Everything you wanted to know about the project.
JAKE DURHAM, the man lurking behind the camera, producing the HOUSE CALL ONLY edits is a visionary of the fantastic. When it comes to blending his artistic vision with snow and skate timeline currencies, there are few who can do it better. And by doing it better, I mean make you feel a real sense of the place. Make you feel and understand the emotion that comes with visiting new domains. You can see his style come through in everything he touches. Be it a camera to take a picture of a shadow, or a collage layout for a title image on his latest Vimeo upload. Jake keeps it fresh and is actually doing original stuff where so many are churning out the same old shit that's been done a thousand times before. What I'm trying to say is that Jake is a real artist and that our little world of snowboarding needs more who aren't afraid to reveal a little more of themselves and their sensibilities in their work.
Anyway, this interview was originally going to be part of our Glass Eye series of interviews, but with a new House Call Only edit about to drop, it made perfect sense to talk about that more instead. So we did. And Jake explained how it all came together, the concept, some mad Vimeo hacks and a bunch of other material about how he came to be such a prolific filmer and photographer, all the while documenting the Adidas and Ride crews across the globe. He and Derrek Lever have got a really good thing going on and we can't wait to see what else they produce. For now, enjoy the third episode in the ongoing series of House Call Only edits and see what Jake had to say about it all below. - William
All photos by Jake Durham.
Your latest project House Call Only is so good. Is that an ongoing or a one-off thing?
House Call Only is an ongoing video series.
So, Derrek Lever and I had talked about starting a project a year or so ago while on an indoor dome trip in the UK for Adidas. We were staying at the Ace Hotel in downtown London and on the last night we finished all of the booze in our mini fridges and came up with House Call.
There wasn’t a specific project in mind, and honestly, I didn’t see it revolving around snowboarding or skateboarding. It felt cool to have it revolving more around art, but of course, influenced by skate and snow.
Last summer Derrek hit me up about winter plans and I told him I didn’t have a video project to film for yet, and he told me the same. I mentioned I wanted to maybe do my own thing, preferably a web series, something that came out more frequently. Then the idea of doing a web series under the name House Call was brought up. We got it all down on paper and pitched it to our boys at Adidas and Ride and they were super down to support.
I’m not sure if people have caught on yet, but on Vimeo (the video player we upload with) you can replace your video file. I think this is for if you happen to mess up a title or need to change something you can replace the video without losing stats, comments, messing up embedded links, etc. I’ve always wanted to work with this feature and upload multiple edits under the same page, so they are temporary and the stats of a series of videos could build. Since this project started off pretty loose, it felt like a good time to try it. So far we have had “House Call Fall Only”, “House Call Corner Store Only” and now we are featuring “House Call Sørenga 1000 Only”. It’s hard to say how many more we will put out, but in the end, they will all be together as one video. If you missed out on previous videos don’t worry, they will be back.
Let’s talk about your camera set up. What does it look like at the moment?
I’m running two digital cameras, Panasonic HPX and AF100. Also, a Nizo Super 8 film camera that is my favourite. And lately, I’ve been carrying around a Canon point and shoot 35mm film photo camera. And I take mad pictures with my iPhone.
Where do you find inspiration, apart from Instagram?
I mean aside from the internet I like to go bike and skateboard around cities, museums, concerts, art shows, thrift stores, dive bars, bowling alleys, tattoo shops, coffee shops, movie theaters, cocktail bars, pizza joints, adult stores, abandoned buildings, horse races, subways, even strip clubs can spark an idea. Honestly, anything in real life where I can observe, learn about something, feel emotion, have an experience, find something strange. Travelling is also huge. I’ve been blessed to travel and see a lot of cool cities. That also makes coming home fresh.
What do you think will change about snowboard movies in the next few years? What will never change?
Right now I think snowboarding media is in a transition. There aren't as many print magazines which is a bummer. It really kills me when the printed magazines are half buyers guides. And hard copies of movies aren’t happening as often. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing. I stream most movies in general whether it’s through iTunes, Vimeo, or Youtube. Growing up my friends and I called the fall “premiere season”. There were always a couple video premieres and they were so much fun. Everyone came out of their summer hiding, partied, and enjoyed watching snowboard videos together. The videos also DID NOT come out before the premieres. The video premiere happened and then like 2 months later, around Christmas, the video came out to buy. So you got a little taste, or maybe partied so hard you didn’t remember watching the video at the premiere, then you bought it later. After you bought it, you studied it all winter. That’s something I hope never changes, video premieres. Jam-pack a movie theatre with snowboard degenerates who snuck in beer and are yelling at the big screen at their homies snowboarding. It’s real hype.
Who are the best/worst riders to film with?
To be honest, the best people to film with are the ones who are self-motivated. It’s cool when the rider is hungry and really wants to work towards filming something great and or creative. My two good friends Boody and Danimals are my favourite people to film. The worst people to film with are the ones who act like filming, travelling, and riding a snowboard is a chore.
When did you first pick up a camera? What was it?
My Daddy Don (Grandpa) gave me my first camera. It was a Nikon 35mm SLR and some lenses. I still have it and use some of the lenses on my AF100. I’ve always been interested in art, so the camera was just another tool to make art. Later my Mema (Grandmother) bought me a Canon Dini DV video camera with a clip on fisheye lens. That was huge. I’m really grateful to have a family that maybe without knowing, have helped me grow as an artist.
What other sides of filmmaking/editing are you interested in?
I’m really into music and fashion videos. I like the idea of some pre-planning, attention to colours, lighting, location, audio, and anything else to create a subtle narrative. To be honest lately, I haven’t really been thinking about filmmaking and editing. I think I’m sick of being on the computer and making things for Instagram. I’ve been getting a lot of satisfaction from hands-on projects. I’m also looking into a space where I can work out of that’s not my home. A place to spread out and hopefully host shows.
Which other projects have you been filming for this winter?
I’ve been pretty wrapped up in House Call Only. I also work for Ride Snowboards and we have a few trips coming up.
Who was the biggest influence on you when developing your film style?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific influence. When I was younger and the internet wasn’t such an impact I would watch the same movies over and over. The first skate video I was studying was Flip “Sorry”. My friends had a few snowboard videos but the slow motion seemed boring to me. A few years down the road Love/Hate came out and I watched that obsessively. Oh and Grenade “Revenge of the Grenerds”. In the mainstream cinema, I was a late bloomer and watched only Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey movies until I was about 16. My good friend Jack Thonvold’s Dad took us to see “Inglourious Basterds” opening night in theatres and that was insane.