Hump Day is Working for the CityBy Toby Witte • Oct 5th, 2011 • Category: Features, Hump Day Interviews, Latest
This summer Jon Stark he told me to ditch my job for a few minutes and come to the High Mountain Café with him. There was someone he wanted me to meet. We walked over to a table where this guy was sitting who looked to be in his late twenties, shook hands and sat down. This guy is Brett Spurr, one of Jon’s partners for next winter. After some talking and getting acquainted I learned that Brett was actually a 19-year-old she-hulk of a cameraman from Minnesota that spent last winter making his own movie with the another filmer, Sam Duncan. Together this trio of media men is Working For The City. They love their riders and don’t give a fuck. Last winter they had separate projects, Jon Stark’s Working For The City and Brett Spurr and Sam Duncan’s You Know My Function, (premiering in Minneapolis tomorrow, Thursday October 6th.) This winter they’ll be teaming up to create a whole new piece of work for your viewing pleasure featuring riders from both movies.
Youknowmyfunction, premiering tomorrow!!
What are you trying to do with this?
Jon Stark: Changing the game. There’s so much more out there that people don’t see, you know? If you live in the streets then you are the streets. We’re gonna fuck people up.
Why do you put the kids in your video in your video?
Jon Stark: (Jon takes a shot of whiskey) It’s all about family. It’s about keeping it real. None of that sponsor shit. It’s absolute keeping it real and no one wants to give me money. So I’m gonna keep hustling and pay for it myself. I’m stoked on the riders’ styles and tricks. It’s about style, work collection, attitude and doing it right. These kids are the fucking wave. They are gonna get snowboarding back where it needs to be. If your style ain’t sick then you ain’t gettin in! If you work hard and you trust the people that you’re around, good things are gonna happen to you. No one will be able to ignore Fronius or Jordan’s parts. Good things can happen but you cant control that stuff. You Just have to let it be and grow organically. If you focus on being pro then you’re gonna get all fucked up in the head and choke when you’re not supposed to choke. You’ll get crushed. Because the industry isn’t a nice thing and it’s a bunch of bullshit, but you can work hard and be part of something that is good in snowboarding. Good things do happen.
Sam: Its all about being good people. Its people that you’re friends with and we’ve just been riding with these guys and filming them forever so its just a really natural thing.
Brett Spurr: We’re not scouting and making a roster, it just is what it is. If Colton or Durell want to move to Minnesota? Fuck yeah! But all these guys we film with are already here. We didn’t choose them we chose each other.
Jon: It’s all Organic, brah! I never really thought about it so much like that. Its just what I like the be around
What do you think snowboarding should be?
Jon Stark: It should be about friends. It should be about friends landing tricks. That’s it.
What do you think is wrong with snowboarding? Specifically. Outline what you think should be gotten rid of.
Jon Stark: Industry people have no idea what’s going on. I mean some definitely do, that’s for sure, but most don’t. There’s just too many false motives going on in snowboarding and it sucks that kids feed on it. Ads without snowboarding don’t mean anything, ridiculous lifestyle shots in movies and this general attitude that kids have where they just want to make money. Snowboarding is so much fun and it should be just that. All these great kids don’t get shit. Its fucked up, really fucked up. There are more kids out there that need money to do what they love and they don’t get shit. They put every single cent they have into it and don’t get shit back. We’re gonna change that.
Working For The City. What’s it about?
Jon Stark: WFTC is about keepin’ it real. And not giving a fuck. It’s all me, Sam, Brett and our riders; it’s family. We’re trying to keep it Midwest. Throwing out that old idea of “living in the Midwest is to be stuck” sort of thing. We just want to have amazing riders do their thing here or somewhere with us. We’re gonna try to do something special and change things up. But what’s the difference? What’s the big deal? If it’s not about friends and laughs and good times then it’s about nothing. Nothing.
Why the Midwest? What brought you there and what is keeping you there?
Jon Stark: It’s where the heart is. You know? They don’t call it the heartland for no reason I guess. haha. It’s pure snowboarding, just taking towropes and stuff. You can do it so much and get so good at what you’re doing. These kids can hop on the towrope and ride it literally over 100 times a day and get 100 runs in one day. That’s insane! But that’s why everyone is so good. You’re just doing hotlaps with your friends and lovin’ it, so they feed off each other. And then the spots here are insane, just so many in such a small area. And it’s good people. Everything is accessible. Everyone just enjoys being around each other. Its snowboarding that brings us all together. Its friendship. It’s that good stuff! … Wow, you guys make me feel really good about myself! (Smiles and Laughs). I cant wait to get there on Wednesday and see you guys, I’m so happy about it.
Brett Spurr: Well there was this kid Clay Hatzenbuhler from Colton’s cabin and he came up to me after seeing a screening of the movie this summer that Colton did for his kids and he was like, “how do I get into something like that?” So I told him to just do it with his friends. Ride with your friends and make a movie because that’s what kids from the Midwest do. And it looked like he was really good, so he can do it. Anyone can but its all the good attitude that makes it worth it.
The shot, getting got.
Are you guys planning to stay with each other and keep doing Working For The City as a production company or base or whatever? Or will you use this as a stepping stone to something “bigger” so that you can make more money or just keep getting other jobs?
Jon Stark: You can’t plan that. It’s just one of those things where you just go with the flow. There are things that I want to do and there are things Brett and Sam want to do and we’ve all had talks about it, but anything beyond this winter is totally irrelevant.
Brett Spurr: We cant think about any of that. If one of our riders were able to go on and do something bigger then that would be awesome because it would feel like we helped them accomplish that. Obviously, I’m concerned with where I’m going and what I’m doing with this. But, the thing about the snowboarders in our video is that they’re just doing their thing and we love doing this with them. They’re our friends and they’re doing what we all care about. Like Jon said one time, “they’re our actors, we’re just there filmin em!”
What are you guys gonna do this winter as far as living goes? One big WFTC house in Minneapolis or St. Paul?
Jon Stark: It’s gonna be our house in St. Paul. Me and Brett are gonna live there, Jake Moore is moving in, Fronius is moving in, we’re gonna have a room with 2 bunks for guests that are visiting, out of towners, associates… Family. Like you’re not welcome in the fuckin’ hosue if we don’t like you. You should know at this point already if you’ll be allowed in our house or not. I’ll have my dog there. Its gonna be us, you know. WFTC is gonna be local, organic and us. (Laughs) But like I keep saying, its all about family. Live in St. Paul, party in Minneapolis. And really we just want to be as close as possible to Brett’s parents so we can squeeze as many free meals out of em as possible!
That’s not a bad idea.
Jon Stark: I mean when we went over there one time, his parents pulled out the feta. And I respect that. You know that when a family pulls out the feta, its about to get serious! All of my life built up to having dinner with Brett’s family and having feta on the table.
Brett Spurr: Yeah, feta…(Laughs) St. Paul is a different atmosphere. People are nicer, parking is easier, less one ways, more family orientation but Minneapolis is better lighted and spots and all that stuff. But we’re not trying to have a 24/7 party here, we need to work and get our shit done, too. We kinda sold Jon on St. Paul and that’s the best fit for us.
Youknowmyfunction Cali Montage
What’s one of the best moments that you had last season with all of your riders?
Brett Spurr: Uh, San Francisco with the homies. Haha! Which is weird because its not exactly snow related but we just went down from Tahoe for a day and got really weird and had a good time. Other than that we were hiking up to this jump in Utah that was just so good. Forgot tri-pods, laughing and doing stupid joke things. Weird Shit. Those are the best days.
Jon Stark: Uh, for me it was the last 6 weeks of the season. From when Fronius got his first trick with me until that Utah trip was the best! Because the majority of the movie was filmed from Feb. 14th, that first trick with Fronius, and on. Then I was in Truckee with Kent Leng then they came from Utah where we all were as well, and then the Ashbury Demo. It was all so much fun and amazing. The filming aspect was awesome because I got a lot better and it was nice to figure out what I was doing (laughs). But filming with Blake and Fronius for those last 3 weeks were crazy because we’d be on a tear! We were goin to 3 spots a day and stackin shots at all of em. Blake was killing it so hard and Fronius would do his thing and then run off with his girlfriend at night. They both made a deal with each other to do 25 tricks, that’s not bad! Ultimately in a better situation you wanted to film all season but that wasn’t possible. But we were working so hard and then Fronius did really well in the Demo, so it was great. And through all that we kind of started the relationship of Working For The City 2, you know, with these guys. Its so great. Its been one big great thing. The best part is when someone lands a hammer, man! Then the bottles are poppin! Its like the Crystal poppin’ in the fresh Navigator! And that’s what its all about, like I told you. Friends landing Tricks! I don’t give a Fuck! Working For The City, Motha Fucka. I don’t give a shit, too! (Big Laughs, Jon starts doing the robot in the back of the room that he’s video chatting from)
Brett Spurr: Aw, he looks like Mario!
Are you guys sticking with the crew that you filmed? What’s new next year?
Brett Spurr: Well we gotta combine them, so its not like we can have a giant friends movie every time. Ideally that’s what snowboarding should be but at the same time we’re trying to make a movie. You know? Its not like, “fuck off, you’re not in our movie.” We’re gonna get to that when we have to but we’re still all family.
Jon Stark: Yeah, I’m going for a more “whole parts” kind of feel. Like a friends montage is cool but yeah we’re trying to make a movie, like Brett said. I want to pick out a few of the riders and let them just do their thing. And I know who’s gonna come through next year. One specifically! But that’s a surprise. You’ll see! But we’re tyring to keep it in house, no bullshit tricks, solid people and everything. If you don’t have good footage, there’s not much there for you. That comes with the territory. Better footage, better tricks, better parts. That kind of garbage.
Brett Spurr: It wasn’t easy to get everyone together, naturally because of the size of the crew and you know just things going on. But if you want to go filming, call me and I’m going to film you. I’ll do it whenever, we’re always available. But if you want me to drag you out and go filming? Then fuck off! Not fuck off (laughs) but just do your thing, man. Because we just want to do what we love and film our friends doing what we all love. You know? Its gonna be a good thing, though. This next winter is gonna be the best, I cant wait to see what happens.
In case you missed it…
And Youknowmyfunction premieres tonight in Minneapolis!