Growing up in Perth, WA, Matthew Bettinaglio was alway riding boards in the blistering heat. We’re Not From Here is a short film about his recent snowboarding trip to the New Zealand snow fields; with the snow 4000km away, we wondered what drew him to the mountains.

Living 4000km from the snow in Perth, WA, what inspired the first snow trip?

Growing up skateboarding and surfing in the sunshine was, and still is, a dream of mine, although I loved seeing videos of people snowboarding in crazy places all around the world.

Something about those three sports just intertwined so well; I guess it’s just riding sideways on some form of board! My first trip was to visit family in Italy and we snuck in a few days at a resort called Bormio just below the Swiss border. Being a 3000m mountain I kinda got thrown in the deep end and fell in love with it.
Ever since then the majority of my time outside of Australia has been spent surrounded by mountains & the snow.

What made you guys settle on New Zealand over the Aussie snowfields?

We have this love for New Zealand mainly because of the landscape and terrain. Australia can get it really good some seasons but flying into a place like Queenstown is like flying into a different world. The scale of the mountains there and how far they stretch just blows your mind compared to catching a bus into the Australian Alps.

New Zealand also has a lot of choice, the resorts are much larger, longer runs etc.

Both have their pros and cons though… Maybe even a lot more cons when you compare them to anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere but we take what we can get!

Has the crew always snow-tripped out of a van? Or have you given resorts a go? How do they compare?

This was my first RV Trip. It was so weird pulling up back at the caravan park after a full day on the slopes, you think you’re driving home but you are home, you just park.

Small quarters living grows on you quickly, at first you think this is too small but the van seems to grow in size the longer you spend in there.

I have to say personally I would prefer resorts, nothing beats creature comforts… such as a spa or sauna to soothe the body after destroying it all day.

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview camper van, snowboards

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview road trip, new zealand roads

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview mountains layers

You’ve said that “filmmaking is a lifestyle” but many filmmakers find that filming their personal trips can turn it into work. How do you keep it fun?

This is all about balance. “Work” in the filmmaking industry for me came about from filming holidays, skateboarding, just fun things that I really enjoy so it’s more of a back to basics, back to the roots of why I fell in love with filmmaking. I’m also big on trying to be in the moment especially when I am overseas. So it’s just trying to balance getting enough footage to create something that you’re proud of but also not missing out on the little moments and taking the time to enjoy life without capturing it all. I think I’ll have to do an entire snow trip while leaving the camera gear at home one day… maybe.

The film delves into the “universal language” of snowboarding. Do you think this applies to other sports?

Definitely, like I mentioned earlier, I grew up skateboarding and surfing, their cultures are very similar. I would say skateboarding is probably the most universal as it takes the least amount of effort.

Snowboarding requires everyone getting to a particular place, having all the right gear, spending too much money on lift passes etc – where skateboarding just requires a skateboard.

I’ve skated with guys who don’t even speak the same language as me and we’ve had incredible times. I guess this would apply to all activities that people are passionate about regardless of language, culture, background.

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview filming, tripod, mountains

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview mountains, lake

We're Not From Here // Short Snowboarding Film and Interview mountains, stars, lights, long exposure

What are you sinking your teeth into back in Western Australia? And where’s the next trip?!

Me and my wife have recently purchased our first home up the coast close to some fun surf breaks, we’re just slowly making the place more homely and enjoying the laid back area.

I am growing my film business, this year I have taken on a lot more commercial work/commissions which I am really enjoying! Getting paid to do what you love is a dream come true and I encourage everybody to pursue a career in something that they are passionate about.

We are planning to return to Canada, specifically British Columbia and Alberta at the end of this year. So if that goes to plan we’ll be enjoying -20 degrees Celsius, wood fires and a white Christmas… the perfect way to escape the 40 degree summers we experience here.


Matthew was born in Perth, WA, beside the ocean. A love for the outdoors, travel and board-riding comes across in his style of filmmaking. He loves finding new techniques in filmmaking and creating moving images that inspire others to show them how incredible the world around them really is.

More of Matt’s work: Website || Instagram @mattbetty || Facebook Matthew Bettinaglio Film