’03 til infinity

The MVA Studio weblog—thoughts on design, creativity, business, marketing, teaching, writing and culture by J. Namdev Hardisty and Kimberlee Whaley.

20 observations, questions and hopes in response to the Girl/Chocolate video trailer

Girl & Chocolate Trailer from Crailtap on Vimeo.

  1. Is it really called Girl Skateboards Chocolate Skateboards Video? Or, from Girl Films & Chocolate Cinema? I really hope so. Untitled Video from Girl Films & Chocolate Cinema would also be pretty great.
  2. It’s cool that a lot of the makes are from ads—Alex Olson’s picnic table ollie and Gino’s kickflip-pivot-to-fakie stand out.
  3. Is there going to be legit Pops footage? He actually flips his board in here.
  4. I’m psyched on a new Devine Calloway part.
  5. Finally there’s video of Mike Mo’s late-pressure flips (even if its on flat)! I’ve been dying to see this since one of the mags ran a Chocolate southern U.S. tour feature and Mo was doing a late-pressure flip over a double-set.
  6. There’s 2 540° ollies in here. I think that’s significant.
  7. Cory Kennedy has been blowing minds for awhile but his 2 clips in the trailer are amazing. A full-part with Ty Evans at the helm seems like it has the potential to go curtains.
  8. Unless, of course, MJ continues his Fully Flared tear. Which seems extremely likely.
  9. Where’s Carroll? Did I miss him in there or has he been sticking exclusively to to filming in parking lots (of which I would gladly watch 3 minutes of)?
  10. Guy Mariano. 2 parts in a 5-year period. Yes.
  11. I will be really down with a full part of just doubles.
  12. Am I correct that the Elijah Berle banked wall clip is on the waterfront in Chicago?
  13. Is this going to be really, really long video?
  14. I can’t even imagine how you edit this trailer, there’s so many names in line-up. 26 of ’em to be exact.
  15. 20 of these is going to be hard.
  16. This might not be a popular opinion but I was kind of happy about the over-all lack of skits in the last Girl/Crailtap production Fully Flared and I would be just fine if this video is basically wall-to-wall skating.
  17. But, then again, all the skits in Yeah Right were pretty great.
  18. Are we going to see a lot of transition? Its weird that Chocolate would be the team to bring it back.*
  19. Ty Evans, Corey Weincheque, and Spike Jonze are the dream team. Seriously, how do you make a trailer for a skate video seem so epic with such a low ratio of people-doing-tricks to people-falling-in-a-not-particulary-gnarly-way-and-dudes-faces-looking-emotional?
  20. Best video since Fully Flared? All signs point to yes.**

Bonus: Number 16 has been redacted in light of re-viewing the items linked to in Number 17.

*With respect to Creature and Grant Taylor, of course.
**With all due respect to Stay Gold.

Street Cinema Vol. 3: Dylan Rieder “dylan.”

Street Cinema is a weekly selection of our favorite skate video parts chosen with an eye on the marriage of content (tricks, style, spots) and form (editing, cinematography and music).

Dylan Rieder’s Gravis promo might be the first video part to be released online that won’t be described as a “web-video” or worse, “just a web part.” After a solid but not very well-received part in Alien Workshop’s Mindfield (2009), Rieder kicked his pill habit and went back to work with Mindfield filmer/editor Greg Hunt. The result is dylan. (Gravis, 2010), an epic 7-minute part filmed largely within a three-mile radius in Los Angeles. Every clip in here is major and the filming is stunning (see the set-up for the back-smith on the rail at 0:10. Wow), especially the rhythmic use of 2nd angles.

(Directed and edited by Greg Hunt, 2010).

Dylan Rieder at Gravis

Hunt Filmwork
Greg Hunt tumblr
Street Cinema Vol. 2: Bobby Puleo Static 2
Street Cinema Vol. 2: Paul Rodriguez Yeah, Right

Recent Plan B promos

One of the first posts on this blog was about Plan B’s promos for the P-Rod video so its nice to see they’re still doing it right with these recent clips.

7.4.11 promo #3
Looks like Torey Pudwill is the next Plan B pro to go the iTunes solo-part route. This music-less clip of a fast, powerful line calls to mind the P-Rod picnic table promo.

Pro Spec wheel promo
PJ Ladd in HD slow-mo. Stunning. Not much else to add.

I just showed this video to my (soon-to-be-professional-designers) Typography Studio class and realized it needed re-blogging.

Here’s what I said on November 4th of last year: “Jason Fried of 37signals on their “marketing-by-sharing” strategy which can be summed up as the follows: give away your expertise by teaching (actual helpful teaching, not selling) people about what you do and how you get it done and don’t expect results overnight. Solid advice.”

This is simply the best advice I’ve ever heard for promoting yourself and building an audience. I’m positive this is the reason I use 37signals apps, buy every book from Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin, and why Aaron Draplin is a borderline-household name in the design world even though he rarely (what, a couple times a year?) shows his own professional work on his blog. I believe Tom Peters says you should give away 80% of what you produce (which is, of course, a corollary to the Pareto principle or “80/20 rule”—20% of your inputs account for 80% of your outputs, or put more simply, 20% of your efforts are responsible for your 80% of your results. Tim Ferriss talks brilliantly about this in his book The 4-Hour Workweek. Here’s a quick overview from Google books). And as Jason mentions in the video, not only does it work his company but it affects what companies he buys from as well.

Part 1: Storytelling and typography

"Most people will interact with your work in a mediated state—a presentation, an interview, your website; what will you have to say about it when they do?"

I’d love to hear your feedback and since the embedded video is on Viddler you can actually comment directly on the timeline. I’m also on @namdev on Twitter and you can @ reply there.

If you’re on a smart phone, the video is also on Youtube.

Street Cinema Vol. 2: Bobby Puleo “Static 2”

A weekly selection of our favorite skate video parts chosen with an eye on the marriage of content (tricks, style) and form (editing, cinematography and music).

This week (sorry for last week’s lapse!): Bobby Puleo from “Static 2: The Invisibles” (Directed and edited by Josh Stewart, 2004). Buy it here.

Every part from NYC legend Bobby Puleo is a classic but Josh Stewart’s editing pushes the one slightly above the bar. I recently heard Stewart describe this as the quintessential Static part—an underrated but innovative skater skating off-the-beaten-path locations to a surprising soundtrack (The Kinks’ “Shangri-La”). Stewart’s close-cropped filming is perfect for Puleo’s selection of weird, cramped (and photogenic) skate spots.

Street Cinema Vol. 1: Paul Rodriguez, “Yeah, Right”

A weekly selection of our favorite skate video parts chosen with an eye on the marriage of content (tricks, style) and form (editing, cinematography and music).

This week: Paul Rodriguez from “Yeah, Right” (Girl, 2003).

After the P-Rod post the other day, it only makes sense to start “Street Cinema” off with a younger teenage Rodriguez skating to Nas’ instrumentals. The real magic starts at 1:52 when his handrail and stair assault is edited to Nas’ “Made You Look” beat. Enjoy.

11.15.10 Promos

Plan B Skateboards has been working on a new video part from Paul “P-Rod” Rodriguez for awhile now and a date for its iTunes release has recently been set. The promos they’ve been doing are extremely simple and totally effective.

This first one blew me away when I watched it. It’s such a spare and elegant solution and if you know Rodriguez’s skateboarding you immediately start filling in the blanks—is it a kickflip? Heelflip? Tre? Its not switch, is it? Does he land in that little embankment? Before or after the stairs? Its rare to see something this stripped down and yet totally engaging in skateboarding.

Then they dropped this:

Again, so simple. Two tricks, both switch. Fast as hell. Picnic tables. Nothing clever going on, just a picture of what he’s capable of.

And yesterday they released this two-minute teaser:

Its obviously edited with a pretty heavy filler-to-tricks ration but damned if it isn’t some gorgeous filler and better than most people’s actual video parts. And the tricks that did get used are just ridiculous—the front tail to big heelflip out at 1:13 seems like too weird a trick to look that good.

The Paul Rodriguez Movie is being released exclusively through iTunes which leads me to believe that Plan B is following in the footsteps of Shane O’Neill and charging for the part and not releasing it as a podcast-type thing. Given the really new nature of charging for video parts I’m guessing that P-Rod is sitting on heavy duty part in at least the seven-minute range to make sure that kids think its worth paying for. Even if its a traditional one-song three-and-a-half minute deal, this succession of clips definitely has me sold on it.