Earlier this winter, the incomparable Sam Kuch teamed up with ski filmmaking maestro Blair Richmond to put together a highly unique edit in conjunction with Arc’teryx, Third Person, which has just been released. So in an effort to break down the meaning behind it and dissect all that went into its production, we recently checked in with the Nelson, B.C.-based superstar for the scoop.
Hey Sam. How’s your winter been so far?
It’s been good. It’s been the perfect mix of taking time for myself to heal up and keep my body in tact, while also being a full-on shred season.
Any standout highlights?
Getting to experience the crazy storm in Whistler at the start of the winter, which is when I filmed this video for Arc’teryx. That was definitely a highlight of the year, along with spending lots of time skiing with Cole Richardson and the trip that we recently took together to Stellar Heliskiing. It’s been one of the best seasons of my life, while also being one of the most balanced.
What’s coming down the pipeline for you in terms of where everyone can see what you’ve gotten up to this winter?
In addition to this video, I’ll have another segment with MSP this year, and I’m expecting that one to be pretty banger, as the whole movie will be, because it’s a stacked roster. And alongside that, I’ve been working with CK9 Studios, and we’re making an online, top-quality, five-to-six minute short of bangers, which is also directly in conjunction with Arc’teryx.
Speaking of content and Arc’teryx, tell us about this new video project, Third Person, that you worked on with them and Blair Richmond.
This project kind of came about when Blair and I were chatting while we were in Japan together last winter. We were talking about what goes through my head when I’m picking out a line when I first roll up to a zone. I was explaining to him how when I first walk up I take a quick scan of things I want to ski, and then once I figure out what I want to ride, I tend to look at the features and imagine myself skiing while watching as a third person, which helps give me a good idea of what to expect.
It obviously has a pretty significant and surprising twist to it, so how did the concept to execute that come about?
After we were chatting we were saying that we should somehow try to make a video about it, and we were originally thinking of making it tutorial-style, but we wanted it to be a little more authentic and easy to watch. So we decided we’d do a lock-off shot of me watching myself ski a line, just like how I do it in my head. And then that evolved into making the whole video like that.
What went into the actual production of it, in terms of you and Blair being able accomplish these types of unique shots?
A little bit of communication obviously, in terms of exactly where I’m going to ski, because we didn’t want me to get out of frame. All of the shots were locked off, so Blair just brought his tripod up and planted his camera there and made sure it didn’t move, so after I skied all of the different lines it would be easier to tie it all together and make it look as though I’m watching myself ski them.
And from a perspective standpoint, what were you aiming for this edit to represent, and what do you hope people take away from it?
Essentially that me skiing in this edit is supposed to be me being a ghost, and that the actual skier is in my own imagination, so I could try to portray to people how I envision a zone when I see it.