For our third installment of our “Best Blade Video” series, we have assembled four of the most prolific videographers in the game to discuss what videos stand out among the hundreds of videos released in the past three decades and what made them significant to them.
This time around we spoke with Austin Paz (Jump St. Podcast, The Truth Series) J. P Primiano (Butter TV), Ivan Narez ( Valo 4 Life, Shred til Your Dead) and Jan Welch (Leading the Blind, Quatro) about their personal favorite videos and what made those videos so important to them and how they inspired their own videography work.
But we also want to know your opinion on what you feel are your own personal favorite skate videos! So just enter in your choice below and we will be announcing the winner our our “Best Blade Video” poll later next week!
Favorite video: Hoax 5
A lot of old school bladers will reference Hoax II as the most influential skate video of the 90s, but honestly that wasn’t the case for me. Maybe I was too young to appreciate it, but it just never hit me like it did for a lot of other people who were skating in that era. Hoax V was my Hoax II. This was one of the tapes I would play on loop in my basement on summer mornings, then go out and skate for 14 hours straight with my friends.
I was only 10 years old when Hoax V came out, and skating for 2 years, so it was a very influential age time for me. This was the first video I could directly relate to what was going on. The video opens with a NYC section, and more than that, it opened with Angel Soto, who was Staten Island’s Michael Jordan. He was the best skater at the time to come out of my home town so for me to see someone on the “big screen” who I knew and skated with was mind blowing for a 10 year old. It was followed by a bunch of well known Staten Island spots that I’ve been to so after Hoax 5, I felt like whenever I went skating I would be skating a piece of history. To see Aaron Feinberg skate spots in my neighborhood was motivating as fuck. My friends and I were so proud and rep’d that section hard for years.
One thing that made the Hoax series so good was the personalities that were featured. It was something that wasn’t and still isn’t showcased in many skate videos. To be to able to quote lines from a skate video is the same as referencing your favorite clips. “Playin dice yo, playin dice…who’s winning? I’M WINNING!” By Jon Bergeron and “Wachu got? Wachu got? Metallll……” by Rawlinson were lines we quoted for years just as much as we would try to mimic our favorite skaters tricks.
These Hoax videos helped turn my childhood dreams to travel the country and travel the world a reality that I can still relate to today. Seeing legendary spots like KONA’s snake run that I finally got to skate at this years Powwow 22 years later was a dream come true. I had the whole soundtrack of this video playing in my head as I charged through it fakie.
Favorite video: The England team video: Volume
From Hoax 2 to the VG films to Joe Navran to Bryan Bell, Brain Fear Gone and WORDS to Leading the Blind, the Valo videos to the Vine Street videos– There is ALOT to choose from and it’s exciting to even think about what a massive library of great flicks there are.
One video that I still love to watch today is the England team video: Volume. I remember seeing a teaser for it (I think in one of the VG vids?) where Dustin Latimer did the fakie 720 over the fence with a Schoolly D instrumental of “Saturday Night” playing in the background so I already knew I had to buy that VHS tape.
I can’t recall if there were any other videos before it that only showcased three skaters but when you have Julio, Petty, and Latimer — what else do you need? Everything about that video just pulled me in – from the way they skated obviously, to the music selection and the editing that complimented the songs… even to the way they dressed. It was highly influential to a younger me and I watched that video over and over until the tracking on the VHS tape got all fuzzy. It’s a classic. Cheers!
Favorite video: Northern Exposure
When growing up, I always wanted to be in videos, obviously always watched a ton of them that were extremely influential to me, so to have to name one is quite difficult. Wasteland, Night of the String, VG11, there are ton, but if I was going to name one that influenced me the most, it would be Northern Exposure, by Justin Lomax. Not necessarily because it was on the same level of influence for the culture as let’s say, Mindgame, but because to me, it influenced the whole path I took and have taken in my life.
Northern Exposure was one of the first videos I helped film for, and was also in. I saved a bunch of money to buy my first mini-dv camera, a Sony TRV900 with a Skatepile sticker on the side, which I still have actually. So without diving too deep into reasons why it was one of my most influential videos, if it weren’t for this video, I would have likely never pursued working on films, which means I would have never created a lot of the ones I have been able to make like all the Valo’s, the S.T.Y.D’s and Hermanos. So although the choice is a bit more personal and reflective, what better way to have something influence you than to fully influence your whole life and choice of career.
Favorite video: Harvesting the Crust
My start as a videographer began in 1993 filming my close friends in Austin, Texas. In those days all I had was a hand-me-down VHS-C camcorder that only filmed in shades of blue. I spent hours chopping up the footage on two VCRs and overdubbing audio using a tape player. In 1995 Scribe Industries released Harvesting the Crust, which was a game changer for me and my friends. It wasn’t that the video was made well, which it wasn’t, but the skating inspired us and the kinship between everyone in it was something we could relate too.
The skating was next level at the time: Steve Thomas was a style master and the first blader I ever idolized, it was my first introduction to the awesome skating of Dave Kollasch, while Matt Hermaneck and Shane Nelson blew my mind with their big rail skating. And the soundtrack? It was a mix of pop punk rebellion that stoked my teenage mind. In fact them using multiple No Use For a Name songs was the inspiration for me to use multiple Jay Reatard songs in Vicious Sleaze. I probably watched this video 200 times in the 90s. Later into 90s I started getting better equipment, skaters progressed and I began filming with the pros.
I tried watching Harvesting a Crust again in late 2000s, but now the video I used to love, bored me and I could barely get through it. It may not have withstood the test of time for me, but it definitely had a major affect on me in my early years. I would like to acknowledge the other video that had a profound impact on me which was Under the Influence by Drew Bachrach. Drew is to a true master of his art. The combination of the skaters, the filming, the skits and his music choices made Under the Influence a visual masterpiece.