We are stoked to be back with another rad video project from Upstate, NY. This time we bring you a behind the scene look from Andrew Maholsic "Bouquet" video. We caught up with Andrew to learn more about this 5-year video project and even got the pleasure of hosting a standout part from Pedro Alvarado. Massive thank you to Andrew and Pedro for helping bring this to feature to life!
- Jovi Bathemess
Congrats on “Bouquet” Andrew! The video turned out really rad and I thought it did a great job showcasing upstate, and more specifically Buffalo, NY. How does it feel to finally wrap up a 5-year video project?
Thank you for your kind words! It feels really bizarre to finally have it wrapped up. In one way it seems like we just started working on it yesterday and when I look at some of the footage I remember just how much of a journey it’s been to get to this point. I’m honestly just stoked it’s out there and the feedback thus far is that people have really enjoyed it, which is rad.
So, if I’m not mistaken you put in nearly 10 years working at Sunday Skateshop. How important was it for you to have a shop like Sunday growing up?
Without exaggeration, I don’t think I’d be the same person I am today if not for Sunday. JP was such an awesome mentor over those years, and he would always prioritize me and the shop before himself. It was the home base for everyone to meet up and then venture out into the city for almost 14 years. I was extremely lucky to be behind the counter for many of those years and sit under JP’s learning tree.
It has been really rad to see Mom’s Skateshop grow over the past year and that they just officially opened their storefront. How was it not having a physical shop in Buffalo for a little while?
I jumped pretty quickly from the shop to my new gig so at first, I didn’t have time to process it. It didn’t hit home until a bit afterward when I realized there wasn’t a shop for all of our crew to sit around, drink coffee, look at whatever new skate product was being delivered, and ultimately be indecisive about where we were going to go skate that I felt the absence of the shop. All good things must come to an end though as the saying goes, and Mom’s new spot looks great. I’m excited to see how they foster the Buffalo skate scene.
You mentioned that your last video “A Stone’s Throw” released in 2014 and brought together and turned a group of strangers into lifelong friends. What brought everyone together for that first project?
That goes right back to the importance of Sunday. We all sort of became friends through proximity. You put enough weirdos skating flat in front of a shop together and eventually, you realize you have some stuff in common haha. Yeah, the crew is like a weird family at this point. I just got to see my friend Joe who has footage in his twin brother Dave’s part welcome his firstborn to the world and become a father. I went to Justin Grzechowiak’s high school graduation years back. Just some examples of how cool it has been to watch the crew grow into the people they are today. It’s really been a trip but I feel extremely fortunate to call these guys my friends.
Where did the name “Bouquet” come from?
I owe that one to my friend Zach who also has a part in the video. I was just stumped for a video title and was almost going to just go with A Stone’s Throw 2. He suggested it as a video title one day and I instantly thought it fit perfectly. All of the pieces of the puzzle from 5 years of skating coming together to form something that people hopefully will think is beautiful. Also, not to get cliché but a bouquet is typically a symbol of adoration and this video was really a love letter to my friends, to Sunday, and to the Western New York / Upstate NY Skate scene.
I really like that you made a proper photobook to coincide with the video. As DVD players slowly become obsolete, I think having a tangible product like a photobook helps tell the story and ultimately becomes a really cool extension of the video. Was that kind of the idea behind the photobook and who shot most the photos?
Thank you! Yeah, it was meant to be a companion piece to the video and it was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I owe a huge debt to my girlfriend Brittney Sikora who is an amazing graphic designer by trade. I asked her to help me make the book a reality and she delivered and then some. As for the photos in it, the skate photos were shot by me back when I was still lugging around my antiquated flash setup in the early days of filming Bouquet and the 35mm photos were a combination of myself, Zach, my good buddy Dave Schram, and Dave Green.
I often think that the premiere is the best experience with any video. Everyone is finally able to see the final product and celebrate the hard work. Given more traditional premieres are not really an option with Covid restrictions, I Thought it was really sick that you were able to host the premiere at a drive-in movie theater. How was that premiere experience?
Again I have to give credit to Zach for this. We had a premiere set up at an indoor venue for mid-April and when the pandemic started making waves I knew it wasn’t happening. I remember being out skating and seeing that Seasons had to cancel theirs and I knew I was going to have to do the same. Just as I was going to begin setting up an online premiere, Zach came through and hooked up the drive-in screening. It went off without a hitch and everyone was able to see the video together in a safe and socially responsible way. Thank you, Zach.
I’m always super impressed with any Pedro Alvarado footage I see and was stoked to see that you were able to put another full part together with him. How is it filming with Pedro and do you have a favorite clip from his part?
Pedro rules, I feel so lucky every time I get to go film with him. Not to put the poor guy on blast but our last video "A Stone’s Throw" and by extension "Bouquet" exist largely because I saw him skating flat one day at the shop and was so impressed I pulled him aside and gave him my number so we could go film some stuff. He never ceases to blow my mind with how effortlessly he can do the hardest tricks or even make fundamental stuff look so good. As for a favorite trick, I’d say the fakie flip he does over the hip at this spot called Trackmasters here in Buffalo. Actually, for some small world stuff, there’s a really sick photo of Quim blasting an ollie over it from the late 90s floating around. That is probably the quintessential Buffalo skate spot and skating that hip fakie is damn near impossible.
Now that this video project is finished what’s next for Andrew?
Wow, well this is the first time since 2008 I don’t have plans to work on a long-term full-length video. I did just recently knock a patina of dust off of my vx1000 setup and have enjoyed going back to my roots. We were able to film enough footage with that in the weeks leading up to the night of the premiere to put out a fun little extra clip that was shown after Bouquet ended. For the time being, I’m thinking more short-form videos like that with the VX because that thing really is the perfect skate camera. Other than that I recently just became an owner at this awesome co-op bakery here in Buffalo called Breadhive. They do a ton of great work in the community and make some damn good bagels so if you’re ever making your way up here that’s the spot! Thanks again for checking out Bouquet and take care!
Now enjoy Pedro's awesome part from "Bouquet" and grab a copy of the video from the TOA webstore.