Profile: Joe Schuster talks “The Recruitment,” X Games and more

Profile: Joe Schuster talks “The Recruitment,” X Games and more

Name: Joe Schuster
Age: 25
Home: Vernon, BC
Sponsors: Eira, Liberty, Pow Gloves, Le Bent
Film Credits: The Recruitment_Super Proof, Tracing Skylines_PBP, We_PBP

Having recently turned 25 years old, this Vernon, BC, native continues to make a push towards the limelight, consistently delivering stellar skiing performances—particularly in the backcountry surrounding his home of Whistler, BC. From Voleurz films to Poor Boyz flicks, Schuster has shown he’s able to throw down with the best of ’em. His performance in The Recruitment, a Super Proof Inc. project, has turned even more heads, while a bronze medal showing in the 2014 X Games Real Ski contest bolsters his status as a true ski boss.

I spoke with Schuster about the latest and greatest:

Where are you right now? Tell me about the road trip.

Well, at this exact moment, we’re heading down the coast, just past Eureka, CA, on our way to San Francisco. The road trip has been something my brother Cam and I have been talking about for a long time. We finally made it happen after recently wrapping up a few months of glacier skiing. We’re doing this for the next month. Right now it’s myself, Cam, [Mike] Henitiuk, Callum Pettit and a few others and we’re meeting [Justin] Dorey tomorrow.

Quite the roster. Same can be said for The Recruitment.

The cast is Sean Pettit, Callum, Henitiuk, Josh Stack, Leigh Powis, Max Hill, Corey Vanular and myself. Basically, it’s our group of friends all shredding together and making a movie that is done the way we want, with the people we want in it. We’re definitely switching up the industry standard with this movie. Hopefully people like it, but there are for sure going to be some haters out there, which is fine. We’re stoked to do something different, and you can’t make everyone happy.

[Note: The Recruitment is now available for purchase on iTunes.]

What were the biggest challenges you guys faced as you guys took things into your own hands?

I mean, money is definitely a bit of an issue with a new startup, just because it’s hard for brands to invest in something they’re not familiar with. That said, we’ve had some tremendous support, and I definitely want to give a huge thanks to the film sponsors for believing in something new and creative.

The other challenge is finding filmers, editors and directors, as there are so few people out there prepared with a truck, sled and top-of-the-line camera who are willing to give up job security for a new endeavor. We lucked out in getting Brandon Kelly to film the entire movie, with the help of our friend Nevin. Leigh Powis has been editing and directing his own side projects recently, so he took on that role for us. Man, I’ll tell you something, if anyone else in the industry can pull off a project like this the way these boys did, I’d be blown away. Hats off to Brandon and Leigh. They did such an amazing job.


Cork 720 | Photo by Ashley Barker

You’re entirely focused on film these days and the passion shows. Tell me why film is so special in your mind.

I don’t know man, for me, being out in the backcountry skiing pow with my friends, having fun, skiing the way I want to without feeling pressure from any judges—it’s the best. The way I see it is this: I can tell you every trick and every outfit that Tanner [Hall] was wearing in 1242 or Teddybear Crisis, or Pep [Fujas] in 1242, or Candide back then… That’s almost 10 years ago, but I couldn’t tell you who won certain contests at that time. Film is so timeless to me. I watched Tanner’s Teddybear segment on YouTube, like, two weeks ago and it still gets me more stoked to ski than anything else.

You’ve been a victim of the politics that pervade across the ski film landscape today—production companies limiting their cast of skiers based on sponsor dollars. It’s frustrating, I’m sure, but you’ve kept a level head and see things from both sides of the coin. Tell me about some of the ups and downs.

Yeah, there is nothing more frustrating than having your footage cut short due to some political shit that is completely out of your control, after working for an entire winter to put out the best footage you can. But that being said, I completely understand that this industry and every other one out there is heavily run and influenced by money, so if someone is throwing down tons of cash, they expect a return. I’d like to see some common ground established so production companies can cater to sponsors, but still hook up worthy skiers who are working their asses off.

Plans for the upcoming season?

Well, we’re already talking about making a sequel to The Recruitment, so I’ll be filming for that. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to do ESPN’s Real Ski again, and then—as always—trying to shoot as many photos as possible so I can get myself a FREESKIER cover. [laughs]

Related: Joe Schuster takes flight in 2012/13 season edit

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