QS Film School — An Intro To Modern Skate Videos With Plots

In Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about the porn industry of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds’ Jack Horner gives a fateful speech admonishing the advent of home video: “I have a stable of actors and actresses. They’re professionals. They’re not a bunch of fucking amateurs. They’re proven in the box office. They get people in theaters, where films should be seen, and they know how to fuck.”

It is not hard to imagine similar tirades (maybe with a few words switched out) occurring in Powell-Peralta boardrooms as the 80s were coming to a close, and skateboarding was around the corner from a crash. Skate videos of the decade were refined and narrative-driven, and for good reason. There were only like, six tricks invented at the time, so they had to fill up those other 53 minutes in an hour-long skate video with story, personality shots and other shit.

But what would come after skateboarding’s believed-to-be demise was a rebirth. Videos like Snuff, Video Days, Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies, and Questionable were unrepentant in their progression — they were too busy inventing modern skateboarding in front of your eyes to worry about the extracurricular malarky from the Animal Chin days. New faces and a camera thrown in a backpack was the name of the game. The old mode was dead. But for how long?

Skateboarding draws many parallels to pornography, but one of the most curious ones is an incessant need to add narrative to something that nobody watches for the story. As we will soon learn, plots returned to skate videos as quickly as they went.

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Mad Luv

abduction

Illustration by Mark Hall-Patch

The QS webstore is now live with spring merch. Quantities are thinning out a bit, so grab something while you can :) Available in U.S., Canadian and Japanese shops now. Those stockists can be found here. Arriving in Europe this week, but we need to update the list of Euro and Japanese shops. Hold tight. Thanks everyone for your support in helping us continue to do what we do (e.g. compile John Choi quotes.)

Please support Civil Skateshop & the Adrian Hall Plaza spot in Providence, R.I.

I’d be perfectly fine with watching a full part of T.J. skating Columbus Park ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

iPhone video of Cyrus’ cover photo, via Communipaw Ave legend, Tyler Tufty.

Big surprise, Bobshirt compiled another amazing interview, this time with Rob Pluhowski. He runs through the full history of Habitat without any hints of entitlement or bitterness that seem to color some others’ recollections of the era. Gracious interview from a guy who graciously bowed out of skateboarding.

“It’s not even that he seemed unconcerned what people may think, but that he seems only vaguely aware that such people might even exist, and doesn’t seem much interested in sweating it too much either way.” — Boil the Ocean re: the aforelinked interview, and the rare act of bowing out of skateboarding and never looking back.

While on the topic of level-headed skateboarders, Sammy Winter seems like a fine lad.

Can’t really remember the last time the thought “wow, what a front tailslide heelflip out!” came to mind, but wow, what a front tailslide heelflip out! Via Neil Herrick’s Meadowlands part. Support Jersey-owned businesses and buy the DVD here.

New video from Frog Skateboards with a dope ender.

Riley Hawk and Danny Brady seems like an odd pairing, but ok, why not?

Um, there’s a Muska silhouette deck generator. Sure?

Someone remixed all of Taylor Nawrocki’s footage from John Valenti’s “Valencia Report” video that went live on Transworld about a month ago.

“I once knew someone who wore a thick gold rope and kept it tucked into their shirt, so that the weight of it rested against their bare chest, but the unmistakable thickness of it could be seen around their neck nonetheless, like an opulent snake. It occurred to me that this, perhaps, was truly the way to show off: Keep most of what you have at a whisper, but keep just enough so loud that it won’t be forgotten.” — Reflecting on ten years of Boosie, Foxx and Webbie’s “Wipe Me Down.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Is John Wall your favorite player in these playoffs? (Isiah is a fine choice too.) Guess it doesn’t really matter who wins that series because they all know what fate awaits them at the end.

Quote of the Week: “I don’t really start partying until I’m in the meatpacking district.” — John Choi

Ever, like, not listen to a really good song for a couple months, and then hear it come on shuffle and think, “whoa this is a really good song!?”

Not sure he should be driving a boat on Xanax though…

Important YouTube Finds: “Collage”

Boss Bauer discovered this video upon a cursory “Steven Cales” YouTube search. It’s made by Danny Minnick, who we’ll guess was a prominent filmer between roughly 1996 and 2002. Collage is a gumbo of projects he worked on, mostly set in southern California, and annoyingly broken up into twelve, two-to-five-minute segments on YouTube. The first installment has Rob Welsh, A.V.E., and Fred Gall (sporting his trademark rolled up pants leg, backwards hat look…Sidebar: Has a skater victimized by 90s fashion ever filmed a trick rocking goggles a la Seth Green in Can’t Hardly Wait?) skating the Venice Beach Graffiti Pits and a mini Menace section at the end with appearances by Kareem, Pupecki, Cales, etc. Deeper into the video, there’s Fulfill-era Shorty’s footage, Guilty-era Shorty’s footage (*shudder*), a Harold Hunter appearance, and a glimpse into the pinnacle of the Baker Piss Drunx period. One section contains snowboarding edited to Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad,” so you might want to skip that.

Thanks to the original uploader. Part one of twelve embedded below. Not going to embed all twelve, so just click around the right side under all the related videos. Each section is a small chapter of at least one nostalgia point from the late-90s/early-2000s that people nerd out over.

Continued in part two here

Where Were You The Day Smolik Was At BAM?

How sick would it be to have a custom “New York” version of the Shorty’s wave logo on a tee? In another life, would Shorty’s be Max B’s favorite skate company due to the wave imagery? After all, he did shout out San Diego at the end of this song.

The history department at Frozen in Carbonite came through, yet again, by bringing to everyone’s attention this seldom-seen gem from the 1998 Church of Skatan video, Wild in the Streets. It features the Fulfill the Dream-era Shorty’s team riding around the east coast in a van containing a young Giovanni Reda, stopping off at the Hackettstown skatepark, Boston, and Philly, presumably in the days of heightened Love Park/City Hall police presence, as the section is all FDR and Burnt Cat footage. The New York ender is the best part though. Aaron Snyder was the only one with any New York footage in Fulfill, right? Smolik remedies that fact by destroying Pyramid Ledges with some tricks that would still hold up today. No real surprises there, he’s ahead of his time, blah, blah, blah…

It’s easy to imagine the day Smolik was at BAM as the nineties equivalent of the day Waka Flocka came to 12th & A. We’re all still kicking ourselves in the teeth for missing it…