Ten Years of Static III: Pat Stiener & Tony Manfre

Sandwiched among the barrage of videos to premiere in the fall of 2007, Static III wasn't the most high-profile video of the season. It didn't feature a particularly star-studded cast, groundbreaking production, or even the budget shared by most big brand videos. But, what the third installation in the Static series lacked in hype, it more than made up for with its coarse and refreshing perspective. Unapologetic and uncompromising, Josh Stewart set out to display his vision of skateboarding: urban decay around the globe, crusty spots galore, and a heavy emphasis on lines, creativity, and the simple art of rolling. Thanks to the video's unique editing and elusive cast, the likes of whom you hardly see anymore, Static III became an instant cult classic. Now, with a full ten years and change between October 2007's premiere and the present day, we at Theories of Atlantis wanted to catch up with the cast and crew and find out how they came to be a part of Static III, reminisce on the filming process, and see how their lives have changed since becoming a part of the Static family. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm honored to guide you through "Ten Years of Static III," starting with none other than Pat Stiener and Tony Manfre. Enjoy.

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"Pat Stiener was an enigma that somehow floated just below the scope of my radar in Florida for a little while, until a filmer named Mike Svenson sent me some clips of Pat for Static II. Pat's footage was so sick that I was shocked that I didn't know anything about him. He became friends with Steve Brandi, which meant we were all skating together soon enough, and it was immediately obvious he had been studying all of the right influences in skateboarding. He had an amazing style, especially for such a young kid, but he also possessed a knack for choosing the right trick for every spot and putting together the perfect combination of tricks to make up lines that flowed like water. He became my favorite person to film with because we got along really well, had similar taste in music, and because he was so dedicated to getting every clip JUST right. As the Static III video progressed, I felt like his part really captured the look, rhythm, and style that embodied what I felt like the video was meant to represent. So, we set it up to be the first part and in hindsight, I'm still really happy with that decision." - Josh Stewart

How did you initially link up with Josh Stewart?

I was hanging out with Steve Brandi a lot and Steve was already friends with Josh. It just evolved from there just going out on skate missions all of us together. Around the same time I had given Josh footage for Static II, but we hadn't filmed anything yet. I'm pretty sure right after Static II came out we had some MySpace messages going back and forth and that's when he asked if I wanted to try to film a part for his next video.

What was filming like? How long did you film for? Any favorite memories from filming, or a particular story or trip that really stands out? What, and why?

It was natural, we have a good skater/filmer relationship. Filmers are basically psychiatrists, they have to watch you go through all the mental ups and downs of each trick. So being on the same page is key. There's so many memories... I just remember a lot of long days in NYC where skating just seemed so fresh, sometimes you would go a whole day without seeing another skater. Being broke in London, living off day old Tesco sandwiches and Subway's Sub of the Day. Almost getting eaten by Paul Zitzer's dogs when we were staying with him in Germantown. Driving from Philly to Atlanta listening to CDs and everyone's banter/shit talking while trying to find spots along the way. Louisville was really good actually. Skating with all my friends I grew up with in a giant session at this bank to bank spot in Tampa, I ended up with a hardflip and by the end Josh had joined in with a nollie front heel. So many good times.

Backside Nosegrind revert, Louisville (Scanned from Skateboarder Mag) Photo Frankie Brodsky

Backside Nosegrind revert, Louisville (Scanned from Skateboarder Mag) Photo Frankie Brodsky

Were you satisfied with your part, as a whole? Who had your favorite part?

As a skater you're never satisfied, you always want more, but everyone's their own worst critic. Looking back now, I'm definitely psyched on how it came out. It feels cohesive and I think you can tell we shared the same vision. Favorite part is tough. I like Nate's part a lot, I was fortunate enough to witness a lot of his tricks and watching him skate is unlike anything else. He would be going so fast and then when you'd watch the footage back it's like he's in slow-mo. It doesn't make any sense. I also really like Mark The Shark's part. I feel like no one ever mentions him and he is the quintessential skater's skater. No gimmicks, just interesting spots, and good trick selection. His last clip is one of my favorite things in the video.

Where was your career at the time? How did being a part of the Static series impact your career? What kind of feedback did you get? 

Skate career? hah. Non-existent. I knew early on I was not going to have a "career" as a skater. I just wanted to ride for a brand I was proud of and work on projects I thought were cool. I think in the "underground/independent" skate world it made an impact, as far as just influencing other skaters and filmers. I still get feedback today from skaters like Brian Clarke, Aaron Herrington, etc. who've told me that my part was an influence on them. Which feels awesome, cause now I'm a fan of theirs. 

A decade on, where are you now, and how do you feel about your inclusion in the Static legacy?

Ten years later and I'm still working with Josh, only now we're rolling around on office chairs more than skateboards. I handle a lot of the art stuff at Theories of Atlantis, which is cool because I get to work with other friends from Static III as well, like Soy Panday. It's been an honor to be part of the Static legacy. I remember being a kid and watching the first Static on VHS, and when Anthony Correa back smiths the Seaport bench in slow mo to that East Flatbush Project song, I remember thinking, this is the coolest thing I've ever seen. For me the Static series is the most ideal representation of skateboarding that we have. As trends come and go it's cool to be a part of a something that will stand the test of time, minus those Faint and Shins songs. Thanks, Josh. 

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"Tony Manfre was actually pretty far out of my circle initially. We had never really crossed paths but the iPath filmer Mike Fox was a friend of mine, and he was the one who first suggested the idea of Manfre having a part. He showed me some footage of Tony that he had been sitting on and it was incredible. Manfre has such a unique style and his flick is super human. But perhaps the thing that most interested me about him was that he had been ripping for years but was still very slept on. Since I think everyone thought that Static was just an east coast thing, I thought that by having a skater from the SF Bay Area would challenge that a little bit. Tony joined up on our first official filming trip for Static III in Miami and he was a trip. So funny and eccentric, he fit in really well. After traveling the world and filming with someone you become friends for life. I haven't seen Tony in ages but we'll always be boys after fighting that battle of working on a full video part together." - Josh Stewart

How did you initially link up with Josh Stewart?

I met Josh through skating with homies in Florida. Danny Renaud and his boys. After becoming friends, he contacted me about filming for Static III. I was super happy about that.  It didn't even seem real at first.

What was filming like? How long did you film for? Any favorite memories from filming, or a particular story or trip that really stands out? What, and why?

Hahaha. Filming is crazy! We went on some trips. That was the only way I could link with Josh, since I'm from California and there wasn't a lot of filming happening here for the video. We went to Florida, London, Kentucky, and some other spots on the east coast. London was super sick. I would always break away where ever we were and buy records. Everyone was like, "where the hell did you go?" I made some great new friends, as well. I was stoked to be included. Skating with Josh is amazing, because even though he is picky as hell and has the high standards, you know your footage will come out looking amazing, no matter what.

Were you satisfied with your part, as a whole? Who had your favorite part?

You know, it's a tough one, because I am my own worst critic. I felt like maybe at the time, I was held back since I couldn't make every trip because of finances and a bit of a lack of support from sponsors. Plus, trying to stay healthy while going bananas on tricks while filming. Overall, especially in hindsight, I am super stoked on my part! Some days I feel like my next best part has yet to happen. It's still a dream of mine to shred and make a sick part.

Danny Renaud was, and still is, my favorite part. I could hardly watch his part, though, because at the time he was in the hospital, all jacked up. It hurt to watch knowing he was in such a compromised state at the time of the video coming out. He made an unheard of recovery, which is amazing. Danny fo sho.

Kickflip over and down the bank (Scan from Skateboarder Mag) Photo Frankie Brodsky

Kickflip over and down the bank (Scan from Skateboarder Mag) Photo Frankie Brodsky

Where was your career at the time? How did being a part of the Static series impact your career? What kind of feedback did you get?

My skate career has always been on the rocky side, I feel like. At the time I skated for Shut, WESC, Nike (has always hooked it up) and the rest like Indy and Bones Swiss. Almost every trip was sponsored, though it was still barely enough to get me out there. I'm super thankful to everyone who supported. Without my sponsors there would have been no part.

It was a good impact. People were stoked. That's all I really wanted, for homies to be hyped and kids to check it out. I think whenever you have a part it's a good look, no matter what. Especially a Static part, for sure.

A decade on, where are you now, and how do you feel about your inclusion in the Static legacy?

It's almost the end of 2017, and I'm still skating for most of my sponsors, minus the board sponsor. I'm still skating, though making a living takes precedence over my ability to get down to the city to film. I'm riding a lot with the GX1000 crew, which is so awesome. It's rad to be involved at any level, but I'm super inspired these days with all the innovations happening with skating. Plus I'm making music a lot. I just put out a record, so look out for Poppin Fresh Jungle #3 on vinyl. It's a limited press, check Discogs aye!

Looking back, honestly, not much has changed. I'm more serious with my music these days, working on releases and whatnot, but my dream is still skating and hopefully filming a Static part one day. Ha!

Words and interviews by Andrew Murrell