After our recent story about the biggest jump in Champéry, local cameraman David Vladyka decided to drop an edit including a few of his favorite shots of some of the best freestyle terrain in Europe. The video is pure fire and features the likes of Max Buri, Mat Schaer, Sevi Van Der Meer and Manuel Diaz throwing hammers on the Swiss side of Les Portes du Soleil. Check it and then read on for a few words with Absinthe Films’ main European cinematographer.
Hey Vlady, thanks for sending over that edit! It’s amazing to see how many sick shots can come out of one area.
How long have you been filming in Champéry?
Since 1997, I guess.
Damn. So 20 years? I can’t think of any other European cinematographers who’ve been at it that long.
So how did you end up in Champéry? Did you grow up riding there?
Not really because I was born near Lausanne. I started skiing in Crans Montana on holidays with my family, when I was around 3-ish… then St-Luc and Nendaz… and then I finally ended up in Champéry, where I really started getting interested in snowboarding.
Why did you end up settling there?
Because of the terrain. When the snow is good, it’s not too rocky and there’s a pretty low avalanche risk. Also, it’s beautiful and the people that work for the resort are really helpful. There’s just a cool local scene there.
Yeah, the terrain is pretty much perfect for all things freestyle. How many different features would you’ve say you’ve shot in “The Zone”?
About 30 to 40.
So in a good season, how many shots from around Champéry usually make the cut for Absinthe’s movies.
It depends on the season, but a few always get into the final edit.
Has it gotten harder over time to find new stuff to do there?
Yes and no. Since every season is different, some spots that we never looked at before start to be rideable.
Hit me with some other local knowledge…
Favorite place to eat: Chez Joe
Best spot for a beer: Bar des Guides or Ziggi’s
Best thing to do in the summer: Camping at Lac D’antème
First run on a pow day: Planachaux all the way down
Cleanest public toilet on the mountain: I do not use the public toilets
Ok, let’s finish this off with one funny story. What’s the stupidest thing you saw one of the American Absinthe riders do while visiting you?
I don’t know if it was stupid but I saw Manuel and J-Rob getting up on the local music stage and the kids ski school podium to shotgun a beer. It was pretty insane.
Haha… way to keep it classy.
Thanks for your time Vlady! Anything else you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
Thanks to everyone supporting Absinthe Films.
Thanks for making movies that help to keep us stoked on snowboarding!