Japhey Dow in "Heirloom" by Michael Breitmaier
Always stoked to help showcase underground skateboarding and independent videos from around the world, we were hyped to have the privliege to host a rad new video part from Michael Breitmaier's new video "Heirloom". Mike's new video features a gaggle of shredders around the Rochester, NY skate scene and we were given the honor of hosting Japhey Dow's part, who was our 2019 underground skater of the year pick. We also caught up with Breitmaier to ask a few questions about the making of the video and his vision for how he wanted it to be perceived. Read the short interview below and then enjoy this incredible new video part at the bottom of this post. Thanks to Mike and Japhey!
Why do you think the Rochester scene has produced so many strong skate videos and edits over the last few years?
Rochester has had some dedicated filmers with solid visions and skating here feels so natural because we don't do it for a living and everyone works full time jobs so we skate for the love of it. Also, because of work, we can't skate as much so when we do make it out, everyone is motivated and we end up being productive. So I guess I would say that chemistry produces strong skate videos.
Nice, I like that. Well, what inspired you to start working on "Heirloom" in the first place?
The reason why I bought a VX and wanted to make a video was because of my friend Taryn Ward's videos. I was living in Brooklyn at the time and wasn't around during the process of his projects, but after watching his videos I really wanted to make my own. Thanks Taryn.
What made you decide to go the VX-1000 route? Isn't it a lot easier to film HD nowadays?
We all know the classic debate between VX and HD, but I personally prefer filming skateboarding with a VX. The 4:3, the sound, and the raw look of the footage just matches skateboarding perfectly. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Wise words....What would you say were some of your influences in this project and your work in general?
The show "Twin Peaks" had a big influence on the vibe and art direction for the video.
If you're familiar with the show, you will notice music from it as well as super 8 shots of waterfalls and trees. I wanted a lot of green in the video which worked out 'cause Upstate NY is beautiful. For the skating/filming influences, I would watch Taryn Ward, Adam Bos, Jacob Harris and Grant Yansura's videos every day. I basically studied the way they film and edit.
Oh damn, that's rad about the Twin Peaks reference. Now I can see it that you've mentioned it. Amazing.
I often wonder how a video maker wants the audience to feel after watching their videos....what kind of vibe or emotion were you hoping to instill with Heirloom?
Well, most importantly, to make you wanna go skate. If it motivates someone to make their own video like Taryn's did for me then that would be sick. I hope that it makes people want to come skate Upstate NY more instead of the same NYC spots. When I lived in Brooklyn I tried to only film at spots that were off the beaten path and focused on interesting looking spots that you don't see often. I also tried to flow the video well so someone could watch it from start to finish without getting bored 'cause it's hard to sit through a 30 minute video these days.
Is this your first video part with Japhey or have you guys worked together in the past?
We made two parts together back in the day. The last one was in 2012 and then I moved to NYC for seven years. So it's been a while, but we rekindled the flame when I started this project 3 years ago.
Considering he's had quite a lot of parts and coverage for a skater who's still pretty underground, was there anything you wanted to do differently with Japhey's part for Heirloom?
I wanted footage of him in NYC since you don't see that in his other parts. We also made an effort to look for new spots in Rochester 'cause it's easy to get stuck skating the same hometown spots.
With how frequently online edits and even full lengths come out online these days, what would you say is your ultimate goal with "Heirloom"? I mean, we're robbed of being able to enjoy the classic premiere experience right now due to Covid which is a bummer because that's one of the best parts of the experience.....so what are you hoping to achieve with this project?
My original plan was to have the premiere at a local theater in Rochester, but unfortunately COVID had other plans. We were still able to have a smaller premiere at my friend's warehouse with a projector and I was still very happy with how the premiere turned out, so no worries. My goal was to just make a solid video with legit tricks, good spot/music selection, properly showcase my friends skating, and hopefully give Upstate NY more shine. Hope everyone likes it and I can't wait for the next one.
Now, take a moment to enjoy this amazing new part by Upstate NY underground god Japhey Dow. Thanks to Mike Breitmaier for allowing us to host this awesome part! Enjoy!