If you poll a graduating film school class, chances are, someone ended up there from a childhood of watching and making skate videos. Not only a document of skateboarding in action, skate videos can lead to the development of an artistic voice that transcends the genre itself, sometimes even to filmmaking’s highest stage. Bing Liu — whose Oscar-nominated 2018 documentary, Minding the Gap — is just such a skater (and a Peabody Award winner, too.) Here’s a look into five parts that influenced his work.
“A disc jockey, prison guard and a lumberjack walk into a vape lounge. A lounge team member looks up and says: ‘I know you folks. You must be coming from Human Resources Online’s list of the worst professions in 2018, ranked in terms of average salary and advancement opportunities, right?’ Before they can answer, a pro skateboarder wanders in behind them.” — Boil the Ocean explores the dynamics of skateboarding’s shrinking middle class as we approach the 2020s.
Dudes skating Everson between piles of snow: “…Or Get Off The Pot” is a new Syracuse edit from Lukas Reed.
Village Psychic had a couple nice pieces on their site recently. First, they caught up with contributors to Transworld, old and new, to get some recollections on the mag, and they also got Tony Hawk on the horn about where he (as someone who has had the widest range of endorsement deals in existence) draws the line on corporate sponsors.
Thrasher posted the interviews and photos from their feature on the Chrystie vid.
Even a bunch of dudes from Germany who haven’t grown tired of skating the same downtown spots summer after summer aren’t resistant to T.F. West’s magnetic pull. “Transit Ride” is a half New York / half L.A. mini video by Paul Herrman. (And also confirms that you aren’t really dating yourself by pointing out Gang Starr in the most oft-skated to rap artist conversation.)
“If I saw the spots he skates waxed, I’d just think it was rollerbladers.” Thrasher uploaded the raw files to Brandon Westgate’s “Bog Town” part, filmed primarily (all?) around his home in New England.
Brad Cromer is the latest guest on The Bunt.
Yet another reminder to watch Minding The Gap if you still haven’t summoned the nerve to type in your card # for that free Hulu trial… Free interviewed the film’s director, Bing Liu. They were slow to get to it at first too, but became instant fans once they watched the film.
Spot Updates — 1) The ledges on 110th and Central Park West had chunks taken out of all of them by the city. 2) Haven’t seen footage of it in a bit, but recently received an email tip that Queens’ Broadway Park is currently fenced off for construction.
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Haven’t had Russ on here in a minute.
Quote of the Week: “You know what, his style isn’t fake. He’s just ugly.” — Stafhon
A nice Monday morning mix from Roctakon. Listen while you sit alone in a smoke-filled cafe before skating, watching your past lovers cry ♥
Photo via Giese
“Jake Phelps surely embodied worlds in decline: Old San Francisco, famously non-PC, MJ1s on his feet until whatever deadstock tap ran dry, proofing a decades-old print publication with a snarling discontent any seasoned editor would recognize and respect. An artifact arguing and cussing every day for a place in a world moving some other way.” Unfortunate to link their way two weeks in a row for obituary purposes, but Boil Ocean has a way with them words.
“Though I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, I can remember so much of what he said to me.” Patrick O’Dell also wrote a thing about Phelps over on Vice.
And here is a re-link to Willy Staley’s California Sunday profile of Phelps that originally ran in 2016, A.K.A. what BTO labeled as “secular-press skate piece top five.” Would be *so* open to a conversation about what the other four are ;)
The new Gang Corp video, Black Business, is premiering this Friday, March 22, at 198 Allen Street at 7 P.M.
Someone mashed together five minutes of Hjalte Insta clips a nice remix ♥
Mike from Lottie’s takes five minutes to tell you what he’s pissed off about.
Munchies has a mini doc on the institution that has sustained New York skateboarding like none other throughout the 2010s — of course, we’re talking about 2 Bros. They also bring up a terrifying reality re: the ten-year leases that got signed at the start of the decade ending (e.g. when everyone was still reeling from the recession), and the dollar slice soon becoming a thing of the past.
“I think the mainstream American skateboarding culture is kidding itself. They’re really dismissive of emotions in a way that is hurting itself. It’s becoming more and more inline with traditional athleticism, but also what is acceptable as a skateboarder is so narrow – you have to be cool, not talk about your feelings.” If you’re one of those idiots like me who put off watching Minding the Gap for months, here’s another motivator: Skateism put their interview with director Bing Liu online. Yeah, you need to enter your card details, but a Hulu trial to watch it is free, and you can cancel the second you finish the movie — provided you’re not destroyed for the rest of the day.
Solo has a video profile of steez lord and Polar rider, Shin Sanbongi + Nick from Palomino took his legacy media expertise and wrote an introductory guide on Japanese indie zines and videos for the mag’s all-Japan issue. No Meatball interview?
TWS interviewed John Shanahan, though we all know A.V.E. had the best part in The DC Video.
Let’s just throw the interview loosies in one place… Frank 151 interviewed R.B. Umali (text), Enrique Lorenzo interviewed Dani Lebron (this one is audio, and yes, they have heavy accents, but their english is pretty perfect) + the Slam City Skates blog interviewed Colin Read (text.)
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Going to suspend our micro coverage of the NBA this week to acknowledge that the best feat of teamwork and athleticism of the past seven days was this guy getting a ~15-foot I-beam onto a New York City subway.
Quote of the Week: “Who the fuck is Andrew Wilson?” — Jake Phelps, flipping through a Skate Jawn
The week’s best piece of skate content: The New York Times with an illustrated story about Chico Brenes’ journey from asylum seeker fleeing Nicaragua, to pro skater, to the present day in his home country.
“I kind of consider 2000 to 2009-10 the dark ages of skating. It was just like, the filmer and photographer decided what a skater would skate. If you were good, you got shipped out to California and you would skate with people that would be like ‘You need to do this.’ Almost like there were requirements. ‘Do this handrail.'” Spot-finder extraordinaire, Dave Caddo, has an interview with Village Psychic about the rules of skating new spots, blown out spots, and unlocking spots.
Spent a month or three mulling about whether to write something about the three skate movies that came out in 2018 on here. Quite obviously, nothing on that end came to fruition, and this Paris Review piece on Minding the Gap is nine zillion times better than anything I could have written on what is, far and away, the best “skateboard movie” ever made. Get that free Hulu trial if you haven’t seen it yet.
i-D has a long feature commemorating Palace’s ten-year journey from a brand conceived in a dilapidated skate house by Southbank to what it is today: employer of Torey Goodall, Jamal Smith and Tico ♥
Slam City Skates has a long interview about the current status of the Long Live Southbank project, and it being on the cusp of reaching its massive fundraising goal to open up + reconstruct the closed-off portion of the spot.
“LANDLINE” is a rad, mostly NJ-based mini video by Matt Hilzenrath.
Brad Cromer has an all New York part (with a couple Jersey clips) commemorating the release of his new Huf pro model.
Unclear if he’s been reading more women authors or not, but Mark Suciu has a bunch of New York clips in his new Thunder part. Pretty sure he’s the first one to get a clip at those year-old, two-second bust ledges by IBM, and that rock ollie in front of Corner Bistro is fucked.
Ciao is the latest all-New York video by Ricardo Napoli. Teaser here.
Here’s the preview for Virgin Blacktop, a documentary about a 1970s skate team based out of Nyack, New York.
More post-“BLESSED” content: New Order Mag has a quick “Five Things” interview with Bill.
Stuff You’ve Probably Caught Already: Frog has a team montage over on Thrasher, Eli Reed has a part that is 70% filmed in New York and made this guy’s girlfriend think he died + Franky Villani and Jakes Hayes skate two or three city spots in their Duets section.
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Trae Young with the magic trick.
Quote of the Week: “When two skaters have babies, a VX dies.” — Shawn Powers.
New Jahmal Williams footage is an honor and a privilege. Him and Steve Brandi share a jazzy seven-minute section on the occasion of Hopps’ collaboration with Converse, composed by Static auteur, Josh Stewart. It’s one of those rare videos that you just watch with a smile on your face the whole time. And shout-out to Steve Brandi for his commitment to the iconic Paine Webber benches.
Also re: fountain of youth, the 39-year-old Dave Caddo has a sick New York part on Thrasher, which scours all the unturned crust the city has to offer.
“The rest of the boroughs, excluding Staten Island, have had so many regular Americans move into the neighborhoods, spreading the disease of uptight suburbanites. The average mainland American is just more concerned about the use of private and public property. Maybe I’m wrong, but I like my theory…The Bronx has Bronx hospitality, and I think the average person in the Bronx is more socially advanced.” Caddo also has an awesome follow-up interview on Thrasher that discusses the complacency of finding spots in New York, his favorite borough (guess), and more insight into his ability to film a part here full of fresh backdrops.
Canal has a full clip from the new spot out by Owl’s Head, which I guess is being called “The Salmon Spot.”
The New Yorker did a feature about this year’s trio of skateboard movies, and how they advance the current draw in Hollywood towards casting non-actors.
“But when I dropped in I was like, ‘Damn, why that ramp is moving?’ I thought I was on acid or something.” Harold Hunter retells the story behind his most famous slam.
The latest episode of the “Skate Muzik” podcast chronicles the #musicsupervision of the Static series with Josh Stewart.
Real celebrates 25 years of having Huf on the team with a remix of all his past parts + an interview with some new footage of him cruising around Lower Manhattan.
This is one of those videos where you think the editing is going to mellow out after the intro, but then it just stays that way for the whole time. “Lentiicular” is a montage from Carhatt-WIP, and features Roman Gonzales, Andrew Wilson, Chris Milic, et al.
“As the human attention span shrinks to rival the goldfish’s, ’tis it better, in pursuit of longevity and countercultural heft, to regularly shed teamriders every few years or hold to the original foundation of dudes as long as can be?” Boil the Ocean takes a ponder over Element and Girl’s new videos.
This is like when Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors, except Tiago Lemos might actually be better at skateboarding than Durant is at basketball, if that’s imaginable.
“Critter” is a nine-minute video of an American road trip featuring a bunch of Pass~Port guys, and has an ender section in New York.
Can’t tell where this “Mud Monsters” mini vid is based out of, and can only pick out a few Chicago and New York spots, but going to guess Texas (?) because it’s maybe the first time I heard Z-Ro in a skate clip, but also have no idea what any Texas skate spots look like, but also also also it’s a fun watch regardless ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: D. Rose, D. Rose, D. Rose, D. Rose.
Quote of the Week: “Oh shit! I gotta watch Corey Duffel’s new part.” — Adam Zhu, morning after Halloween
Calling all nerds / hoarders: Does anyone know if there’s an existing copy of the DNA Continuum DVD left on earth? Sources say that the video as a whole is whatever, but it would be nice to update the internet’s only existing copy of Jahmal’s part from the 240p upload on YouTube that is probably older than Kader.