I’m supposed to write about how hard it is to film a video these days, all the hardships we endured while making Good And Evil, and how crazy the last days of filming are, illustrated with tall tales of people going to great lengths to get their “after black bangers” and such. But truthfully, we really had fun making Good And Evil. We did all the usual stuff that pro skateboarding entails. We sawed knobs off, flew to Europe to get footage, and evaded cops like skate ninjas. This is normal. What isn’t normal is being relaxed and having a great time instead of stressing and freaking about making your part as good and your last one, or as good as someone else expects it to be.
Toy Machine hasn’t made a full-length video since Jump Off A Building way back around 1998. So it’s been a while. Lots of riders have come and gone, and a new team was built almost from scratch.
I started with then am Austin Stephens and person by person got a group of people together who wanted to skate and be part of something that goes past just having a sponsor-something you look back on and remember as the times of your life.
A video is that. It’s a whole period of time spent working on a thing. That thing, which at its worst is just a marketing tool used to sell skateboards, is in reality a documentation of a certain chunk of time we as a team all spent together. At its best, it’s a cherished historical document that rises above the sales and the money, and becomes a marker of the times of not only our lives but yours, too.
I do not claim to have done that for you with this video, but I can honestly say that for us, this time has been laid down into this video with hard work, and we as a team all walk away with something more as a result.
As I write this, we are neck-deep into editing, and the guys are off to Arizona to try and get some last-minute skating done for their parts. Austin has been recovering from multiple injuries getting back on the skate wagon. My eyes hurt, and Kevin Barnett’s head is always on the edge of exploding from looking into a screen all day. This whole article was made in the last couple of weeks before our premiere. Both good and evil are always right around the corner-be prepared to handle them, think fast, skate faster.
Diego is Clint Eastwood and Rambo combined. He’s the first one to put his body on the line and that sets an example for the rest of us. He motivates by his attitude of being down to skate at any time, and will throw his carcass onto the cement if he thinks it’ll help you get started. He always makes up some funny statement that turns into the line of the tour. Coming in caliente!
Ed is the guy writing this article. So it’s a little weird to talk about himself. He can tell you that he spends way too much time sitting at a computer doing Toy graphics and not enough time skating. So don’t laugh at his part.
Josh has been the classic young kid coming of age. This last tour, I watched him turn into a pro skater right before my eyes. He put forth a presence and took on a new approach both on his board and off. I was truly inspired to watch the kid evolve as a human. He’s the future of Toy Machine. It was clear that he had earned his spot on the pro team, so I would like to welcome our newest pro to the big time!
Billy is a complete animal. He goes out almost every night and comes back with some shocking footage. He has channeled his gambling habit into his skating and has transformed into a super-talent. I was blown away at least fourteen different times in the last three weeks by what he was doing. He makes me feel obsolete! All he kept talking about was getting the last part. I told him, “Diego gets last part.” And he went on a hellbender to try and change it. When it came down, each part was equally good in different ways. So we’ll let you decide …
Johnnny is now the big am on the team with Josh moving up the ranks. This kid is a complete tweaker. If he isn’t arm wrestling a homeless man, he’s flying down stairs. When none of those are an option, he just listens to weird noise bands and tells stories about knocking guys out with one punch. I was excited to find a kid who can skate tranny and your standard rail spots with the same gnar.
Matt was the secretive special rider we never told was getting on the team until this article came out. He’s a living Beavis And Butthead character. He lives near Billy in Corona and is filled with secrets. I have yet to unlock all of them. But each time I find a new clue it gets more interesting. He sent me some of his photos for the DVD photo galleries, and there were all these photos of cute girls. He had never mentioned anything about this outside of skating life, and I have yet to get to the bottom of these photos. But I will soon, and I will get back to you with the news …
Austin is our quiet and handsome team member and every time we stop in Middle America he’s responsible for us getting the “Are you guys a band?” question. We always make up a really stupid fake name just to answer them like, “Psychedelic Hippies Of Death.” Austin has been injured for a lot for the filming time on this video, so he’s working extra hard to put it together. Go Austin!