If you are unfamiliar with Ian Walker‘s name, there’s very little chance that you haven’t been repeatedly exposed to his work over the past few years though. Along with a bunch of joyous individuals and darker characters, Ian is the mastermind behind the highly enjoyable Scumpire website and their numerous projects indeed.
In addition to releasing quality online content on a regular basis since the site’s inception, Scumpire has recently produced edits for Razors, and from the looks of it you better get ready for more special collaborations too! In short, over the years Ian & Scumpire have set a high standard for themselves, and hopefully paved the way for more similar initiatives all over the planet.
Even more exceptional maybe, the guys were among the first to take advantage of the emerging VOD format for the release of their original video El Chvpo in 2013, and they just did it again with their second full-length feature! The Hvmvngvs Mixtape dropped just a few weeks ago, and we took the opportunity to catch up with Ian to learn more about Scumpire, their many projects, drunken crocodiles fights, and the process of delivering yet another great visual piece to the world: read on!
Hey there Ian, thanks for doing this with us. Care to tell the world who you are, and share you darkest secret with our readers maybe?
Hey there Freddy, first time caller, long time listener, Ian Walker reporting, and I’m a big supporter and advocate of what y’all are doing.
Thanks bud! When we talked last week, you mentioned checking out Frenchy Fries when you were “young”. Seeing how this was just a few years ago, how young are you now?
Shit dood really? I seriously thought that was a while back. I remember the logo being cool, and enjoyed the content big time… It was original and rowdy. As for my age, I’m 28 years young.
And as for your time on blades, how long have you been skating yourself? How did you get involved in all that mess?
My parents got me a pair of Lightings when I was like 7, and that lead me to roller hockey. Then, when I was about 14 (I think the year was 2002), my friend’s parents took a bunch of us from the neighborhood to the ASA qualifier at the indoor hockey rink/outdoor sheet metal skate park/death trap, and I sort of decided that was what I was into. I never could really afford new blades, so that lead me to taking some real long breaks here and there, but I never fell out of love with blading… I just liked partying in my younger years.
Seeing as you’re the main filmer/producer for Scumpire, and a pretty good skater yourself, how hard is it to balance filming others, and being filmed yourself when you want to get a clip?
Well, it’s 2 different worlds that sometimes mesh well, or explode, depending on what kind of people you’re skating with. Every filmer, and closely knit skate crew, click, or posse knows that everyone involved needs to be as equally down for the skater and filmer to achieve success. Working with guys that lace their trick, then step out of the limelight for their brother to lace as well, is the only way to achieve success. It really is a group effort to make things happen smoothly. With the right group, and vibes, all projects are easily achievable.
Talking about the right group, how long has Scumpire been around? How was the project originally born, and who are/were the people involved? Is there a main idea/concept you are trying to stick to?
We’ve been around since 2010, but we didn’t really push it till 2013 when I finally got my own computer and camera. It wasn’t the camera I wanted, but it was a means to an end. The idea was originally started by Preston Villanueva and myself, with the help of Jeremy Spira, Luke Bender, Greg Freeman, Geoff Phillip, Justin Barr, Mykel Fatali and a hand full of other people as an online media outlet to keep the Denver scene alive, and expand our vision of blading. Preston and I quickly realized you can’t force people to create your vision. The only way to get what we wanted was by doing it ourselves, and we didn’t have much knowledge to go off of. So once I graduated school, I went to work on creating what Preston and I had always envisioned with the help of all our friends along the way.
Now in 2015, Scumpire has become something totally different, and I’m creating about 90% if not 100% of our content.
I can’t even remember who coined that name! What a fucking name, huh? Hahaha!
Is it strictly a Denver/Colorado thing, or do you guys have “affiliates” in different places as well?
Scumpire is everywhere that I am, pretty much. We used to harass people into creating content for us, but that only lasted so long, but we have had strong affiliates in the Pacific Northwest since the beginning, and if you grab a copy of the HVMVNGVS_MIXTAPE you’ll see we have a whole new slew of young shredders from all over….mostly from Texas though.
All your videos have really specific aesthetics: where do you draw inspiration from, when it comes to filmography, visual arts, music etc?
I was an art student for 2 or 3 years, before I realized I didn’t what I was into. I draw a lot of my inspiration from ugliness, and decay… True emotion. I’m very inspired by people who can create a vision/feel out of total chaos/destruction. Many outlets for Visual Media are based off repurposing old ideas to a newer public, because its been so user friendly and well perceived by previous generations (like how many more 2fast2furious movies are going to be made?) I understand influence/inspiration, but rehashing the same ideas, and images over, and over again is so counterproductive.
How about your inspirations within blading? Who would you say is the best skate filmmaker, and who inspired you to pick up a camera and start editing too?
I get inspired by weird, nasty, gross stuff. I grew up with skateboarders, so I had seen a great deal of board flicks before I saw any rollerblading videos. But what I loved about both were the raw, destructive antics. I’m overly inspired by work that portrays an over all feeling. That’s represented beginning, middle and end. All the parts and pieces come together for a boarder understanding of the artist’s big picture.
Scumpire also made history by releasing the first VOD in blading, with your full-length and rather impressive El Chvpo video. How did that whole thing go, and how was the reception to both the medium you chose to share the video, and the video itself?
Ever since I started throwing around the idea of making a full video, I knew that selling it as DVD would prevent us from being received by our general demographic. The audience we were shooting for has every skate video/section we ever saw in the late 90’s early 2000’s at their fingertips. So why would they pay money for a video they couldn’t have right away? All that nostalgia stuff of your first skate video is lost on the new generation thanks to YOUTUBE type sharing sites. So the easiest way to get the video out was an online release. That year Vimeo started doing the VOD, and I figured why not. I really didn’t want to make people pay for it, but we figured if we made a bit of money we could keep this whole Scumpire thing going. We had a few set backs here and there, but overall, I think it worked out much better than all my peers previously thought.
How many people downloaded the video back then? Did you guys end up making any money out of it?
It was such a new idea, and was sort of a goofy platform as I recall, seeing as how some people couldn’t figure out how to download what they had paid for… And Vimeo took a lot more money out than I originally thought. I didn’t read much into the policies and guidelines. I made enough money to get a sweet logo made, and party out for a few months at the bars, couldn’t have asked for much more honestly.
Now, seeing how you’ve always made your own productions and are quite independent, how did that recent collaboration with Razors come about?
It all started with Howie wanting to do something for Razors; I had just received my ideal camera setup and couldn’t skate due to my second horrible fall that summer. So I had a lot of time on my hands, and wanted to make something real sweet for my dood. Around the same time Mykel and I had just got Cults, so with all of us wanting to hook Geoff Acers up with some quality content to say thank you for holding it down for so many years; “Denver’s” Razors Tapes became a real project we all cared about. It took a bit longer than we expected, but it was worth it because all of us are very happy with the final result.
Productivity doesn’t seem to be a problem for you, as you released a 15-minute video on your Seattle trip just a week after that Razors piece. What is your best memory of the filming of “A Leatherback Life“? And the worst moment?
Ah man, all of that was amazing. It’s always been a dream to experience a skate trip like that. We had such a heavy squad out there and acquired more people everyday. Honestly, what I’m most pumped on, is getting to work with Carter LeBlanc to produce the Korey Waikiki Pro Skate flick. Korey flew out to Seattle for the entire 12 days to start on his pro boot flick before going international, on a month long pro skate tour. Korey and Carter are two of my closest hombres out on the road, so finally getting to work on something together was a dream come true. The worst moment was realizing I was about to be back in Denver.
You’ve been filming and making videos for a long time now. What is the craziest thing you ever caught on tape? Story time?
Damn fool that’s a tough one; we all catch grimy antics on our cameras… But easily the most hilarious and disgusting thing I’ve ever filmed was a few years back when I was doing a lot of freelance camera shit around Denver, and somehow I got paid to shoot an All Woman UFC cage fighting thing? The general demographic that showed up were fucking gross. MoHawks, Bandanas, soul patches, KID ROCK and overly tan woman in what appeared to be fake leather or possibly plastic pants? All cheering and screaming for women to punch each other in the face. Of course the human body is not designed for this type of activity, so it would begin with one dirty punch and it would end with chicks on the ground, scrambling to get each other in scissor locks until one had to tap out… What’s popular/universally accepted right now in the world is so disappointing.
Now that we’re done reminiscing the past, let’s talk about the future. Scumpire has a new full-length video dropping at the end of the month, and we are quite excited for that! What, and who, is in the next mixtape? What should the world expect from this piece?
The mixtape was originally just going to be a bunch of montages and weird stuff, that we were going to sell with our first t-shirt while we continued working on the big project (basically the follow up to CHVPO). Now, the mix_tape has become a full-length project and it’s going to look like a continuation of my work, showcasing the new young guns: Isaac Parks, Austin Cooper, Greg Schlosser, and Zach Pavel, with an extensive Denver part featuring all your favorite Scumpire players.
Now that the Hvmvngvs Mixtape is available, how much are you selling the video for? And are you gonna spend all the money on booze, hookers and drugs, and live that glamorous pro blader’s lifestyle?
HVMVNGVS is now available since October 23, 2015. You have 2 options of purchase. The first being Sellfy, where you can download it for $5.99. And then if you think that sucks, the second option is buying a Jeremy Beightol exclusive t-shirt he made for us a few years ago for 25 bucks, and you’ll receive a USB with HVMVNGVS and whatever BONUS material I decide to fit on the USB. All profits go towards our future endeavors while we continue to work on our next flick.
Sounds like a great deal! Now that the mixtape is out, are there any new projects you will be working on? What’s in the cards for Ian Walker and/or Scumpire in the future?
I’m going to continue chipping away out the follow up to EL_CHVPO, but the main goal is to keep up content that were happy with, get some more goods out there, and bring in more homies who share a similar vision of what rollerblading is to them.
Any last words of wisdom you’d wanna share with the world, shout out’s and thank you’s?
“TALK IS CHEAP MOTHERFUCKER“. If you’re sitting around talking about blading, you’re not blading, and that’s just dawg shit. There’s no secret to blading. Who cares if you’re busy, or not filming well, or your camera sucks; as long as you are actively trying to blade everything will be fine, and blading will continue to exist.
I’d like to thank everyone who has dealt with my bullshit over the years, fucking love y’all.
Bonus question: who would win in a fight between a super stoned shark and a heavily drunken crocodile?
Denver is the land of super stoned mutant sharks, carrying a heavy amount of disease and despair. I’d put all my money on a drunk crocodile any day. These sharks out here would forget to breath if it weren’t for their new state-of-the-art vape pens to keep them inhaling.