(From our Nov-Dec issue)
It's here. Our 30th full-length video. Can you believe it? For this opus, Joe "JoeFace" Monteleone and James Buchmann approached us about making an all shared-parts project, called duets, shot on 4k/RED cameras. It's been a year and a half in the making, so read up on the thoughts behind the scenes as we've hit the finish line.
Interviews by Blair Alley
How did the whole idea of this video come about?
JoeFace: I got wind that the 29th TWS video was supposed to be the last video, and I called Mike Fitz and said, "I have an idea for a video and I'm gonna come down tomorrow and talk to you and Jaime [Owens] and everybody about it."
I hung up the phone and I called [James] Buchmann, and I was like, "I'm going to Transworld, I'm gonna interview for the 30th video and see if we can make it."
The idea was formed around Kevin Bradley and Na-Kel sharing a part, they were originally supposed to. I just finished watching Feedback and the idea was, let's make a video of all split parts. I don't think anyone's done that and it would be something new. I think I came up with the idea on the drive down to Transworld that day.
Buchmann: I remember I had just left The Skateboard Mag and Joe wanted to pitch a skate video to Transworld. Joe had come up with the duets idea while picking me up in Venice to head down to San Diego to meet with Jaime Owens. We talked about it in the car the entire ride down. When we were leaving the office to talk about the idea, I remember the chances of making it didn’t seem likely, but then a couple weeks later we got the green light.
Did you have the title duets in mind from the beginning also?
JoeFace: Yeah, that was the first thing I thought of, was the name. Two dudes, whole video, duets. That's what it is. I don't think I wanted the "s." I wanted it to be duet. But I think the "s" got added during the discussion.
Buchmann: There's something so rad about two people sharing a part, it shows how fun skating with your friends is. I've been influenced by many shared parts such as Louie Barletta and Jerry Hsu (Subject to Change), BA and Gino Iannucci (Nothing but the Truth), Bobby Worrest and Hjalte Halberg (Looks OK to Me), the triplet part in A Time to Shine with Paul, Mikey, and Jereme Rogers. It sounded like such a good idea and we knew it would lighten the load for the skaters with their crazy schedules nowadays.
Why did you guys decide to use RED cameras for this?
Joeface: We are idiots. We wanted to make it as hard as humanly possible for ourselves. No, I'm kidding. Buchmann and I both have REDs and based on what we watched growing up, Transworld videos always had a higher quality film aesthetic to everything they did. We own these movie cameras, you know they make real movies with them, so we decided to make it 4k, that was the goal. Not everybody has RED cameras, but there're people with 4k options that can match after some color correction, etc. We just wanted to give it the quality we thought it deserved. Especially it being the 30th video, that's a big deal.
Buchmann: Me and Joe both have REDs so we knew that was what we were going to shoot it on. I am a big fan of the image and way the footage can help you in post. I do miss filming with a camera and a zoom though, getting around on trips and skate missions was definitely a challenge during this video. Going back to one camera bag and a decent photo tripod sounds like heaven. For the project settings, I really love the look of 24 frames, but with the complications of not having double angles and RED being the only camera that can shoot at 48 frames with sound, we decided to shoot the video in 60p and finish it in a 30p timeline. I believe iTunes is going to have the 4k option.
How long has this video been in the works?
JoeFace: We came down and talked about it in February or March of 2017, and I think we started filming for it in April. Then I got into that car accident in May, that kind of put me on the shelf for a while. I almost died, that wasn't cool. A couple months after that we started to go for it and I haven't really stopped since. The video is due in a week and I'm still filming.
Buchmann: The current lineup has been in the works since October 2017, but we started filming in May 2017.
What's your take on videos in 2018, are they to be sold or put out online for free?
JoeFace: That's a hard discussion to have because I don't feel like a full-length is a disposable medium, like it goes online, everyone sees it, and then it goes away in a week. Everybody's hard work disappears. When I was a kid, a couple videos would come out a year, and you'd watch them for a year or two, or in my case, 20. You have to evolve, but I don't think they belong online, there are some things that can go online, but I don't think a full-length video should be given away for free. They cost a lot of money to make. For some reason everything in skating ends up being free, even though none of it is. It's really strange.
Buchmann: I still feel like a kid sometimes but I am getting old. I'm more bitter at the route skateboarding is taking than accepting it. I really love the way it used to be, you had 411s and three to five company videos come out a year, and of course the annual TWS video. You would cherish and anticipate the arrival of each video, you would watch each tape and DVD 'til you knew everything about every part and about each trick. The internet is so purgeable that all is lost and forgotten the next day, that is until someone on Instagram starts posting raw clips a couple weeks or TBTs later. Projects like this that have a premiere, get people together and give you something that you can hold in your hand is keeping a part of skateboarding that I love alive.
Have you put any thought in what you're going to do next? After the video?
JoeFace: I have a regular job outside of filming this video. I run Dickies Skateboarding. I was double duty the entire time we've been filming. My responsibilities will shift back toward Dickies full time. The boys have kicked around the idea of maybe doing a full-length. We'll have to have a discussion about that.
Buchmann: I have been so busy the last couple years with trying to work and skate every second in between. It will be nice to take a couple slow months and relax. I'm talking to my friend Chris Colbourn about working on a project with him. We will have to see.
"I would skip an amazing part to a bad song before skipping a bad part to a good song."—James Buchmann
How important is music in your videos?
JoeFace: Music is the most important element after skating. You can have the best footage in the world, and have a shit song, and your part is basically trash. And you just gotta hope somebody remixes it and puts it out later. It's hard on a budget, we gotta get everything properly licensed out. That comes into play, the best video parts in the world, the skating is complemented by a song that makes you remember the part. I can't hear Knights In White Satin and not think about Heath Kirchart, or you can't listen to 1984 and not think about Arto. But that stuff is pricey.
Buchmann: Not just music but a good soundtrack in general is everything in a skate video. I would skip an amazing part to a bad song before skipping a bad part to a good song. We wanted the soundtrack to have a fun vibe but also had to take into consideration the different styles of skating. Most of the time you don’t let skaters pick their music, but on this project we let a couple of guys pick their tracks, the rest of the tracks all fell into place.
What filmers influence you?
JoeFace: Joe Castrucci for sure. Photosynthesis is the most important video I've ever watched. That's the epitome of a perfect video. A bunch of people filmed that and put it together. Now that I'm older, I appreciate what Greg Hunt has done, what Jon Holland has done, what Ty Evans has done, what Jason Hernandez has done. Those guys go above and beyond and have bred other guys to do what they do. Strobeck has created something that's all his own which is sick. Meza for sure. There is a long list of guys that have made legendary videos that have shaped the way I look at things. Jon Miner, Benny Maglinao, and Josh Stewart as well.
Buchmann: Russel Houghten, French Fred, Jason Hernandez, Benny Maglinao, Jon Holland, Spike Jonze and Ty Evans. Also local NY filmers like Justin White, Jeremy Cohen, Steve Marino, and RB Umali really motivated me when I was younger.
Your favorite clip in the video we should look out for:
JoeFace: Buchmann filmed a clip of Sebo that I really like. Just because of the way Sebo did the whole thing. Jake [Hayes]'s last trick is really special. Vin [Alvarez]'s last trick in his and Zack [Wallin]'s part is really special, nollie 270 tail 270 in that SD ditch with Marius. Carlos [Ribeiro]' switch tail 270 heel, gap in gap out at USC is crazy. Every single thing that Miles [Silvas] did was fucked. The boys killed it, they fuckin' crushed it.
Buchmann: The first time I busted out the camera in Spain, about 15 minutes later I had footage on my card which I'm pretty sure is my favorite line I have ever had the privilege of riding shotgun on. It's simple but the style, the sound, the flow, it hit home.
Pick up duets on all the major platforms now!: