Fully Flared Director’s Interview: Ty Evans

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Ty Evans

*The following is an unedited interview from the 2008 Transworld Buyer’s Guide, on-sale now.

LAKAI’S FULLY FLARED — TY EVANS, DIRECTOR

Words by Carleton Curtis

(the full Lakai slideshow is to the bottom left)

Let’s just get this out of the way: What took so long?
There are so many different guys on the team and everybody just does their own thing—it’s hard to corral everyone, you know? With every video, there will always be ups and downs and reasons for delays. We’re just at that day and age where videos do take this long to make. If you look at the other videos in this article, I’ll guarantee you they went past their deadlines too.

But for some reason Lakai gets all the questions.
It’s just harder to make videos these days—you’re always getting kicked out. And on top of that, with skating getting harder and people getting better, it’s harder for everybody in every way.

What’s it like corralling some of skateboarding’s biggest names on one of skateboarding’s biggest teams to create—as some are predicting—one of skateboarding’s biggest videos?
At home in L.A. it’s easier, because Rick recently bought a fifteen-passenger van and he lets me use it. On the weekends, I invite everybody over to my house and we just jump in the van and go. That works sometimes, but other times it backfires, because a bunch of guys are sitting in a van going to spots they don’t want to go to. They may be bummed at the spot, but one of the fifteen guys is actually getting something good. So you have to sacrifice that time for everyone to get stuff. On the bright side, everybody is rooting for each other and there’s a good team vibe going.

This is definitely the most eclectic group of skaters I’ve ever worked with. As guys get older, they start having families and kids and other priorities, so it’s a little different than somebody who just turned pro and who’s really hungry. Take somebody like Marc, who’s had about seventeen video parts—he’s probably thinking, “How many times can I keep doing this? How can I keep topping myself? So it’s hard to keep up your motivation sometimes. Marc’s been skating a bit differently in Fully Flared, looking at spots differently, trying to find something unique that best suits the spot. His part changed significantly every three months because he’s been getting so much good stuff.

It seems like you guys have been pushing the video for over two years now. Did you have parts that had already reached their final-cut stage, but revised them because of all the added time?
I had a rough edit about a year ago, and we were debating putting it out but felt that it just wasn’t there yet. But it wasn’t a final edit. It was more of a rough edit to show people where the skating and music stood. The past year was all about fine-tuning. It was all about flying around to Cairo‘s house or Pappalardo‘s and finishing out everyone’s part.

How many people do you have assisting you off camera?
Besides myself, the main group has been Aaron Meza and Chris Ray, who lives in Sacramento—he helped me film Biebel. In Europe, it’s been an Italian homey named Fedrico Vitetta who’d been living with Oliver Barton in Spain for a year. I got an extra Pansonic HD camera, so I helped show him the ropes with it. Then there’s been conceptual help from Rick and Spike, but he’s been really busy with his own movie. And finally, Johannes Gamble has been helping with all the effects work.

How did this budget compare to, say, Yeah Right!‘s?
With any video, the majority of the money gets spent on trips. It’s like twenty grand to send a group of guys out to Europe or Australia. Plus you’ve got computer and camera repairs, gas… it gets up there fast. People always say, “Oh, you spent how much on this video? But if you think about it, the guys on the trip get photos for their articles and for their ads and are seen by the kids. It all boils down to promoting companies also—it helps sell products in more ways than one.

Skateboarders and corporate sponsors have always been strange bedfellows. So why did you end up partnering with Panasonic?
When we filmed the Hot Chocolate video, we filmed the interviews in standard-def 24p camera, which is the DVX-100. Then I put “Filmed with Panasonic cameras in the credits. Randomly, a kid and his mom were at the premiere and she happened to work for Panasonic and saw that. But I think Animal Chan somehow knew her and put her in contact with Girl. One thing led to another and we started helping to cross promote each other.

How much of Fully Flared was filmed in HD?
The bulk of the video was filmed with the standard camera everybody’s always been using. For our hi-def stuff, we used them in the way film cameras were used: capturing second angles, something cool going on at the spot, or a shot of somebody throwing his board down. It’s the same concept of shooting 16mm, but you have a different workflow getting it into your editing system. HD doesn’t look like video and it doesn’t look like film—it almost looks like its own medium.

There’s a steep learning curve though with HD fisheye, because the left-to-right viewing angle is almost twice as wide, but the top-to-bottom angle almost looks cropped.
Right. It feels weird, because with old fisheye cameras, you had more leeway up close. But now you can cut people’s heads off really easily. But I’m backing HD for sure. It has a new, fresh feel to it.

To be clear, what exactly is the story behind the word “flare?
I don’t know. I thought it was from Office Space. Maybe it’s a secret.

So they just tell you what the title is, then you go film the video?
Oh, you mean where the name Fully Flared came from? The flare is the little logo on the side of the shoe, like the Swoosh. As for the video, we did the Euro video Beware Of The Flare and this is the full version, hence the name. We originally wanted to call the video Lakai Or Die. But right when we thought of it, Zero’s New Blood came out and I was always confused—like, was it Zero Or Die or New Blood? Maybe we can do Lakai Or Die next.

If there’s ever been a re-occurring criticism of your work, it’s been your choice of music. What’s your response to that?
I think people are right. A lot of the music I use does suck. But I think it’s cool to use different music. If everyone likes what you’re doing, maybe you’re doing something wrong. I think criticism is fine.

Do you think companies will ever be ballsy enough again to use a full jazz soundtrack?
F—k, Stereo’s back. They should do it. Stereo definitely made a cool statement back then.

How flexible are you with allowing riders to pick their own songs?
Totally. That’s the first thing you wanna do: Figure out what everybody wants to skate to. And a lot of the guys come up with really good stuff that works. The hard part is when somebody has no idea what to use.

Koston left éS for Lakai rather late in the game. How did that affect his part?
Well, that’s one of the reasons why this video has taken so long. We were well into the video when Eric came on board, so we had to rethink things and get him on the same page. Then Guy got on Lakai, so the same adjustments had to be made. I remember Giovanni Reda went out with Guy a long time ago and got photos, but nothing was filmed. So I came back and said, “Look, Guy, I really want you to have a part in the video. But he just wanted to settle for a couple tricks. So I started really pushing him on it, like, “No, I really think you should have a part. He thought it was crazy, like he couldn’t go up against all these guys. But two years later, Guy—and Eric—are on the same level.What’s going to happen to the footage Eric filmed for éS?We have it. I mean, are kids gonna be angry because he has éS shoes on?

But wasn’t Scuba Steve squatting on the footage until the price was right?
Well yeah, Scuba and Sole Tech got paid for the footage. I think it’s only fair. When Stevie Williams left and went to DC, I heard they got paid pretty well. It’s the standard now—people invest a lot of money getting footage.

Mandatory YouTube question: Did it kill the video star?
Definitely. I think we’re in a gray area right now as far as distribution. We’re starting to see the possibilities behind Apple TV and technology is only going to get better. It’s the same transition we all made when MP3 players came out—we realized we didn’t really need these CDs. Yeah, it sucks how blatant things get leaked onto YouTube, but it also does help the transition in the bigger picture. All films will be downloaded five to ten years from now. The Daryl Angel HD experiment I did on Skate Fairy is a good example of that, but the problem is how can money be made from it?

Since this is the TWS Buyer’s Guide, I have to ask you what your current filmer-board setup is?
You know what’s funny? Every time we go on trips, the filmer boards always mysteriously disappear at baggage claim. So you start thinking, “What is it about filmer boards? Do they get stuck in the conveyor belts? Or do people think the soft wheels look good? Basically, I always have a big wide board, some nice big Indys, some riser pads, and big soft wheels and you’re good to go.

Loose or tight?
Oh tight for sure. Dude, you can’t have wheel bite. Are you crazy?

But you’ve got risers on, plus tight trucks.
Yeah, but you still get wheel bite.

Which videos are you looking forward to in 2008?
Definitely the Fallen video—I think Chris Cole is gonna have amazing stuff. And the Nike SB video—I love Omar and can’t wait to see his part. What else? The Workshop video is gonna be great. Dylan Rieder is awesome. And who’s that kid on éS for Lakai rather late in the game. How did that affect his part?
Well, that’s one of the reasons why this video has taken so long. We were well into the video when Eric came on board, so we had to rethink things and get him on the same page. Then Guy got on Lakai, so the same adjustments had to be made. I remember Giovanni Reda went out with Guy a long time ago and got photos, but nothing was filmed. So I came back and said, “Look, Guy, I really want you to have a part in the video. But he just wanted to settle for a couple tricks. So I started really pushing him on it, like, “No, I really think you should have a part. He thought it was crazy, like he couldn’t go up against all these guys. But two years later, Guy—and Eric—are on the same level.What’s going to happen to the footage Eric filmed for éS?We have it. I mean, are kids gonna be angry because he has éS shoes on?

But wasn’t Scuba Steve squatting on the footage until the price was right?
Well yeah, Scuba and Sole Tech got paid for the footage. I think it’s only fair. When Stevie Williams left and went to DC, I heard they got paid pretty well. It’s the standard now—people invest a lot of money getting footage.

Mandatory YouTube question: Did it kill the video star?
Definitely. I think we’re in a gray area right now as far as distribution. We’re starting to see the possibilities behind Apple TV and technology is only going to get better. It’s the same transition we all made when MP3 players came out—we realized we didn’t really need these CDs. Yeah, it sucks how blatant things get leaked onto YouTube, but it also does help the transition in the bigger picture. All films will be downloaded five to ten years from now. The Daryl Angel HD experiment I did on Skate Fairy is a good example of that, but the problem is how can money be made from it?

Since this is the TWS Buyer’s Guide, I have to ask you what your current filmer-board setup is?
You know what’s funny? Every time we go on trips, the filmer boards always mysteriously disappear at baggage claim. So you start thinking, “What is it about filmer boards? Do they get stuck in the conveyor belts? Or do people think the soft wheels look good? Basically, I always have a big wide board, some nice big Indys, some riser pads, and big soft wheels and you’re good to go.

Loose or tight?
Oh tight for sure. Dude, you can’t have wheel bite. Are you crazy?

But you’ve got risers on, plus tight trucks.
Yeah, but you still get wheel bite.

Which videos are you looking forward to in 2008?
Definitely the Fallen video—I think Chris Cole is gonna have amazing stuff. And the Nike SB video—I love Omar and can’t wait to see his part. What else? The Workshop video is gonna be great. Dylan Rieder is awesome. And who’s that kid on Creature?

David Gravette.
Yeah, that guy’s great. I think it’s really cool that there are these newer kids skating like the older guys. It’s great seeing them annihilate sh-t, instead of these clones who are switch heelflipping down ten, switch heelflipping down fifteen… it’s been done.

FOR EVEN MORE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS, PLUS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEXT YEAR’S SKATE GEAR, CHECK OUT THE 2008 TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING BUYER’S GUIDE. GRAB A COPY AT YOUR LOCAL SKATESHOP, NEWSSTAND, OR RIGHT HERE.