Thursday, September 30. 2010
Contest says: "EE comes cruzin into Bakerboys Dist. with a challenge to win a limited edition Deathwish board. Rules go as is, Skate and do the line Ellington did. Get creative fools and send your entries to Web@BakerBoysDist.com. Deadline Oct. 10th 2010."
Deathwish is available in Canada through: Mehrathon Trading.
Deathwish is available in Canada through: Mehrathon Trading.
Wednesday, September 29. 2010
Tuesday, September 28. 2010
I just watched Elephant Direct, a new video by Jeremy Elkin and Jason Auger. My official video review goes something like this: McGraw killed it in the beginning, Torey killed it somewhere in the middle and Kevin Lowry rules planet earth. Definitely a video worth owning. The following is an email conversation I had with opinionated and talkative film-maker Jeremy Elkin about the new video. He puts a lot of heart into his projects and it shows. Jeremy Elkin Talks below...
I know everyone must ask, but where does the name Elephant Direct come from?
It's the name of a Depanneur (french for corner store/deli) right by my place in Montreal. Torey, Fyfe, Justin and I used to live right by it while we were making the video. Fyfe still does, as do Barry and Marc. It's an interesting place to skate flat cause there's always something sketchy going on over there. There's a skate spot behind the store too that you may know from a couple videos I've done.
You just released Elephant Direct. How is this video different from your last one, Lo-Def?
Lo-Def was a quick year long project. Traveling, filming and editing-wise, it was mellow in comparison with the Elephant. I brought in Jason Auger to create Elephant Direct with me, cause I knew from the start it would be a much bigger video in terms of the amount of parts and the total length- and it kept growing throughout the process of filming it. It was really hard working with someone on a project, cause neither of us had ever collaborated before. We both had concise visions as to what a skateboard movie should look like. I don't think I could have worked with anyone else on it. I would've rather just produced it alone, if Auger hadn't been into it. I think the digital footage aspects were pretty similar in both videos though. The only major difference was that I went through about eight different VX1000s while filming Elephant Direct as opposed to two while making Lo-Def. I only had a 100% working VX from May 2010 til right now, whereas with Lo-Def the cameras never stopped functioning. They're fidgety old cameras, but they're the best when I don't have bad luck with them. Lots of people's footage was cut cause of motion glitches and terrible looking footage. Sorry Russ and Barry!
What were you trying to achieve with this video concept wise?
Well, we wanted something old-fashioned and homemade for sure. There's so much over saturation of fancy HD clips on the internet that it gets redundant and they all look way too clean. I love HD footage, but I strongly dislike the result of HD footage when skateboarding is involved. It doesn't make sense to me. I was talking to Marty about it the other day, he was saying that he's gotta skate twice as fast when he films a line in HD. I told him that's a good thing though, cause when you go back to filming on a vx1000, you're flying! So yeah, no concept really, it's just a skateboard video after all, but I was picky on what format of footage got used. Tried to make it look pure.
I've heard various terms used to describe you as a filmer, ranging from opinionated to crazy. What are you looking for in terms of tricks you want to film or spots you want to film at?
I mean, there's no point in taking years to create a video if you're not into how the outcome will look. Some tricks just look better than others on footage. It's not that the trick isn't hard or anything, it's just not as fun to watch. Like how a frontside grind looks better than a nollie crook nollie big flip out. I like filming at spots that will make the viewer want to go push down the street after watching a part, rather than film an hour long ledge dancing video or carcass tossing feature film. That new Emerica video was obviously so good, but I want to see someone do a line without trying to commit suicide. It's so demotivating that it makes me not want to skateboard. That's why that line of Heath's stuck out so much, he's skating a sick looking sidewalk spot without counting stairs. That line stood out to me. I'm opinionated; I'd rather say what I think than just accept everything I watch.
How do you let a skater know that you aren't going to use something in the video they want to use?
I'll either tell them straight up that the trick or spot sucks or tell them it's cool, but I don't think anyone wants to be in a theatre sitting through it... or I'll send it to them high resolution right after we film the trick, telling them that they can use it for whatever they'd like... or just don't answer their calls..? Sometimes all five! No, but every trick is "hard" nowadays, if an independent film comes out and it isn't unique looking, then it's because of the person behind it who's down for everyone and isn't individualistic enough. It's awesome to be that excited about every trick you film people do, but at a point in time you gotta draw a line and filter the content that has your name attached to it. Torey is always like, "Tell me if that was shit or not, would people want to watch that?" That's why he is the best to film with- Lowry too! They get it.
Kevin Lowry had a part in your last video. Everyone loves him, but what specifically made you want to work with him again?
As Seb would say, "I think this guy knows how to ride a skateboard." No, Kevin is so good at skateboarding though. Watching him push down the block is more fun to watch than most video parts. Lowry is fun to hang out with when he's not sick of the madness I go through while chasing him with a video camera. He's rad, but I think he can only take small doses of me.
Have you and a skater not seen eye to eye on what you guys should be filming? How do you handle the situation? Did you have to make compromises with spots?
Most Northeastern spots are tight, I usually don't have any issues with the way they come out on footage. California was a tricky one, I'm not so into that State. I don't like spots without buildings in the background, unless it's like a backyard pool or the Big O. Anyone who's ever filmed with me knows that I hate backpacks/people's crap in footage and that I'm a control freak about it. As for seeing eye-to-eye, recently it's been alright, except when filming with Quickdraw Mcgraw. I've tried to get him to have quicker feet and skate spots with cracks. He never pays attention to anything I say anymore though, so it's all good. At least he is more motivated than Fyfe, who won't leave his three-block radius around his apartment, when it comes to skateboarding. They're both skaters who can do whatever they want and it somehow always comes out good on footage, so it makes filming a video part way easier.
Are there certain parts or tricks that are really special to you or stand out in your mind in this video?
Well, anyone who's ever filmed skateboarding before knows there is a story behind every clip. Lowry's crossing the street Brooklyn Banks line at 2am while it was raining out is the first thing that comes to mind. It was a peaceful moment, being out that late while Lower Manhattan was sleeping- it's rare to hear that area so quiet. Other than that, all the tricks in Gatineau at the rock were from the same day trip up there. It was by far the most memorable day while filming the video, good times.
You've been doing a number of premieres across Canada and the US. How has the response been?
The Montreal one was a month ago, we had it at the Urban Ambush Yard- Barry's new ramp and backyard art space. We got a solid crowd out to see it. I went to Philadelphia last week, people seemed to like it, I guess? The NYC premiere was cool, all the bros came out to watch it. The Boston one was overwhelming. Mcgraw got an ovation and it was the only premiere we had that opened for Stay Gold, so we got a large crowd of 500+ out to see it. I'm pretty hyped on the Boston scene, and it didn't hurt that it played in Harvard Square at the Brattle Theatre. Best acoustics and viewing environment. Thanks Armin!
I was just at the New York premiere and I couldn't even get in it was so packed. Did you expect that kind of turn out?
Pretty stoked that everyone came out, but it's hard to say if I expected it. The video has mad New York spots in it and New York skaters in the montage. I feel like skaters there can relate to it way more than most other places it premiered- even Montreal.
You seem to always be in NYC. What brings you back here constantly?
It's always fun being down there. My Mom is from the Bronx, lots of my friends and family live in the city and my brother has been living out there for a while. It's so close to Montreal too. Skating in New York is unexplainable, cause you'll always find something new to skate whether it's a street that's closed off for construction or a hidden spot you've always skated by and never noticed. There's so many pockets of the city, lots of energy everywhere and there's always something going on.
How can the people get a copy of Elephant Direct?
Grab a copy of Color Magazine Issue 8.4, it comes out this month. Thanks Ben!
Monday, September 27. 2010
Friday, September 24. 2010
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