Documentary fillmaker Rupert Walker creates sports action films. Lia Crowe photography

Documentary fillmaker Rupert Walker creates sports action films. Lia Crowe photography

Documentary Filmmaker Rupert Walker Creates Sports Action Films

Hobby becomes career with mountain biking videos at Revel Co.

  • Oct. 1, 2018 9:30 a.m.

– Story by Chelsea Foreman

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Rupert Walker is unintentionally cool. The 30-year-old action sports documentary maker speaks quickly, answering my questions with a depth of detail and fever that reveals his passion for his work.

I scribble notes furiously trying to capture his words. He catches me off guard when he describes the lack of deliberateness that found him turning a high school hobby into a wildly successful career. But then again, Rupert Walker is full of surprises.

Rupert was born in Vancouver. His dad’s career moved the family to various regions of the province and it was when the Walkers settled down in Kimberley on a ski hill that Rupert began honing his skills as an action sports documentary maker.

“A lot of my friends were pursuing careers as professional athletes. I would film us skiing and snowboarding. We just wanted to see the tricks we were doing; it wasn’t anything to do with trying to get a job in film or trying to pursue a career in that. It was purely just because we were excited to see what we were doing,” Rupert says, recalling his first introduction to filming.

Upon graduating high school, Rupert went to business school and his filming hobby went on a hiatus. Rupert credits business school as being a strong foundation and he has no regrets about choosing the educational avenue over film school.

“I didn’t need a professor to tell me how to be creative, or how to use a camera. Being creative is so subjective; using a camera is so subjective. There’s no one right answer. I know how to use a camera and be creative, and I know how to make the art and the content I want — but at the time I didn’t know how to run a business. I didn’t know the language of accounting and project management, and being a business owner. It was a good way for me to be exposed to the language of business,” says Rupert.

After attending business school Rupert — who spent much of his youth mountain biking in the Kootenay Mountains — moved to Victoria and met a new group of friends who were semi-professional mountain bikers.

“I started filming again, the same as before, only this time I was older. We’d be riding and jumping and I’d be filming totally for fun, because again, we wanted to look at what we were doing to try and figure out how we could become better athletes,” Rupert explains.

He soon found himself entrenched in his old hobby. He began to spend time on editing, which he describes as a nostalgic process that helped him rediscover his love for creating films. He would contact his friends’ sponsors and trade videos of them for a bike part, or a small amount of cash. But Rupert never expected his hobby could transform into a notable career.

“From there, I got really passionate about it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and at that point, I didn’t think filming action sports could turn into any kind of a career,” notes Rupert.

But he began creating video content every week, using social media and websites including Pinkbike (a major action sports video website) to share his work. He quickly developed a large online audience and was picked up by an action sports media company in Los Angeles, where he worked for a year. Struggling with the lack of creative freedom he had at a desk job, Rupert returned to Victoria and launched his own company, Revel Co., with his good friend and professional mountain biker, Brandon Semenuk.

“We decided to start our own business making the best mountain bike content that we possibly could. We started Revel Co. because we were tired of making content for other people without being able to be totally creative with and in complete control with what we were creating.”

Rupert and Brandon’s intention with Revel Co. was to focus on making the best, most creative videos, with a style of shooting and creativity influenced by no one but themselves,

“No one gets a say in what we create except us — even if it’s a client job. That’s our rule, and that’s how they turn out best,” Rupert says.

After building Revel Co. over two years ago, Brandon and Rupert now have an impressive clientele including Subaru Canada and Red Bull. Rupert films internationally, but is always happy to return home to Victoria to his girlfriend Berkley and their two Persian cats Digit and Sumo.

“A lot of time when you hear action sports you don’t think ‘this could be a really beautiful cinematic video.’ It’s a unique way to approach it — creating something that looks amazing and isn’t ‘out there,’” says Rupert.

Rupert doesn’t know exactly what’s in store for him next but he’s looking forward to continuing to grow his business.

I get the feeling that so long as he keeps creating for himself, success will be inevitable. For a man whose life has been defined by the unexpected, watching Rupert make his next move may be just as exhilarating as watching the documentaries he makes.

ActionAlternative SportsBoulevard MagazineChelsea ForemandocumentaryFilm makermediaMountain bikingMoviesOutdoorsRevel Co.Rupert WalkerskateboardingskiingSportsSports mediavideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Easter is on Sunday, April 4, 2021. How much do you know about Easter history and traditions? (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz about Easter and its traditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read