi: Wow, there are a lot of memories that go along with filming a video part. It's like an adventure, we follow no rules or any beaten path and quite often get lost.
Jake: Eating lots and lots of gummy bears. Tricks landed = gummy treats.

If you win this competition what are you going to do with money and which bar will you put 10% of the winnings on?
Gigi: 50-50 between Jake and me, so that puts me one step closer to opening a Tikibar and having a valuable customer at hand.
Jake: All on black. Torcom's bar in Bend, Oregon.

Vote for Gigi and Jake's Real Real Snow edit HERE.

Thanks to Jason Horton and Carlos Blanchard for the pics. Check out more pics from Carlos right HERE