Johno Verity - The interview
An Animal pro snowboarder in his day, critically acclaimed (we’re critics, right?) film maker and mountain legend, Johno Verity, has been working with us for years. He’s had magazine covers, video parts and near-death experiences, and even donned a wetsuit coated in butter to see how far he could slide on tarpaulin. That’s pioneering science.
Johno also put together our latest snowsports video, Size Doesn’t Matter, featuring Animal pros and Sochi Olympians Dom Harington and Murray Buchan. We caught up with the man behind the lens for a little chat.
How many films have you made for Animal now?
I must have made about 25 films over the years, I once did a whole series of video casts, which were really fun to work on.
My favourite to this day is still Farmer Jack, which I filmed with the Athertons in about 2008.
You’ve been working with us for years, and used to be a pro rider dropping cliffs and doing mental stuff daily, do you miss it?
I still get to drop cliffs and I snowboard a fair bit as I have a daughter who lives in Chamonix and I go to visit her there every month. I also film the Freeride World Tour and there are many days between those events when I still get to ride. I do miss shooting though, I always found it really satisfying to get good photos at the end of a hard day of riding.
We know you for your backcountry antics, do you feel just as at home filming in the park and pipe?
When it comes to filming I’d say I specialise with backcountry, though I really enjoy filming park, pipe and street. When it comes to riding though, it’s backcountry all the way. Powder is so much better for my ankles.
Johno is known for his backcountry antics. Here is shredding through some fresh powder, on an Animal trip we did back in 2002.
How good was this pipe in Laax? Biggest in the world isn’t it?!
I was blown away by how perfect the pipe was, it was incredible that they managed to re-shape it so well at the end of each day. That’s Swiss precision for you.
What was it like working with Dom again? You guys go way back!
Dom and I are really good friends, I really enjoy riding with him as well as filming. I’m always so impressed when I get the footage back to the edit, as when I’m behind my camera all I really focus on is making sure the shot is framed right, with good focus and that he’s always in the picture. When I sit down and review the footage I get to actually look at how high he goes and his style. On several occasions I’ve had to call him from the edit to give him props.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="100%"] "Did you get my last run??" Dom Harington checking Johno is getting the clips.[/caption]
How about that Murray chap?
Murray is a total legend, I first met him when he was only 9 years old, up at Hill End near Edinburgh, I just remember him having such good style even back then. I went over to say hello and how rad he was skiing and he frowned and blanked me. He’s got better since then, though I’m still a bit scared he’s going to crush my head when I’m mean to him.
Are you filming on the Freeride World Tour again? What’s that like?
I’m currently out filming for the FWT, the first event of 2016 just ran the other day here in Andorra. I love it, it gets me up on the mountain and there’s a really good bunch of riders on the tour, so there’s always good banter. I can usually sneak in a few fun runs myself too, which keeps things fun.
Johno is not afraid to put himself on the line in order to get the best clips, we wonder if he's ever fallen down the pipe. On location in Les Deux Alpes with Dom Harington and James Webb.
How has the British snowsports scene changed over the past 10 years? The future’s looking bright, right?
There are so many sick riders coming through from the British scene now, it’s epic that Jenny managed to get a medal in the slopestyle in Sochi - that really changes people’s opinion. I think there’s access to loads more funding because of that.
Any big projects coming up this year we can look forward to?
Fingers crossed an interesting film in the pipeline, though I can’t talk about it just yet.
Finally, and most importantly, does size matter?