The Skids are all right 


Local snowpunks’ third film doesn’t back down

By: Shelley Arnusch

Who: Skids 3 — The Movie Video premiere

Where: Rainbow Theatre

When: Wednesday, Sept. 3

Tickets: $5, doors at 11 p.m.

Giant inverted airs, icy rail slides, skateboarding, drinking, puking, pranks, snowmobiles, a combination of human and inanimate carnage – the formula for a great snowboard video is pretty straightforward.

But while you may be able to max your gold card at Future Shop buying all the best filming gear, you can’t buy the authenticity that comes from riders getting personally involved, both technically and creatively, in their video projects.

Local snowboarders Skids wouldn’t have it any other way, and they’ll be premiering the fruit of their most recent labours, the third instalment in their snowboarding/lifestyle video series Skids 3 — The Movie Video, this Wednesday.

The motley crew takes their name from a condensed form of "Seymour kids," a shout out to the North Vancouver ski hill where crew don Kevin Sansalone and many of the other members honed their skills. The group’s stickers – an appropriation of the iconic black and red logo for punk pioneers the Dead Kennedys – are pasted guerrilla style anywhere you look.

The video, also being released on DVD, contains several added features including a blast from the past. The Movie Video is a throwback to a film the Skids made in the early 1990s. Expect flannel shirts, cafeteria tray-sized boards with sawed-off bindings and pants big enough to camp in – a bit of snowboard history. The original Movie Video is included on the current release, but will not be screened at the premiere.

With the proliferation of affordable digital editing technology and the explosive popularity of skateboarder Bam Margera’s CKY video series, hardcore riding/lifestyle videos are becoming a category unto themselves. Before MTV’s jackass series branded stunt stupidity it used to be videos could shock and lock in the audience’s attention with one small, unbelievable clip. But how do you excite kids these days that have been raised watching Johnny Knoxville ride bottle-rocket roller skates?

"I don’t know what’s going to make us different," says Sansalone who acted as creative director for the film. "We’re really picky about the footage we use. We only use the best snowboarding footage, and we only use the craziest party footage too. Our stuff is a lot tighter. The CKY videos are awesome but they’re an hour to an hour and a half long. They put everything on them. Our stuff’s really fast paced. Our whole movie is only 26 minutes long. It’s got tons of party footage, tons of lifestyle. We want our videos to be like ‘Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit! It’s over! And rewind it and watch it again."

Sansalone also emphasizes that making great videos is all about the people involved.

"All the people that work with us are full time snowboarders. That’s what they do," he said.

In the spirit of collaboration, the Skids enlisted several guest directors and editors, including local indie horror director Lauren Graham, who adds her gory touch to a segment.

The by-the-people-for-the-people approach has influenced everything about the Skids series down to the distribution and pricing. Sansalone says the crew has adamantly tried to keep the price of their videos down to a level the average teenaged skate rat can afford, although by the time it hits store shelves it is often out of their hands.

In the same sense, the crew refuses to tailor their content to obscenity standards set by large retailers. Sansalone said Virgin Records expressed interest in the series, on the condition they edit out some of the swearing, change some of the music, in essence, produce a different video. But displaying at K-Mart has never been high on the Skids’ list of priorities.

"We want it in hardcore shops. We’re trying to support people who support us," says Sansalone. "As long as we can survive and pay the bills back, I think that’s what this video is about."

Skids 3 - The Movie Video premieres Wednesday, Sept. 3 at the Rainbow Theatre. Doors open at 11 p.m. with the film starting at 11:30 p.m. Tickets $5 at the door.


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