Video Review: Roger Skateboards, Secondhand Stoke
It might be somewhat unorthodox—even frowned upon—to write a review of your own company's video. Or maybe the subject has never been broached, as I have a sneaking suspicion that numerous skateboard company owner's might not be able to read and write above a junior-high school level. Nevertheless, I'm going to do my best to give an un-biased review of my own company's recent full-length video offering.
I thought I'd go through the video part by part rather than trying to give a general synopsis. First up, the opening montage.
Ehhh, pretty basic stuff. Kind of looks like footage that wasn't quite good enough to make it into the video. There's a clip of Max Taylor getting arrested in the intro that I'm pretty sure was only included to try to get those bad boy youths excited. Kids love that bad boy stuff. Drugs, tattoos, booze, breaking the law, etc. If we had time to do a re-edit of the video I'd probably replace that clip with footage of Max planting a garden or patting an old person on the back. Oh well, too late.
Max is pretty much as good as most pro skaters. I'm not saying all pro skaters. But most. I can't imagine how good his video part would be if we could afford to pay him. Seems like people are more likely to throw their ACLs to the wind when they're collecting a paycheck at the end of the month. I hope Element steals Max and he gets a steady flow of income for being awesome. I don't really hope that. But I kind of do.
In my opinion, the raddest trick in Max's part is a vertical pole jam to 50/50 (pictured above.) That yoga is paying off, dude.
There's a lot of clips in Ryan's part at spots that most people wouldn't even consider skateable. He has really quick feet and an eye for the unusual. He also has an eye for awful plaid shorts and might be color blind, judging by his outfits. Which is actually one of my favorite things about Ryan. He truly doesn't give a fart. Lots of skateboarders have such an obviously trite and calculated "I don't give a fart" persona when, in reality, they give nothing but farts. But Ryan? The dude truly gives no farts. That last time I picked him up he was wearing a kelly green t-shirt, plaid shorts, and orange and brown shoes. No farts being given whatsoever. I know it's totally stupid to talk about fashion instead of Ryan's skating. But fashion and skateboarding are obviously linked, and Ryan's skateboarding is obviously awesome so there's not too much to say in that regard. He even does some kind of Chris Gentry 540 varial blaster in a ditch in his part. See… no farts.
Cesar falls down really hard at the beginning of his part. But don't feel too bad for him, because after he falls down he proceeds to skate his little Puerto Rican butt off.
I think Cesar's part was kind of under the radar as far as online video discussions went. I'm not exactly sure why though, because it's a super solid part. Maybe it's because it's obvious that the dude can do anything he wants to on a skateboard so he left people wanting more? I don't really know. All I do know is that this is Cesar's first full part as a grown-up skateboard man and I'm guessing his next part will be even more better. Like maybe he'll drop in on the mega quarter pipe and gap the mega ramp gap the opposite way. It could happen.
Tim and Eric
Either you love them or you hate them—it's a pretty polarizing subject. I personally love them (obviously, since we sponsor them). In my opinion, what makes Tim and Eric's skateboarding so awesome is that it's tangible. If you and your friend were as creative as they are you could probably go film a part like this yourself. But unfortunately you're not as creative. So you'll spend the rest of your days trying to do a hardflip up the euro gap at your local park. I'm not trying to talk shit here, I just know you're never going to land it.
Montage - My Friend Brandon, Bill Pierce, and Nate Broussard
My Friend Brandon is exactly that. He's my good friend who works in a hospital and skates at night and on the weekends. When we started Roger I thought it would be funny to have a dude on the team named My Friend Brandon. Well, it is funny. But it's also totally warranted because the dude totally rips. Kind of like if Nate Jones and Bobby Puleo taught a kid how to skate. Smooth and quick.
Super fancy manual dances (I mean that in the most awesome way) and an overall understanding of East Coast grime spots. Bill was the very first Roger of the Month and found his way into our hearts and marketing budget.
Broussard is our Gino. If you know what that means, you skate. If you don't know what that means, you quit reading about 800 words ago.
LaCoste's part is really good plus awesome, but similar to Cesar's part it left me wanting a little more. I guess because like Cesar, LaCoste can make his skateboard do anything he wants it to. And I guess I want it to do more weird stuff Vs. just stuff that I expect it to do or stuff that I know LaCoste can do naturally. I'm not saying he needs to start doing switch pressure flips, but a few more WTF moments wouldn't hurt. I obviously have an insider's perspective since I've seen him skate in person numerous times so maybe I'm being hyper critical. It's still a super solid part, but I want to see a LaCoste part that makes me drop turds in my panties. Or boxer briefs. Whatever I'm wearing at the time.
But he does an air over his buddy (Jamie Maley) in his part, so anytime you're jumping over another man on a skateboard you're doing something right. Right?
More skating, a few lifestyle hammers, and some insider humor. You know… credits. Standard issue. Not bad, but not too terribly interesting or inventive.
I thought I'd conclude by addressing the most common complaint that I read concerning the video editing/formatting. We worked with approximately 45 different filmers on this project and had to Frankenstein together a myriad of different submissions. It was obvious to us early on that we were going to have to figure out a way to use both standard definition footage with high definition footage in the final product. I remembered that people were up in arms over the way the REAL video (Roll Forever) switched back and forth between SD and HD format (black bars/no black bars) and I thought we should probably try to avoid that pitfall. Our final decision was to enlarge and crop the SD footage to fit the HD window. This resulted in the rider's heads being cut out of many of the clips. Kids were pissed, we were sorry.
So to make up for it, I made this jpeg with all of the riders's heads that you kids can stare at before you go to bed tonight. Sweet dreams, children.
I thought I'd double conclude by addressing the fact that I filmed a trick for the Roger video and it was one of the most terrifying things I've done in the past five years. I had trouble sleeping the night before I filmed my trick, afraid that I would be unable to come through and land the maneuver that I had described to my friends. Luckily I was able to land my trick with all of the style and grace of the dead dude from Weekend at Bernie's. Look at that posture… just like a dead middle-aged man on strings. Beautiful.
Previously - Beggars Can't Be Bitching