“I often think of skate videos like porn, as just being about the biggest tits, the biggest dicks.” Over dinner one night, after not seeing one another for a while, Derek layed that one on me. It really struck me. What a porn ends up representing is so far removed from what sex is it seems absurd. Much like a skate video, or mag, often only ends up showing that superficially appreciable aspect of skateboarding’s splendour. I’ve always felt there was a stark repartition between skate media and skateboarding itself. I always break it down to skateboarding the noun versus skateboarding the verb. I like to think I shoot skateboarding a little differently than most because I’m not trying to shoot cumshots,
I’m shooting star crossed lovers.
A few days ago I was reading the fresh issue of Color (a quarterly skate magazine from Vancouver) when I was subtly smashed with this thought provoking letter from local photographer Bram Adey. It touches some topics I found very applicable to skiing right now, and also happens to be relevant to the ongoing debate that rages over the stagnancy of ski movies these days.
The most recent peak in this debate has been driven by the latest Poor Boyz collection of tits and dicks, Ski Porn. Usually if a ski movie is uniform and stale it is judged so post-release, but Ski Porn has fallen afoul of more than a few bullshit filters previous to its actual unleashing. Impressive, no? I’m not judging the movie, because I’m sure no matter how it goes off, the fantastic skiing will save the movie from itself.
Recent examples of this stark repartition or not, countless ski movies have attempted the worthy goal of documenting more than just the superficially appreciable aspects of skiing. Have some succeeded? Maybe. Will more try? Yes. Has Johnny descended into a parody of himself? Perhaps. In the end, his movies may be stagnant, but you’re still buying them.
Remember, cash does in fact rule everything around you.
Now stepping outside of the obvious comparisons that could be tied to any action sports movie, I immediately related to the part of the letter about skating/skiing the noun vs. skating/skiing the verb. It’s an important distinction, and I often find myself differentiating between the two in casual conversation. I'm sure many of you have had to do this too at one time or another. This is due mainly to the aforementioned repartition between the actual act of skiing and its generally shitty industry. (You would think that a group of man-children who unanimously profess to be doing what they love would have fewer disingenuous qualities.)
Skiing (the verb) in its most basic elements has and always will be the same. You have no power over that, so just be creative, challenge yourself, and have fun. Skiing (the noun) on the other hand is only ever going to change if you make that change yourself.
In that spirit I’d like to conclude this with a shout out to all the young warriors out there making movies, starting enterprises, dreaming schemes, and generally making a difference by doing it themselves.
If you’re interested you can check out Color (one of my favorite magazines out there) at colormagazine.ca.
As for what I’ve been up to… You’ll be able to check out one of my side projects, Swampsterbate, at Triple Threat in Seattle and Freshtival in Calgary next month. Some copies will also be available through the temporarily stagnant http://www.writetheotherway.com.
While you’re at it you should keep your ear to the street for an upcoming collaboration I’m working on with Anthony B that is going to be ridiculous.
The second issue of Cream will be coming if it’s the last thing I do.
Oh yeah, if anybody can actually tell me when Freshtival is this year, I would appreciate it.