Had some questions after watching Civic Affair? You weren’t the only one. We got Vancouver-based videographer Jake Kuzyk on the line while he was in Montreal to get the scoop on the video. Apparently that dude from the credits didn’t actually loose his finger. Who knew? –Luke Callahan


Mike Campbell and Jake Kuzyk. PHOTO / KEITH HENRY

How did you approach the editing of this video?
I didn’t want any visuals that wasn’t made or filmed by me. I didn’t want to steal from the internet of anything like that. That’s what everyone is running right now, going on youtube and stealing video from old movies and dragging it around their edits. I only wanted to use stuff shot by myself. That was one thing that was important and then also, and far as art goes, I didn’t want too much stuff completely unrelated to skateboarding.

How’d the soundtrack come together?
I think I found the sound for Ryan Witt and Will Blakely’s section right away. I thought if I can get everything to sound in this world, I’ll be really psyched. I had some friends help me out. A lot of people helped me find that music it wasn’t just me.

How was the lineup formed?
The year before I’d filmed a lot for another Vancouver video, Suplex. My friend Dave Ehrenreich made it. All of these dudes, for the most part, were filming for that video. And a lot of people from Calgary, at the time, were moving to Vancouver or staying here for an extended time. I’d already known them or was meeting them through Jed. I was filming a bunch and giving all the footage away and eventually was like “What if I do what I did last year, but made my own video?”


Tyler Warren, Backside 50-50. PHOTO / KEITH HENRY

How long was this video in the works? How long did you film for?
It was basically the good weather of 2013. It was from April to December 2013.

What did an average day of filming for Civic Affair look like?
We’d meet either at a spot downtown or the Vancouver plaza. I’d just park my truck there and we’d skate into downtown, all day long. We would have no plans but a few ideas. We’d skate until around 8:00pm. Some days people would get off work around 8pm and I’d keep filming with them. I’d be switching off between different groups of people.

 


The original trailer for Civic Affair.

So this was more pushing spot to spot and less driving around?
There a bit of that [driving], where people had a few tricks in mind. But it was mostly spontaneous. I think it’s the way people like to skateboard now. It’ a little less pressure, it’s more fun, and you can go with more people.

Did you go on any trips while filming for this video?
I went to New York with Jed for six days. I went to San Francisco with everyone for the last week of filming. I went to Montreal and Toronto too, it was funny there was no one from the video on that trip with me.

Who did the title design?
A good friend of mine, and everyone in the video, named Dave Livingston. He lives in Vancouver and has been doing a lot of cool desings lately. He’s the CEO of Club Gear Corp. You should check it out.


What videos or videographers can you cite as influences?
I’ve always really liked Green Apple videos. Ryan McGuigan does such a good job on those, it’s truly unique to anything else that had been made at that point. You know the Green Apple videos?

Yep. Winnipeg.
I’m from Winnipeg [Canada] . Those dudes are born in Winnipeg and moved to Vancouver and filmed here and a bunch of other places. They all eventually moved back here to open a store. I always thought Ryan’s aesthetic was really funny. I thought that was sweet… And Alien Workshop videos. Greg Hunt, anything that those guys make is always really interesting. It’s really motivating to watch. They did such a good job. You want to put a lot of work in to your stuff when you watch what they do.


Green Apple Video X trailer.

It looks like there are a few cameras at work in here. VX, Super 8, are there some cell phone clips too?
There slow frame speed stuff is a Canon Elph digi camera. It’s and old point and shoot camera. It’s six or seven years old.

The video is available on DVD. How many copies did you do? Where can the hard copy enthusiasts get there hands on one?
I made 300. Antisocial is selling them online, but I think that they’re all gone [laughs]. They may have a few left.

How was the premiere?
It was really fun. It was at the shop, which was awesome for me because I’ve always really respected Antisocial. That shop does so much rad stuff for Vancouver. They’re the only good shop in Vancouver really, so when they were down to have us there and do that I was really stoked. I figured there would be like 60 skaters. In the end there was over 200. It was wild. A bunch of people couldn’t make it in and didn’t even get to see the video, which sucks but I guess it created a little more interest to go out and see it later on.

Favorite clip from the video?
Oh man. I don’t know why, but I really like the line with Dustin Henry where nose manuals into the fountain, a bowl fountain, and ollies out of it, rides across the two grates, and then front shoves of the curb. It’s such a cool way to skate that spot. That was pretty spontaneous.


Civic Affair (7:01)

What happened to that dudes finger?
It’s there. If you watch closely, he turns his hand around right before the clip cuts, and you can see his finger still.


Civic Affair (21:53)

It’s so quick, it looks like it’s could be hanging from a piece of skin and twisted around.
His one finger is flipped down into his palm and there is make up on top of his knuckle. Vancouver Film School is at that spot. He was a random dude they did makeup on… So many people ask about that clip, it’s so funny.

Mike Campbell, ollie. PHOTO / KEITH HENRY

What’s going on for upcoming projects?
Rick McCrank and Michelle [Pezel], Antisocial, wanted me to make a team video. They made one when they first started the shop about ten years ago. That’s what we’re going to be doing now for the rest of the summer and maybe a little into the winter. Should be out by next spring, a similar timeline to what I was just doing. Rick was saying he wanted it to be nice and quick.

Who’s going to be in it?
There’s going to be a lot of different people. Honestly, it’s too soon to say who will have parts. Tyler Warren, Ben Blundell, Dustin Henry, Ryan Witt, Keegan Sauder, Rick McCrank, Sheldon Meleshinski, Bradley Sheppard, Brett Stobbart, Brett Gifford… I can’t think of everyone right now. There are a lot of guys of the team that still skate but don’t really film as much any more, hopefully something like this will get everybody excited to come out do a couple things. It’ll be cool to get everyone in there, the more OG team and a bunch of the new guys.


Jake Kuzyk and Tyler Warren. PHOTO / KEITH HENRY

Watch Civic Affair
Revisit the trailer
Check out photos in Keith Henry’s Proof Sheet
Follow Jake on Instagram @jakekuzyk