“Give it up for the fuckin’ mafia!” a man yelled causing an uproar of excitement.
That pretty much sums up the vibe at the historic La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, California where a sizeable crowd was gathered underneath the marquee of the old style theatre where SK8MAFIA dropped their latest video.
MERRY JANE was in the house to watch the best skaters in Southern California pulling off insane tricks through the city streets.
The aroma of popcorn and pot filled the air of the rustic cinema, which was like taking a time warp to the days before the world became digital.
Posters for E.T. and other classic films dawned the walls of the foyer and showings of The Endless Summer and Jaws dawned this month’s schedule. On my way in, I passed a dog laying out front. When I took my seat the dog came trotting down the aisle and I realized this was his home and he must be the usher.
SK8MAFIA fans know nothing of color, religion, class, or sex; there is only skateboarding. The lights dimmed and SK8MAFIA’s logo dawned the big screen and the hall was filled with euphoric cheers and whistles.
This is not your typical movie experience. There is no warning to silence your cell phones or reminders to respect your neighbor by not talking.
SK8MAFIA’s video is fully interactive with the crowd getting involved with every clip. Tricks were rated based on the noise level of those in attendance. This was my first movie premiere where weed and shouting is not only accepted, but it is encouraged.
Local Encinitas skater Stephen Lawyer started the new video off terrorizing the streets of San Diego from school grounds to the downtown courthouse. It was a nice introduction to what we could expect throughout the video.
Pro Jimmy Cao displayed his insane ability to manipulate and adjust his tricks based on the tricky environment he puts himself in. Veteran goofy foot skater Kellen James from Rochester, NY proved his professional status by grinding a long rail and quickly ollieing over a fast approaching parking curb block. And Tyler Surrey easily maneuvered a dark parking structure to the sound of Pink Floyd’s “Young Lust” echoing through the historic building.
The subsequent montage including skateboarders Danny Nguyen, Doran Gray, Derrell Carey, Corey Miller, Nick Lamm, Brandon Turner and many other talented extreme athletes. The remainder of the film was filled with other jaw dropping tricks, off-roading through uneven desert rock, scaling alleyways from curb to curb, and one insane kickflip after another.
While most of us were busy playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater these guys were living it. Skating empty pools, makeshift ramps and guardrails is an art form. The irony is in landing a huge jump onto a wheelchair ramp by risking being confined to one.
The video editing done by SK8MAFIA is flawlessly timed. The footage itself shows each skater taking on the roll of filmmaker, director of photography, cameraman, and editor. This style of guerilla filmmaking is lost in today’s world of overpaid actors and big budgets. The skateboards transform from doing a trick to playing the roll of camera dolly. This is rogue filmmaking at its finest.
The video ended to the tune of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World” and if that is the case, then I’m with these guys.