Interview by Richie Eisler
Trailer by Dom West
Hey Dom, so you’ve finally completed Vine St, congrats! So I’m sure the world wants to know the following: Most importantly, before we get into the video: how do you get off living on the beautiful Australian coast for almost two years and only dipping yourself in the ocean less than a handful of occasions?
Haha damn! No real excuses I guess. It’s probably a combination of being lazy/not having the time/filming and skating too much/being a pasty white boy. Who knows, maybe now I’m done with the video I’ll make some more time for it. In fact I’m actually writing this on the beach right now!
Can you name some inspirations in regards to this video? Which videos changed your life and inspired you?
The main inspiration with regards to the video would have to be everyone that was involved with the project. They are all my close friends in Australia and each person in the video brings something cool and different to the table. Also, Sydney itself is pretty inspiring: the picturesque location and unique spots make it really fun and exciting to film.
Video wise I grew up on VG 6 and stuff from around that time where there was a fair bit of coverage on Australia. It then seemed like exposure for the Australian scene died out a bit around 2000. As soon as I came to Sydney and met all the boys it was clear how strong the scene still was, and I knew that there was potential to make something cool that could portray the Australian scene in it’s current stage. In terms of filming and production, Beau Cottington’s videos are the most timeless for me, Respect being my favourite video of all time. In recent years Carl Sturgess’ stuff has probably influenced me the most with his amazing follow shot filming and perfect beat matching.
Are you going to make another video or is this it, your magnificent contribution to the world of blade flicks and then peace?
Right now I can’t see myself making another one anytime soon. The amount of time and effort that goes into making a skate video is way more than I imagined. Props to anyone who’s ever made one! I’m not putting the camera down though. I do enjoy filming and editing and trying to make skating look cool, so I’ll be making plenty more edits for sure. As for another video, it would have to be something totally different, as the set up that we had for Vine St has changed somewhat. I’ve always thought making some kind of tour video would be pretty fun.
Can you share a few of your favourite memories from the filming of the video?
To me the whole video is just one big memory of the last year and a half in Australia. In terms of actual filming, Manly sessions with yourself (Richie) were always productive but chill at the same time. The weekend away at Kayd’s place was probably the most productive session, plus we got to drink longies in that dude’s sick homemade bar! Also, all the times when we didn’t have a car and just put our blades on at Vine and headed into the city. At the time it seemed like a nightmare, lugging around camera equipment without a clue where to skate, but looking back they were always the most fun.
What was so magical about the time and place we all shared in Sydney? To me it is something that I can’t put words on, but will forever remember.
It’s really hard to say exactly what is was. You’re right though, it was definitely something special. I think it was a combination of everyone’s personalities mixing together, the amazing location and feel that Sydney has, and the beautiful Australian weather. Although things have slightly changed now, with myself, CJ and Simon no longer living at Vine St, and yourself no longer in the country, the scene here is still strong and fun with plenty of new faces still coming through.
Which is your favourite section in Vine St. and why?
To be honest after spending countless hours editing the video I am pretty sick of it all! I think I will be able to answer that question better a year down the line when I can step back and watch the video from an outside perspective. If I had to chose one right now it would be Simon and Charlie’s. Something about their skating with that song I just love! But well all know Broll is really the best part of the video 😉
If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
If I did things again I would definitely have left more time for editing. It felt pretty rushed at the end trying to get it all done around work and other commitments. I would have loved to have spent more time making the bonus parts into a video itself, as this was closer to our original idea. Saying that, I’m glad it’s done. If you don’t put a deadline on something like this it can just go on forever.
Some say you have one of the best true topsouls around. How do you respond to these allegations? Do you have your own profile in the video and are you happy with it?
Haha I do enjoy a good true topsoul. It is for sure one of my favourite tricks and I’ve got pretty flexy ankles so it comes pretty easily. But really we all know Shayne Skower has the best one out there, with Jeff Frederick pretty close behind.
I do have a small shared part in the video. I’m definitely not happy with it. I was thinking about not putting myself in the video as it feels weird editing your own clips, but seeing as the video is also about the house itself and who has lived there, it made sense for me to be in there.
I figure Rian and CJ are better than everyone. Care to take my side or debate the issue?
Well CJ is for sure the best park skater in the world right now. There is no one who can ride transitions as naturally as him. His street capabilities are also up there with the best and he’s just really exciting to watch. Rian is really fucking good and finds skating far too easy. I can honestly say he skated the least out of anyone in the whole video and came out with one of the best sections. If he wasn’t so lazy/busy things could get interesting.
Last question: What are your plans for the coming year?
Release Vine St, relax and enjoy Australian summer, Hong Kong to visit my brother, UK Summer, Masters in London, Australia round 3..
Dom West: Producer of Vine St.