From VHS to X-Dance Film Festival awards, Nelson's Jeremy Grant has come a long way
It seemed like only yesterday Jeremy Grant was walking the halls of L.V. Rogers encouraging friends to take to the trails so he could film them using his parents VHS camera.
Grant obviously has now graduated to the big time after capturing Best Director as part of the Red Bull Media House and Freeride Entertainment’s Where the Trail Ends, film 13th annual X-Dance Film Festival last month in Santa Monica, California.
The film also won Best Cinematography for the entire film crew lead by director of photography Brad McGregor.
“That was pretty big,” Grant told The Nelson Daily from California.
“There were a lot of pretty big films in there so to take those two awards home was pretty inspiring.”
The film, featuring a host of local Nelson riders including Kurt Sorge, Robbie Bourdon, Mike Kinrade and Garett Buehler, documents man’s challenge with Mother Nature through a cast of colorful characters and showcases the most progressive mountain bike riding ever seen.
Film locations included Gobi Desert in China, Mustang in Nepal, Salta, Agentina and backdrops along the B.C.’s Fraser River.
“You never really know how the film is going to be received,” Grant said.
“You finish a film and everyone says, “nice work” but as much as you believe that these awards kind of cement it in and you realize you’ve been part of something special.”
Born and raised in Nelson, Grant got his start in filmmaking about 11 years ago when Derek Westerlund’s Freeride Entertainment gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
At first, as in most new jobs, there was a lot of “grunt work” as the new kid on the block began finding his way in the business.
“I carried a lot of tripods for a lot of incredibly talented filmmakers which allowed me to eventually ended up here,” the 31-year-old married (Sheena) father of one (Ferris) said about his past.
“There’s no bigger community (West Kootenay) for potential filmmaking and action sports,” Grant added. “I know so many incredible filmmakers that live within the area. There’s an incredible wealth of talent.”
Grant said it was a treat to work on Where the Trail Ends.
The three-year project had a crew of 20 to 30 people working on everything from color to audio mixers to a composer writing original music.
“That’s what was so great about this film it was like is we had a “Hollywood” style of team focusing together on making this film and that really showed in the end product,” said Grant.
“I think there were so many elements of this film that put it above what is the norm in the action/sports jaundra.”
Which has created a buzz in the action/sports film industry.
“I think it was a combination of everything,” Grant said about the reason for the film’s early success on the festival circuit.
“It was a huge collaboration between a lot of really talented people. I think that’s what makes a good film.
“There’s so many little (clever) elements that come together that leaves the film goer not sure what made them enjoy it but you knew you did and for us that was everything from having Dolby involved to give us incredible audio to surround mix and phenomenal colour production.”
Where the Trail Ends has been hit from the first premier showing in Las Vegas where more than 300,000 tune in online to watch.
Grant also saw a sellout crowd take in the showing when the film was shown in Nelson at the Capitol Theatre.
“It’s always the scariest feeling showing a film in your home town,” Grant confessed. “You never know it’s going to be received.”
Where the Trail Ends is part of the Freeride Entertainment.
The Nelson-based company has a host of projects that has taken viewers from jungles of the Amazon to the mountains of Morocco, which is all under the guidance of Derek Westerlund.
“I definitely have to give a shout out to Derek Westerlund who played a huge role came up with a lot of ideas for Where the Trail Ends,” Grant said.
“I definitely want to make sure I get that out.”
After three years of traveling the globe not really sure where the next location shoot will be, Grant plans to take in a bit of quality time.
There are ideas in the wind about the next film, but nothing is certain yet.
What is for certain is Grant has come a long way from borrowing mom and dad’s VHS camera.
View film trailer of Where the Trail Ends at Freeride Entertainment: