Travis Rice opens up on The Fourth Phase

A conversation with Travis Rice about how high the bar has been set for his new film project.
Travis Rice and Eric Jackson Red Bull Snowboarding
Travis Rice and Eric Jackson © Zimmerman
By Josh T. Saunders

After a couple years of hiding out in some of the best backcountry snow that the world has to offer, Travis Rice thrust himself back in the snowboarding spotlight this week with the release of a teaser for his highly anticipated and so far mysterious film project. He announced a fall 2016 release of the The Fourth Phase, and the industry is buzzing with hype around what to expect from his third major film. Rice sat down with us recently at the Red Bull headquarters to give us a little insight into the project, along with some hints of what we'll be spending the bulk of the next year waiting impatiently to see.

What’s going to differentiate The Fourth Phase from the wild success of The Art of Flight? How do you make a snowboard film better than that one?
I think one of the big differences between the two films is that The Fourth Phase has been much more of an immersion and we’ve slowed down to be able to go a little deeper into the locations and the whole process. We’ve just been able to take a little more time — this isn’t a strike mission to the goods, to grab and plunder and make away with a couple good clips. The goal of this project is to really embrace ‘the process’.

How is this film going to raise the bar for snowboarding films?
To be honest, the film that we’re making right now is the film I always wanted to make. I think we just weren’t ready to make it yet, with the other projects, and it’s taken all of our previous movies and everything we’ve learned along the way to be able to attempt to see The Fourth Phase all the way through to completion.

I think the sentiment we can take away from it is to not take the magic of what snowboarding is for granted.

What do you want a core snowboarder to feel after watching the first teaser you dropped? How do you hope it fires people up?
I think it revolves straight back around to why we snowboard in the first place. I think the sentiment we can take away from it is to not take the magic of what snowboarding is for granted. When you slow your assumptions and check the things we’ve learned over the course of our lives, throw those away and get a fresh look at what snowboarding is, I mean it’s really an incredible thing. A landscape that’s coated in this soft, magical layer of snow, and then we go and play with boards and it takes us to the wildest things on earth.

Watch: The Fourth Phase teaser


With this being the last winter to stack footage for the movie, what are the loose plans for filming the final parts for The Fourth Phase?
After working on the film for the last two and a half years, we know what we have to do, and we know how to do it. It’s really just taking the time to fully go through that process that I keep referring to. Brain Farm and our crew has been so tight together the last three years that everyone has become an integral part of the project. It’s an incredible level of teamwork, going out every day and being able to depend on each other, and that enables us to ultimately finish this project the way we want to.

Is the snow going to show up for you this season?
The last two years have been a little rough. I was just up in Seattle and people were reminding me that they almost didn’t have a winter last year. But, it’s that time of year again and snow is falling in the mountains. El Niño seems to be doing its thing, at this point in the game anything to change up the snow cycle we’ve been on is a positive thing. So, y’know, here we go man.

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