High Gear: “Methods of Prediction” snowboard film by Think Thank
Methods of Prediction
What: The latest snowboard film from Seattle’s Think Thank crew, featuring urban riding from across the U.S. with a bit of backcountry.
Stars: Ted Borland, Brandon Reis, Desiree Melancon, Max Warbington, Sam Hulbert, Nial Romanek, Jesse Burtner, Ryan Paul, Sammy Spiteri, Brandon Hammid, Erik Karlsson, Mitch Richmond, Justin Keniston, Parker Duke, Fredrik Perry and The Big Mess
Directors: Sean Lucey and Jesse Burtner
Runtime: 45 mins
“Methods of Prediction” is available on DVD and through streaming services. The DVD comes with a special edition comic zine and is $20 from the Think Thank website at http://www.thinkthank.com. The streaming version is available on Vimeo for $12.99 or iTunes for $12.99 (purchase) and $4.99 (rental).
Boston was the place to be a pro rider last February.
When Colorado, California and just about everywhere out West was mired in a mid-winter heat wave, the East Coast was getting pounded by snowstorm after snowstorm. Boston saw the worst (or best, depending on your sport of choice) of the squalls, logging nearly 45.5 total inches in January — an all-time record.
For city dwellers, the Snowpocalypse (or Mega-Blizzard or whatever) brought life to a screeching halt. Bus lines shut down, Logan International Airport was frozen solid and Jon Stewart had plenty of panic-fodder for ‘The Daily Show.” Man, I miss that guy.
But for pro skiers and snowboarders, all that white stuff turned Boston into a concrete playground of the type of urban antics most riders only dream of. Just about every major crew headed to Boston for filming: Denver’s Level 1 Productions, the Airblaster team, Matchstick Productions, Think Thank.
How they got there with travel in a gridlock is beside the point. The urban hooligans arrived nonetheless, taking to the city’s historic cobbled streets, massive handrails and other drool-inducing features few riders have touched before.
Think Thank’s latest film, “Methods of Prediction,” doesn’t spend all 45 minutes in Boston, but those segments are a few of the best. Just about everyone threw down when it counted, including the film crew’s biggest names, like Jesse Burtner, Ted Borland, Max Warbington and Sam Hulbert.
Of course, it helps that Think Thank specializes in the type of creative, off-kilter urban riding only a snow-covered metropolis can provide. They leave the backcountry cliff drops and big-mountain heli shoots to Travis Rice and his boys at Brain Farm. Rather than $35,000 HD cameras and glossified everything, “Methods of Prediction” relies on towropes, wood ramps and good-old handhelds to capture the craziness of Boston in a blizzard.
The Boston segments are spread throughout the film, which is essentially split by rider, not location. There’s GNU rider Max Warbington on 30-foot drops to flat over chainlink fences, then Neff’s Sam Hulbert on similar drops to wallride. Both parts are made more insane by the New England background. We don’t often see it in snowboard films, and it’s a welcome change of scenery.
Put all the impressive urban shenanigans aside and this film is just plain fun. Between huge, cover-worthy drops and gaps, the boys spend time screwing around at resorts (think double backflips off a 5-foot kicker), breaking their equipment (there are dozens of shovel bonks) and playing around with traffic cones. Dozens of traffic cones.
To be honest, it’s nearly the perfect film to get pumped early in the season, even if you’re not the biggest fan of urban. Sure, the Boston and resort segments are packed with snow, but there are more than a few sketchy autumn shoots from Salt Lake and a few Midwest locations. If these guys can find a way to make double-kink stair rails and gaps work with less than a foot of snow, us spoiled brats in the Rockies can make do with the White Strip of Death.
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