A couple of months ago we received a random piece of mail from London, post marked via the "Royal Mail". Intrigued, we peeled it open and discovered a rad little photo booklet by Polar Skate Co's Jerome Campbell. Not even aware that Jerome was a photographer, it was especially surprising to see such a rad piece put together so nicely with sick photography and a strong layout. It had been a long time since we added anything to the "Book Club" section on TOA, so we caught up with Jerome when he was recently passed through NYC and got him to share a little bit of the story behind the mysterious booklet that he'd sent us. So here's a little video short on Jerome Campbell's "Traveling to Return Home".
Flashback Friday took us into the old Static archives and we realized that it's the 15 year anniversary of the original Static video and most of the original parts aren't very easy to find online. So we exported one of the sickest time capsules from the video. This section spans from Boston, down through NYC and into Philadelphia. Bill Strobeck and RB Umali were both a big help with this section. If you haven't seen this you should definitely have a quick watch before going out to skate today. Viva la Flashback Friday!
It used to only happen very once in a while that we'd get a random email from a skate filmmaker asking us to check out his new video project and help him promote it on the TOA site. And it was always pretty fun to check out new stuff from different skate scenes around the world. But over the last 6 months it's gotten to a point where we have a stack of easily 10 different dvd's waiting to be watched at any given moment. We receive so many that the mountain of unwatched videos has become intimidating and a constant reminder that we're disappointing a long list of filmers. But, as much of a bummer as it is that we can't watch every one of them, it's pretty encouraging that there are still so many skate video makers out there still adhering to the hard copy format and helping push their local skate scene.
One filmmaker took a different approach recently. An approach that started, at first, in a cryptic and kind of annoying way. About a year ago I started receiving random emails from an address I didn't recognize. The body of the email had no message, no questions or introductions, just a link and a strange random quote at the bottom.
With the first couple that I received over a span of a few weeks, I assumed them to be spam and just ignored them. But when the emails continued I finally noticed that the title of the emails I was receiving were named after different skaters. The first was titled "Greg Hunt" and yet another titled "Pontus Alv". I finally clicked "play" on one of the links and I was immediately struck by the quality of the cinematography. It almost looked like a film student's final project but the quality was much more solid and there was something very intriguing about the vibe and message of the video pieces. This mysterious email pen pal had me hooked but I knew nothing about him because when I would respond to his emails he wouldn't reply. So if he was trying to solicit some sort of help he wasn't making it very easy. Then, finally after probably my third email he finally replied and identified himself as Andrew Lovgren.
An obscure skate video maker from Kansas City, Missouri…..Missouri, who would've thought. He eventually filled me in that the links he'd been sending me were excerpts from a documentary he'd been working on and it was almost finished. I was definitely intrigued to see the final product, especially considering the bizarre nature of the stuff he had been sending me and also that the documentary featured Pontus Alv, Arto Saari, Chris Mulhern and Greg Hunt. The final project, entitled "Symirrioretry", premiered in Kansas City recently, and just as I started helping Andrew set up a NY premiere for the film he sent me an email and told me that he decided to post the video online for free. And he sent me a link.
So, after all that, the video is up and ready for viewing. And the final project is definitely just as intriguing as the short teasers that had been laid into my email inbox like breadcrumbs to a bear trap. Andrew tells the story and conveys his message in a way that I would say has not yet been done before in skateboarding. In a way, he leaves you to decipher and figure out what the message is for yourself. He may even leave you scratching your head. But his brave and risky approach definitely leaves a strong impression on you and I doubt you'll walk away from this film without being affected in some way. "Symirroretry" taps into a similar message as the German documentary from 2013 called "Pushed", coincidentally also including Pontus Alv, yet I'd say his unconventional story-telling technique gives him a more powerful voice as the filmmaker. It's a strong project and Lovgren should be proud of the final result.
Set aside 40 minutes of an evening this week and cue it up on your Netflix box. And then let us know what you thought.
I finally got the chance to visit the Magenta HQ and the home of Leo Valls this summer when I flew into Bordeaux, France for the premiere of Static IV. We figured it was as good a time as any to shoot a SKATE Bordeaux episode for Ride Channel so we could capture all of these things together in one swoop. It was a rad time and I have to thank Leo and the skate scene of Bordeaux for their hospitality. Enjoy the show!
In this installment of 'Versus', we have Polar's Hjalte Halberg and Aaron Herrington, Bronze's Joseph Delgado, and Hopps' Brian Clarke facing off before a session starts in downtown Manhattan. Really sick to see these four skaters, who usually roll with their own respective crews, here in one place. Warning: video contains a Right Said Fred song, nollie bigger spins, and middle aged tourists.
In this piece Nick Jensen takes us inside of his studio in London to give us a glimpse at the process behind the creation of several Isle graphics from conception to realization, and provides us with some insight into some of the symbolism and meaning behind the boards. Nick's attention to detail and meticulousness behind the method he employs to create these images is remarkable and we're stoked to be able to provide you with this look into his work.
Kevin Tierney's part was the introduction to the surprise 'Static V' video at the world premiere in NYC on May 1st for good reason. Kevin was one of the earliest choices for the Static IV project because of his original style and his overall hilarious personality. And also, as a Queens native, Kevin's skating maintains a truly New York City vibe and flavor and added a lot of the overall feel of the video.
While working on his part over a span of a couple years we had Kevin's part edited to an insanely long list of different song options. Kevin was about as indecisive as anybody I'd ever worked with, aside from myself, so every time we'd think we had the song nailed, Kevin would text me a new song title to check out. I was pretty stoked on the song we finally settled on (originally found by NY videographer Joe Bressler) but there were several options that hit the cutting room floor that were pretty sick as well. So we decided to do a re-edit of his part using one of the songs I really liked as well as of the songs he really wanted to use. This new version also features some new angles, some different makes of tricks from his original edit and some new clips never seen before. Take a peek and see which you like better.
On 'Inside the Skater's Studio' we sit down with our favorite skaters and revisit the video part that made them a household name; getting some inside stories and behind the scenes details you may have never even wanted to know. This week's edition brings us London's Nick Jensen and his classic part from Blueprint Skateboards "Lost & Found." Nick sits back with some tea and shares some stories about skating handrails, reflective jeans, and working with Dan Magee. Cheers.
We are proud to bring you an electrifying and suspenseful game of skate from two of Long Island's greatest and most stylish skateboarders, Keith Denley and Brian Clarke. Keith and Brian have been friends since they started skating and it's sick to be able to have a chance to watch them not only skate for the same company but to see them battle it out here for our entertainment. Keith's mastery of flat ground makes it apparent that his training has been working well for him, and an overall disappointing performance by Brian Clarke is a bit of a surprise here. Click on to see the action for yourself.
What’s happening digital peoples? I would assume you’re already aware of this, but Thrasher has posted up Jake Johnson and Jimmy Lannon’s Static IV parts live on their site to help bring Static to as many eyes as possible. And there’s one finally video part to come. Although I would much rather that most of you see these parts w/in the context of the full length video, I agreed to this because I know that the vast majority of skaters not only don’t know what Theories of Atlantis is, but probably have never even seen a Static video. I actually like being lesser known. I think it’s better to remain under the radar a little. You tend to appreciate things more when you discover them on your own. But, I also know that since Thrasher was interested in helping to promote a few guys’ parts, it was an opportunity that could help bring more attention to the underground scene and maybe even encourage some brands to think twice about ignoring the talent of some of the skaters they flow shoes, apparel, or whatever else to but never really step up beyond that.....Read More