If you skate you probably have a group of homies that you skate with regularly. Unique, annoying, and surprising in their own ways, and better at some things than others, but always down to get in the car and skate all day, all night, and all weekend. No sponsors, five dollars here and there for gas, late night dinners at your favorite drive-thru… Maybe a few long flights to foreign countries might even be in the mix? Am I painting a picture yet? Add the notion that you're doing this for no other reason besides the fact that you want to; because you love skateboarding and part of skateboarding is getting out and exploring with your friends while making shit happen.
Let me introduce you to Kris Anacleto (@pissonkris). He and the semi-fluctuating cast of Double Guns are no strangers to the flow above. They'd probably even tell me that I'm barely scratching the surface and I'd tell them that I agree. And while the idea of making an independent skate video is no new thing, for the past decade-plus Kris has been busy filming four of them—in his spare time—in and around North County SD all while working freelance gigs and more recently managing a local brewery (@boozebros) in Vista, California. Each video in the DG series is heavily flooded with prized North County San Diego spots peppered in with some highly desirable overseas destinations and everywhere else in between. For those of us who live here locally, it's a video in which we get to cheer on our hometown heroes; for those of you who don't, it's a great snapshot into one little snippet of the widespread San Diego skate scene.
When the dust settles, Double Guns is a skateboarding video—a raw, one-hundred-percent, classically formulated skateboarding video—all shot through the lens of standard def VX no less, with a run time under 30 minutes. So before you hit play and lock eyes with those pixels on that computer screen or smart phone of yours, learn a little more about the man shoving his camera in his friends' faces for fun in the interview below.
Double Guns 3.5 was a promo released a few weeks before Double Guns 4
For starters: Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Kris Anacleto. I was born in Boston, but I’ve lived in Vista pretty much my entire life. For the past few years, I’ve been the general manager of Booze Brothers Brewing Co. (www.boozebros.com) here in Vista. It’s a pretty rad setup over there, we do a lot of rad skate oriented events while including our craft beer. Ben Horton of $lave Skateboards does all of the artwork for our branding, so that’s a pretty rad collaboration on a regular basis.
Beyond just a skate video, what would you say Double Guns is and how did it come about?
I had a pretty generic camera all through out high school and would film friends skating flat bars, jump ramps, Jackass-esque skits, just your usual dumb kid stuff. Once I graduated high school, I got a job doing video work and my parents realized I wasn’t going to go the college route. They let me use some of my college money to buy a VX2100, and that’s when I started actually going on small trips and focusing on making an actual video. The group has stayed relatively the same since day one, but there’s always been at least one different person in each video. Zack Sorenson, Jason Kuhns, and Nils White have been in every video, and the rest of the dudes and have at least made an appearance in just about every video. All of the dudes have been local and friends of friends, but we’re all pretty tight-knit at this point. As for the name, that’s a stupid inside joke from quite a long time ago, I don’t even think all of the dudes in the videos know the meaning.
Have you solely filmed and edited every single video?
Yeah, I’ve shot and edited every Double Guns. Towards the end, there’s always some submitted clips for the friends sections, but Double Guns 4 is the first video where we don’t have a friends section. For this video, there are only three clips in the entire video I didn’t film. I didn’t even realize that until the final days of editing.
“This one was a hassle for sure. In the time that we started and finished, Jason got married, Nils moved to NY, then moved back, Zack lived in Long Beach for a while, Tim broke his back, had a daughter, and moved to Georgia, Stuart fractured his skull, and I helped start a brewery.”
How long has each video taken?
Well, the fist video only took a year, but that video was noticeably different from the rest. That video was more goofing around, but also some good tricks. I’d say DG2 took two years, and that’s when we were kind of getting more into it as far as real trips and taking it more serious. DG3 took three years and there’s a noticeable change in aesthetic and standards with that one. We all put a lot of effort into that video and I actually thought we’d be done after that. DG4 technically took seven years to complete, but I’d say we only really focused on it the last three and a half years. This one was a hassle for sure. In the time that we started and finished, Jason got married, Nils moved to NY, then moved back, Zack lived in Long Beach for a while, Tim broke his back, had a daughter, and moved to Georgia, Stuart fractured his skull, and I helped start a brewery. We definitely had a ton of responsibilities and set backs that made this video take so long.
When do you finally decide, "Okay, this is finished. I'm exporting the final version now."
I’ve had some songs laid out and rough edits for the past two years or so. That’s always helped define how someones part is looking, and gives us an idea of where lines need to be, what tricks are repetitive, how much more we need, etc. I actually planned on the video being done almost 8 months ago, but we just had to keep pushing it out. I’d say about 2 1/2 months ago I decided “we’re just about done, now we’ll just see if we can get anything better.”
The entire Double Guns series has been shot in standard def. Have you used the same camera to film every video and give me your opinion on the SD vs. HD debate. You seem to be a pretty avid VX user.
Yup, I’ve used the same camera for every video. Double Guns 1 & 2 I used a MK2 lens, which looks like garbage when it comes down to it. When we started DG3, I found an adapter ring that allowed me to use a MK1 lens, which changed things up a lot for me. I used to be pretty against HD videos in skating when HD first became available to skateboarders. People just hadn’t perfected how to shoot with it yet, so it looked odd. But nowadays, there are some people making some great videos HD, so I’m all for it. But I think it goes without saying that there’s a certain nostalgia with VX videos, especially for my generation.
In the past, you've mentioned that you guys had a pretty strict filming schedule on the weekends. Like, if you weren't awake and meeting up at the house at 8AM you were going to miss the boat! Is that you spearheading the missions? How many times were dudes left behind and bummed?
Yeah, we’ve stayed pretty true to the 8am starts, a lot of times even earlier. We would hit up the Valley, LA, etc. a lot more for this video, so waking up earlier was pretty imperative if we wanted to get a full day/weekend in. It’s definitely me spearheading the trips, but all of the dudes were equally motivated and generally early risers anyway, so it worked out pretty naturally. It’s pretty rare someone gets left behind, but it’s happened.
For those kids out there who might not have that spark to get in the car and film homie videos anymore, what are some reasons you personally think it's still important to do that; to get out and hop in the car with some gas money and explore spots. I guess I'm talking about the comparison between filming what is considered a 'full-length' video these days compared to hitting your local skatepark every weekend and filming funny Instagram videos with no real end result?
Oh man, that’s a pretty easy one for me. Going on these lengthy trips and traveling all over, seeking out spots, kickin it with the bros in areas you’ve never been, it’s all about the experience. These videos we’ve made are basically video scrapbooks of the last 14 years of my life. Almost every trick has a story behind it, and you’re not really going to get that out of filming some Instagram clips at a skatepark.
“These videos we’ve made are basically video scrapbooks of the last 14 years of my life.”
Who's the most productive Double Gunner? Who's the laziest?
Zack Sorenson is a legend and everyone in Vista knows that. Him and I have gone out on solo days starting at 5am and filmed four tricks by 2pm. It’s whack to pick favorites, but he’s the MVP by everyone’s standards. I wouldn’t call anyone the laziest, it just depends on the type of spot we go to. A lot of time I seek out spots that I think dudes can get tricks at or would like, and some of those spots just don’t work out for everyone.
Were you guys literally out every single weekend leading up to the premiere? How do you feel about lighting stuff up and going on night missions?
We filmed every single weekend we had available. And yes, we filmed up until Sunday the 4th, I got home at 7PM, edited until about 7:30am, drove the DVD master to the replication house, and then had the premiere five days later. I absolutely hate night filming and we don’t have one night clip in this entire video. Lighting stuff up is such a pain in the ass, and we’ve just had poor luck with it in the past.
What has changed from filming the original Double Guns up to number four?
Everything. The first one was care free and pretty whatever, but throughout the years we’ve just become more structured. Not to say we’re on a regimen or anything, but we’re all grown adults now who have to go out of our way to skate this much and make a video like this. Our time is a bit more valuable these days, so we have to make it count when we go out. I don’t say that in a good or bad way, it just is what it is.
From the original Double Guns to DG4, which video has been the most exciting to film?
Well, I would say DG3 overall, just because it was on the cusp of when responsibilities started taking over. That was the video I would say we all honed in on what we really wanted to see from our videos. But this video has been a bit exciting in other ways. We really left the North County/SD area and explored a lot of new spots. We went to SF, Vegas, LA, Istanbul, Guadalajara, and Barcelona for this one, and new spots really make everything that much more exciting. Barcelona was amazing, we didn’t come back with as much as we thought we would, but it was so worth it. We had a lengthy layover in Istanbul for that, so just skating around at night and finding spots in the streets was pretty tight. A lot of people thought we were risky by skating around like that, but we were fine. We also looked at spots a lot differently for this video, Zack and I really got into exploring roofs. The downside of being in Southern California seems to be that everything has already been skated, so we got a bit more creative this time around.
“We went to SF, Vegas, LA, Istanbul, Guadalajara, and Barcelona for this one, and new spots really make everything that much more exciting.”
Will there be another Double Guns video? If not, will there be any other projects like it through the lens of the DG cam?
Honestly, I doubt there will be another Double Guns. We’ll definitely still be skating and filming, but it will probably go towards projects like The House Video (@thehouseofvista) or something. I’m friends with a good chunk of the $lave dudes, so I’m going to put some effort into filming with them for their upcoming video.
Anyone you want to thank or shout out?
Just the dudes who have been in all of the videos. Zack Sorenson, Jason Kuhns, Nils White, Luis Palacios, Tim Thomas, Stuart Kleinsmith, Jorge Colunga, Juan Ramirez, Tyler Smith, and Anthony Nuckols.