The Swiss ripper has been dominating the competitive pipe scene for years now, but away from the podiums and X Games, the young snowboarder has been masterminding creative edits that have ignited global curiosity.
With an interesting approach to filming, mixing old-school shots with the most up-to-date technology, his films have been breaking down boundaries between snowboarding, art and documentary filmmaking.
We sat down with Hitch to find out what makes him tick and what keeps him creating….read on to get behind the lens with Hitch Haller.
1) Can you tell us more what your movie “Glue” is about?
I’m always thinking about different ways to portray and represent my snowboarding. Over the past years I’ve tried to explain that through visual outlets such as short clips and other projects that contribute to that. With GLUE I wanted provide a closer look to the feeling of snowboarding and find a way to express that visually. Therefore we filmed most of the season through follow-camera angle, where the viewer gets a really close perspective of the rider, who is always pictured right in front of the lens. The goal is that the feelings and emotions are translated in a better and more direct way in order to give the viewer the same sensitivity of speed, power, flow and dynamic like the rider has. The mentioned conditions change though every part in the film. There are sections that look like a lot of fun with playful riding and entertaining songs, other ones might be slower with heavy music to support the shown pictures. Every section represents a different kind of mood, a sort of diversity of snowboarding. To me it is really important that the viewer is able to relate to the action that’s happening, I want to get people to get amped for snowboarding.
2) Is there a meaning behind the name “Glue”?
There’s a few reasons why we named the film GLUE: First I really like short names and I think the letters look good next to each other, to me it’s a good looking name. Also I think its kind of a surreal name for a movie so people start to question it. But of course there’s a reason: We named it GLUE because almost all of the shots have been filmed through follow camera angle. That means the filmer always follows the pictured rider. After filming a season long like that I kind of felt “glued” to my filmer as we worked so much together. It’s more of a joke but it has a point.
3) Could you say that “Glue” is following project of your last year´s project “Spuren”?
Personally I would not compare the two as I see GLUE more of a film type of thing rather than “SPUREN” which was more of an art-project. There are for sure similarities on certain topics but I’d say GLUE is the following project of our short clips “Memoires Memoires and MIYAGO”.
4) Where did you find the greatest line?
I’ve had a great Heli trip to British Columbia in March. I’ve never been in a heli before but those days were definitely my favourite from last season. We got lucky and had perfect conditions for 4 days straight. My best line I’d say is a method of a natural bump into a slash filmed, I’ll remember that one for a while.
We filmed throughout the whole past season but as I follow a busy contest schedule as well my filming days had to be as productive as possible. I only filmed about 30 days for the whole film but we had a clear plan in mind of what we would want to capture each day.
5) Did you hit any challenges creating “Glue”?
The filming was really challenging for us. As I explained before we filmed pretty much all of the footage through follow camera angle and we first of had to learn how to deal with it in the backcountry. Actually it’s a quite tricky procedure. We had to figure out what looked good and what not, what could work and what is totally out of range. With the follow-cam it’s a total different approach to “normal” snowboard filming. There are lots of things that limit you as it’s not only up to the rider anymore but the filmer has just as much responsibility. The most challenging was to find spots that worked good for the rider but were also manageable for the filmer, plus that in the end the shot looks good. You have to imagine that the rider wants a playful terrain with lots of obstacles in it to bring out his best riding. The filmer instead prefers the opposite, a clean surface with no bumps in order to concentrate as much as possible on the filming. In the end, when you get a perfect line all the effort is totally worth it. To me it brings out so much more than just a black dot flying through the air.
6) Who else we will see in the movie?
All of the people who are involved in the film are friends of mine. So for example I went on a trip with David Bertschinger Karg to ride some powder in British Columbia, Canada. Or we filmed a short section in Aspen with Ben Ferguson and Scotty James. Then we got Jan Scherrer who’s one of the most stylish pipe riders at the moment. But I also got the chance to ride with people that I don’t get to see as often such as Alex Tank.