MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Winter Spring 2017 - page 26

“Thementorshavebecome the
mentored. Leo teachesmeevery
day: about life, about art andabout
filmmaking. It’s thebest.”
A spellingmistake in Leo’s Instagramaccount turned“Tones ofGrey” into
“Tonnes ofGary.” Itworkedout though. Just lookat all thatGary! MASONMASHON
words :: Mikey Nixon
Every good hero has an originmyth; something that
demystifies their past. And if there’s anything the art of
storytelling has taught us, it’s that those myths don’t
necessarily have to be factual. Not that this one isn’t, but as of
now it’s unconfirmed…
The details are loose onWhistler filmmaker LeoHoorn’s origin
story, but it goes something like this: as a teenager, Leowas
invited on a trip to film some snowboarders hitting handrails
across Northern BC. On one particular day, the crew found a
worthy feature, but the athletes were blowing it—no onewas
landing anything. Apparently Leo, without aword, clipped
his camera into the tripod, strapped into one of the athlete’s
snowboards and frontside board-slid the entire rail on his first try.
Instead of going homewith nothing, he salvaged the day himself.
Of course, a decade later, Leo doesn’t quite recall that
moment, nor does he seem that impressed with his own
originmyth. “I don’t know if I did anything tomake that
trip productive,” he says. “I think I just wanted to be
When pressed about his roots, Leo talks about borrowing a
camera from the local skate shop in his hometown of Smithers,
BC and learning how to use it by filming his friends. He also
mentions finishing high school a semester early and hightailing
it toWhistler the very next day (via Rossland). The handrail
story is never mentioned again.
“Being an action sports cinematographer is by nature an act
of humility,” says Dave Mossop, principal director of Sherpas
Cinema and, in theory at least, Leo’s boss. “Basically it's
saying, ‘I'll carry a heavier bag and sacrifice some of my run so
that you can look rad.’”
Standing at about five feet six inches and weighing in around
140 pounds, Leo possesses what Mossop calls, “elf-like
physical abilities” and a calculated-but-fearless approach to the
mountains, on either side of the lens.
“As I was learning how to film, my love for skateboarding and
snowboarding was also growing, but my body started getting
beat up,” Leo explains. “There were more doors and paths
opening up on the filming end of things so I just started to
kinda transition, not even necessarily consciously.”
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