Five Favorite Parts With Bill Strobeck

bill 5fp by curtis

Photo by Curtis Buchanan

Noticing a trend in these where the transcript word count from filmers/editors is about triple that of the skater ones. So while everyone is proclaiming Propeller to be “the last EVER full-length company video,” remember that there are still tons of guys putting a lot of thought into the nuts and bolts of bringing skate videos to your screen ;)

The latest installment comes from “cherry” creator, Bill Strobeck.

Mike Carroll – Girl: Goldfish (1993)

Goldfish was a pretty interesting video, because everyone had quit Plan B and started Girl, and the video came out almost right away. It seemed like they didn’t film for too long, a lot of the parts were short, and there was no lead-up to it. Questionable and Virtual Reality were so next level, and I remember thinking how Goldfish wasn’t as psycho as those two. It’s funny watching a lot of those older videos and thinking how they were such next level shit that nobody had ever seen before. Goldfish was a little more casual. Girl didn’t seem like it was about being next level. The whole point of it seemed like everyone involved just wanted to have fun. “Let’s show everyone kicking it.”

This is when Carroll looked the best to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love his Questionable part, but this is when his style was coming together, he was making it all look easy, and the clothes were getting smaller. It seemed like he was goofing off; he looks like he’s having so much fun here, so this is *the* Carroll part for me. I feel this is when everyone really started wanting to be this dude.

They skate Hollywood Boulevard a ton in this video too, which I love and is probably the reason why I always try to get people to film there. I wanted to see that spot in videos again. The bump is gone, otherwise it’d probably be in something I made these last few years.

Paulo Diaz — Chocolate: Las Nueve Vidas de Paco (1995)

I love nollies. This dude has the sickest nollie. The first day I ever skated with him, we went to the park AVE and them have, and he nollie half cabbed a saw horse the size of my desk right out the gate, after having not skated for so long. He inspired a lot of people. I think it’s safe to say Dill was inspired by him in his Trilogy footage, which is another one of my favorites.

In this part, Paulo looks like he just grabbed his board and started cruising outside his house. Everything is so spontaneous. I think he’s one of my top five skaters of all time. Even when this video came out, it might’ve been one of those parts that I didn’t really get, but now I always come back to it. He looks like a wild street banche. Those nollies are crazier than any flip trick someone could do.

He’d always go by the shop right when we were about to start working on the Supreme video. We asked him if he’d want to be a part of it, and he’s the type of dude who would be like “Yeah, yeah, I’m down” and you never see him again. But then, he’d be in the back alley messing around switch 180ing stacks of cardboard boxes. I remember Dill calling me saying “He’s still so good.” We asked him if he wanted to be serious about it and told him we’d help him out with whatever he needs. Whatever he needed to keep him skating with us all day, we took care of him.

I went out with him every day for two or three weeks. We would drive far out to random places he’d remember: “Dude, I know this lil’ bump in Pasadena, it’ll blast you. Let’s go.” Skateboarding comes natural to him, whether he wants to have fun or really try something crazy. At times, he had more energy than some of the kids, which kept me motivated.

Jerry Fisher (and Fred Gall) – Eastern Exposure 3 (1996)

Everyone at the time was fascinated by these guys. People would turn into them. You would go to Love and see all types of Freddys and Jerry Fishers — dudes skating and doing the arm, the beanie, the Half Cabs, the big wheels. Wolfe was really doing it at this time. He had the right dudes and he had the city everyone wanted to be in. It was popping off because of his eye to it. This video itself was so fucking special to people. I went to the premiere at Sub Zero with thirty kids sitting on the floor watching it on a tube TV. Everyone was blown away. I still bring people to that ride-on grind [in Battery Park] because of this part to see if someone can do anything else on it.

I didn’t know Fisher that well and I don’t think he was even skating much by the time the video came out. Wolfe must’ve filmed it a while beforehand. Freddy was the best back then; he was this guy who came out of nowhere and switch crooked and switch 180 5-0ed Hubba Hideout. Before that, he was some skate rat from New Jersey who was in the G&S video and shit, but nobody really knew anything about him.

The first time I ever met Freddy, I was out skating with this dude Sky Weiss who took a bus from California and crashed on couches in Philly. He was the kid who would get hand me down sneakers too small for him and still curl his toes to fit in them. He was the best dude. Sky if you’re out there somewhere, hit me up. One night, I was skating with him at the Wawa up the street from Love, and Freddy rolls up solo. First thing he tells Sky is that he’s tripping on acid. I’m thinking, “Holy shit, that’s Fred Gall, and the first time I see him, he’s out skating alone at night tripping his balls off. That’s so sick.” Rumor has it that when he does that ollie up to 5050 on the straight rail at Love, he was on mushrooms, and that after he landed it, he pushed away and left the spot. Maybe Wolfe can tell the story?

Stevie Williams – FIT/FTC: Tantrum (1997)

Stevie is one of my favorites ever. Anything in 411 that showed Philly at that time was sick. His “Wheels of Fortune” was practically the reason I moved to Philly. He’s so natural and looks so cool on a board. He looks like he’s dancing sometimes; he had that good dirty east coast style. Philly and S.F. were super raw back then, just a bunch of kids with no money skating around.

I feel like this is when the vibe was more, “Yo my boy’s got a camera, let’s film this.” Even when I first started filming, I had a regular 8mm with a fisheye. I’d be at Love filming my friends and Stevie would say “Yo film this real quick.” I really like that style: “Get this footage from so and so and then get the footage from this other guy.” The part is a surprise for everyone when you see it put together. When you film everything in a part, you know what it is before the video comes out. I like not knowing because it feels more special. I filmed Stevie do a switch pop shove manny at Pier 7 and it wound up going into the FTC video. When I saw it in the video, I was so psyched. The placement of it was a surprise.

Dylan Reider — Gravis: Dylan (2010)

I worked with him a bit on Mind Field and he went on that crazy hiatus afterwards. I hadn’t heard from him from a bit in that time, but I knew he was working on this with Greg Hunt.

I remember this was supposed to come out on a certain day. The night before, someone leaked it online and it got taken down in maybe ten minutes. I knew Dylan was good, but this was the only time I’ve ever called or texted someone after watching their part to tell them they really fucking did it.

Nowadays, it’s so hard for someone to have that one really classic part because everything zooms through the internet. He really busted his ass for this. When someone gives you a solo part — like the entire video is only you — you can’t let people down. Gravis didn’t have a big team and Dylan was their guy. He came through and people noticed. This is the part that really implanted him in people’s minds. Greg also picked a classic song, so overall, I think you’ll be able to watch it in fifteen years and have it still hold up.

Previously: Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams


  1. Implying bronze didnt get inspiration from somewhere else.. implying everyone doesnt get inspiration from somewhere.. downtown niggas always quick to say someone biting

  2. You’d like to think a lot of thought makes shit look+feel good.

    Style on both sides of the lens in skateboarding is so hard to define in terms of formula.

    Is it that right mix of new ideas with the right amount of respect to the past that makes it happen?

    I’m always challenging progression with most of the older dudes shit on repeat waiting for something to new to come out that gets me psyched regardless of the guys making it.

    I’ll hold the dudes with bigger industry ties, funding and big brand following to far more harsh of a critique.

    I know the aforementioned is pretty non-sequitur so I’ll simply state my point counter point below:

    Strobeck should have gotten Dill out to skate more these past few years all said and done.

    Strobeck should get more Sage footage in LA before his mass-market brands blow him out.

    ***So psyched the pappalardo controversy is on the cons wiki –

  3. He’s bang on with his choices. Nollies look so good, Paulo was a massive inspiration with that section. Straight out the gate shit, rather than trying all day!

  4. The next filmer list should be with Pete. I’m pretty interested to see what his skateboarding influences are…

  5. isn’t it pretty clear that Pete is influenced by late night public access comercials, lean, and bitches? @ dan lu

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