The Haitian‘s first full length video came out earlier this year without much warning, and the Lost Tapes took the blading world by surprise. In an ever shrinking industry lacking fresh new blood to keep the wheels turning, seeing a bunch of teenagers throwing themselves at big obstacles and lacing tricks with such finesse is not only impressive, it is also extremely refreshing.
Such a massive project coming to life without much fuzz or hype raised a good numbers of questions, too. When were said tapes lost, and how did they see the light of sun eventually? And most of all: how had such great blading gone overlooked until now? These questions, along with many others, we asked the man who took it upon himself to make this video a reality.
Without any more warning, let Brian Bina tell the tale of the Lost and Found.
Interview: Freddy White Photography: Brian Bina & the Haitian
We understand this story goes back to 2012, when the Haitian crew assembled in the infamous Death Gime Manor, until some point in 2013 when everyone kinda split and went their own way. Can you give us the full story, a little recap of what that time period encapsulates?
Pretty much, we all saved some money from mid 2011 and set a date for January 2012 to be in California. We got there and couch surfed for a few weeks checking out tons of houses. We finally found one tucked into the back of a shitty parking lot, owned by some Mexican family that was hesitant to rent to us. They were right to be. But $3,000 cash speaks wonders.
We then spent a little over a year getting full use of the house. We turned it into a dream house. Sean and I renovated the entire attic for living spaces. We had a sick yard and got a puppy. Crazy awesome and some not-so-awesome cracked out neighbors. The best skate box that ever existed. Tons of guitars, drums, a shit ton of amps, an organ. Pretty much the house everyone dreams for. And the shoes to fill it. We were trying to change shit. The stagnancy that we saw. And everyone who visited saw the same vision.
A bit after a year, we got kicked out, but we didn’t feel like we should stay anyways. The house had been taken over by roaches and mice, people stopped cleaning, and it started to get quite out of hand. Vibes were down. We packed up the van and drove to Portland, where we were supposed to land a house and start all over again. But it didn’t work out that way. We pretty much spent 3 weeks wasting the last of our money searching for our next dream. We couldn’t land anything. We then drove to our last resort, Kansas City, Misery. Into the deepest darkest ghetto that would accept a van full of dirty stoned poor kids.
It is also during that time that Malcolm and Dylan managed to film these Lost Tapes. Seeing how great the skating they captured is, why did it take so long for that footage to see the light of the sun?
That’s funny, the project is titled “sun” in final cut.
That one is kind of a tough story. After moving to Kansas City, vibes were fully off. We lasted a few months, and then Seba and I went on the Shredweiser tour, some people went to New York Invitational. And whoever couldn’t afford it stayed at the house. So it kind of separated everyone in a way. No one wanted to be there, but it was our only option. Things fell apart fast. Everyone stopped paying rent, and we lost the house. I think the tapes went up to Chicago and then to Madison with Dylan. And then just sat there. It was too big of an entity for anyone to even look at. I mean 100 tapes full of all your best pals living the dream staring you in the face, where do you even start with something like that? It’s definitely mentally draining.
Why did you go after them, and decide to wrap them all together in one big project?
I have always thought about the tapes since they were tucked away. We tried to start editing before I left for Europe but again, it was just way too much to handle. So when I got back from Europe, I emailed Dylan and told him to send me all the tapes he can find.
It being winter, and me having absolutely nothing going on in the west Chicago suburbs (a scary place I might add) I knew I could devote everything I have towards it. The perfect candidate. Except I’ve never edited before…
Sounds like the perfect start for going into such a huge project, indeed! How long did it take to go through all the tapes, and capture all the footage?
Going through the tapes wasn’t that bad. We had a lot of stuff already captured over the years that I had on a hard drive. But I bought a capture camera, and flew through the tapes in about a week. I was so excited to see all the stuff again that I couldn’t wait. I would go through 10-15 tapes at a time smiling like a little kid. That was my favorite part I think.
How was the editing process? Did you have a precise idea from the start, like the structure of the video, who was going to get a section, etc, or was it more of an evolutive, natural process with a narrative which evolved as you were going through the footage?
Well like I said, I’ve never edited before, apart from Windows Movie Maker like seven years ago. I’ve never used Final Cut. So I had to learn everything by experience, and that was pretty time consuming. I didn’t have the video’s layout in my mind, but I did want to portray a certain emotion from the footage. I wanted to try to share the feeling that I get from watching the footage. By the size of everyone’s folders, I knew who was going to have sections, so that was easy. And then once I found the perfect song for everyone, things would evolve from there. I have pages and pages of notes and scribbles from layout options, to graphs, haha everything. The intro and titles idea came to me three days before the release date in a flash of intuition. It was exactly what I needed to tie everything together.
What happened with Quintin‘s 30X30 section? I remember watching this one online something like 2 years ago, then it vanished from the tubes… And reappeared in a better, augmented version in The Lost tapes. Any particular reason behind this mysterious process?
Haha shit… Sorry Q!
Pretty much when Q lived at our house, some weed went missing, due to what I’m considering a misinterpretation and confusion. And it evolved into some hurtful stuff being said, and ultimately Quintin’s expulsion from the manor. Nick and Quintin had blown, and bought a new tire for the van. It ended up being a fiberglass tire from the 60’s, which are illegal to drive on. After Quintin left, it exploded on the highway nearly killing all 10 of us in the van on a weekend skate trip.
Its safe to assume that Malcolm felt that all the hard work he had just put into the project, and Quintin, was undeserved. Hence taking the footage offline, and ultimately deleting it.
It is somewhat of the perfect intro for one’s section, as it creates a high intensity level right away, but let’s hear the backstory for that one. What was that fight with Sean Cullen all about?
Hahaha holy shit. I actually wasn’t there that night. And Mr. Cullen would probably appreciate it if I stay silent on this one. A group of drunk people in the streets of Los Angeles do some funny things… (We were still on good terms after the fight.)
Talking about drunk, why did you think it would be a good idea to learn how to make cocktails molotov and actually fire them during what seemed to have been an inebriated night?
Oh god. So it was Jona’s 21st birthday, and Seba, Darst, Jona, and I went to the local bar after we had just downed an entire handle of whisky. And I don’t drink whisky. I was blacked out before we stepped into the first bar. We got kicked out because I kept on trying to smoke. Just belligerent. We then went to the bar next door, and some English accent spiked hair havin’ ass dude wouldn’t let us in. And us being the patriots we are, felt that wasn’t right. Hahaha!
Long story short, I pushed the doorman, and then got socked straight to the ground by some dude pretending to be Hulk Hogan. Darst got choked out, and Jona filmed the entire thing. Cops came, we convinced them that we got bullied, and told us we could go (incredibly), so we went back home, and then I was going to walk back to the bar and molotov them. Thank the universe for making me too drunk to even make one. Because I 100% was going to. And would probably still be in jail. Oh and we didn’t have a lighter, so I had to light it on the stove. It’s funny too, if you look closely, you see me break it feet away from the van. Idiot. Seriously insane footage.
The reception of the video has been overwhelmingly positive it seems. How many people did download it so far? Were you happy with the feedback you’ve gotten? As for yourself, were you happy with the final result, and on a personal level, with how your own section turned out?
Yes people have been pouring so much good energy towards it, I’m very happy about that. Around 220 people have downloaded it, and it’s still making sales here and there. I’m so incredibly stoked by the stuff people have been saying about it. But everyone has to remember that I simply connected the dots. I’m just a small portion of what makes this video what it is. I do however wish the quality was a bit better, exporting is the hardest thing about editing to me. As far as my own section, I’m very happy with it. It was a bit egotistical feeling to give myself the ender, but that’s what we all planned for and knew it was going to be two years ago. So I went with the original plan.
So that was the first chapter, in a way. What is the plan with all the footage you must have captured during your European tour? Can we expect another full length movie as well? Any precise plans, release date etc?
Yeah man. That video is a one of a kind. An era. I wouldn’t consider it chapter one. Since everyone has somewhat split into their own factions, it’s safe to say that there will be multiple second chapters, from multiple minds, which I’m very excited to see. I know a lot of the crew had reformed here in Chicago and have their own thing going on. Then there is another LA house slowly forming, I’m hoping we will see some stuff from that.
As far as the European stuff, we are working on that as I speak. Seba is editing it right now in Argentina, and I’m off to go live with him and help out in two weeks. No precise plans or release, but it won’t be too far away. We have some cool ideas for this one. I plan to keep travelling and continue to do projects with whoever is on board. Currently, it’s Seba, Jona, and I. But whoever is dedicated to the cause is always welcome. We have a few awesome ideas for this year, and I’m super excited to start working on them.
I’d ultimately like to work on another project with the boys. But if ever, it wouldn’t be for a very long time.
Multiple second chapters sounds great indeed! As for the Haitian magazine in itself, I understand you are waiting for the delivery of the newest issue as we speak. Can you give us an idea of the table of content, and what the readers and supporters will be able to find in there?
Yeah man, been waiting. I deal with China, because it’s all I can afford at the advertisement rates that I charge. Dirt. So with the low price, comes an insane turnaround of 6-10 weeks. They have the magazine done in 3. Then I get a copy, and they sit in customs/freight-boat/customs/semi-truck for 3-7 weeks. Haha if anyone has the hook up at a cheap non-chinese printer hit me up!!! Trying to get outta there.
Content. I guess I haven’t released anything about it yet huh? I keep forgetting about it because of this whole video deal. It’s amazing. It’s my favorite issue by far. 80 pages like the last one, nice and thick. Plus a little surprise in there that I think everyone will enjoy. Big homies like Galicia, Sizemore, Miguel Ramos, Stirling, Blackjack, and a bit from our European tour. A nice one to rip up and put on your walls.
Very excited for this one. My mom read it, and said it was pretty well done. Mom’s approval is very radical.
Sounds like something we will enjoy reading, for sure! Sounds like a wrap, any last words or shout outs Brian?
Thanks Be-Mag and co. Enough about me. Looking forward to YOUR next issue. How about you tell us a little about THAT! (Editor’s note: Be-Mag #42 should be in the hands of the printer when you read this).