“Hi Light” from W.I.T. Productions - An Interview

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2009 by njones | Posted under General, Media

Interview and article by: Nick Jones

I’m sure most of you already know Spencer Norris through his wakeboarding films and his close ties with the northwest. But if you don’t, now is the time to get to know him.

Growing up just outside of Seattle, Norris got into the wakeboarding scene early as a coach at Koppert Lake. During his time there he came to the conclusion that he wanted to make wake movies and started his first titled “The Arrival.” With the success of The Arrival, he went on to make One Eye Shut in 2007. Now, with the skills and friendships acquired along the way, Norris is in the process of releasing his third movie, “Hi Light”. From the little footage he’s shown me, I’m stoked for what it has in store and it is sure to be his best release yet. Fortunately, while in Florida he lives about 20 minutes from me. Last week I stopped by and had the chance to interrogate him about his life and the new video. Below is the teaser, which is a slice of the talent this young guy will be bringing to the table in ‘09.

Nick: First of all, what does Hi Light mean and where did it come from?
Spencer: I was battling with two names for this video. But when I sat down and started making the trailer it kind of hit me. I am highlighting the culmination of a whole year into one video “Hi Light.”

N: Coming from the Northwest, do you think it allows you to look at wakeboarding and filming in a different light than most other filmers in the industry?
S: I can’t say that I look at wakeboarding differently than other filmers, but I can say that wakeboarding is something that is very special to me especially coming from the northwest due to the small window we have here to ride and enjoy the sunny days. I think that I definitely look at wakeboarding and filmmaking as a passion. Its something simple that brings joy, anger, freedom, frustration, and an all around outlet for people to be unique. I just hope that I can portray that through my videos.

N: What sports and/or action videos and cinematographers influence your style of filming and editing?
S: I try to find influence from everything I watch, weather its music videos, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding. I have really been working hard to make my filming do all the talking in the videos with less flashy/busy editing.

N: What riders are in your new video and how did you pick them?
S: The riding list is: Jeff House, Robby Carter, Jimmy Trask, Alex Scagliotti, Thomas Olson, Derek Grasman, JD Webb, Bryan Hutton, and my homie Nick Jones (you). Everyone else expressed interest in filming with me again and was ready to push it for me behind the boat. Derek let me stay at his place for like 5-6 months out of the year and also let other people in the video come and stay with him while I was in town. People invited me on photo shoot trips to be sure and get footage. People drove me places while I was in Florida so I could get footage with other people. Everyone in the video has been a great support system for me and really helped me progress my filming and I think the end product will definitely reflect that.

N: I understand you lived in Winterhaven, FL for a couple months last fall with a few of the riders in the video, how do you think that will change the video?
S: When I am in Florida I live the life of a professional wakeboarder. I eat, travel, party, get bored, and hang out with the pros. That allows me to get the best riding from each individual rider that I film. Having a home in Florida also creates a good base for me so once I get down there we can get right down to work.

N: Is it true that Winterhaven’s nickname is “Winter Heaven?”
S:Yes, but I don’t know why. Its definitely hick city and it’s a part of Polk County which just sounds backwoods.

N: Do you think the fact that your close friends with all the riders will impact how you portray their riding in your video?
S: Even if I only had a professional relationship with all the riders, I’m going to portray their riding how they want it; that’s why I always let them see their section before I finish it. If they don’t like it I’ll change it until they do like it. Being friends with the riders allows them to be comfortable around me while I’m filming and being friends it just a plus.

N: What makes your video different than other wake videos being released this spring?
S: Well it is a low budget film, and I am doing everything single handed…the filming, editing, DVD authoring, Box Design; I am also going to do a little bit of my own distribution as well. Not too many people are doing this anymore so I would say that it’s kind of a testament to be able to put out a complex video by yourself.

N: Are you planning on having a premier or two in the Northwest?
S: Yes. No details yeat, but stay tuned…

N: I know your production company’s called WIT, does that stand for anything?
S: Whatever It Takes. It’s been my moto from the beginning and whenever I get
overwhelmed I just have to tell myself that…and I push on.

N: Any thanks you’d like to throw out there?
S:Obviously my whole family who have been empowering, supporting and loaning me money here and there from the start. Jay, Steve, and Justin at CWB, Scott Parnell at Samson Sports, Greg and Zack with Northwest Riders Clothing, Sean Kilgus of BFY Productions, all of my riders for this video…you guys push me to be better and I’m pretty sure you don’t even know it, and all the other filmmakers out there who make me push myself. AJ, RJ, Zane Schwenk we use your stuff all the time and I don’t thank you enough!

Be sure to check out my blog at:
For updates on the video.


4 Responses to ““Hi Light” from W.I.T. Productions - An Interview”

  1. Zack Says:

    Nice interview Nick!

    Spence: pumped on the trailer and really looking forward to the premiere! Looking very nice…

  2. Shmitty Says:

    God great trailer!

    Someone send me a copy… COD?

  3. Zack Says:

    Shmitty … you can get it on Spencer’s WordPress BLOG:

    Great video … stepped it up!

  4. Florida video production Says:

    Nice job! did you use 35mm adapter o some of the shots? What did you use as a dolly? very smooth!



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