About the 2013 Photo Annual Cover: Sean Jordan and the School for Wayward Boys
Photos and Words: Nate Abbott_PBP. Location: Belleview Christian School, Westminster, CO.
Almost any published photo involves a group of people working together from start to finish. In this case, the seed was Poor Boyz Productions filmer Pete Alport, who was fired up to take advantage of a solid storm cycle that covered Colorado’s front range with good snow for the last few weeks of January 2012. Matt Walker and Sean Jordan had been in the vicinity filming with Stept Productions for days already, but when Pete showed up in Boulder with Karl Fostvedt and Leigh Powis in tow, the work just kept going.
The 2013 Photo Annual, special gatefold cover.
A previous day’s scouting mission led us to a promising jump on the grounds of a religious school between Denver and Boulder. Pete led the charge, trying to get permission from the school staff to build a jump off the roof of a barn. “I had to talk to quite a few people. The head priest showed up, then the caretaker and then the principal,” says Pete. “I asked if we could do it and he said yeah, ‘Would you be willing to make a donation to the church?’” Three hundred dollars later, we were unloading skis, shovels and a winch.
(L-R) Karl Fostvedt, Sean Jordan, Matt Walker, Leigh Powis.
“We had a big debate about where the landing should be, close or far,” recalls Sean. “We finally met halfway and put it in the middle.” But after Karl walked away unscathed from a first-try overshoot, everyone knew they could focus on their tricks, rather than a tough landing. The oversized crew worked in teams of two. While Sean and Karl hit the jump, Walker and Leigh fixed up the landing and ran the winch. After a few tries, they would switch roles. “It was just super efficient,” says Pete. “Everyone wanted everybody to get something good because it was so fun and so mellow. Having permission allows you to have that flow and focus on getting the job done.”
Aspects of a feature—airtime, colorful walls, and beautiful light—that attract a photographer or filmer may not be best for the skiers. I mean, how many skiers have practiced hitting a short transition, short landing, mega-poppy jump off of a shingle roof as the light is fading? “It was a short in run and the winch got you going really fast,” says Sean with a laugh. “It was quick on your knees and, because of where the landing was, you couldn’t pop as hard as you wanted. It was a weird setup but once you figured it out it was consistent and really fun.”
Left: Cover boy Sean Jordan.
Everyone got at least one shot for the movie and special mention should be made of Walker’s huge extra effort to grab some late sunset still shots. But what was the one shot that put Sean Jordan the cover? “When I first saw the feature two tricks came to mind and both of them ended up working out really well,” he says. “A rodeo five with a safety and a right five blunt.”
Before I told Pete that any shot from the evening was on the cover, I asked what trick stood out to him. “Sean’s right five… actually, his rodeo five,” was the response as he thought aloud before coming to a decision. “That was the best. He just boned it out and he was fully going to stomp and make it look the best he could right from the start of the in run until he landed it.”