An independent video 4 years in the making by Ryan Lovell with a strong offering of Midwest Skateboarding mainly focused in Escapist's hometown of Kansas City, featuring Sean Malto, Ryan Pearce, Josh White, Max Chilen, Tyshuan Johnson, Rod Harper, Dillon Aguilar, Joseph Lopez, Josh Crane, Connor McCroskey, Arthur Dachiardi, Corey Lawrence and Garrett Olinger.
DVD Run Time 38 minutes
Plus over 2 hours of Bonus Features.
How did you get involved working with Escapist and making the new Red And Yellow video?
Just through hanging out and filming all of the Escapist dudes. After helping film all of those dudes for the Through Being Nice videos it just kinda made sense that we would start working on videos that were specific to Escapist. After our first video 14 Deep came out everyone just kept skating and really progressing so it wasn't long after that we realized we had another video in the works. It was also around this time that all of the team guys really started to develop into the skateboarders that they are today and I think that Red and Yellow is a great example of what Kansas City skateboarders and the Midwest have to offer.
What do you think some of the advantages of making an independent video opposed to filming for a major sponsor's project?
Just the fact that Independent videos are really just for the fun of it and are a lot less pressure than a major sponsors video. Not to say that sponsor video's aren't fun or anything but with an independent video you don't have anyone to please but yourself. I also feel like since Independent videos don't really make much of a profit it helps to keep the focus on really just making something that you and your friends will enjoy watching and enjoy being a part of. It's also amazing that Independent videos get to show local scenes and local talent which is a side of skateboarding that is so damn amazing.
How much of the video takes place in the KC area? Were there a lot of other trips involved in filming for the video? How many years has the Red and Yellow video been in the works?
About 80% of Red and Yellow was filmed in Kansas City. One of the best things about making an Independent video is taking trips with your friends. We took probably 2 major trips per year which basically meant cramming 9 people into a 7 person van (THE PARTY VAN) and sleeping on any floor that was available. We've been working on the video for about 4 years but i graduated college 2 years ago and since then we've really been able to put 100% into the video and make it turn out how we wanted.
As the filmer, editor, producer, etc. is there anyone else that helps you organize all the skate missions, trips etc. Most shops dont' have TM's, is that your role too?
Haha everyone always call me the Escapist TM (a nickname i'm not fond of!), but yeah when making an independent video you just have to assume some of that extra responsibility, because honestly in that situation if you don't call the shots and make things happen who will? Kinda difficult at times but it's just one of those things that you gotta deal with, if you wanna make your OWN videos you gotta do whatever needs to be done and you gotta do it yourself.
Skate trips and making a video isn't cheap, how did you fund the video? Was some of it out of yours and the riders pockets?
Most of the trips were funded out of pocket but we really lucked out in 2010 by winning $5,000 from the Street League Shop League contest. We stretched that money as thin as possible and funded two separate trips to Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX. Those 2 trips were pretty amazing because we were able to rent a 12 passenger van and a couple hotel rooms in each city which felt like some first class shit compared to the rest of our zero budget trips!
Best thing that happened while filming for red and yellow?
Filming the intro party line with 15 people at 2 of Kansas City's biggest bust spots. It took tons of planning and on the first day of trying it we got kicked out within 5 minutes but somehow on the second day the stars aligned and we did it first try as security was kicking us out. You can see them in the footage which is awesome because i can't even imagine how pissed there were seeing 15 people skating down the street while their friends are shotgunning beers and playing dice on the street corner. Basically the skate god's blessed us with an intro for the video considering the premiere was 5 days away!
What motivates you to put out your own videos? What sort of roll do you think independent/shop videos play in skateboarding these days? Why are they important?
It's just fun really. The best part and what keeps me motivated is that i love watching skateboarding and being a part of skateboarding with my friends. Local video's are super important to skateboarding as a whole because they provide a glimpse into what each scene is capable of doing and how they do it. Local video's show skateboarding at it's purest form- In the damn streets with your friends!
When did you first start filming? What got you hooked?
I think i first picked up a video camera when i was 13 or 14, my cousin had one laying around and it just seemed like fun to film all of the tricks we were doing. 12 years later filming my friends skate still has the same feeling and luckily for us skateboarders that is a feeling that will never go away.
Best thing about making your own video?
Watching really talented skateboarders skate all day long!
There really isn't a worst thing but the hardest thing is having to do everything and not being able to do it all at once.
What is next for you guys? Is the next video already in the works?
I'm actually moving to California in the next couple of months to try see what the west coast is all about.
Who gets final call when it comes to editing, music, etc? Rider or editor?
The Red and Yellow Trailer was one of the best teaser's I've ever seen, who came up with the idea, how did it come about?
Basically the idea came from a song called "Red and Yellow" by local KC rapper "Irv da phenom". The song is super sick and just reps Kansas City to the fullest! I first heard the song about a week before another local shop (Studio Skate Supply) had a video premiere and i wanted to play an Escapist trailer at their premiere. When i heard the song and it only made sense to use it for the trailer because it pretty much hypes of Kansas City has the best place ever (which it is)! Since the song was a rap song repping Kansas City colors (Red and Yellow) i wanted to make the trailer look like a rap/skate video with everyone partying and having a good time. It only took us a few days to film the rap scenes because everyone was having such a good time that the footage was easy to get and turned out amazing.
Most shops, don't have skaters quite at the caliber of guys like Sean Malto on their team. Any other shops ever call you out for cheating, thinking its unfair?
No not at all. Thats the cool thing about skateboarding, it isn't some weird sport that dictates who a person can hangout with because of what skill level they are. Malto's been riding for Escapist since he was 13 and is just as much a part of the team as everyone else.
Sum up the Red and Yellow video experience in one word____?
Making a shop video is usually a pretty big undertaking. What is driving force that makes you want to get behind it and make a video for your shop?
Seems like we've pretty much been working on videos since a few years after we started the shop in 2000. I guess it's just the skate rat in us, the love for skateboarding and the drive to push our scene forward. How can you love something as much as you did 25 years prior? Skateboarding is an amazing thing.
How many shop videos has Escapist had now, have there been any favorites over the years?
Two full length videos, Fourteen Deep in 2008 and now Red and Yellow. We also released a 22 minute promotional teaser video in 2006. Before that we'd been working on a video ongoing for at least 4 years but it never panned out and the footage just got old. Most of the team was also filming for Aaron Chilen's (now Deluxe filmer) video Through Being Nice, which I suppose you could say was unofficially an Escapist video considering that everyone who had full parts except one person rode for the shop. There was also 2 different versions of Through, a few years apart ("VHS" and "DVD"). Good times indeed. Basically we just figured we'd wait until those were out to really make a strong effort to do our own video.
Has Sean had tricks or parts in all of them?
He has. He'd come into the shop with his family at age 11 and get all geared up - he and his old brothers who also kill it. He started riding for Escapist at 12 years old. Ripping as a young buck for sure, green helmet and all.
As a shop, why do you think its important to consistently put out shop videos?
Everyone who rides for us, as well as Kansas City as a whole, are constantly pushing themselves and the Kansas City skateboarding community. It's just our way to share what's going on here in the middle of the map. We feel there is something special going on here and hope people take notice and hope opportunities beyond KC might arise for the team.
After all is said and done do you ever look at the videos as something that will make the shop money or more of something to support the local scene and the riders?
I'd say it's more of a "I really hope we make our money back" scenario. Obviously we all know the internet has pretty much destroyed video sales to the point where big project full length style videos like the ones we grew up on are in jeopardy of being a thing of the past - only leaving quick, easily accessible and just as easily forgotten internet videos to try to get us stoked to go skate. Sure there are some really good internet videos out there, but nothing beats the experience of sitting down for that 30-45 minute team video with great music and magic energy to get you hyped to skate. Public Domain, Streets on Fire, Speed Freaks, Hokus Pokus, Questionable, Video Days, to Menikmati, Welcome to Hell, Misled Youth, Mouse, Modus Operandi, Sorry, Stay Gold, Mind Field. These are absolutely timeless videos. How many internet videos are timeless pieces of art that one will remember 20 years later? It's hard to devote years of your life and front equipment, gas and other expenses to something that won't really pay off monetarily. This is definitely more of a question for Ryan Lovell, since he sacrificed the last 3-4 years of his life making this video.
You premiered RED and YELLOW this year when a lot of top pros were in KC for Street League, was that something you had planned for a long time or did it just sort of work out that way? Was their a lot of added pressure for you that night?
It was intentional for sure, but also added a ton of pressure. Red and Yellow is a huge project for us and we wanted to premiere it right. There aren't many mid-sized venues in KC and we didn't want to do multiple showings so we just took the plunge and threw down for the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, which holds about 1200 people. it was definitely a huge risk financially but hoped that the skateboarding spirit of the weekend with Street League happening, out of towners in for the event, etc that it would all work out. We couldn't have asked for a better turnout. Just over 1000 people showed up including many Street League pros and industry folks. It was super fun and the energy in the room was incredible.
A lot of people don't realize how much skaters put into their parts for shop videos. Night sessions, long trips, deknobbing spots, etc. Is there anyone in the video that sticks out as really going for it, giving it everything they had every session?
I guess what's freshest on my mind was the last two weeks leading up to the video premiere. Everyone was pushing themselves so hard and getting broke off but still pushing forward. I'm sure Ryan Lovell could share some good stories. Actually he is a good story...he pulled an all nighter and finished the premiere copy merely hours before the premiere. He was so frazzled that it was laughable...now.
In your opinion what is the single best thing about finishing a video and getting it out to the world?
It's a pretty amazing feeling just holding the finished product in your hand, knowing everything that went into it. Obviously it's a good feeling too when the skateboarding community genuinely enjoys the efforts everyone put into it too. There are so many good videos coming out of Kansas City, not just through shops - it just keeps everyone driven to keep pushing forward.
How much creative input do you have in the videos? Are you involved or is it mostly the riders coming up with ideas and how they want it to look?
I pretty much trust Ryan Lovell and the team completely with the look and feel of the video as well as the soundtrack. Once things start to really come together at the end we'll get together and do minor tweaks fine tune things. I'm definitely more involved w/ the packaging and style of the type in the video and that sort of thing. We had a nice collaborative crew working all that stuff out this time, which was helpful. Sometimes it's hard when you're so close to something to know what's good and what's not.
Number 1 reason why every skater should have a copy of Red And Yellow?
Great skateboarding from a fun crew who loves skateboarding. Simple as that.
How old were you when you started skating? Do you remember you're first time going to Escapist?
I started skating when I was 10. Yeah, I remember going in there and tripping out because the inside of the store had skate spots.
What was you're first skateboard bought at the shop?
The first board I bought was a 7.5 Trainwreck board. The graphic was an evil pumpkin on the bottom. I still have that board somewhere in my house!
How long have you been friends with Dan & Ryan at Escapist and riding for the shop?
I've been friends with those guys about 11 years now. It's crazy the people you meet just skating around and the next thing you know your working on skate videos with them 11 years later.
Do you remember the first trick you had in one of the Escapist videos?
We did a few friends videos like Through Being Nice and a couple small teaser videos but the first real Escapist video was Fourteen Deep. It was the first time that all of us as a team did a video together so it felt really special to me and Escapist.
How old were you?
I started filming for it when I was 15 and it came out when I was 17.
What was it like to film for the two videos at once, Red and Yellow and Pretty Sweet?
Well Red and Yellow was all VX1000 and Pretty Sweet is going to be all HD. Since the filmer, Ryan Lovell, didn't have a HD set up we had a lot of stuff stacked up before I started to get serious with filming for the Girl/Chocolate video.
How did you split time between the two?
When it came down to it I knew I needed most of my stuff these past couple years for Pretty Sweet. So when I talked to Lovell we came up with the idea of me sharing a part with Tyshuan Johnson. That way it kinda eased the pressure off of filming for two full video parts.
What's your take on local shops importance in skate scene building in a town like KC?
Escapist has helped the scene so much. Even for me being a young skater growing up in KC I would spend hours in Escapist. They have brought so many teams to town to do demos and signing, as well as putting on different events like high ollie contests and games of skate just so the local kids have something to skate at and don't get bored.
What kind of impact has Escapist had on your life? Would you be doing what you're doing without the help of dudes like them?
The guys at Escapist have had a huge impact on my life. I still to this day go in there three times a week just to talk to Dan Askew about stuff. I have no idea what or where I'd be without them. After all, they did send my first sponsor tape to Girl!
You have a lot of responsibilities and commitments filming for various sponsors and other projects, what keeps you motivated and inspired to always film for videos like Red and Yellow and other Escapist videos?
I live in KC and it's my hometown so I just want this amazing skate scene we have to get better and better. I love being apart of all the projects and just helping push whatever I can to put KC more on the map for skateboarding.
Over the years you've filmed quite a few parts for the Escapist videos, do any of them stick out as some of your favorite times or really pivotal points in your life and skate career?
Every video that I've done with Escapist has been so fun! This last one though was probably the best experience. We got to take a few trips to ATL and Austin with a van full of people and skate amazing spots. The best part about skating for this video is that it felt like I was just skating with my friends and having a good time. It wasn't stressful or weird it was just like lets have a good time, have fun and make a video!
The Red and Yellow trailer will probably go down as one of the best shop video trailers ever, how big a role did you play in coming up with that one?
Lovell, Lopez, and myself were just out skating and we were listening to Red and Yellow tripping out because it was all about KC. So we were just like how funny would it be if we made a music video to this song for a trailer. We got all the friends together and drove around KC in Chiefs gear just doing whatever came to mind that we thought would be funny!
What's the first thing you think of when you think about the past few years filming for Red and Yellow?
I just think about how awesome all my friends are and how fun it is skating with them everyday. The skate scene in KC has been getting so much better and I'm hyped to just be apart of something so amazing like Escapist.