Meet RC Cone

Posted on July 22, 2015

Our friend RC Cone is a filmmaker, photographer and full time dreamer whose company Tributaries Digital Cinema is consistently ginning out the finest in outdoor adventure films.   In his most recent effort, Yow : Icelandic for Yes!, RC leads the Tributaries crew on a journey to Iceland in search of waves, fishing adventure and whatever else they can turn up in that mysterious land.   It’s a film we were fired up to be connected with and we are eager to see what’s next for Tributaries.  

We recently caught up with RC during his brief down time and grilled him about Yow, hijinx on the set and Montucky Cold Snacks.  Here’s what we found out.

Why Iceland?

I went to Iceland for my first time two years ago while filming Tributaries. Back then, I wanted to put an alternative to Alaska on the screen but I honestly had no idea. Now that I've been there twice, sometimes I think about moving to Reykjavik, it's that cool. The whole island is an amazing place, from the gnarly weather and terrain to the mash-up of Euro/American culture in their nightlife - for being such an isolated place, Iceland is irresistible. It's also hard to forget about those North Actic women too.

What are the biggest challenges of working in a location like that?

Weather and currency. The weather is always gnarly. Raining, snowing, overcast, cold - there have been so many days like that there. There's something about that though, the bad weather is just a part of that Iceland vibe. It's weird covering expensive camera equipment in a .99 cent poncho. The other big thing is how expensive it is there. As a crew, we learned to love Icelandic hot dogs - it's the best way to avoid the ubiquitous $25 cheeseburger. The great thing about the budget being tight is you end up camping on farmer's properties and eating with the locals - those were some of the best experiences from our time there.

What’s the funniest thing that happened on location?

Aside from my assistant director, Will, pooping his pants in the field, it would have to be our few days on the Haukadalsa River. Shane just wasn't catching fish and freaking out about it (as obvious from Yow) but everyone else was catching fish, even me. All adding to Shane's tantrums. Also, we had one night in that lodge with just us, no other clients. Our Icelandic homies Elli and Ingo were there and the people who worked at the lodge were there - including a beautiful college-age babe who's father happened to be the owner. To see this crew of drunk, frustrated idiots falling in love with our host was an all-time sight to behold. We were definitely up late that night, and I don't remember all of it, but I do remember figuring out with Elli that the most amazing thing about reggae is that you can dance to it however you want. Imagine how smart and sophisticated an American and an Icelander looked noodle dancing at 4am. Definitely a night for the books.

You came out of Montana with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Photojournalism. We’re sure your parents didn’t think you could, but it looks like you managed to pull those two things together, huh?

I hate writing. I've never been good at putting intelligent, creative words to a page and that's basically what an EVST major is. So, I figured out that I could articulate what I was trying to say through still photos. Photo essays basically. And, jah bless the liberal-ness of the University of Montana because somehow and for some reason they gave me a degree. Go figure.

What’s next for Tributaries Digital Cinema?

A ton. We are so frothy. A lot of what we're doing is in development but making Yow has us crazy inspired. We are always working on upping our game and right now we're putting some foundations in to help Tributaries run better as a business. New, diverse clients, crazy weird cool collaborations with partners who bring a totally different thinking to the table and a bunch of new production techniques has us grinding away. We've got 4 movies in our heads that were putting to paper over the next few months, so stay tuned.

It’s coming on to high summer out your way. What’s RC doing on days when he’s not behind the camera?

River time as much as possible! I absolutely love living in Montana. It's landlocked but Montana summers have THE vibe. From quiet exploration to beered-up float trips in my boat named the dirty drifter, its hard to get bored there.

Moscow Mule or Montucky Cold Snack?

Both, please.

Marley or Metallica?

This is a surprisingly complicated question. I've always wanted to host a dressed-to-the-nines formal dance that only plays Marley's older, ska type jams but I also like to destroy shit, as Metallica is good at doing and inspiring me to do. At this very moment, in deep on a production project, no sleep, driving all around Seattle, loading in/loading out, there's absolutely no doubt: Metallica.
You’ve been shooting some product vids and photos for us for a while, what draws you to the Howler Bros. aesthetic? 
It's the Howler crew's understanding of the journey instead of the destination. It's your guys' concentration on the intangible experience rather then some tangible accomplishment. Those concepts are important to me personally and I'm always trying to translate them through a camera.
See more of RC's work here, here or here and for a deeper look check our limited edition YOW T-Shirt & The Tributaries Series DVD set available here. Thanks again!