Intro, Video & Interview by Farran Golding
Given the timestamp on Tim Anderson’s Bobshirt interviews, you might expect to find a somewhat definitive “Five Favorite Parts” of the 1990s here. However, the Five Faves selection process isn’t easy and that filter proved too tough even for one of the decade’s most reliable scholars. Tim’s enthusiasm for skate videos also extends beyond that perceived “golden era.” (Although, Tim confirmed that Gino Iannucci in Trilogy and Dick Rizzo in Mother would have ranked.)
Quartersnacks has, on occasion, turned to our fellow media nodes for “Five Favorite Parts.” It’s a fun spin on the format, but this installment comes further out of left field, honing in on Tim’s favorite introductory sections from skate videos.
We have a video edition this time around, flipping on the Bobshirt format.
If you prefer the text version, continue on 😎
Blind Skateboards: Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies (1992)
[Brian] Lotti starts it out with the frontside bluntslide kickflip out. No music, just skating, out of nowhere. You’ve got Tim [Gavin] and Henry [Sanchez] and you don’t expect that intro. It’s amazing skating. Who was doing a frontside bluntslide, kickflip out back then? Then Guy Mariano with the switch 360 flip: who was doing that, then, down steps? Not even a junky one on flat, but popped and caught.
Lee Smith told me this before, like, “We just did something once and that’s it. We’d be done with it.” Guy Mariano, probably not the deal. He probably did things a few times. It was getting it for the sake of getting it, doing it because nobody has done it.
These guys were just inventing modern street skateboarding. Some of it was really good, some of it was really ugly.
FTC: Penal Code 100A (1996)
I love the song [“A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by Procul Harum]. I probably wouldn’t have liked it before but after I saw it in that video… It’s how it goes with so many songs. My wife, I’ll be listening to a song totally random, and she’s like, “What skate video was this in?”
“What do you mean?”
“I know it was in a skate video…”
Total, like, anti-hype. Super-8 footage – portraits, basically, starting with James Kelch. How the names pop up on screen is like when you saw the box.
“Oh shit, look how many guys are in this video.”
Of course, it ends up being a bit of a tease, one clip or something, but for a shop video between what I’m guessing R.B. [Umali] gave to Aaron [Meza], it’s an insane line-up. It’s a slow process to the intro of a skateboard video that I love. I watched it again the other day and I remembered Meza said it’s out of focus.
I had Aaron sign it because I’m a nerd. You read all these names [on the back] and you’re like “Holy shit, all these guys!” Then it’s, like, one clip. But hey, you’ve got to sell the video.
101 Skateboards — World Industries: Trilogy (1996)
There was World, Blind, Menace and then 101 over there because Natas [Kaupas] was running it. Again, it was a mixture. He was pretty early with the computer work and he managed to mix the digital world with the analog world really well.
There’s that 101 cutout and it’s spinning on a blue screen, which turned into this vectored, 3D symbol. And it’s shot on Super-8 so it’s super grainy. If I could find that 101 sculpture – I’m sure it’s in a landfill or something – that would be the peak, for me.
Some of the tricks didn’t make the cut. I love the multiple screens, how it faded in and out. Those [voices] are just, like AppleSpeak, whatever it is. Natas was just working with whatever he had. It was perfect.
It had a profound effect on what design I like and how I like intros to go. Totally different from Photosynthesis. Sounds, music, skate clips and that’s it, right? You don’t get the feeling of any of the skaters, you can make something up with your head.
Alien Workshop: Photosynthesis (2000)
I was always a fan of Workshop, but it definitely changed around 1999/2000, like, when [Jason] Dill got on after 23. We didn’t see that coming.
Alien Workshop was always “the Ohio brand.” It was mellow and toned down, Memory Screen was amazing but it totally changed with Photosynthesis because you had all the Philly guys and New York was still hitting hard at that point too. The whole vibe of the Workshop changed. I loved it before Photosynthesis, but it was just different.
I think I moved [to New York] in ’97, but I was living on Long Island. My friend Steve [Fletch] brought Anthony [Pappalardo] around. We’d skate with Anthony and [Brian] Wenning when they were younger, but obviously it’s more motivational to skate with somebody like Josh Kalis than us. You can’t blame them there, right?
We thought [Alien Workshop] was cool, but we were so brainwashed by 101 and Menace. Anthony was riding Menace stuff before he got on so we were in two camps, kind of. Workshop was definitely “the east coast company.” Even though they had Javier [Nunez] and Gino [Iannucci] – but 101 was like a “west coast thing.”
It is a little more upbeat than the other Workshop stuff. I like when they’re filming Anthony skate down the street with what looks like lunch in his bag. That’s the Anthony I remember from being a kid: giant shirt, super skinny, he’s got his lunch and he’s skating back from getting something. Then Josh [Kalis] sitting there with Stevie [Williams]. Like, “Oh man, if Stevie could get on Workshop, everything would be great.”
The Workshop felt like somebody was doing it with their hands. Always. With video editing — just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Around 2000, everybody had Final Cut Pro, everybody could do whatever they wanted on a computer and some people made some really bad calls. Alien, even with all the computer stuff, the very first thing that comes up in Photosynthesis – the first 3D thing, the VX and the aliens – that’s pretty high-tech, but it doesn’t feel contrived. It had an analogue feeling even though it was digital. That’s a tough thing to pull off.
I bought it right when it came out. Our local shop had it, we had a mini-premiere and Anthony was there. When something like Photosynthesis comes out, it takes a while to sink in. It took a couple of years for me to realize that fucking video changed everything. My copy has been around, I guess.
Alien Workshop: Mind Field (2009)
It’s gutsy to do something that’s similar to Photosynthesis in a lot of ways. Even though it’s a whole different team.
It works and it’s almost better. The bagpipes, everything about that intro is amazing, and there’s not a trick until Dylan Rieder’s impossible. There’s not any skateboarding tricks until like a minute-and-a-half in.
It took me a while to appreciate Mind Field. I was a little stubborn about it, I guess. Like, “That’s the new Workshop.” It’s a terrible way to think about things because you can’t grow like that.
That intro and Jake’s part: skating the Banks in a different way, after they were done, his backside 180 to fakie 5-0 at the Grace Building, the Pyramid Ledges [switch flip backside nosegrind]. At the time I didn’t appreciate Mind Field like I should have. I’m just a big fan of Jake and I like that part a lot. What is it, second part? Jake could have ended it. You know, the younger guy.
It’s a depressing intro. It puts you in this mindset – that’s what intros do – and then they come out of the gate blazing. It’s one of those intros that I watch a lot, randomly. For me, it’s not even the guys — it’s the shots — which usually isn’t the case. Usually, I could do without the “art” shots, but with the birds flowing around the building, it tripped me out so much.
“Alright, this guy [Greg Hunt] filmed all of this stuff and he didn’t film it for the sake of filming it. It looks really good.” It works.
That song choice is so out of nowhere. Personally, I like bagpipes, but that could go horribly wrong. It’s almost like a funeral. Like, “That’s over,” and now we’re coming into this Workshop.
Again, it was hands-on. It looked like somebody made it, sitting there cutting out the titles. I’ll always take something real over something computer generated, which I think is pretty common, but I’d love to see the behind the scenes of that process. The amount of footage and b-roll for Mind Field is mind boggling. There are so many little shots and moments; that guy must have shot so much film, Super-8 and VX.
It does speak to Photosynthesis. All this little random stuff to make this intro which totally works. It was a continuation in a good way. You could try to continue it and it would look terribly wrong and contrived, but [Greg Hunt] managed to keep it going with his own style.
Honorable Mention: Plan B — Virtual Reality (1993). (Tim originally picked Virtual Reality, but swapped it for Tim & Henry’s, as the song – “I Don’t Know” [live] by Ozzy Osbourne – is muted on all uploads. You’ll have to dust off the VHS player to enjoy it.)
Previously: Brandon Turner, Shari White, Nick Jensen, Tony Hawk, Naquan Rollings, Jack O’Grady, Josh Wilson, Maité Steenhoudt, Jahmir Brown, Una Farrar, Chris Jones, Mason Silva, Beatrice Domond, Mark Suciu, Justin Henry, Breana Geering, Sage Elsesser, Bobby Worrest, Nik Stain, Anthony Van Engelen, Dom Henry, Bing Liu, Andrew Reynolds, Cyrus Bennett, Jacob Harris, Jamal Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Gilbert Crockett, Ben Chadourne, Tom Knox, Louie Lopez, The Chrome Ball Incident, The Bunt, Lacey Baker, Andrew Allen, GX1000, Brian Anderson, Gino Iannucci, Josh Kalis, Sean Pablo, Wade Desarmo, Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, Bill Strobeck, 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