Sandro is the brainchild, co-founder/owner, creative director and janitor at Color. An art school drop-out he got his start early in life doing graphics for skateboard companies while designing his high-school year book and slanging tee shirts, chips to crack Playstations and fake IDs. He’s proudly not on Facebook and lives with his lovely girlfriend Julianna in Vancouver BC.
COLOR: Do you have anything you'd like to say about those shots with Will Oldham that i could include? Maybe about that day?
EB: Yea, actually, the one that was converted to B&W (the yellow tinted one). I just decided to shoot it on the balcony, to get natural light, but the reflection from the film on the lense and the cream walls made it look extremely yellow.
That's interesting, so you had film on the lens. Would you call that yellow burst a happy accident?
I knew it would look good, but I didn't know it would saturate that much... We [Will and I] were both into it.
Oh ya, I hadn't even thought about the fact that these were polaroids so Will could see how they turned out.
Yeah, we laid them all out on the bed in his hotel room and went over them, and experimented with the film treatments and lighting. It was a very casual shoot, he was on the phone and I was shooting.
What type of camera/film did you use? do they still make that film?
I used Spectra film.
Brunetti has a collection coming out with F@BRICK (japan) for Holiday 09.
“We had a baby doll all taped up like bondage and it had a crayon shoved in its ass.”
If you’ve followed this seriesof video blogs and interviews and didn’t give a shit until now, you’re probably with the majority. Back in ’97 “nobody” Kyle Shura put together a video of a selection of his own personal hometown heroes – perhaps with the foresight that one of them may prove to be a shining star among the best in the business. To most it seemed unimaginable, but for Ryan Smith the videos he watched as an escape from his crumby hometown and the pictures in magazines he admired were just enough to inspire him and go on to do great things in skateboarding. Today he could be referred to as a veteran pro with a signature shoe, and numerous pro-model decks. He even shared a photo he got from myspace of a kid who had his DC graphic tattooed on his back!
I caught up with Ryan over iChat after a brief visit with him at his home in Carlsbad, California...
Sandro: You get an other iMac?
Ryan Smith: Yeah, a chick smashed my old one.
Yeah I know, I saw it when I came over – gnarly.
I got a laptop.
Nice, at least you can hide that one... I want to start by talking about Kyle. How did you come to film with him?
He was always at the park and a weirdo like the rest of us. Kyle was a sober guy too. I remember when he first started drinking it was girly shit.
Do you prefer your skating then as opposed to now?
No I like it now better because I had the fun of yesterday I want the fun of tomorrow.
Your part has a bunch of Seattle footage in it. Was that the first big skate mission trip you ever took?
Yeah it was. [I remember] I broke boards when I filmed — life story. Simon tried to smuggle [bicycle] parts back and got caught. He didn’t want to pay duty. We had a baby doll all taped up like bondage and it had a crayon shoved in its ass. They confiscated it as child porn [laughs]. And it said “sniggers'' on its belly so they thought we were racist. We told them we got the word from a Hustler and showed them and they sat there and read the porn for like 30 minutes while we were just sitting there. Ask Simon for the paper they gave him, it says “1 sodomized doll confiscated”.
Were you ever part of the raids when some "grown-up" (as Ferner would call them) fucked with a kid and everyone beat the dude down with boards to the head?
Yeah I instigated one.
What type of skating were into during this time?
I loved Jon West and Duty Now For The Future. I didn’t give a fuck. If anyone hung at city park all day everyday we were cool. Wutkey, the rollerblader, haha we were cool.
Yeah that’s right, you had a bladder and a BMXr in your crew.
Bmx'er yes, bladder no. We were cool and skated the park but that’s it. Simon rolled with us.
I notice you were wearing DC’s even ack then. Was Peter Sullivan sending you shoes through 540 or were you just stoked on the LYNX?
I liked the Plug and the Syntax. I rode for 540, Eternal didn’t want me and I didn’t want them, but after a Skate Canada part Jeff Passe called me to give me boards so I said ‘sure, free boards’. I stole so many from them. I would go there right when I would hit bridge traffic because Jerry left the shop to avoid it. When I got there I went off and took so many and drove back and sat in traffic for like an hour.
I started getting Powell boards and would go to Green Bay [the company’s skate park], riding them right in front of Jerry when the day before I took a shit load of Eternals.
If Timebomb liked your tape, you could have gone a whole other route. The McCrank career...
Maybe, but Red Dragons were DC, so I would have bailed, I know it.
Were you around at all when Kyle was editing this? It must have been straight up PAUSE/RECROD on 2 VHS machines...
No, he went to KSS [his high school] to do it. He was a teachers pet, that’s why no one saw the editing.
Anything else you want to say about the Nobodys video?
We just skated and had fun, smoked soooooooo much pot.
What about Mike McKinlay?
Well, he didn’t like me at that time, but he fucking was always amazing to watch and a real natural. He did simple tricks with a solid style. He never had to work at skating it just happened for him. He had never had a rolled ankle, he told me he never got hurt.
“You get sponsored by these companies with no personality and then all of the sudden you don't have one.”
Mike McKinlay interview
By sandro grison
March 5, 2009
Allegedly quoted by Colin McKay as “the best mini-ramp skater, ever”, This week we watch the part of “hometown hero”, Kelowna BC native Mike McKinlay. This was the part I was probably most excited to see when I first got my copy of Nobodys from Kyle in our local indoor park. I remember scraping $8 together, pleading for a deal with him to give me $2 off because I had a trick in it. Now over 10 years later this was my favourite interview. We talked about a bunch of things: how sick it was that this DIY video views as a “team” thing, but it wasn’t really a crew of good friends who hung out outside of skating at all. It was a selection of the best skaters Kelowna had at the time, all with different styles and interests, but nobody really knew anything about anyone else — they just knew they could find each other at City Park.
What do you remember about your life at the time of making this part for Nobodys. What was happening with you?
I was trying kind of hard to get noticed. I think at the time I was trying to get a bigger sponsor. Timebomb was hooking me up, and it got me motivated to go even further. I wanted a proper board sponsor to match my already proper shoe sponsor.
I knew I was somewhat unhappy though as well. There were other things that I wanted to do with my life (like get more into filmmaking), and I knew that making a living from skating just didn't seem realistic to me. It was distracting to think about and in some ways I wasn't skating for the right reasons.
You had a pro model though right? Wasn’t this when that puppet graphic Sam drew came out on eternal?
Yeah, that was pretty sick. Eternal had sponsored me at the time and I have to give them some serious props for wanting to help out a "non-christian" such as myself.
That's back when I rode 8 inch wide twigs.
Other than your brother, who do you remember skating with the most. And of the guys who have parts, who is still a stranger to you? Or is there any interesting stories there?
It was actually a weird time. I'm not sure what happened, but I guess I sort of drifted apart from a lot of the guys in that video. I was pretty close friends with everyone on that vid at one point, and then I just remember filming with Kyle on our own most of time. I think everyone hated me or something.
Kids do the damndest things...
I skated with my brother almost always. Both of us were pretty reclused compared to the rest of the Kelowna scene. As much as I guess we were sort of the hometown h____s, we were still pretty on our own.
What about your relationship with Ryan Smith. How did you guys fare?
It was a total Zoolander situation. I was the older guy watching Ryan come up and I'll admit I was pretty jealous. I was watching this kid get really good, and it was hard to all of the sudden be second to a young guy. We lost touch because of it and it's pretty fucking sad to see that happen.
Yours and Sam’s skating was always extraordinarily good, so it makes sense that you weren't ordinary in the social circles.
Yeah, but I think I was weird though in that I didn't always like to learn the most current tricks. I would just want to do airs at the Kelowna park all day long because that's all that was fun to me.
People got bummed out on my progression schedule. It wasn't up to par. It still isn't.
Something else I find interesting about this video is that it was totally straight edge. Even the token crazy antics are all substance-free, total just like, Ferner fun. Josh Sacrey, Ferner, Keith Yerex, Sam, and you… Even Kyle, nobody was drinking or any of that. All except Ryan…
Yeah, that's very true. I think in some ways in order to stand out and get good in a small town you really have to lay off that shit. All of the skaters in the video were super dedicated to skating well. I think they'd all agree to that. Everyone was working daily to get better and partying wasn't much in our personalities I don't think. Yeah, I guess except for Ryan. [laughs]. It didn't matter with Ryan though because of how naturally talented he was.
Keith and Josh rode for your shop S&M, didn't they?
Yeah, it was awesome. I have fond memories of Josh wearing an S&M t-shirt.
At Skate Camp in ‘96, he never took that shit off! I remember it was like tubed sleeves, 70s style. I remember at that camp you skated a massive flat bank (or "steep wall" as we called it) as if it was a launch ramp. And you blast out of that six-foot in your video part too. Where did that come from!?
Oh yeah, my backside air abilities. [laughs]
Was this your first full video part in a video (although ultimately it wasnt really seen by many or released)...
Yes it was for sure. It was rad back then because it didn't matter where the video ended up much like today. There was no youtube, etc and all you could do was make copies. That says a lot about a group of skaters that just 'wanted to make a video'. Nobody was doing that back then in small towns, and Kyle was rad enough to take it as far as he did. We all just wanted to see what we could come up with for our own benefit.
After this video what happened?
I got on True. Blah. When you're in that mindset, you just want to 'be sponsored' and it didn't matter by who. Completely fucked thinking when I look back on it. I wish I had more of a spine back then and just did what I want. I should've just been a punk and smithgrinds in bowls all day. You get sponsored by these companies with no personality and then all of the sudden YOU don't have one.
After this video, not much happened. But thank god Kyle made it. It's the video I'm most proud to have ever been in.
Mike wanted to add, "Kyles video was one of the only videos to this day that was made at such a low budget, but that still had direction, pace, a flow that keeps you watching it. For a small town video (or for any video for that matter), it's a legit piece of work." Nice work Kyle, and he adds, "Sorry for taking so many tries to land everything".
Check back next week when we look at Ryan Smith's first ever video part – the last part... the finale. Click here to view all Nobodys entries and check back monday for Ryan's interview with us.
Remember how gnarly the millenneum park in Calgary was when it was built, but then you went there and it wasn't fun at all? The Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts (CASE) now has a website and pushing for Calgary to catch up to other Canadian cities when it comes to skateparks.
To be the caretaker of an island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef could certainly be the best job in the world. Tourism Queensland asked people to send in a video resume, recieving 35,000 responses. Of those, our friend Marcella Moser was short listed for her video and now she needs your support to be flown out for the final selection and win this job.
Check out Marcella's application video and give her your vote. You'll be sent a confirmation email you need to open up to prove you're legit. It's worth it though. If she wins, you'll have the hookup through a care taker for the Great Barrier Reef!
Thanks to everyone who came out to s.k.a.t.e. on sunday. We were rained out for the finals so that will take place next Saturday at the Plaza at 2pm with Sam Hampton vs. Majed Salem. Click here for video.
In celebration of the finals for The Battle at The Berrics, we'll be watching today at Color and having a battle of our own out front on the intersection of Gore and Alexandre street with an open invitation to all who care to take on this challenge. There will be a prize pack for the winner, and consolation prizes for runners up. Hope to see you out at 2pm.