“The only importance in any video today is if it conveys a truth,” says action-sports cinematographer Kyle Schwartz. “The truth will create knowledge, and knowledge is positive power. We need more positivity and less bullshit.”
Schwartz portrayed a little positive in what he considers his most powerful project to date: The Pat Moore Blueprint 2, part of a series voted “best of the web” by the snowboard community.
“I was the lead cinematographer and we shot it very differently than normal snowboarding films,” he says. “I was allowed a lot of creative control with my filming from the director, Jeremy Pettit.”
But art doesn’t always come together that cleanly in an industry with an unfortunate reputation for broken promises, not paying on time, if at all, and, more importantly, not walking the walk, according to Schwartz.
“People in the industry claim to be supporting the fight against climate change, but travel the world in a plane and automobile all winter and summer living the dream but have a bigger carbon footprint than most,” Schwartz spouts. “Y’all need to stop fronting and lead by example. I challenge all those climate do-gooders to stay in their home range for an entire winter and film exclusively from there.”
With a trip to Chile to shoot for his friend’s snowboard company, United Shapes, behind him and a new baby in front of him, Schwartz may just get the chance to put his challenge to the test.
“Lately, a typical day consists of helping my loving lady out with anything she needs and doing lots of home improvements to make our house a better environment for our newborn,” he says.
It’s this real, everyday stuff—family and friends—that ultimately infuses his filmmaking, too. “I get almost all of my inspirational energy from my friends. I’ve been blessed with so many talented people surrounding me through the years. They are the ones that get me fired up inside to create, adapt and explore new ideas,” he says.
Besides surrounding yourself with amazing people, Schwartz offers this no-apologies advice for those looking to make the leap into outdoor sports filmmaking:
“Drop out of college, expect to struggle the entire time, be nice to everyone, be true to yourself, always know that there is someone better than you at what you do, put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to fail, learn from your mistakes, there is always room for improvement, and, most important, work harder than everyone else because it will pay off.”