In 2002 two film makers began making a small unheralded snowboarding movie that eventually went on to rock the industry. Justin Eeles and Pierre Minhondo were the team that came up with what was at the time a bold formula. Eschewing the big names of the day Eeles and Minhondo sought to document the up and comers that most people had never heard of. Nowadays web edits, park blogs, and GoPros have many Ams and even flow riders in the limelight. However in 2002 this was not the case and taking the season to film riders that most people didnt know was a big gamble. Luckily Whitey from Kingpin signed on to help out the project and the filming began. When it debuted in 2003 it was to little fanfare but slowly the word begin to spread about a small film full of unknowns that was a must see. In my opinion it was because the young guns were far easier to relate to than the world traveling big named pros. Many of the shots were just local favorite spots and the video just oozed authenticity. Neoproto was the name of the first movie and also the production company that Eeles and Minhondo formed. With the success of the first film came two other releases 2004′s Everyday Something and 2005′s Some Kinda Life both equally successful. So now in 2011 where are all of these young up and comers? How many actually “made it” and how many are long gone? Lets take a look….
Jussi never settled in the U.S. full time so he never became a fixture on the U.S. scene outside of the Neoproto films. He did receive lots of coverage in Europe via OnboardMag, Europes premier source of shred. He was on Dakine, 32, Helly Hansen, Dragon, and Rome but left professional snowboarding in 2008 to fulfill his dreams of becoming a professional artist. You can see what hes up to here….
Aaron appeared in all three Neoproto films and then promptly dropped off the face of the earth. About all I could find on him was a poor clip of him from 2007 doing a SW B/S 9 that was uploaded by Santa Cruz. So I facebook stalked him through friends of friends etc and it appears he is a writer/director for an LA based production group called OhDark 30.
Tedore’s riding career was cut short by a knee explosion. However he is still in the industry working with K2 as their board designer. Yobeat did a great piece on him in 2008 that sums everything up from pre Neoproto to current K2 design guru… peep the article here…
Robbie Sell is still out and about within the industry. At this time he is more notably known for his photography but is still a recently sponsored rider (last season but no longer on the list for this season) with the Jones/Kingwell project Compatriot. Check out Robbies site here and yet another great all encompassing Yobeat write up from 2010 with Robbie here…
Tim “I can beatbox my own part” Eddy had, in my opinion, one of the most stylish parts in Neoproto. Tim is still killing it today as a K2 rider and can be seen in the last two Think Thank movies, Cool Story and Right Brain Left Brain. P.S. k2 WTF are you thinking turn Tim Pro!!
McKay like Eddy is still out there killing it with K2. Shaun resides in the PNW during the winter and in Socal during the summer. A true pow hound his exploits can still be viewed in the People movies. Heres a Transworld piece with Shaun from 2010.
He may no longer be in the snowboarding game as a rider but between a marriage to Gretchen Bleiler and being the Oakley snow team manager its hard to say that Chris isnt still living the dream… peep him in this spot with Oakley team rider Eero Ettala on RadCollector.
Jake always seemed the odd man out in the Neoproto crew. Once Neoproto went under Jake found a crew a bit more representative of his style with the T9/FoDT guys. Still killin it check out Jake in this Squaw edit and then head over the MFMandFam and do a search for more on Jake..
The mad Italian, Filippo came to the U.S. to make party and shred as much as possible. Although he had a pretty heavy competition background prior to his stint in the U.S. hes become more of a video part guy now and continued to film with the People/Mack Dawg crew for a few seasons and is more recently seen in the Pirate movies. Filippo is on Nitro, Volcom, Oakley, and RedBull. Peep Filippo and friends getting pow in Japan last season via Onboard.
Curtis is one of my favorite riders. I just really like to see him on a board. Hes been sponsored since he was eight but just as the Neoproto films hit it big Curtis’ main sponsors Santa Cruz and Planet Earth hit hard times. Through it all Curtis kept shredding and appeared in some of the People films but really made a comeback splash this year with his closing part in the Comune film.
Ok if you dont know what Nima has been up to then you just live under a rock. Although injuries have taken their toll on his riding hes still all over the scene with his work in Krew, Ashbury, and VideoGrass.
In 2002/2203 Corey Smith was a grade a freak show… are those blue jeans hes in? Flash forward to 2011 and it seems the masses have finally caught up to Coreys style, but that doesnt matter because Coreys already on to something new. Corey is the art director for Comune as well as a successful artist both within the snow community and outside of it as well. You can find his artwork on Capita boards each season. Coreys ender part was ground breaking (almost literally) as he hucked himself off every rooftop, rock, and ledge he could find. Like any great artist Corey is a visionary, ahead of his time … enjoy….
Justin Eeles/Pierre Minhondo .. the duo that started it all… When Whitey disbanded Kingpin Productions to move on to greater things in 2005/2006 that left Neoproto without backing. However Eeles and Minhondo would resurface a season or two later under the wing of Mack Dawg as People. When Mack Dawg also stopped making snow movies Eeles and Minhondo moved out on their own as People Creative and continue to make movies under that moniker today. Heres the latest teaser for their 2011/2012 release Good Look…