Theories of Atlantis started as a blog site that focused primarily on underground east coast skateboarding and independent skate videos. So we're always stoked to be able to help showcase and highlight rad underground filmmakers and indie skate videos from around the world. But we're especially stoked on cities like Philadelphia with such rich skate histories, gritty urban vibes and an underrepresented skate scene. Andrew Meyer has captured this scene beautifully in the all new full length "Content". Showcasing the full scene from Muni and beyond in the 4:3 format, as Philly should be captured, and accompanied by eerie street photography that highlights the feel of Philadelphia with biting precision. We were really hyped on "Content" so we sent fellow Philly filmer Jake Todd to catch up with the video maker to ask him a few questions about it. And he granted us the favor of letting us host Kevin Liedtke's full part on the TOA Youtube channel. So after you read Andrew's words, put aside a few minutes to soak in Kevin's banging part to help whet your appetite to pick up a copy of the dvd. Enjoy!
Interview by Jake Todd
Congrats on the release of your second independent full length. How did you roll it out and what made you go with that route?
Thanks Jake! Before COVID I spent a lot of time just filming, aimlessly really. I was primarily helping Penny film for an edit that eventually turned into “Sabotage: DUB” with Kevin Liedtke and Tyler Dietterich, and when that came out, I had a lot of other left over footage to work with. I wanted to put out a video of my own and when COVID hit I knew that this was the time to put the camera down and focus on editing. In terms of the roll out I was really debating how I wanted to release the video. With my first video (M1) I had an outdoor premiere downtown at Muni, we busted out the genny and projected the video on the wall in a part of the plaza called “The Pit”. The size of Muni made for such a great premiere space. Because of 2020 and COVID I had to scale things back a LOT. YouTube now has a premiere feature, so I went that route making the video available for 48hrs to avoid a super spreader event while still being able to sell DVDs. On the day of the YouTube premier AJ Mac hit me up and convinced me to have a small, invite only premier. We searched all over downtown for a set of live outlets to siphon electricity from and he brought out his tube tv. We all huddled around the tube and watched the video next to the Wawa on Arch Street. Huge shout out to AJ for that, made the premiere 10 times better, and keep an eye out for his next video “Deuce”.
Who are some filmers/editors that you’ve looked up to over the years and influenced you into the person you are today?
Brian Panebianco, Ryan Higgins, Chris Mulhern, Billy Simpson, and Greg Hunt. Its really cool to be able to say I know everyone here except for Greg, shoutout Greg.
It’s really nice to see you break out from the contributing filmer to owning your own project, over the years what edits, full lengths, have you helped out with?
When I really started to get into filming skating I spent a lot of time in Ambler, PA where I picked up a copy of Sabotage 2. I must have seen that video a thousand times by now including 3. I was pretty hype to be able to contribute a bit to “Sabotage 4”, “5”. Following that I worked pretty closely with Kevin and Tyler on a web edit Sabotage put out entitled “Dub”. On top of that I was lucky enough to tag along on their recent trip to Milan Italy right before COVID hit. Other projects I was able to contribute to: DC: Street Sweeper, DGK: Thoro, DC: Jahmir Brown by Brian Panebianco, RAV by Tracy G., Suburban Selected by Bill Simpson, Untitled 2, 3, and 4 by Chris Mulhern, and Standard Definition by Matt Steindl.
It’s safe to say I get some Photosynthesis vibes from your video but in the best way. Was that an intentional nod? Or just collectively that era of golden full lengths a mold for Philly videos?
Its hard not to nod when producing a skate video out of Philadelphia but I think Photosynthesis plays a part in my attraction to shooting plants, shrubs, and creatures.
Spinning off that I loved how you incorporated so many different mediums into the project. I bet that timeline looks crazy haha. How much of a headache did that cause you?
I think the timeline looks pretty regular – the headache really came down to my time management skills and priority juggling haha.
I feel as though not long ago Philly was just Sabotage videos & Mulhern projects with some smaller videos here and there. And now there are so many filmers covering the scene with a lot of projects pumping out. Do you trip on how big and magnified the Philly scene has gotten over the past few years?
Honestly, I’m not surprised – everyone who skates downtown is very talented. I’m excited to see Philly finally getting the shine it deserves…actually, it could probably use a little more shine.
Moving forward what are you working on next? And where do you see full length videos with hard copies going in the future?
Right now, COVID and work is holding me back a bit - getting out here and there. I’m not working on any projects at the moment, looking forward to filming whoever is trying to do something.
With hard copies the sky’s the limit, the internet is a temporary hosting space especially when you use copywritten music, unless you’re a big company with a budget to spend on music rights.
Watching your video really gives me a sense of how much you love the city of Philadelphia and, more specifically, the crew that makes up the Muni scene.
We've gotten to see the Philly skate scene through the eyes of a lot of video makers over the decades, but what did you want to do differently to show it to us through your eyes?
I just wanted to effectively incorporate stills into a video. Also I feel like I’m just scratching the surface when it comes to having a focus for a project. I didn’t make much of an effort in terms of pre-production besides making sure my batteries were charged. I knew I wanted to incorporate stills and for those still to be primarily 35mm photographs.
Do you think you could've achieved the same look and vibe in Content if you had filmed it in HD?
I don’t think so… 4:3 is here to stay especially since the film to video processor I used only outputs an SD signal. It would be cool if I could figure out how to modify it to do so for other projects.
Well, I think that about wraps it up. We're anxious to show everyone Kevin's part from the video so we'll call this a wrap and thank you for your time and for giving us such a rad new video project to study during Covid Episode 2!
Thank you Jake and Josh for setting this up!
PICK UP A COPY OF THE CONTENT DVD HERE! AND CHECK OUT KEVIN'S FULL PART BELOW!