The state of the industry with John Cavan

28 Sep, 2009

Times are rough in the snowboard industry where each day we hear of companies cutting employees, pro riders getting dropped and shops going under but what about companies working hard to survive and continuing to bring you the products you love?

John Cavan, Rome Team Manager and Filmmaker behind Kids on Shred checks in to discuss the state of the industry to answer how the economy is hitting them, illegal downloads, team impacts, twitter interviews and the million dollar Ball Park Frank question.

Shay: How is Kids on Shred holding up during these economic times?
John: Well that’s kind of an interesting question, Kids On Shred Productions is kind of on hiatus for the time being….gone on holiday if you will, but We’re gearing up to start work on a new film, not quite sure exactly when we’re gonna get the nod to start filming full on but I’ve been shooting a few things here and there and we are just kind of giving everyone time to breath and grow. The economic crunch believe it or not didn’t play into our decision to not make a movie this year at all, we had planned right along to take this winter off, I think it’s important for the riders to get a chance to do something different, ride with new people and learn without the pressure of feeling like they have a gun to their head, we don’t want things to get stale and just go through the motions. I wish I personally had a little more time to chill, but I’m glad I have a job HA!

Shay: Who are the minds behind Kids on Shred?
John: I really don’t think we are pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes, KOS is Rome, it’s our video division and we’ve kind of developed it into the production of our team movies. I work very closely with the creative crew at Rome to come up with a direction that we want to go with for all videos. We are very team influenced; I go back and forth between the office/art crew and the team on the road which is ultimately the riders and the other filmers. Kids On Shred refers to a brand ideal that means a lot to Rome and that is always LISTENING to the Kids on shred. I can tell you for a fact that this isn’t bull shit because anyone’s ideas are up for discussion in our war room, whether it be an idea that Bjorn and his brother came up with on the lift in Snowbird, an idea our sales manager thought of at an on snow demo with some shop kids, a song our glove guy heard at a show, or an idea Laurent had while skating with friends. One thing we’ve kind of prided ourselves with is not being too cool for school, and I think our movies have had a little bit of everything and that’s probably why such a wide variety of kids have related to it.

Shay: Who comes up with the location shots in Rome’s films, are the riders responsible for scouting their own or do you scout the locations?
John: The riders come up with most of the spots, Myself and the other filmers…and probably any serious filmer for that matter are definitely sponges when it comes to spots, I have a notebook full of places I’ve been and places I want to check out. We use our reps as well as friends to turn us onto new places. To me one of the funnest things about being a snowboarder….and a snowboarder who makes movies for that matter is exploration and finding new zones. I have a few go-to spots, and I’m not the gnarliest of backcountry dudes so I rely pretty heavy on the team to head to the right spots. It also is becoming more and more about the ideal spot for a certain trick so that plays a big role in it too.

Shay: Any changes with the team going on?
John: Unfortunately that question you asked about the economy and KOS doesn’t have the same answer for the team. Rome like every other brand in snowboarding has been deeply effected by these crazy economic times and although the number of positions at our company that have fallen victim to these times may not be as big as say a Burton or a DC when you factor in the size of our brand it’s just as tough. That goes for the team to. The team is an extension of our marketing department and every department at Rome felt this crunch. We had to make really hard decisions that unfortunately really didn’t come down to performance but had a lot to do with where their contracts fell in the budget. I have gone to war with all of these guys for two movies, almost any of our riders would do anything thing I asked them to do, so it’s been really hard. A short answer to a question I could go on and on about is yes we had to make some big changes to our team, Max, Yan and Marius are all no longer part of the pro team, it’s sucked more than any words I can type here can describe, but it’s something that in the end had to happen. We’re definitely regrouping and moving forward from here. I’ll do anything for those three and it’s been a hard pill to swallow.

Shay: Question from Twitter Interview, How do you balance being friends with the riders and being their team manager/filmer?
John: This is a great question…..and I’m not sure if I really do it the best, but I will say I am very tight with all of our team riders. Rome is a small brand so we all are expected to do quite a bit, I work pretty hard and I commit myself pretty heavily into projects. The riders want to work harder for me cause they see that I’m working hard for them. We can yell and fight with one another about things and there really is no drama. For the most part when we have to make hard decisions they know that it’s nothing personal we have good working relationships. It is very hard to go through some of the cuts like we just went through though I was very and am very tight with those guys.

Shay: Anything new coming up for Kids on Shred?
John: We are in the beginning stages of our next movie. I’m not 100% sure what it’ll be or when it will be released but everyone on our team can put together a banger video part. I think we may take our time a little more with this next movie and film it a little more like a skate team video, but as soon as I know and the team knows we’ll let you know ha ha ha, how was that for dodging the question……Oh yeah and we’re doing the TWS Team Shootout again as well.

Shay: What are your thoughts on the TWS Team Shoot Out/Ball Park Logo ad cover?
John: Ok here goes with the Ball Park thing. First of all I have a magazine background, I am very aware and very nit picky of the ethics and sanctity of the photographic image and the sacredness to a lot of people (myself included) that a magazine cover represents. That being said, people need to get over this thing. I really think there are about twenty people, that are talking about it. We (Rome, the riders, and Scott Serfas, plus all the other teams) knew nothing about Ballpark even being a sponsor until the cover was announced, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that there is a logo on the cover, I think perhaps the biggest deal could be made with the graphic design by trying to make it look like it was on a dumpster when they could have just plopped it on there and called it good, probably the graphic designer was just trying to make it look a little cooler. 90% of kids that look at that cover don’t even notice it. Is it kind of shitty that they put it on there, yeah, is it really worth the agro blogs NO. They didn’t make LNP go twenty feet higher, they didn’t make the gap look way bigger, they didn’t make the night look more ominous, they simply added a logo to the cover of the title sponsor of the event that was the major feature of the mag. It by no means says “the cover is for sale”. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it isn’t the last time it’s gonna happen (certain drink logos appearing on covers…). I’m not saying this because it directly pertains to Rome or one of my riders either, I just think the reality of the matter is we are in desperate times in this economy, Snowboard magazines which I love, are in trouble and they are all trying whatever they can do right now to stay afloat, if that’s having a contest “fueled by Ballpark” and getting a logo put on the cover (not faked onto something that really shouldn’t be done) or if Nike 6.0 wants to sponsor some big event and they work a deal where they get a banner on the cover for that issue as long as the photos are good than do it, if it keeps the mags going during these times without sacrificing the validity of them than do what you need to do. It’s easy to cry about men jumping in life rafts on a sinking ship when you are sitting safely on the deck of another boat not about to drown. TWS has Annie, Muzzey and Nick looking out for the final product, Snowboarder has Bridges and Engelsman, I think any one of those five people can make the right “ethical” call as far as covers and what not go…….Just as long as they steer clear of that UFC bullshit…HA HA

Shay: What is ShredTV and what was the inspiration behind it?
John: ShredTv is like a channel of videos that are produced by Rome and friends of Rome. They can be anything from trick tips to a run at a local park and they can be made by anyone from me to Rome’s interns and reps to local shop kids. This season the majority of the videos have been produced by myself and Rome inhouse, but as we slide into the production of our next full length video I hope for it to become more of an open format for great shredding vids regardless of rider ability or production crew. Short answer it’s just a home for fun shred videos.

Shay: What are your thoughts on this year’s snowboard films, any favorites that get you pumped for the season?
John: Oh man, I’m like a nerd when it comes to shred movies, I haven’t seen them all, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the Forum movie, Pat, Jake and Eddie are all my friends and I always like what they put out, plus I hear John Jackson has the part of the year. I really liked LNP’s part in Videograss along with Louif’s part and actually I was really hyped on Bittner’s part in there too. The thing that has me the most stoked this winter seems to be snow..I know that may sound funny but the People movie is just awesome with how much slashing and fun pow riding there is, that made me want to go snowboarding more than anything, that powder cowboys part is soo sick, and Marben, Eiki and Lucas’s parts are all no joke. The Absinthe movie opening with Nicolas Muellor is all time, Gigi’s section and MFM’s sections are super good and Rice is just out of hand in there he’s so clearly on another level it’s almost kind of funny. I could go on and on but that’s what comes to mind right off the bat.

Shay: You were the recent interviewee on Rome’s twitter interview, how did you get selected?
John: HA HA that’s kind of funny because I absolutely hated Twitter, I thought it was the dumbest thing on the planet ( I still kind of do) the team guys have all been laughing at me because once we decided that it was making a difference and kids were responding and people were communicating with the brand, I had to kind of make sure we were using it so I was on the team guys to stay on there and keep updating, which is cool because with the Rome twitter you are talking to Laurent or Bjorn or Marie or Eiki they all use it. We want to do more interaction with riders and so after the success of the rider interviews we decided we should do some product ones, last minute it was decided to throw me to the wolves first to test it out and see if kids would care about someone other than a pro rider. It seemed to work pretty well and I got a ton of questions so that’s pretty cool, We’ll probably have one about board tech specifically camber, maybe one about graphics, and of course some more pro interviews…If I had to do one I’m not letting Marie get away without doing one HA!

Shay: In the twitter interview, if there one question you wished you had received?
John: Man…that’s a good question….I guess I would have maybe liked to say something about my influences. I am a huge fan of The Garden I think every snowboarder should see that movie. Recently I read some website making fun of people who answer with that movie as their influence and it bummed me out. The Garden has fun with friends, it has travel, it has love of snowboarding, and at the time it was mind blowing with the progression that happened in it, plus it had a super creative vibe all of these things are what I try to aspire to when I make shred movies. I can still watch it today and get hyped. I also grew up in Mass so I was lucky enough to come up with a real shop Eastern Boarder they were and still are no joke, snowboarding and skateboarding come first to them and they were/are like a family I hope that aspect of snowboarding, the real true shop, never goes away

Shay: Downloading and pirating snowboard films has increased, how do you feel about snowboard films being downloaded instead of being bought?
John: Man I’m getting hammered here with these questions one right after another HA. Here goes, there are kids that will argue that we should be giving away all our films for free or simply asking for a donation. I want to back over those kids with my truck repeatedly. They have said things about the bigger film companies like “they are the man” “they are new Hollywood” “they need to get with the times and understand that kids don’t want to pay for snowboard videos” “Any kid with a lap top can make a movie these days, so no one is going to pay for them anymore” I’m the first to admit I’m kind of a snowboard video nerd, I have a ridiculous snowboard movie collection and honestly I have paid for nearly 90% of those films. Even now when I get videos sent to me by my friends I still usually buy them in shops because I’m so anxious to see them that I usually don’t want to wait. The whole experience of seeing a movie for the first time and rewinding tricks back and seeing new things I love every part of that. So I have a problem to begin with with getting some version of it online, but the thing I have the most problem with is the fact that it’s stealing 100% and why someone doesn’t understand that that’s what they are doing is unfathomable to me. Can you walk into a skateboard shop and take a skateboard and “donate” 5 dollars for it, No you can’t. why on earth would you reason that you can do that with films. Maybe I’m just not cool, but another thing I don’t understand is why do you upload it in the first place, does your life suck that much that the only satisfaction you can find in your miserable existence is uploading someone’s work so other people can download it for free. I mean come on get a life, put down the jack rags and realize that cyber kudos from dipshitslasher69 aren’t real.

What’s even worse for me is this fact. I work for a brand, I don’t work for simply a film production company, at the end of the day if my film is “stolen” and uploaded online and then downloaded a thousand times, Rome isn’t getting the profit we would have gotten through video sales but our name and our brand is still getting out there. It sucks and I’m morally against it but it’s not death for us. It is death for film companies however, they make no profit, they don’t gain anything by having it out there, so it is just bad. Without making any money and when I say making money it’s really a wrong statement because we’re really talking about breaking even, but without getting money you can’t progress, you can’t afford to travel and film the things that make snowboard movies special, and when this happens than yes the statement made that any kid can edit a movie on a lap top is so true because we will be saturated with mediocre films shot in the park at Big bear and they’ll all look the same. What’s funny is these same little kids that write these dumb diatribes about how movies should all be free will be the same kids complaining when the shred films start to suck.

Shay: Do you feel there are any measures that can be taken to decrease downloads?
John: People aren’t gonna like this, but probably the best way to decrease illegal downloads and the line of thinking that everything should be free is to stop with all of the 150 new snowboard videos a year. When I started making films I did an east coast film, at the time there were two movies in the east coast (probably two to many, but still just 2) now there’s like thirty something…..Fucking eh, thirty something movies about one scene…..there’s little johnnie’s productions and aunt millie’s films and Brutus the Barber beefcake visuals everything just gets lost and saturated, If you had the Absinthe movie and say the People movie each year and then every few years you had a brand put out a video and then sprinkle in a couple small ones, than things would be much more special, you’d feel like you have to buy that movie to see what’s new and what went down. I think that using Itunes also legitimates a lot of films cause you can’t really steal it and you have to have all of the music rights. I don’t know , I guess the key to surviving will be adapting….I’ve also heard that Fully Flared re-established some shops faith in selling movies again so I guess that could be a good sign.

Shay: How was the transition moving from west to east?
John: Good question, but I’m from the east coast…I’m a masshole I lived in NH and VT for a bit and then I moved to mammoth for a few years to work for Grenade and then Mongo, I was kind of a vagabond for a bit and then Rome’s Marketing Manager Ryan Runke lured me back to the east coast to work at Rome, I was excited to be back on the ice coast. No disrespect to the rest of the country but people are a little more real here, which I think is a reason why all the east coasters tend to stick together when we are out west. The saying is definitely true about the east if you can figure out how to ride here you can figure out how to ride anywhere Jake Blauvelt, the Kass brothers, Clancy, Pat Moore, and a little guy named Todd Richards have all seemed to do just fine coming from here.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. September 28, 2009


    Your metaphor or analogy (whatever, I’m not an english major) of stealing a skateboard compared to downloading a digital copy of a movie is pretty poor;

    1. the manufacturer PAID to create that individual snowboard – each pirated DL cost you nothing…
    2. The skateboard thief is NOT going to go back into a skate shop and buy the same deck that he stole – music and video pirates do frequently buy the product that they previously downloaded. *a dl does not = a lost sale*

    The fact of the matter is that filesharing technology does exist and is incredibly efficient – so the choice is yours, do you deny the technology and get on the music industry bandwagon and call for lawsuits and jail time for your FANS or do you figure out a creative and innovative way that your FANS can enjoy your product?

    Oh and I felt this comment was WAY OUT OF LINE;
    “does your life suck that much that the only satisfaction you can find in your miserable existence is uploading someone’s work so other people can download it for free.”

    Is this anyway to address a FAN, a SUPPORTER of your brand? Please re-think your statement. This person is someone who purchased your product and was so pumped about it that he wants to share it with other people. Is it really that much different than this person buying your product and going around town showing it to friends? (I understand it is quite different but I think my point is still there)

  2. Jon Lerch
    September 28, 2009

    Hey Martin!
    Well as I understand your point to an extent (because we have all downloaded something off the internet so I’m not going to say I’ve never done it) BUT John’s point was simply to show the process and HOW MUCH WORK goes into making a film and producing it. All the time spent filming and creating ideas in order to tie all those video parts in with art and music and just overall flow. That is what grinds most peoples gears (on the filmer/producer side) when people say DL’ing isn’t a big deal it doesn’t hurt anyone when in reality it does. Maybe you don’t see it because you aren’t the one spending those cold nights filming, taking photos and editing all the parts from the entire season until 6am 2 mornings later. People like John work incredibly hard to produce a movie that people get stoked on! And in all honesty if you are that stoked on the video, on the product don’t download it! Show your support by SUPPORTING that company and buy the film! And this could be any company not just Rome!

    Anyways keep it real!
    Shred on and the season is right around the corner!
    So happy trails all.



  3. Bdawg
    September 28, 2009

    How can a pirated download not coast Rome or any other company nothing…? They lost the sale. Do you understand math? Illegal = Illegal. It doesn’t matter how you spin it.

  4. Jon
    September 28, 2009

    Know your crowd.

    Most kids out there pirating shred flicks probably wouldn’t be able to pay the 30 bucks they cost anyway.

    Speaking for myself, I haven’t bought (nor pirated) a shred flick in quite a while now, because they’re just too expensive for me (and I have to get them shipped over-sees). Having to settle for teasers and youtube is annoying, but better than nothing.

    Just my two cents.


  5. September 28, 2009

    solid interview shay (and cavan)… interesting thoughts on the ball park “controversy”. hot dawg!

  6. September 28, 2009

    Jon Lerch-

    Thanks for the non bashing response. I understand what you are saying about on how much effort goes into making the film. I can barely imagine picking out a team of riders, locations then coordinating all that with the weather, airlines, film crews and other transportation… actually I cant get past picking out a team. As far as the whole video and photo editing… geez it took me like 4 hours to discover I cant make a favicon icon.

    The reality is that some people may not show you how stoked they are on your video because they cannot offer to buy it. Wouldn’t it be better for them in this circumstance to dl, watch it, be stoked and then spread the word to friends for them also to be stoked and even generate a sale by having gotten his friend stoked on the movie? Or should he just wonder if its a good movie, think about how it would be nice if he could watch it, then go do something else and never think about that film again?

    just saying man — i fully believe that if people dl it, like it and can afford it they should go to the store a buy it so that you guys can keep making more!


    You obviously don’t know anything about the subject. Just because someone DL’s the video does not mean that they would have purchased it.. Get this-

    1 man + $0 + 24 hours + 1 computer + 1 internet connection = 10 free downloaded shred movies

    1 man + $0 + 24 hours + 1 computer + 1 internet connection = 10 purchased shred movies

    so by that your logic; 10 free downloaded shred flicks = 10 purchased ones

    how does this man purchase those 10 free flicks with $0.. thats right he wouldnt, which means the company did NOT loose a sale… Do you understand math??


    I agree with you completely man and when I do have an extra $30 for snowboarding I like to stick it into my 2009 rome artifact jar because I need another board more than I do a movie. I also finding just watching utube clips and teasers gets old too… i would like to see a video company start putting out some of their older videos online for us to watch

  7. A. Nony Mouse
    September 28, 2009

    Calling your biggest fans poor losers who can’t afford to buy stuff. Smart.

  8. A. Nony Mouse
    September 28, 2009

    Suppose I download Videograss. Does that mean that I will not buy it? No, I might buy it. I also might not buy it. Whether or not I intend to purchase the movie is not dependent on whether or not I downloaded it.

    Why do you feel so entitled to MY money?

    “You should all purchase my movie because if you don’t, you’re making me lose a sale!”

    It’s not YOUR decision how I spend my money.

    Stop thinking about lost sales; start thinking about gaining sales.

  9. September 28, 2009

    Alot of varying opinions on the downloading question and man I thought the Ball Park Frank one would be the one.

    I for one don’t download snowboard films and totally agree with John’s opinion and understand his standpoint on downloading films. I do support the ones that continually make a solid product, have film premieres that I pay to go to and want to own the dvd. Do I need to watch the other snowboard films, nah. That’s my own personal belief and I’m also not rich, I selectively choose what to buy but I also support the filmers, riders and those who spend the winter bringing me that film with the best clips possible.

    Downloading is illegal, plain and simple. Regardless how you sugarcoat is, the second that film gets on sites for downloading, it is shared by hundreds, thousands…it’s not just sharing it among your friends or doing a film premiere with your friends where you all chip in for the movie. It’s still stealing.

    Unfortunately it’s not just poor kids who are downloading films, it’s everyone now…as present in a lot of these comments. So when everyone is downloading and fewer are having the integrity to then support the film by buying it…what happens then?

    Support shred flicks…don’t steal them.

  10. September 29, 2009

    Lets keep in mind that the snowboarding community is very much an international community and while you might be able to say that in the United States “Downloading is illegal, plain and simple” that same statement does not apply to all other countries.

  11. John Cavan
    September 29, 2009

    Hey there, thanks for taking the time to respond to this in a clear matter, so many times the issue of illegal downloading is just a yelling match between people who have no intent to hear the other sides view. Everything I said in Shay’s interview I meant…I may have come off a little harsh…kind of on purpose though to make a point. I do believe my analogy of the skateboard in a shop was pretty much right on. What concerns me is that for some reason it has become accepted as people are doing you a favor when they buy a movie…..I’m not sure when this line of thinking started or why it did, but film makers photographers and brands are providing a service….We are in a sense producing a product for the viewers enjoyment. Why then is it acceptable to simply take that product when you want it or when you want to “see if you want it” The statement “why do you think you are entitled to MY money” makes absolutely no sense to me…..

    Martin and Jon’ points however on international downloads raise a very good point however, I know in my own work We have done a poor job at getting our videos viewed outside of North America, I think for our next project we will be focusing quite a bit of effort on Europe, Japan, and australia. Offering a download for a reasonable price that is available at the same time all around the world, could help this.

    As far as addressing negativity and not appreciating “fans” or “supporters” I think anyone who knows me knows that I appreciate anyone that watches anything I make or any snowboard films in general for that matter…I’d never try to piss off a supporter what I’m merely trying to do is raise awareness that what you are doing IS hurting our industry and hurting it a lot. The line of thinking that you are doing me a favor by buying my movie just doesn’t make any sense…I can go and do something else…but what will be left in a few years when all of the larger film crews and companies that support these films go and do something else…? Movies like That’s it That’s All, People, The Absinthe films, even older ones like Robotfood and the Holden movies cost money to make, they don’t just make themselves…Music alone for these films are expensive….If there is no hope at all of the producers getting any kind of money back to recoup some of the money that sponsorship and marketing dollars don’t cover, than we won’t be left with any movies that change or really inspire. I admit I could be just a crusty dude holding on to the old ways, but I don’t think I really am…and I’ll really hate saying “I told you so” in a few years.

    Thanks Martin and Jon for taking the time to respond and once again sorry if I offended you, I just tend to answer things pretty honestly and straight forward! – Cavan

  12. Free Dumb
    September 29, 2009

    For everyone that feels like their entitled to steal someone elses work, think about the simple way the world tends to work. Typically, whatever it is you do you get paid for it. You might be a painter, a doctor, change oil, all comes down to you get paid for your hard work. If you steal the work of someone who has spent countless hours working on a video or music then maybe you should extend your services for free to anyone that can’t afford it too. Come paint my house..for free. An oil change is roughly the cost of a dvd..I’d like it..for free. There you go. Now we all have no income. How wonderful it would be to all trade services and barter. But it’s not the case at all. The fact that people just think their entitled to things is a problem. I would bet that some of the downloaders also are not stoked to have their hard work and EARNED money be heavily taxed and taken and given to slackers in the country too that could work but don’t. You work hard…now that guy wants your money to help him out..for FREE. Lame. Think about it. I saw that you have a new bike in your shed..I can’t buy one so I guess I’ll just ride yours and keep it. Thanks.

  13. September 29, 2009

    Martin is right when he says that downloading is not necessarily illegal in countries other than the United States. In Canada, for example, we pay levies on blank media which goes to the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA and MPAA which are supposed to then distribute those levies to the artists. This is why you never hear about Canadians getting sued for illegal downloads because the courts have deemed that, because of those levies, downloading is not illegal (however, uploading is).

    That being said, I’ve never downloaded a snowboarding video, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that those who do are scum. The people who produced G.I. Joe are scum (I was convinced to go see that movie and wanted to blow my brains out throughout), they are the ones who make me want to download movies because I feel like an ass for having paid $10 to see G.I. Joe and want to avoid similar situations in the future. Fortunately, the snowboard video industry hasn’t digressed to that level yet (where you have to lower your expectations so much that you wind up staring up at your own asshole) and I’ll continue to buy snowboard videos to support the filmmakers and hope that we never see a G.I. Shred. However, if I ever wind up purchasing a G.I. Shred, then you can bet that I’ll be getting my BitTorrents started to screen future purchases.

  14. tooscoops
    September 29, 2009

    glad people (well… some) can have a normal discussion about downloading.

    and i do have to admit, shred flicks are pretty pricey. i can go buy a big budget hollywood dvd that came out 6 months ago for 10 bucks. if only we could convice theaters and fellow riders to go see these riding movies in the theaters instead of gi joe, maybe they’ll make enough coin off those rights to bring the prices down on the dvd’s…. thats to you marc! shesh… gi joe….

    ah well. don’t think that will be happening anytime soon. until then, i’ll check out the teasers and buy any expensive ones that really turn my crank and anything that is ten bucks! until then, turn up the good and i’ll open my wallet for ya!

  15. Ball Park
    September 29, 2009


    I must say I think your response in the Ball Park Frank(from now on know as BPF) situation is a total cop out and ass kiss to transworld. Do I understand it? Yes, why would you bash one of your biggest exposure mediums. Saying anything other than you did and actually having an opinion would be a shot in your own foot.

    But I must disagree with your comment about relying on Annie and Nick and crew to maintain journalistic and moral integrity for an editorial magazine. Simply put in this tough time they are merely trying to maintain their paycheck and do as much as possible to keep money coming into the magazine anyway they can. Transworld is the biggest bully around threatening contributors, bullying photographers into giving “FREE” photos for their website, and getting all pissy when anyone isn’t sucking their knob….

  16. Bdawg
    September 29, 2009

    My comment was about pirated downloads, which are illegal, in any country. The dvds are IP (Intellectual properties) which are covered by international copyright laws. Again, an Illegal download is an illegal download. The type of download you write about I have never encountered.

  17. John Cavan
    September 29, 2009

    Yikes…..”Ball Park” I must commend you on having the balls to use your real name…You want to make sure the mag guys know just which photographer they really were “bullying”…. I mean you want to get that straightened right out….Errr wait you didn’t do that…. you seem like you are really burned about something:
    ” Transworld is the biggest bully around threatening contributors, bullying photographers into giving “FREE” photos for their website, and getting all pissy when anyone isn’t sucking their knob….”
    – what does this have to do with the “BPF” I’m not going to debate you about photographers rights and all that shit, there are plenty others that are much better qualified to do that, I really have no idea about any of that stuff, other than the day to day shit of actually being in the snow with the riders and photogs. Please don’t use my answer about something unrelated as a way to air your grievances at a particular mag or photo editor
    As far as “Copping” out…I don’t think I really did that…I blamed a bit of it on the graphic design….and I also said that I think it’s a big deal being made out of nothing…I’m sorry I’m not taking your side of it and I’m sorry you’d like me to have said something different, but it’s how I feel…and quite honestly it’s how a lot of people feel. “Saying anything other than you did and actually having an opinion would be a shot in your own foot.” – man I think I did state my opinion, and again I just don’t think you liked it….. thanks for the concern – Cavan

  18. September 29, 2009

    Personally, I didn’t notice the Ball Park placement on the cover. I think they may have gotten more value for their brand by simply putting a colored image saying “Presented by Ball Park Franks,” but that’s my opinion.

    Why is action sports the only industry where we don’t want outsiders sponsoring events and competitions? There’s a way to grow without selling out. You don’t see baseball fans freaking because billboards in the outfield are paid for by banks or beverage brands. If we relied solely on the endemic brands to keep action sports afloat, we’d be a much smaller industry.

    If anyone thinks they can do a better job than Transworld (or any other shred-focused media outlet, print or online) at this time, then they should go ahead and do it. It’s probably easy and extremely lucrative.

  19. Ball Park
    September 29, 2009

    I didn’t and wouldn’t expect you to voice any other opinion than the one you have for the mere reason it would shoot yourself in the foot. Not a huge a cop out if you ask me but it does go against the whole Rome theme(anti corporate, non conforming, raw), but at the same time understandable and vital to your brand and your own survival, so nothing personal here. I’d probably say the same.

    I believe brooke reported this past spring on Transworld not paying photographers for web contributions., the only reason I related this to your meek response on the BPF shit is I believe too many people(myself included) will put up with this shit and kiss ass to guys like transworld.

    Upon further thought I will commend you calling out the graphic design, bold and honest. I do think the whole logo thing hasn’t been made a big enough of a deal.

    Transworld and similar magazines are assumed to be editorial in nature. Part of conforming to the editorial standard is not manipulating photos in any shape or form that distorts reality(ie making a logo appear as it was on the dumpster). When you start compromising the sanctity of this nature your viewer isn’t going to have a clue as to what is real and what is “enhanced”. Slowly I believe this is going to lead to the demise of editorial print and magazines will end up just being 8 issues a year of whoring out product. Which I guess some companies maybe want??

    And just out of nowhere I do think your thoughts on illegal downloading/piracy are valid and support you!

  20. Ball Park
    September 30, 2009


    I don’t think anyone has a problem with no endemic companies sponsoring the media and athletes. The problem more in fact has to that snowboard magazines are presumed editorial in nature and the content needs to follow editorial guidelines. Plain and simple.

    Transworld did not and probably for a pretty penny made the logo appear as it was part of the scene, which it was not.

    There is already a magazine that does a better job and that is Frequency.

  21. October 01, 2009

    When they broadcast Baseball games on television, has anyone ever noticed that they’ll often put blue or green screens behind home plate so they can overlay local, targeted, advertising on the television broadcast? I’ve often wondered why the hell Canadian Tire was advertising at Fenway Park only to realize, while watching the highlights on the sports news, that there aren’t actually any advertisements there or they are different. Isn’t this exactly the same as what Transworld did with the BPF? This seems to have become common and endemic in modern media. Snowboard media is no different and perhaps they are just trying to keep up… just throwing that out there.

    Ball Park: Frequency is the best snowboarding magazine ever!

  22. adam balon
    October 04, 2009

    i agree the ballpark cover was bullshit. i noticed how lame and photo shopped it was when i picked it up on the stand. aside from the ballpark interviews….. the worst thing i have ever seen in a copy of tws. i feel for the photog as his work has been grossly distorted….. i would be curious to know if he knew it was gonna be “logo-ed up” ha.

    as for the movies and piracy…. i agree. i buy every major movie every year. i am a video nerd and do enjoy them and want to see them keep coming. downloading= no production companies in the longrun. choose wisely and support real snowboards who own shops and production companies.

    on the flipside.. i am a shop owner who does love doing business and keeping the doors open. i can say that the stepchild/ 32 free download is generating alot of sales for those brands. they were the first to drop their movies and kids were hyped. stepchild at the moment is the #1 selling brand so far this season….. alot of the sales conversations started with kids bringing up the movie. 32 delivered a week or so later…. but we are seeing the same results.

    my shop is snowboarder owned and see myself doing business while at the same time helping other snowboarders in this industry stokes me out.

    we downplay downloading dvd’s to our customers….. but we walk a fine line. i do believe it’s lame. it sucks. people are losing their jobs….. snowboarders are losing their jobs. some “snowboarders” could care less…… some of my customers could care less…. we try to convert them and to see the light.

    shops need to not be afraid to “stand up” to thier customers….. when a kids is bummed that yan dofin isn’t on rome anymore…. but were stoked that they downloaded the last rome movie…… need to be told that buying a dvd may have helped a small part in keeping yan’s job off the chopping block.

    long winded….. sorry. but amazing work john…… our rome rep derek hale came buy the shop and saturday to meet the shop kids and see how things were going….. another shred with a job…..


  23. adam balon
    October 04, 2009

    sorry for the bad grammer shay.

  24. October 04, 2009

    haha you never have to apologize for grammar on here, I am not the grammar nazi and it’s a blog.

    You have some great points Adam, especially about the team members being cut and downloading.

  25. tory
    October 05, 2009

    John Cavan is a pompous jerk. Anyone who has met him will understand, he is full of himself. Another part of Rome that is completely contradictory. What a shame…

  26. Ball Park
    October 05, 2009

    just curious why there was never any mention of Jonaven beeing cut?

  27. Team Videos
    October 05, 2009

    I think any “Team” Video should be free. It just makes sense. Paying thirty bucks for a team movie just seems ridiculous. I know they put in the money, but there are ways to make it more valuable to sponsors than trying to get kids to pay 30 dollars for it. No wonder numbers aren’t great. Make it free, make it a download and you won’t have to loose sleep over people pirating it and you can use the insane number of downloads in your sponsor deck next year. instead of 15,000 sales we had 215,00 downloads. Which do you think sponsors want to hear?

    Also, as you may have guessed I have a little bit of personal grip with ROME. I have submitted footage that has been used in the last 2 movies on the premise of per shot payment and/or goods in exchange. I never got a thing, not even the respect of an email back, so yeah I HAVE BOTH THE ROME MOVIES ON FILE AND I DIDNT PAY FOR SHIT!!! THANK YOU!

  28. Lance
    October 05, 2009

    I’ve met John and if I said he was a pompous jerk it would be because of his fidelity to the Celtics and not because of his attitude.

    And about downloading… Snowboarding movies cost a lot of money to make with travel, salaries, equipment, etc. (plus they’re stressful as hell to produce) and a lot of times when some of your favorite movies throw in the towel, it could have been prevented if some people who downloaded it would just purchase it instead.

  29. Mike
    October 05, 2009

    “Team Video” I don’t really follow your rationale it doesn’t really make any kind of real world business sense. I’ve also worked with Cavan and Rome on both Rome films (and other films) what shots did u film? that doesn’t seem like a real story……Just saying

  30. adam balon
    October 05, 2009

    jonovan was prob rome’s worst cut in their short time as a company. a rider like jonovan only gets better over time. well said ballpark. you sound like someone i might know…….

  31. Johnny Bowles
    October 06, 2009

    Cavan a pompous jerk? He’s probably the most down-to-earth dude in the industry.

  32. October 07, 2009

    Yeah I don’t think you can put the words “pompous and jerk” in the same sentence when speaking about Cavan

  33. Team Videos
    October 08, 2009

    Mike, I like Cavan as well. He is a cool guy that paid his dues. He has my respect. However, the industry is changing and the faster people get with it the better off they’ll be. Hard copy DVD’s are doomed and everyone knows it. Stop charging kids so much and increase your numbers. It’s simple, practical and solution providing scenario to make it a download. Shit charge, 1.99 if you have to.

    Also, I’m not going to list off what shots were miine, that would be pretty telling of who I am and obviously I don’t want them to know. I don’t care enough to bitch and complain to them, just a point that they get lots of footy for free and whining about people stealing from them is extremely contradicting when they are stealing from other people who were told that they’d be “working” for them. I’m over it, but yeah, would never buy a ROME movie, especially a ROME product. I don’t have time or cash to burn on a company that has lost control over their rapid growth.