There are a few areas of the world that have produced a surprisingly large volume of talent over the years compared to other regions. The Maryland/DC beltway area, central & western Ohio and the filthy streets of New Jersey for example. And the cities and towns surrounding the Tampa Bay Area are a prime example of one of these anomalous talent-rich areas. Not sure what the cause might be, but we've all benefitted by the inspiring skaters and creators who have sprung from the waters of the Floridian springs. From Mike Daher, Jeff Lenoce and Mike Frazier to Joe Perrin, Paul Schmidt and the Skatepark of Tampa. One of the more recent creative characters to develop out of the bay area has been Stephen Buggica. The man behind all of the video offerings from Shaqueefa as well as his own new venture "Busted Mic Creations". Buggica recently partnered up with Jimmy Lannon earlier this year to work on a secret new one-man project to coincide with the upcoming Busted Mic x Magenta Skateboards collab which released earlier this fall. And after premiering the video pieces across Florida over the last 2 weeks it's finally ready to be unveiled online.
Jimmy-frontside wallride nollie out, photo Josh Bowser
I was pretty excited about this new project, being a Tampa native myself, and really wanted to help showcase it here on TOA. So we recruited another of Tampa's promising creatives, photographer Josh Bowser of @bowser_media_lab , to track down the boys behind the project and get some words about the process and what inspired this rad new idea into existence. So please, enjoy the video below and then read up in the interview below the words from the creators behind the project.
All photos interview questions by Josh Bowser of @Bowser_Media_Lab
So, where did the idea for this project originate?
Jimmy - I have wanted to use the song in the video for a while! I had it on an old iPod but it wasn’t labeled, so I never knew the name of the track. It took a while to find the track name, so long that we almost gave up on using it! Luckily a mutual friend, Mike Atwood helped me find it and we immediately sent it over to Buggica. From there we just started stacking clips and coming up with ideas based on the song.
Stephen Buggica - The whole idea of the part is based off the song, “Enter the Ablist” by Rob Swift. I remember listening to it with Jimmy and always talking about how sick it would be to use. All of our ideas for the part were based around the song. Everything about the song fits Jim and what he’s all about & there probably wouldn’t have been a part without finding that song, so major shout out to Atwood for finding it.
Did already having a song chosen help the process of filming at all?
Josh - Yeah the song was already an idea years before Jimmy and I began working on this project and we based a lot of the skating and b-roll strictly on the song. For example, the song is short and really fast with a lot of different sounds so we had to choose short clips to fit the style of the song. I also really wanted to film something special for the dialogue in the intro to the song.
Josh - How was it filming those sections that had “acting” in them? Were the guys into it or was it awkward at all?
Buggica - It was dope! It was the first I ever filmed dialogue for an edit. The dialog is part of the song so I thought splitting up the skating with the dialog would be dope for the piece. Manny and Jimmy made it really easy and listened to my direction. The tough part was not being able to watch the film footage immediately after filming and we actually had to film it two different times. I’m glad we did, because that second take looks so much better than how I originally filmed it. And matching the audio to the actual movements of their mouths was a slight challenge but came out looking like an old, dubbed kung-fu movie, which was dope.
Josh - Seems like a lot of forethought and planning went into the video; was that also the case with the skate footage? Did you two have a lot of specific trick ideas for the edit?
Buggica - Yes, the footage had to be kind of specific; long lines wouldn’t have worked for example. The skate footage had to be short and fast clips to match the speed and noises of the song. We ended up holding onto a lot of clips for that reason. At the same time we wanted the tricks and ideas to happen organically. The only thought we had was to not use too many of the same moves in this part. I wanted Jimmy to just do what he liked to do, his skating, his style. Classic Jimmy shit.
Jimmy- I just did what we thought would fit into the timeline and what Buggica thought he could film well. Also, a lot of spots were kinda ruled out if they didn’t work with the footage we already had.
Jimmy-ollie over and nosewheelie, photo Josh Bowser
Josh - Did having to film shorter clips hold you back as far as what kind of spots you could skate? Also, it seemed like there were a lot of local Florida spots. Was that part of the master plan as well?
Buggica- Yes and No. We would still film some clips even if we knew they weren’t going into the part. But, when we did have a spot that could work really well for for the video we just wanted it more. So we really filmed whatever we wanted and sorted it out later. We skated a lot of Tampa spots, but that was mostly because of our schedules. Jimmy and I both have kids and full-time responsibilities so we only had 1 day a week to skate together. That day is also in the middle of the week when no one is home, so we would comb neighborhoods finding stuff to skate that people might not like if they were home. I actively tried to stay away from Downtown. I like the older parts of Tampa, especially the neighborhoods; those are my favorite clips in the video.
Josh - It seems like this project started as kind of a secret, with you two quietly stacking clips on short weekday missions. That being said, how did the word get out to Magenta and how did they get involved?
Buggica - That was all Jimmy! We thought it would be sick to get a board for the part, but Jimmy really made it happen when he hit up Vivien Feil and Soy Panday at Magenta. I didn’t even see the graphic until the decks were already in production. I’m super stoked that we got a board for the project though, its the cherry on top.
Jimmy - I sent Soy a bunch of photos of Florida Springs and asked him to draw it in his style. Then we would link up to talk about when to release it. That was mostly to give Buggica and myself a deadline to finish the part in time for the release of the decks.
Jimmy-wallride nollie out, photo Josh Bowser
Josh - The Florida Springs make more than one appearance in this project, with footage of it throughout the video & it being that main theme on the deck graphic. Can you explain the significance of the Springs to your personally and why it plays such an important role in the video?
Jimmy - I was living in Gainesville at the time and going to the Springs a lot. I was listening to the song all the time as well, just thinking about how it would be dope to add those elements to the part. Buggica helped me refine the idea into what it became in the end. Thanks Stephen!
Josh - With the boards in product, a deadline set and only one day a week to film, was there a point near the end when you started to feel the pressure?
Buggica - I didn’t really feel any pressure as far as the video went. The part was finished months before the premiere and any clips we got in the last few months were just added cherries on top. The very last clip we filmed was the Switch Ollie over the skinny stairs into the street and Jimmy actually hurt his foot while trying it, so that was kind of the stopping point that made me finally feel like the project was done and that I could just start to concentrate on editing.
Jimmy - Well I felt the pressure a little bit at the end, because you always want to make every part as good as possible! It took me getting to hurt to just let go and realize that the part was fine the way it was.
Jimmy-manuel to ollie out over the hydrant, photo Josh Bowser
Now the project is over and we just premiered the video a few weeks ago in Tampa. How was the Premiere Party? Did you feel a sense of relief finally seeing the finished video playing on the big screen?
Buggica - There’s nothing like watching a project a you created play on the big screen to a larger audience. That’s the night that always means the most for any video project to me. I think it’s super important to have a premiere party for any project you’ve put your hard work in for. That’s why we all do it right? It was a great turn out, even bigger than I expected and I just want to thank everyone that came out to show love!
Jimmy - I felt a little sense of suspense for me on premiere night because I didn’t get to see the video at all beforehand. But of course it came out amazing and the turnout was awesome.
Buggica-the man behind the lens(es), photo Josh Bowser
Yea, the premiere party was a ton of fun and it was sick to see you raffle off a few of the collab decks! For being a small that is still relatively new, how does it feel to have the support of Magenta and to know that the boards are going to be available in shops all over the country and even the world?
Buggica - Well, I really love the idea of shops getting the boards that have no idea what Busted Mic Creations is, esp. to audiences that our stuff doesn’t reach. It’s an honor to have Magenta back us, especially on a Jimmy Pro Model! Thank you again to Soy, Vivien & Jimmy for making it possible. It’s truly an honor.
That’s pretty much it guys. But obviously things don’t end here. Whats up next for each of you guys?
Jimmy - K.I.M. Dope Dads represent!
Buggica - We have a couple of things on our pipeline, but basically like Jimmy said, Keep it moving!
Jimmy-tigah style, photo Josh Bowser
Thanks again to Josh Bowser, Stephen Buggica and Jimmy Lannon for making this happen!