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Soft as an acronym for “sense of feeling things”, but also soft in its most literal meaning. These are the feelings that the new movie by Kris Ludi and Christian Haller evoke and that describe very well the type of riding that they want to share with us. A soft blanket of snow covering an almost unknown rural Japan declined in teal and orange. Soft takes us on a journey to the end of the world that has to be explored with a board at our feet. We sat down with Kris Lüdi, who conceptualized and directed the movie along with the help of the riders.

How and when was the Soft project born?

We actually never intended on doing another movie after “GLUE”. We were looking for a special mini-piece to create, therefore went to Japan two winters ago. Since the whole thing didn’t turn out the way we hoped for, we knew that’s not it – so we talked ourselves into adding more ideas, segments and time to eventually create “soft”.

How was the collaboration and synergy between you and Christian Haller born?

It came step by step. We’ve been friends for a good while and at some point started working together – “Memoires Memoires” was our first common piece and from there We started to see the potential in each other – for me, he is not just a snowboarder, rather than a creative thinking person that uses a snowboard to express certain things.

What is Christian’s role in the movie?

Well, first of all he’s a rider. But more than that, he produces, creates the whole ideas with me and gives very detailed feedback and inputs to pretty much every aspect in the process of making the film.

Tell me something about the chromatic choice of the shots. They are incredible.

I think that compliment goes to our colorist Yves Vallaster. He’s a top notch feature film colorist that we were lucky enough to work with. Together with him I tried to apply the matching color-feel to the existing mood of the segment.

Words by: Achille Mauri
Photos by: Silvano Zeiter

We started to see the potential in each other – for me, he is not just a snowboarder, rather than a creative thinking person that uses a snowboard to express certain things.

In the video there’s a very high quality sound design, can you explain me the involvement of these professionals in a snowboard video?

There’s actually just sound design in the first segment/intro and one or two bits in the rest of the film. Glad you like that though, it’s thanks to the professional help at the JingleJungle Studio in Zurich.

I really loved how you searched for the essence of snowboard in the movie, without trying to look for extreme tricks. What do you think about it?

With extreme tricks, you can only so capture one feeling of snowboarding, which is pure adrenaline. We tried to cover that feeling in one segment of the film, but there’s more to snowboarding than that.

n the video there are parts in which snowboard is shown as a crew sport and others where it’s shown as an individual sport. Tell me about this choice and this different point of view.

Basically the whole film is there to showcase the different aspects of snowboarding. It, as you describe, can be the fun day on the mountain with your best friends, only to share joy and not care about performance. But there’s also moments where you like to ride for yourself, enjoy simple flow, or as in a trick oriented way, challenge your inner self.

Where do you find inspiration for your work and your style?

Considering the inspiration for work, it mostly comes from what one does experience and by what people and stories one is surrounded. In this specific project, it was definitely Christian and my lifelong interest in snowboarding. Considering style, I get influenced by contemporary things, like photography, ideas, artbooks, etc.

Why the name Soft?

Soft are the initials for “sense of feeling things”, which is the actual title of the film. We loved the idea to play with this, since “sense of feeling things” refers so much to the whole idea the film is supposed to express. On the other hand “sense of feeling things” is just too long to really remember, and soft as an abbreviation still stands for the same kind of mood and feel.

Did you want to communicate something with this video or were you just looking for the essence of aesthetics?

We wanted to show the variety of feelings and aspects that snowboarding can give – every segment stands for a certain aspect. The aesthetics are just the proper way to carry them as close as possible to the viewer.

How much did having an action rider like Stephan Maurer filming made the difference?

It’s definitely worth a lot to have the best people working with you – Stephan is a unique talent in that sense. I think it was a heavy influence in “GLUE”, “soft” is not that follow-cam oriented anymore, but still, in the right moment we pulled off great shots together that add that bit of extra.

Do you have any other projects for the upcoming winter?

To be honest, I don’t really think I’ll do another project that involves snowboarding too soon. But we’ll se what the future brings!

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