Daan Van Der Linden : Holy Stokes

" THE NETHERLANDS’ GREATEST EXPORT, DAAN VAN DER LINDEN, MELDS THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF SKATEBOARDING INTO ONE. DAAN SKATES ALL TERRAIN AND HAS THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO LOOK EQUALLY COMFORTABLE THROWING A SLOB FAST PLANT IN A BACKYARD POOL AS HE IS DOING A BACKSIDE 180 NOSEGRIND ON AN 11-STAIR. THE FUTURE OF SKATING IS SAFE IN THE HANDS OF KIDS LIKE DAAN. " - Vans

This guy clearly has massive balls and the smallest shred of self doubt, making for an unbelievable edit. I'm pretty sure anyone could appreciate Daan Van Der Linden's talent and versatility, so even if you aren't one for watching skate videos, press play and enjoy! 

Battle of the Bastards : Anatomy of A Scene

If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, as I am, you will hopefully have seen one of the best episodes aired thus far in the series. If you haven't, DO NOT PRESS PLAY ON THE VIDEO BELOW. If you have, it's well worth the ten minute watch as you go behind the scenes, finding out what went into the making of one of the most epic battles seen on television. 

That is of course the battle for Winterfell between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton. The sequence took nearly 80 hours in 25 shooting days to finish and included 500 extras, 600 crew members, and four camera crews. The anatomy of the scene shows how they prepare the shots, the camera rigs, deciphers what is real and what's CGI and really makes you appreciate the scale of this event. Pretty awesome that the whole thing was shot on home turf as well and most definitely an Emmy contender.

The direction, narrative, visual effects and sound mixing are superb. Then again, this is the biggest tv show in the world and with a budget in and around £5 million an episode, what else would you expect. The season finale is shaping up to be on par with this one. Check out the trailer below for "The Winds of Winter". 

Sean Malto : Recovery

Sean Malto destroyed his ankle back in 2013. It was later dubbed the "Ankle Roll from Hell" and if you click through you can check that out if you want to. Since then, he's been on the road to recovery, attempting to get back to full strength and make it back to competitive skating. This short from Ghost Digital Cinema  (Ty Evans) details that journey. The production team has low key teamed up with Apple on with one as on top of the fact the whole thing was shot with iPhone, there's some little nods to the Apple watch in there as well. Perhaps, it was just an organic thing but it's hard not to be cynical at this point when it comes to content creation and endorsement. That being said, they're not terribly in your face with it so the products actually allow the story to be told in a sympathetic way.

Regardless, the clip is nicely edited and gives us some day to day insight from him and what he gets up to. When I say it was done fully on iPhone, that isn't strictly true, as when you check out the "Equipment Partners", you'll see there's a whole gang of rigs, accessories and grips that go into making this. However, it is impressive that you can push a device that slips into your pocket with all it's uses to that degree, so as to make a professional looking film. Press play below and enjoy.

Destroying By Example : Erik Ellington

“What I was doing was not leading by example… I was destroying by example.” Some pretty poignant words from pro skateboarding veteran, Erik Ellington. Baker Boys founder, co-owner of Deathwish and sponsored by an impressive list of companies like the one supporting this short film, KR3W, to Thunder, Spitfire and Supra, Ellington seemingly has it all. But the drug and alcohol infused lifestyle he adopted in all his years pro skating, nearly put his whole life in jeopardy one night in Colorado.

Skating seemingly lends well to excess and addiction. Maybe that's too much of a sweeping statement but I could point to here for a start and perhaps a list of other guys like Chad Muska, Tony Alva and Bam Margera.

That's essentially where this short draws it's inspiration. Erik's boldly honest here about how he almost fucked his life up and it just happens to be very beautifully shot and scored. The song at the end is killer from Irish band, Come On Live Long. Listen to that here. Epicly Later'd might be your go to if you're looking for more stories akin to this one. Press play and enjoy below.

ÖCTAGON : PERCEPTIÖN

ÖCTAGON have released their latest skate edit come lookbook, PERCEPTIÖN in support of their new Spring/Summer drop. The team are seemingly big fans of the conceptual approach, as was previously explored with their last clip SURVEYÖR. The narrative with that clip : Öctagon is totalitarian. Every human notion has been replaced by data and individuals are constantly under surveillance, which is insured by Surveyör. The program is checking the data transformation to their tasks state. They claim this time around that,

The first cyborgs were on. Autonomous and programmed to disconnect every opponent to the unique reality diktat, they would be a continuous threat for us. Besides eyes, the system had now tentacles everywhere.
— Öctagon

Notable track features come from Aphex Twin and Shlohmo whilst mastered is handled by  Pyramide Studio. The videography isn't terribly groundbreaking. A skate video is a skate video after all. However, the editing of the monochromatic footage syncs really well with the score. There's a sort of futuristic, glitchy feel to the clip that gives it fresh appeal. If you want to check out the new apparel, featuring printed short/long sleeve t shirts and hooded sweatshirts, head over to their webstore come March 30th.

Richie Jackson : Death Skateboards

This is quite possibly one of the coolest skate parts I’ve seen in a while. Kiwi skater, Richie Jackson filmed this session for Death Skateboards, released through Thrasher Mag a couple days ago. Since then, it’s went viral, amassing over a million views, for pretty obvious reasons.

If you love technical freestyle skating then this will be right up your street as Jackson rips on the most awkward and off the beaten path you’ll find. Unafraid to use some props and wreck himself in the process, you'll see some ridiculously creative stuff. His clothing selection is a sight to behold as well, pulling out the 70’s bell bottoms, big belt buckles, crazy shirts and waistcoats, not to mention a stellar ‘tache. Anyway, just press play and enjoy one of the most original clips you’ll see for a long time. 

Gonz Storage Space : Mark Gonzales

It’d seem every other post on here has some sort of Adidas affiliation as of late but I swear there’s no sponsorship deal. If only. They are straight up killing it up and down the roster with the skate team, Y-3 and of course the Yeezy. The latest 3-stripe co-sign comes in the form of Mark Gonzales’ latest exhibition at Tampa skate shop, The Boardr, fittingly entitled “Storage Space”. If you have a spare ten minutes, check out the walkthrough of the space with The Gonz below.

For many years, Gonzales has been hoarding artwork, shoes, clothing, skate decks, collectibles and well, just about anything you can imagine in some rented storage rooms in New York City. It appears that he wanted to get rid of the spots and so the dudes at Boardr hitched a trailer and packed up all his shit to compile the exhibition/auction collection. They document the process as Gonzales hilariously riffs off the discoveries he’s long forgotten about and as they say in the piece, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This was a one night only sort of deal so unfortunately you can’t go check it out. You can however, see a recap of the launch night with a little cameo from Skin Phillips in the clip below. 

Chaz : In Parts

Chaz Bundick, is a multi-talented musician and visual artist though you might know him better by his performing moniker, which we find out he came up with at the age of 15, Toro Y Moi. This short documentary is a sort of day to day chopped up nicely, you guessed it, in parts.

The piece loosely follows the creation of a track from it’s inception to performance on a live stage. All along Chaz narrates the home-video footage, studio sessions and performance. 


Beyond playing several instruments and writing and recording all of his own music, Chaz is a graphic designer come illustrator. We see some of his artwork and catch a quick clip of him doing some really clean illustration. You can see the little doodles in his notebook that came to form his visual identity and branding. It’s pretty awesome to see his creative process unfold, knowing he has complete control of the aesthetic outcome. There are some gems in there as well from his dog licking his toes, to vacuuming the bath and casually painting his piano white. Really recommend checking out this short 15-minute piece below. Press play and enjoy.

A film by Harry Israelson // Sound mixed by Sam Plattner

Deadpool : Review

I went to see Deadpool last night. Yes. I actually left the home comforts of dotvpn charged up Netflix, binge watching The Walking Dead for the first time in a month to check out a film in the cinema. And Jesus, I’m glad I chose this film. Made with a paltry $50 million budget compared to it’s other superhero movie peers, Deadpool took record earnings upon release over Valentine’s Day weekend. The Valentine’s Day release is a cute move as this is, at the core, a love story. A really fucked up love story but a love story all the same. There are possibly a few spoilers so don’t read until you see it or if you like ruining things, knock yourself out.


So, to break down why I think this weirdo off shoot worked so well, I must first talk about the main dude, Ryan Reynolds. He fucking slays as this character. And thankfully I missed out on his first outing in some shitter of a Wolverine movie and that supposedly awful Green Lantern movie. I simply wasn’t interested and it’ll stay that way. I don’t want to taint how awesome this piece of acting was for him. If you haven’t seen “Two Guys and a Girl (and A Pizza Place)” go and check it out. It came out around 2000 and was a seminal role for Reynolds that saw him in his natural element. A decade later, Reynolds starred in “Buried”, a film that sees him spend 95 minutes buried alive in a coffin. It’s a stellar performance and shows depth and diversity that you couldn’t have seen him explore a decade earlier.

So, take those two roles, moosh them together, throw in a shit tonne of profanity, ultra violence, a couple of X-Men, turn it up to 11 and like a glorious dump after a night out, you get Deadpool. Hopefully that analogy makes sense. I can’t express enough how great Reynolds was in this. The role most likely has a tonne of dudes wishing they could casually emulate the brash quips, get the girl and kick serious fucking ass in the process. It’s a joy to watch. What didn’t work too well, for me, was that X-Men connection. Deadpool obviously makes a joke out of it but to be fair, he was right, it just seemed like they couldn’t afford another top tier character. I just don’t think they needed it. 

deadpool+colossus

Obviously the studio wants to knit Wade Wilson’s story into this current universe timeline for future movies, but it made for a weak attempt. Couple that with the fact Colossus looked like a chromey hunk of shit and in general, an annoying addition, it just didn’t work. I did however like that the goody-two-shoes tone was completely suppressed by Deadpool, at the expense of making Colossus a joke character. Anyway, fuck him. Negasonic Teenage Warhead was a bit of fun but there was no real development in her character to even bother chatting about her. Before checking out the movie, I read on IMDB that Morena Baccarin was playing Copycat. The only shapeshifting you saw in the film was the montage of her and Deadpool hilariously boning in various guises. I guess they didn’t really have the time or want to develop her super power this time round but the dialogue and rapport between her and the lead made up for it.

The action here is superb. The freeway massacre is so pleasing. Not something I thought I’d ever type but the clever violence, choreography and humour throughout is tremendous. Unfortunately, this sequence occurs within the first 30 minutes so I reckon most viewers were left wanting for the rest of the film for that level of execution. Perhaps, budget limitations birthed that result. Maybe, the green-lit sequel will see a bit more money thrown at the action next time round. It’s also noteworthy that the soundtrack provided some great moments. The major element that makes this film ultimately more endearing, breaking the 4th wall. If you know the character from the comics, you’ll know that he is terribly self aware. He knows he’s in a comic and at this point, he knows he’s part of a Fox studio production. He talks to the audience the whole way through and for those who don’t know the character, this was handled really well from the jump, with the hilarious credit sequence. The marketing campaign equally enhanced this aspect in the run up.

deadpoolfire

In summation, Deadpool is definitely worth catching at the cinema if you haven't already. Here’s hoping future movies don’t dilute his character. I could see him making an appearance here and there but it feels like he needs his own R-Rated platform to really function wholly in the way he should. Then again, perhaps in a few movie’s time, it could get exhausting and the studio might see the X-Force route as an option. Who knows? Regardless, this gets a both adult and foetal sized thumbs up from me. On a sidenote, I FINALLY enjoyed one of Stan Lee’s gratuitous cameos. A 93 year old disc jockey in a strip club. Inspired. Cheers for reading and check the trailer below if you haven’t seen it. 

Ed Templeton : Legend

Transworld recently awarded skater, artist and proprietor of Toy Machine, Ed Templeton with the “Legend Award”. They screened this nicely cut little video just before his acceptance speech. Whilst there seems to a hefty load of inspiration from Wes Anderson with the edit, no one should really give a fuck as it’s just a little retrospective. Steve Olson, a man cut from the same ilk as Ed narrates the piece. 

Ed talks through his journey, from seeing a dude ollie up a curb, inspiring him to pick up a board to the realisation that Mark Gonzales did his own graphics leading to the creation of Toy Machine. Much like his buddy Jason Lee, Ed carved out a career that outlasted his competitive days on the board. Some of his artwork and photography is extremely highly sought after, although he doesn’t seem to know why.

Check his Instagram for a daily dose of his documentary photo style with his Huntington Beach Pier photo series. Ed’s sensibility pretty much embodies a lot of what most skaters are about. So press play and enjoy the short. Cheers for reading.  

Respect Your Roots : Skin Phillips

"Respect Your Roots" is a short film from Adidas Skateboarding taking a retrospective look at  the life of iconic skate photographer, Skin Phillips. Here, we see the humble beginnings as the man takes a trip to his Swansea home where it all began. Skin's mum, Beryl talks about her son's first foray into image making at 14 as he shows us his first make shift "dark room" in his downstairs toilet. It's safe to say that most creatives start off in some sort of ramshackle way, creating space in the garage, shed, bathroom, wherever, just to make it happen. It's pretty encouraging knowing what he went on to achieve.

Phillips progressed from surf photography, becoming a mainstay in the tiny Swansea skate scene, setting his sights on California. This piece is inspiring as it shows the dedication and belief a kid from a small coastal town (supposedly a city) had to advance to the next level. He would become Editor in Chief at Transworld and later, team manager for the Adidas skate team. As Skin's childhood friend says, "...you don't get a job like that by applying. You have to create that. You have to turn yourself into that." Perhaps more of us can take heed of that. We can create new lanes for ourselves. If we do what we love with passion and whole-heartedness, those opportunities will come. 

The social media generation has evidenced that in recent times, with the phenom that is the "influencer". Ridiculous job title. Will that bubble eventually burst? Probably, yes. So we should look for longevity in pushing our creative skill sets. Skin is the perfect example of that. Thirty years in the game and still doing what he loves. As Marc Johnson says, at a time where there was no incentive. The result of this, an exhibition of works and a signature shoe with Adidas. Pretty epic having that legacy distilled into a physical product. Work hard, earn respect and know where you're from. Press play and enjoy the clip. Cheers for reading.

Creative Recycling : Andy Vasquez

As you may have noticed, I’ve had my head down recently with our latest feature series, “The Daily Illustrator”, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sourcing great content to enlighten you with in all other mediums during my down time. Whilst on my nightly prowl across the inter webs, I found this video from Converse CONS project, “Creative Recycling”, featuring skater Andy Vasquez. If you click through, you’ll see he’s a dab hand at creating awesome furniture, homewares and installations, mainly from wood, but at times, casting in concrete. 

"Creative Recycling" : Directed by Jon Holland

This piece shows us his beautiful studio space and takes us through his CONS project, dicing up a skateboard to create a pretty unique stool. Vasquez is a great advocate for the DIY ethic that’s been synonymous with skate culture from the jump. Most of the skaters I know have some sort of creative outlet, from street art to sign painting, coffee making to cheffing or just building their own spots. The two go hand in hand. In this case, it’s a pretty enviable skill being able to turn something considered used and perhaps even broken into a desirable item once again. It’s a pleasant process. It actually brought Haroshi’s artwork to mind which is well worth checking out too. I’m feeling slightly inspired to create something tangible with my hands again. Maybe Eoin and I will finishes those light boxes from last year. Anyway, enough chit chat. Press play and enjoy the video. Cheers for reading.