Tuesday, December 30, 2008

That's Crackin'

The past couple days here have been a plast. Clockin' footy and meeting people everyday, it's a wonder some people come here and leave. Been checking out a lot of famous spots you see in videos...it's a trip! I'll cut the bullshit and you can get straight to checking out photos.

Brian got this kickflip 5-0 180
out super quick. His first
sequence too, he was stoked.

This is the man Justin and I are staying with. His
name is Paul and he gets nose manual nollie
heel flips really quick. Over gaps to boot.

Jordan and Ben spot checking.

Paul coming through with a backside nosegrind
revert. This wasn't the only thing that was had
at this spot, trust.

All apologies to those wanting longer blog posts...all the days roll into one down here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'm in Long Beach with Justin from Detroit and his friend that lives here, Paul. There is no snow here and the sun is blazing. Been skating a bunch, here's one sequence for now.

A new friend, Billy, warms up with a gap
noseblunt first try.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Filmer Profile: Ryan Alexander

I've been sort of throwing this idea around with Ryan about doing a little profile on him for my blog which was originally supposed to be a day in the life during the summer. I'm guessing skateboarding happened to be the focus each time we met up so it wasn't always the first thing on our minds. Anyways, here's Ryan Alexander's filmer profile conducted via MSN. Enjoy!

Okay..let's kick things off with how you got into filming and what your first camera was.

Sounds like a good place to start. I got my first video camera for christmas when i was in grade 7..I think it was a Sony TRV-250.

haha yes! http://uaflibrary.us/media/equipment/images/SonyDCR-TRV250.jpg

Woah...next level stuff. Were you interested in filming or did your parents just decide it would be cool to give you a camera?

I watched some of the CKY videos at my friend Nic's house in grade 6 and 7 and around this time I started getting into skating and then I saw Girl Yeah Right. I think that was the point when I wanted to try filming.

Cool. Who did you start filming with?

Ethan Berrouard, Nic Scroggins, Craig Lea. This was way back, grade 7-grade 8 but then I met Steve Hunt and Alex Smith and it's funny now that I think about it but I hadn't met Colton Blight at this time and I used to just hear of the craziest tricks he could do. I would go to "Nowhere" Skatepark too and I met Colton their for the first time.

Funny you should say that, I would always hear about the crazy stuff he was doing too. Did you film mostly around the Cambridge area or were you guys venturing out into the unknown yet?

Not at this point. The furthest we ever went was downtown Galt. I must have been in about grade 8 or 9 when we first took the bus to Kitchener.

Everyone's Gotta Eat! Chomp on This.

-Ryan pulled a “BRB” on me mid conversation at this point -

Ryan: Hey

Welcome back. By the time I met you, you had a Canon GL2 and some fisheye lens...when did you hook that up?

I bought that camera in April of grade 10.

April 22nd

How long did you have that for?

About a year.

It was a quick decision to get a DVX..it was March and I was just thinking of how much better it would be to have a DVX so I tried to sell the GL2 and I knew a guy in London with a DVX that he was selling so I picked it up at the of April..best decision I have ever made.

Ah, nice. It definitely seems that since getting the DVX you've been playing with the creative aspect of video. Would you say this is just you progressing or because of the abilities of your new camera?

I would say that getting the DVX has allowed me to progress. When I got it I contemplated getting a fisheye but I decided against it because I feel that there is no skill in filming skateboarding with a fisheye. A lot of people will disagree with me. Personally I love wide lenses but I wanted to progress more with composing shots and not just point the camera. Technology is always moving forward
and I think that allows for more freedom but in contrast I was shooting 16mm black and white last week with a camera that you had to crank to load the spring that rolls the film through.

In conclusion to the question I just want to say that new technology has opened a lot of creativity in filming for me but at the same time I feel there is a lot of creativity in shooting film to. I'm sure you can understand in reference to photography. I think I went really off topic there.

Look Close, Ryan is on
some next level shit.

No dude, go on if you want, everyone wants to see into the mind of Ryan Alexander. I like your idea of quality over quantity though in regard to the fisheye topic. I'm sort of the same where I try to avoid the fisheye if possible...sometimes it's not but mostly it is. I'm going to go back in time a bit before the whole technology question, where did you pick up your knowledge and technique(s) filming?

I will have to give my thanks and appreciation to Skate Perception for teaching me. I would just lurk the forms and eventually start posting. From what I learned there I was able to start teaching myself a lot so I would have to say it's mostly self taught. Now that I go to school for film making. I have to say I have learnt a retarded amount already but Skate Perception was a big influence and just learning from doing it myself, you know what I mean?

Yeah, definitely. With the internet a fingertip away you can pretty much learn the basics to anything...it's sort of scary in a way. Who do you look to in terms of influences in the filming area?

Well my first influence for filming was Ty Evans, best skate filmer ever. But now that I am becoming more aware of cinema and stuff I would have to say I like the work of Roger Deakins and Robert Yeoman.

The Goods.

Does Ty come to you with filming questions now or are you guys on a pretty level playing field?

haha, I would be so happy if I could just shake that dudes hand.

What did you think of Fully Flared? Personally, I thought it was the first real cross over of turning a skate video into a real cinematic production - almost. Thoughts on that?

I haven't seen the entire video yet but I agree, it's definitely a big step towards cinematic skate videos..but you know how Ty is with dollys and jibs and all that fancy equipment us regular filmers can only dream of.

I guess the fact that he has access to all that stuff really does make a difference. Since you're in film school can you rent any of that equipment out?

Sort of. The first year students are pretty limited in equipment but if you show a lot of interest and become friends with the teachers they can sometimes pull some strings for you which is cool. We have a jib in the TV Studio which is pretty awesome to use and dollies are available to use.

Interesting...one weekend we should do some high production skate session a la Ryan Alexander. Next question though, what's your thoughts on the RED cameras?


-Long Pause-

Did that question just scare you or something?

It's funny you ask. Yesterday a third year, media arts student had this big presentation on the Red camera and pretty well explained the entire camera and workflow and just everything you need to know pretty well.

I think it's a big step for digital cinema and the camera is insane, it's essentially a computer, it's really complicated but it's expensive. Lenses, hard drives, etc..plus you need a whole new addition to the camera department.

The whole workflow is intense, it would be awesome to shot with one though

Do you foresee yourself getting your hands on one anytime soon?

Personally? No not at all, the lenses alone cost more than the camera. I would like to PA on a set of a Red shoot and maybe get in the camera crew for a Red shoot which would be a dream come true.

Alright, I've finished my bag of crunchy Cheetohs so I'm going to start winding this down. When you're done school what do you see yourself doing? Be specific.

I will always film skating, mainly because of the freedom and I always have a good time when I'm out filming skating, lots of good people and it's always fun. I have no idea what direction my career will take, obviously something in film. I want to work in post-production as an editor, my dream job is to be a colourist. Itt would be awesome to work in the camera and lighting department in film production or dramatic television. Whatever opportunities I'm offered I will take.

Any last words before we cut this MSN transmission off?

I just want people to know it doesn't matter if you have to most awesome HD camera or a little handy-cam. What matters is how well you compose your shots and thinking about how you want to film some thing. And one last thing..buy a tripod.

Oh, and that you should never stop learning . I learn new tricks and techniques everyday and I don't even think the stuff I shot is good, I'm always trying to improve, it's just a matter of learning as much as you can.

That it?

I have so much to say haha, but I will stop there, any other questions you can think of?

Not at the moment. Wise words my friend and thanks a bunch for your time, the blog world is ruthless when it comes to hunger for content!

Ryan has always been a DIY type of guy.
Here he displays his home-made dolly nicely.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Not So Distant Summer (not June)

Ryan Alexander is one of the few filmers in the area and really knows how to work a video camera well. Not only was he a good enough pal to throw together a bunch of the clips he got from the summer but he let me use it on the blog as well!

I can't speak for the viewers but this clip got me really stoked on how fun the summer was looking at it as a whole. It gave me the warm fuzzies inside and made me really wish that summer was a permanent thing around here...maybe one day.

Hats off to Ryan for this one!

a summer of skateboarding in Kitchener-Waterloo from will j on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

April showers bring May....Skateboarding?

My apologies for bringing the rhyme in the title to the next level...couldn't think of anything more awesome than that. Although, upon considering what to write I did start to look at the whole idea of rain in a new light. Normally us skateboarders are damn bitter when it's anything but nice and sunny out but in the case of winter we embraced it more than ever. You may notice the lack of snow in the photos below. That, my friends, is all thanks to the rain gods. (Don't come back until next April...thanks!)

This might have been one of my favourite months out of the season this year, I can't pinpoint why but I'm betting is was due to golden sun, lots of fresh shredding and finally being able to not freeze your ass off while skating.

Everyone, crowd around the internet blog and take a peek at what a skateboarder's May looks like!

Can you believe I ended up shooting with Damien
AND Ben at the same time? Those are the type
of things you hear about in myths. A perfect
backside flip for Ben.

Byron, nollie bigspin. Two bangers in
one day...gold! Click for better sequence.

Damien Peters sighting! Backside heelflip in
the rain.

This was one of my favourite shots from the
season that also went into the Color Goldbook
issue. They didn't use this timing but I like
it better. Byron, switch heel.

Don't ask why I went to Guelph.
Harrisson, crook.

Same deal, don't ask, don't tell.
Byron, frontside flip.

TONY TRUJILLO? Nope. Josh Cowan switch
back 180ing a double set.

How to chop off limbs 101 with
Will Jivcoff. Sorry Matt! Switch frontside
heelflip over the flatgap for Mr. Scott.
Click for better sequence.

Isaac, pop shove.

Colton, 5050.

Scott, heelflip. I'm not bullshitting when I say
this was the coolest spot ever. Mini Golf R.I.P.

Cameron, kickflip.

Kody, back smith stall.

You know what happens in June...don't you?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Beginning: April

By the beginning of April it was evident, winter was dead and spring was springing up. By this time it was becoming a daily routine to actually go skateboard outside...PNR was a thing of the cold, frozen past! Another thing that was becoming more evident was the amount of sun in our new days, it wasn't getting dark at 4:30 in the afternoon anymore! The coolest thing about April was the amount of drive everyone had to get out and skate some spots OUTSIDE of a skatepark. I'm actually just going through files on my computer now and am noticing that out of all the months of the skate season 22 different days of skating came from April.

Don't be shy, take a look at raw motivation!

Ben, backside kickflip. That bank
is not fun or easy to skate.

Dalton, a high crook.

You ever see that sick video 2bangers1day? Dalton
was the star of that one. Crail stall.

Erik, bank to bank ollie. Some homeless guy
passed us on this day telling us he was going to
be in the movies. Downtown Kitchener? Yes.

Adam Zid, wallride king. Straight
up ollies right onto that wall

Jamie, backlip. This one went
into a checkout he had in Color
magazine Goldbook issue.

Josh, heelflip. One of my faves
from the season.

I warned you about pure determination to skate,
right? Joel went so loco he took up biking.

Ben setting the record straight with a proper
tre bomb at the bump over the sidewalk.

Isaac, tre flip.

Joel, tailslider.

Hands down one of my top three favourite
photos of the season. I was pretty bummed
this didn't get run, oh well. Erik, ollie against
his will.

TJ - PJ.

Byron, front feeble. I remember his words so
well, "We aren't leaving until I'm rolling away."
I was stoked on that.

That's enough of April, next up, May!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Chilly Stoke: March.

There are some moments you just really remember. Although I would prefer to have no memory at all of the winter months I can't help but to remind myself how stoked I was to be skateboarding outside in the middle of march. I guess it had been such a nice day (probably about 0 degrees Celsius in the sun) that some of us were determined to get our skate on. Well, I guess that super nice weather carried on because I do have a few files from the middle of March and on.

Anyways, I present to you a desperate time in a skateboarder's life when the sun is out but the salt and snow hasn't melted away.

Josh, nollie bigspin switch manny. Click for better resolution.

Ah yes! The first True Love event at the
skatepark. Some of the skaters shoveled out
a pathway just to skate the humps while Pat
and Hooper cooked some hotdogs and
hamburgers. That was a good day.

Right after filling up on hotdogs and burgers
we hit the streets! Joel switch heel over the
hydrant. You KNOW everyone went nuts.

Palmer, switch frontside

Scooter, backside feeble popover.

R.I.P.: 03/16/2008 - 11/10/08

Well...there isn't much to say except for the fact that I woke up this morning to the death of skateboarding. Oh yes, today it snowed and didn't melt away. I regret to make the announcement but today was the day (I think) skateboarding died for another season.

I know, your first panicked reaction was, "But Will, what am I going to do without blog updates?!" but I have a solution! Over the next month I'll be posting photos from each month this season, not for me, but for you!

And if you really must know....

THAT was my morning. Depressing? Yes.
Stay posted!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Loyalty JUST went out of style!

What was looking like a nice Saturday ended up like garbage. The sun was out and everything was all good until the clouds rolled in. Down came the rain and eventually the hail and here I am actually considering going to Pipes N Railz tonight. I'm not sure what to think of myself...

If you're just as bored as myself take a look at some photos that I've never posted on here before. Enjoy!

Erik, a healthy hippie jump.
Early summer memories...

Aaron, lipslide 270 shove. He got this
one really quick...I remember this day all
too well.

Duke, rock to fakie. Ah, I really
miss Detroit and all the dudes
from there.

Joe, another Detroit-er. The man is the king
of front crooks, can't you tell?

Isaac, backside kickflip. This is latest shot
out of this bunch. We got this on a little weekend
trip to Kingston.

I'll have to apologize to the fans that came looking for park photos and the amount of time we shot all these in, none of that today.