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Two Decades of Tahoe Radness

Standard Films celebrates its 20th snowboard movie
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Who: Standard Films

What: Premiere of 'TB20,' the production company’s latest snowboard film

Where: The Resort
at Squaw Creek

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, Doors 7 p.m., Show 8 p.m.

Cost: $10



Can I get a standing ovation for North Tahoe cinematographer and cofounder of Standard Films, Mr. Mike Hatchett?! On Sept. 17 at the Resort at Squaw Creek, Hatchett and Standard Films will reach an unprecedented milestone in the action sports industry as they host the local premiere of 'TB20' — their 20th groundbreaking snowboard film in the 'Totally Board' series in as many years.

The fact that Standard has premiered a film every fall for two decades isn’t the most laudable part of their achievement, however. You’re getting up out of your seat to honor a man and a media company that have spent 20 years championing Tahoe as one of the greatest places to live on earth. All 20 of Standard’s movies have included cutting-edge snowboarding footage from Tahoe and have helped define the region as one of the meccas of the snowboard world. No doubt hundreds of passionate snowboarders (myself included) were inspired to move to Tahoe and fulfill a winter fantasy after rewinding one of Standard’s shred flicks until the VHS tape broke.

To catch the latest on Standard’s Tahoe roots and the highlights of 'TB20,' I caught up with Mike Hatchett for a quick Q and A.

Here’s the lowdown:

Moonshine Ink: What were your goals when you founded Standard Films with your brother Dave in 1991?

Mike Hatchett: We wanted to work with the most talented riders we could and put the most progressive freestyle and big mountain riding together in one film. At that time we felt like this had not been done to the level it could be. We had ideas in mind from the soundtrack to the filming to the editing, and the way riders were portrayed in the film.

MI: Back in ’91 did you ever dream of creating such a film legacy?

MH: No way. I was just focused on making the best movie we possibly could and riding as much powder as I could in between. Squaw had recently allowed snowboarding so all I could think about was riding KT-22 on powder days and filming in the backcountry once the resort was tracked.

MI: What did you learn in the first decade that has helped you in the second?

MH: On the filming end I learned to always take the extra time to look for an angle that makes the trick or line look the best and then, after the shot, ask myself 'How can I do it better next time?' On the business end I learned to stay focused on the goal. There will be bumps along the way, sometimes big bumps, but making snowboard movies is one of the best jobs anyone could ever ask for. I keep this in mind when times get tough. I ask myself, 'Why did I get into this in the first place?' Well, I love to film and I love to ride powder. Those two things are both very satisfying.

MI: What makes Tahoe a premier filming location?

MH: There is a lot of good, easy access to backcountry terrain, and Sierra storms often start out warm but finish cold, making for the perfect powder conditions on steep terrain. I always laugh when people talk crap about the snow in Tahoe. Yeah, it rains to the top sometimes, but when it’s good it’s better than Utah and Colorado by a long shot. Tahoe also has fairly predictable avalanche conditions most of the time, and we get lots of sunny days.

MI: Do you still have unexplored local backcountry zones that you’ve yet to film in?

MH: Definitely. I’m sure other people have been to most of the areas already, but we’re looking forward to checking out a few new zones next season. That’s always a big part of the fun and the challenge — exploring new spots, seeing the epic terrain for the first time, and making the game plan for the session. '

MI: What snowboarders take 'TB20' to the next level?

MH: Halldor Helgason’s urban riding, Xavier Delerue’s high speed freeride lines, Lonnie Kauk’s big airs, and Mathieu Creppel’s all-around skills from kickers to big mountain riding.

MI: Will we be celebrating 'TB30' in another decade?

MH: I sure hope so. I would love to keep the dream alive.

~Comment on this column below.

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February 14, 2019