FROM THE MAG: It WILL be sick—an interview with Freddy Perry

  |   Stan Leveille
Freddy always does things his own way | Photo: Bob Plumb

The following article was originally printed in the December 2023 Issue of Slush. To access the full article click here.

Of anyone I have ever met, you've had some of the most creative concepts for snowboarding videos. Your most recent being ECLIPS. How do you decide that you want to make a project? What goes into that? 

How do I come up with an idea? It depends. That one, for example, was the small amount of footage I had. I didn't have a plan – I wasn't even going to film last year – I was kind of over it. And then I get these clips during a last-possible-trip-of-the-season kind of thing. And then I'm like, 'What can I do with these five clips that would make it slightly interesting? Or how could I make a part out of this?' And then I just go brainstorm pretty much. I'm just sitting down listening to music and just thinking.

Let's take the hat slide, for example. You do a drop-down off a 50-50, and your head comes insanely close to this metal beam. During that clip, you film a super slow-motion clip of your beanie grazing it. It was hilarious. Was that a spur-of-the-moment idea to film that super close-up?

So with stuff like that, I've usually done that trick, and the idea doesn't come up until I'm editing. For example, I watched the clip and thought, 'That would be cool to zoom in on that as if it's like a Gillette Razor Ad.' I ideally want it to be even better, but it was snowing, and I couldn't really match it. So, Martin Strøm and I went up to Tryvann to look for something that would look remotely the same as this spot. But yeah, that was honestly just like, 'Oh, this is fun...' It's just me getting a silly little idea that I think is funny. And then that is what I have to believe – if I think it's funny, I have to hope and trust that other people would like it. 


Do you find it challenging to have people match your energy and enthusiasm towards making projects? 

I don't struggle with it, but of course, when it's your own project, you're more passionate about it. You love your own thing. But I’ve filmed without knowing where the clips are going, and that is sometimes annoying. Preferably, I would know, but sometimes the idea can just come up in the middle of the season if I'm not filming for something really specific.

Coming from a time when you had a clear spot on a crew, do you have any sort of specific feeling about the sort of dissolution of Think Thank?

I don't mind that it's over because it is an era thing. All good things come to an end, and you're not going to do the same thing forever.


So that was cool that I was super lucky to be part of that incredible crew. That was happening at the same time as Dinosaurs Will Die. It just kind of merged together since Genovese was part of Think Thank. I’ll say that I never really felt like I got to film a real Think Thank part. I was hurt a lot, and I was living in Norway, but I got some sprinkles here and there, and I'm proud of that.

Around the bend | Photo: Wietse Thomas

Do you think that's a theme of your life as a person? I'm worried that you feel as though you have not done the best that you can do it at any given time?

I definitely feel like I haven't filmed my Magnum Opus video part. That would have to involve a lot of tricks that I haven't done, that I want to do. A lot of spots that I want to hit that I haven't hit, and a lot of stupid ideas that I want to put in there. There would be one fat bundle. I had a good season for Suzy Greenberg, and that was a good feeling.

Yeah, it feels pretty magnum opus-y. To do that.

For sure. I was hungry that year, I was injured, but I know I tried really hard. And the fact that it's for Scott's video added so much more. If I was just filming for myself, maybe I wouldn't have gone that hard. But it's for Scott Stevens' video, one of the goats.

Totally. To have someone like Scott Stevens back you and then give you the ender. That must be something special.

That stamp of approval.


Yeah. I'm really proud of that one. It's cool. And it's in 480P, which is hilarious.

Right. Right. Actually, can you give us the rundown on that for the readers who don’t know?

This is a video filmed predominantly with cameras that have HD capacities, and he uploads it on YouTube. I don't know what that is, if you click a button or something, but he uploaded it just in 480P, and I don't think he noticed until it was up there. And then at the end of the day, it's just like, 'Oh, whatever. 480P.' Yeah. If he told me the year before that we were going to drop it in 480P, maybe I would've done something else. You know what I'm saying? I'm just kidding."

Photo: Bob Plumb

So funny. Ok so we talked a little about ECLIPS, What about Face Off?

Yeah. With Tucker Andrews. I want to do something with Tucker Andrews.

Yeah. It didn’t ever really come to life, but what was the premise there?

The premise was that we would wear the same kits and ride the same boards. Make a one-off Lib Tech, Dino’s board split in half kind of thing, and do the same tricks. We obviously have very different styles, but we could try to look like the other one and do a lot of the same tricks. And then we'd have some skits about us not being friends. But then at the end it's like, "Wait, what's going on?" like–maybe there's more than just friendship...


Yeah. I don't know. Could be fun. I like the idea of making something different. Let's say you go to the premiere and you're expecting to watch a straightforward snowboard movie, but you walk out of there and think, "What the heck was that?" Making something that is just unexpected. But bottom line though, it has to be good snowboarding always. You could always try to make funny stuff, but it's kind of just decoration.

Okay. Let's talk PREQUEL and the total plan for that trilogy.

The idea for PREQUEL also didn't really come up until I was filming. And it was literally like, "Oh, that would be funny to do some security camera angles,” stuff like that. But it evolved into an idea about making an action thriller comedy movie. But of course, it was January and I hadn’t asked anybody. I hadn't started producing that stuff, so there's no way I could do it in that year. So I decided to make something called PREQUEL and I used that as a proof of concept to make a bigger video.

And then I'm talking to my director friends and people that work in the industry and they're saying, "Dude, you need a lot of money to do this. You want to blow up a jump at Folgefonna? You want to get shot at by a live rifle?" My Swedish director homie Jakob Marky was like, "Dude, it would be easier for you to get a million dollars than it would be to get $10,000." So the PREQUEL is supposed to be a teaser video for the bigger video called The Man, which was going to be a whole storyline. Kind of a silly, very silly video. But after PREQUEL came out, I don't know, I was really proud of it, but it didn't pop off as hard as I thought.

In what way?

I don't know. I just don't know what I was expecting. I was expecting maybe PREQUEL was going to hit the masses. A lot of my other videos are just in the niche core community like, "Oh yeah, Freddy, that was a sick video." But maybe I thought this one, more people will like this one. Maybe it could get some decent reach. But it didn't. And I was like, "I don't know, should I put more time and energy into trying to make this pitch for a video that I'm probably not going to get enough money to do in the way I wanted to?"


Because I would want it to be legit, I would want high production value. And if not, there's no point. I'm not going to do it if it's going to be half-assed.

One more bend | Photo: Bob Plumb

Well, it's funny, I think a lot of people have this sort of unnecessarily polarizing conversation about whether snowboarding is a sport or whether snowboarding is art. But I think that you are a pretty undeniable example of someone who is making art. It pushes the boundaries of what we all accept to be a snowboard movie.

Thank you. I did say on Bomb Hole that it was a sport, but that's me trying to be funny. I can't remember all the brands that I pitched to, but I think that for me, it should be an easier pitch for a brand to say, "Hey, we want to put this money into this funny concept," rather than, "Hey, I'm going to film some tricks."


I don't know, maybe I should just do tricks?

Are you frustrated with that?

No, my sponsors are not the biggest sponsors. It's not endless budgets and shit. I am not trying to be bitter about it because snowboarding, for example, I'm not making money snowboarding, but right now we're in Austria in a cute village and we're swimming around in heated pools. Shout out Ethan Morgan and DIYX. And this is what I live for. We are eating free food. That is just, to me, insane. I'm never going to be like… entitled...