Andrew Nagel’s Super Exclusive Hump Day
Most people in Oregon snowboard because they love it. They don’t let rain, wet heavy snow, and weekend crowds ruin their experience. If you’re going to drive hour and half to ride you’re going to make the most of it. When I was growing up in Portland I had very few friends who snowboarded. Luckily I meet Andrew Nagel at the Windells winter camp in middle school and became friends with him. People watched snowboard videos, but they didn’t enjoy them to the extent that Andrew and I did. Both us become aware how inspiring the snowboarding in Think Thank videos was. I know other styles influence Andrew now, and I hope this interview shows some of those flavors he has been messing with lately. I also hope that this interview shows how funny and clever a person Andrew Nagel, is and how lucky I was to have him as a friend growing up. — Jeff Holce
Brooke: What’s it like filming with Jeff Holce the athlete?
Nagel: It’s pretty good. Me and him are on like a different wavelength from most people. I feel like we kinda read each other’s minds sometimes. We don’t have to talk we just know that maybe that wasn’t the one or maybe it was, I don’t know.
AJ: With like a look or just body language. How do you communicate when you’re not communicating?
Nagel: Telepathically. I do that with lots of people.
Brooke: Jeff Holce has really evolved from the kid who used to make fake Cobra Dogs cards in govy to the enigma which he is, do you feel like you’ve been influential at all in that?
Nagel: No, I don’t feel like I’ve influenced him in that way at all. I’ve known him since 8th grade, I don’t know he’s always been really loose and out there with the things he does. You get a lot of weird looks rolling around with him.
AJ: That’s one way to describe it.
AJ: I think the project you guys worked on last summer – Jeff Holce Naturally – When I watched that, I was immediately like this is absolutely like these guys get it, obviously you had some connection like you were saying, where it’s unspoken. Why did you guys decide to go all natural?
Nagel: Well that was honestly his idea, but like everyday as the snow melted there would be more and more stuff to do. We’d kinda eye something out and like a week later there would be less snow, so we could do it. That was our 5th full summer out there, not that it’s a lot compared to some people, but our terrain park at Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp doesn’t have the most variety, so we kinda wanted to do something different.
AJ: What made you choose Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp over the other camps up there?
Nagel: Well, I had gone to Windells during a winter camp in 8th grade and that’s where Jeff and I met, and he had been going to summer camps too. I was planning on going to High Cascade that following summer, the summer going into high school. Then my mom bailed, she was like no way that’s way too much money and I didn’t have enough money to pay for it, so I signed up for Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp. I met people there, met the head snowboard coach Mark (RIP), and then the next summer we started washing dishes and I was like “Jeff, come wash dishes with me, maybe we’ll get another job there.” He was like, “no I’d rather sign up for High Cascade day camp.” He was definitely bummed for a bit, saying we could be at High Cascade right now, this sucks. But it turned out good in the long run.
AJ: Yeah, when I think of Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp I think of Jeff Holce, especially on Instagram.
Brooke: Do you think the owner of MHSSC knows that Jeff Holce runs their Instagram? Do you think he knows there is an Instagram?
Nagel: I don’t think the owner knows what Instagram is.
Brooke: What’s the background of that camp?
Nagel: Well the owner Mike Anette, he’s really cool, he’s like probably at least mid-70s now or something. It was I think the first ski camp on Mt. Hood, for ski racing and stuff and at some point they started snowboarding too.
On the set of Naturally.
Brooke: What’s the experience like compared to the WAC camps – what’s the difference?
Nagel: Well… There’s way less snowboarding media and stuff going on, it’s kind of just like a summer camp with snowboarding. There’s no camp sponsors, no product tosses or whatever, no activities to win like snowboards and stuff. It’s just way more low-key.
Brooke: How’d you get into filming?
Nagel: When I was really little, I did some random filming with my friends, skateboarding in Portland and stuff. We were probably like 12, and then I didn’t do it for a while. Then Jeff and I started filming each other at Timberline, I think freshman year of high school. Then he went away to boarding school after that and I kept filming random people and friends at Timberline, and that’s how I got into it.
AJ: Did Jeff’s parents not love him enough for him to got to school here, so they sent him away?
Nagel: No, I think they love him enough to send him away. He went to a boarding school in New Hampshire where he got to snowboard all the time.
AJ: Oh, that isn’t that bad.
Brooke: Portland is changing a lot, what’s it like compared to when you were growing up here? Has the scene here changed or evolved or is it the same shit?
Nagel: I don’t know, when I was growing up here I had no idea about a snowboarding scene. I wouldn’t hang out with anybody from my high school except for this one kid who lived on my street, but I would just spend all my weekends and some weeknights at Skibowl or Timberline. I had a group of friends that I’d snowboard with, so I guess that was my scene.
Brooke: You didn’t realize this was where pro snowboarders go to die?
Nagel: No, I realize that now I guess, which is cool. Portland is really fun.
Brooke: What’s your favorite thing about Portland?
Nagel: Well, I guess I really like all the trees and fresh air and stuff, there’s always different types of outdoor stuff to do. In Utah some days spent outside are equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. The winter that 3deep5me was filmed, Salt Lake City had the worst air quality in the world.
Brooke: Why did you decide to move there?
Nagel: For college originally. I’m done with that now but now most of my friends are still there. So I feel I’d like to keep snowboarding and filming with the friends I have out there.
Stunts, captured. Photo: Ryan Bregante.
AJ: What would you tell someone that’s living in California and wants to move to Portland, reasons why they shouldn’t move to Portland and stay in California?
Nagel: Get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10, then switch over to the 405 North and let it dump you out into Mulholland where you belong. But for real, all the people moving here are changing the landscape a lot. I’m not down with these condos and townhouses popping up everywhere. People move to Portland thinking it will help them live a lifestyle that’s like straight out of a catalogue or something.
AJ: I like the people here more. They’re more down to earth.
Nagel: Yeah I don’t know, the only times I’ve been to California was like Disneyland with my family when I was little and then snowboarding at Big Bear and Mammoth. I don’t have any care to go to LA and hangout.
AJ: Yeah, it’ll drag you down. It’ll crush your soul.
Brooke: You’re gonna waste a lot of your time in traffic. That’s another reason Californians shouldn’t move here is traffic. They’re causing way too much traffic. So, let’s talk about your early video influences. I mean obviously, you’ve watched a Bronze video before…
Nagel: Yeah I love those videos, there is nothing better. Obviously there’s some influence, but I mean I feel like there’s more to it than that. Everything is influenced by something.
AJ: How much does tumblr influence your videos?
Nagel: I haven’t been on tumblr in like a year, so I don’t think that much at all lately, but tumblr is cool. You can find some fun stuff on there.
Brooke: What do you shoot with and edit with?
Nagel: I have a Panasonic HPX170, which is very fun to use, and I have a MacBook Pro with Final Cut 10, or X. Also, last year I picked up this camera called the Pixelvision 2000, that’s kinda what I filmed some of the B-roll with. I don’t know if you noticed that grey blocky stuff, that’s what I filmed that on.
Brooke: What do you think makes a good snowboard edit? What makes something that you wanna watch?
Nagel: I mean first of all there’s gotta be good snowboarding. I really like to watch videos of people I personally know. If you know someone’s personality it’s fun to tie that into how they snowboard, or skateboard or do anything else. But, good snowboarding is kind of something you gotta have these days too.
AJ: How would you define those things, like what – is good snowboarding just either you know it or you don’t know it or is there like a formula?
Nagel: I don’t think there’s any specific formula, I guess some people do stuff that’s more interesting than others. Also, I agree with what Deadlung said about carving.
Brooke: Who do you think is doing interesting stuff?
Nagel: First of all I guess I’d say Tucker Brown is. He’s currently sitting in the #1 spot on tour.
AJ: He’s got a sick beard.
Nagel: Yeah he’s got a huge beard. And he’s got a girlfriend now too.
AJ: Does she have a beard?
Brooke: What about video wise, whose edits do you watch and get psyched on?
Nagel: I always watch Beef’s videos, I feel like he and I are both psyched on each other’s stuff. Skyler Riley, when he makes videos they’re good, and I like watching the people he films. Footyfiend videos, those are always great too. Whenever Lucio is in a video I watch it. Garrett Read makes great vids too, especially when Kevin Hanson is in them. Seamus is dope. And then there’s some other kids at Brighton that always make cool videos too. I like Chad’s videos.
Brooke: Chad Unger. Is that the deaf kid?
Nagel: Yeah, he’s deaf, so his videos don’t have music or anything so it feels like the most raw it could possibly be. If he puts in lifeys he doesn’t know what they’re saying, he just kinda puts them in cause they look cool or seem funny I think.
Brooke: Yeah so it’s like more visual and he’s not like relying on multiple senses.
AJ: That’s wild. You never would think about that, like I feel like it’s so audio driven, in some respects, you know.
Nagel: I know. Sometimes it’s really hard to find music or whatever, but he doesn’t even worry about that.
The shot is all the filming stance, really.
Brooke: How do you find your music?
Nagel: Most of it’s found on Soundcloud these days. There’s a lot of stuff on there. You can get lost in Soundcloud and youtube portals.
AJ: Soundcloud is changing, cause I think Universal bought them. They have this whole record deal, so like they’re taking a bunch of songs off there. But what are you gonna do. And ShareBeast is down…
Brooke: What do your parents think of your videos?
Nagel: I think they’re down, and they’re supportive. I mean if I link a video to them like hey check this out, they’ll watch it, but I don’t think they like follow my Vimeo account or anything. I bet it’s hard to relate for non-snowboarders.
AJ: I feel like some parents are, even if they don’t snowboard – some people I talk to are like yeah my parents watch this shit they think it’s awesome.
Nagel: I’m sure they watch it sometimes, but they got their own stuff going on that they’re more interested in, like playing tennis or something.
Brooke: Yeah, what do your parents do?
Nagel: My mom is an accountant, or a CPA, and my stepdad has a company called Bernhardt Golf that builds sports fields and golf courses and stuff. I actually did a video for them this summer, they’re doing a new football field at this high school, got some money.
Guy in the sky shot.
AJ: So is that how you like monetize your video skills?
Nagel: That was like the first non-snowboarding video I’ve made money on.
AJ: Ah really, so you’ve made money on snowboarding videos?
Nagel: Yeah in the past. I did some stuff for Saga, which was actually a lot of fun. I’d do it again.
Brooke: What’s it like working for Jerm?
Nagel: It’s good, he seems pretty fair, he’s nice. He got me tickets really late notice going to Bear one day, so he’s a good guy.
Brooke: Do you think that snowboarders should accept Saga as equals?
Nagel: Yeah, I don’t see the big deal. Sean Whitaker rides for them, right?
AJ: Oh and he’s sick.
Nagel: Yeah he is sick. I like Jeremy too. And yeah they’re mostly a ski company, but it’s not a big deal. I know some skiers that are far cooler than some snowboarders.
AJ: So are all the other cool snowboard brands – Salomon and K2 are ski companies.
Nagel: But Saga is a pretty small company I feel like too. They’re big, but they’re small. They’re not a huge corporation.
Not Mt. Hood.
Brooke: What’s your favorite resort on Mt. Hood?
Nagel: I guess, in the springtime it’s Timberline because that’s like the most fun I’ve ever had snowboarding, and then probably Skibowl too. I grew up going there a lot at night and stuff and it’s really fun.
AJ: So Meadows is third?
Brooke: Why don’t you go to Meadows?
Nagel: Well first of all I haven’t been here in a while in the winter, but the crowds and stuff. And it’s even farther of a drive from Portland. Skibowl is less busy, and they have a rope tow park sometimes. You get like all of Portland at Mt. Hood Meadows. It could take like an extra 2 hours to get home if you go there.
AJ: Well, whenever we get driver-less cars, and you can just Netflix and chill with wifi in your car, then I don’t really see the issue. That’ll be rad, but right now that sucks.
Brooke: Why can’t people in Oregon drive in the snow. Do you know how to drive in the snow?
Nagel: Yeah, I feel like I’m great at driving in the snow. I have a perfect driving record – no crashes… Couple close calls, but that’s it.
AJ: Do you wear your seat belt?
AJ: Do you text and drive?
Nagel: Well – a little bit, then I catch myself, tell myself it’s stupid, and stop. Plus if you – sometimes it’s cooler to wait longer to return texts. Especially to a girl.
AJ: Yeah you don’t wanna hit them back right away. Then they question like oh, was that nude I sent good enough?
Nagel: I’ve never gotten nudes sent to my phone. Because I didn’t have picture messaging in high school, and I feel like that’s when most if it went down.
AJ: I didn’t have a phone in high school. Like a cell phone – I had a home phone, but you can’t really send nudes over home phone. Like aye can you mail me a nude? Here’s my address. Kids have it so good nowadays. They have Tinder and Snapchat.
Nagel: Yeah, it’s messed up.
Photographers be like, Nagel is always getting in the shot.
Brooke: What did you go to school for?
Nagel: Well, I started going for communications, and that was too hard, cause I had to be like on the newspaper and my first task was to sit in on a school board meeting and interview the president of the school and I kind of had a freak-out and quit. And I took a little tiny bit of time off, then went back for film and media art. And that was far less challenging.
AJ: What school?
Nagel: University of Utah. I started at Westminster.
Brooke: What’s the difference between Westminster and the U? Which one did you like better?
Nagel: The U is way better, I actually felt like I was at a college. You get the real university feel. If you want you can basically be invisible and sit in the back of class and not talk too. But at Westminster, you’re still doing “Ice-Breakers,” to get to know all your class buddies and stuff. I don’t know it’s tiny, it’s like a high school all over again.
AJ: What’s it like, like culturally coming from, Portland, which is a be a pretty liberal place, to Utah, which I consider to be fairly conservative?
Nagel: I guess that never really crossed my mind but, living out there for school people weren’t maybe as open to things as I thought everyone was. Like things that would be kind of a shock out there are nothing to me. I don’t know, a lot of people out there probably still hate gay people or something. I feel like I was cool with them since age 3 or something. Salt Lake City is a fun city though, it’s got its own quirks and stuff.
AJ: And when they have snow in the city it’s great.
Brooke: Do you think it makes sense to save things for a web edit or for a full length video or with Instagram and the opportunity to just put it out – does it matter anymore?
Nagel: I mean, I like save stuff, if it’s just not some random stuff that you do everyday in the terrain park or whatever. Especially if I’m like working on a video or if say you’re at a street spot that no one’s been to. In the past I definitely have told friends too not post anything at the spot. I feel myself starting to care less about that stuff now though.
Brooke: Do you value your worth in likes?
Nagel: Vimeo likes maybe. But I feel like comments weigh even more. If they comment, that means they really like it, or they really don’t like it.
Brooke: As long as they feel something, right?
Nagel: You gotta kinda like it to hit it with a heart on Vimeo, but if they comment something’s up.
Not-so-subtle Signal advertising?
Nagel: Nick Sappio and SEGCOS.