The Last Post About “Mind Field” For A While, No But Seriously


Seriously though (pic via Slap)

With the Alien Workshop video pretty much a total success on all fronts* it’s kind of ironic, possibly in an Alanis Morissette actually-not-really-ironic-but-just-shitty sort of a way, that “Mind Field” may be the last gasp of the full-length skate video as a statement-of-purpose document, or if you like, a tool to separate the nourishing wheat from the boring chaff company-wise. Skate videos seem to be streaming their way away from the five-years-in-the-making blockbuster and toward the free/internet promo: DNA and Black Box both have indicated that they’re probably going to pursue more “Regal Road/Kalis in Mono” and Stallion/Eldridge promo-type releases as Youtube wreaks its convenient havoc upon video profitability, which would imply annual videos comprised of parts from whoever’s cracking at the time and a gradual dribbling out of tricks from the vets, for better or for worse.

“Mind Field” is really great; it surpassed my expectations, and though it’s not perfect (alas, no skate vids really is) the depth of the thing and the slow-burn factor that DNA videos tend to have make it a stong candidate for classic status. So a little more random bullshit on this video, then I’m done:

-I’m sort of surprised at the complaints in the comments here and elsewhere regarding the degree of artsy-fartsiness at play, until I remember that “Memory Screen” came out what, 18 years ago. (For what it’s worth I think the art factor runs a little bit closer to that production than “Photosynthesis,” which probably has something to do with the latter video’s shorter runtime.) Right, well, the Segway thing kind of dragged on. But generally it was exactly what I was looking for: you know, grainy seagulls, weird satellite antennas, bizarre paper mache creatures, time lapse melting clouds, all that good shit. Frozen in Carbonite raised the point that a lot of this material would be derided as painfully cliche in another video, which is true, but also kind of the point – I mean, didn’t Alien basically invent this stuff, at least as far as skateboard videos go?

-As far as equating something like that housefly patiently rubbing its hands together ahead of Heath Kirchart’s section to the ad nauseum run/throw board down/roll away clips in “Fully Flared,” I’m not seeing it at all – it’s like an Andy Jenkins board versus a Plan B logo graphic. And I’ll sign on for Dinosaur Jr overkill in lieu of Band of Horses overkill.

-I didn’t post about Dylan Rieder, a skater I still feel kind of conflicted about, but I’ve come to think of his section as the sleeper part of this video – he gets over a little bit too easy in some respects but he’s got a natural way with his tricks with super good execution, and even if it wasn’t quite as good as his “Time to Shine” part I still think that if it were padded with some of the footage from the very generous “B-roll” extras it could have closed out the video. Well, maybe if Heath and AVE got sick. But still: that hair. The Axl Rose hat. Those shoes, those pants. He does win grime points for popping over that crack in the bank-to-bank ollie manual, because I’m sure Jake Burton could’ve sprung for some Bondo. I kind of feel like Greg Hunt’s TWS video editing resume is front and center in this section, like a couple of others, but whatever.

-In all the homage/reference talk, nobody mentioned AVE’s ollie ode to the Nandez?

-Does anybody have a link to Kalis’s alleged custom Jeru song? Platinum Seagulls, we’re looking at you…

-Back to the B-roll, Alien isn’t the first to throw out Youtube remix raw meat like that, but with all that footage plus the “Kalis in Mono” part sans Stones this could turn out to be a pretty brilliant web 3.0 style marketing effort. (Are we up to 3.0 yet? 4.0?)

*With the exception of about three parts, I’d say

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15 Responses to “The Last Post About “Mind Field” For A While, No But Seriously”

  1. mort goldman Says:

    yeah I feel bad for complaining now :( I don’t mind the art fart anymore…I think it just took a couple more viewings to appreciate the way Mind Field was visually constructed. I’ll admit Fully Flared had me brainwashed.

  2. Platinum Seagulls Says:

    Just like other situations involving reportage on breaking news, some things are reported correctly, some things not; the “Custom Jeru track” was an unsubstantiated rumor started by a certain skateshop employee outside of the theater after the premiere. The internet says he skated to a song by some dude BullyMouth…meh, try this: http://www.myspace.com/bullymouth.

    Got to see the video for the second time today, liked Kalis’ song much better and the whole thing much better, even had some Sympathy for the Dyrdek.

  3. Sean Says:

    On the sympathy for the Dyrdek note. I really think he did his thing. Contemplative song, with some throwback clips. He probably gets “the brand” out there more than most of the other riders. I think he knows his place in the grand scheme of things and is comfortable there. “Since day one baby!”.

  4. al Says:

    I fucking loved this video. It works fabulously within the Alien tradition. And since in my mind, I was comparing it to Fully Flared more than anything else, the quick cuts to lamppost silhouettes and (robotic) insects seemed more fluid to me than the thousand HD “standing up from the curb” shots of which Ty Evans is so fond.

    Rieder, believe it or not, has my favorite part of the video (close second is a tie between AVE and Bledsoe). The way he handles his 30mph taildrag with a 1mph arm wave after that tailslide pretty much cements it. Not to mention his nosegrind bs shove line–no pushes at all. Kid has come a long way from Subject to Change, and that’s what I loved about Bledsoe. These grom rippers without much of a mind for trick selection can mature into ams/pros who fucking rip and develop an awareness of terrain and trick selection that put your Gailea Momolu/Justin Elridge/Jon Goemann to shame any day of the week.

    My big thing for skate videos is picking out what I enjoy and staying stoked on what was done right. That said, it was hard not to be disappointed by the Dyrdek/Berra “we’re still here” section. This video has already proved, in my eyes at least, to be more infinitely more watchable than Fully Flared and Ride the Sky. And at the end of the day, I go out for 3-hour flatground sessions because of AWS. In a nutshell, I’m more than satisfied.

  5. perroscallejeros Says:

    I really find interesting this statement of yours:

    ‘“Mind Field” may be the last gasp of the full-length skate video as a statement-of-purpose document’…

    I think the fully flared hype around certain skate videos killed the oportunity to make creative videos like “Mind Field”… which is in Alien’s tradition a fun and incredible arty-farty skate video…

    and i really prefer this kind of skate films (youtube/rss video-clips are some other kind/genre of skate videos) than others that try to emulate Hollywood’s explosive glamour.

    God save the Sovereign Sect!

    Good and interesting posts to read here at Boil the Ocean, please keep on bloggin!

  6. art hellman Says:

    and what about J. doing the intro song? it’s been so rad that AWS has kept its ties to Dino Jr. so strong over the years.

    …and I also appreciated the “lost” Photosynthesis clips…bring back the “smile” Dill, it’s not all so bad out there!

  7. carbonite Says:

    hey, thanks for the link!
    1. Even though his image is totally overwrought (sp) …Dylan is really fucking good at skating…that line “al” mentioned is probably the best line in the whole movie….who knows, maybe if I were half the age I am now this would be the kind of shit I would aspire to…I will probably get those shoes to wear to work–yes, even on non-casual friday days
    2. I and a colleague decided that Dill’s part in the 411 #30 industry section was not only better than his part in Mind Field, but the best Dill part period.
    3. The Girl in the White Trans Am

  8. tropics Says:

    carbonite: you’re a moron and yr blog blows

  9. Platinum Seagulls Says:

    411 30 is hands down the best 411, and you made me go back and peep Dill’s footage to see if you and your colleague were correct…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcqWUFa0jaU as a reference. I’m saying there can be no conclusion to what section of Dill’s is the best. He’s been consistently rad since time immemorial (or the early 90′s) and so dynamic that you just gotta appreciate what it is; it’s Dill. Thanks-dropping off his nuts right now.

  10. tropics Says:

    where are all of the boss figures?

  11. Watson Says:

    After several watches and a lot of time spent thinking about the intricacies of the video, I find that there is one element sorely lacking in this, the newest offering from the Sovereign Sect.

    Definitely needs a dude talking about how much he loves cheeseburgers.

    Seriously.

  12. Rikku Markka Says:

    I like this video a whole lot. I wasn’t expecting this video to be on the Fully Flared level as far as mind-blowing tricks, as some people seem to want (a friend of mine had that complaint yesterday as we rode in my car).

    And maybe that is kind of the downfall of videos that are several years in the making; viewers (and implicitly, consumers) are expecting these videos to be everything to everyone — a panacea — until the next video, of course. But apparently style is discounted heavily in favor of substance. Hopefully that mindset will not lead skateboarding back to the mindset it had in the era from ’92 up until ’94, where it was all about doing the craziest trick combos. And as I cracked open the latest issue of TSM, there is Jesus Fernandez doing FS 5-0 to switch crooks to half Cab flip out.

    As for Dylan Rieder, his is my favorite part. I love the whole feel of his part, thanks in no small measure to the Elliott Smith song. I also love the impossible he does in the opening credits for three reasons: 1) it’s a proper impossible, not a loosely wrapped 360 shove-it, 2) it IS wrapped so tight, and 3) it’s caught so damn high.

  13. chicag0 Says:

    chicag0 represent in that dill pic.

  14. Al#2 Says:

    My favorite trick in the entire video is the FS Noseslide Heath does on the hip-high booger ledge that Arto back lip-5-0′d. Too bad its in the credits and the angle did not do it justice.

    I think the post about Heath’s part was pretty much dead on, although maybe overkill on the verbage. It’s like the only moment when the intensity dies a bit is when he is catching his flip tricks. Dude’s got feather toes.

  15. FB Says:

    I waited a fucking decade and this was all they gave me!!!
    Come on! The dvd is very AWS-like and artsy… but the parts are 10 secs and they have 4 dino jr. songs in there. Whatever! Greg Hunt makes great videos but what happened to the lines? Hammers, hammers and yet more hammers… I felt like I was watching the FALLEN video (though with AWS effects this time). People kept talking about Arto Saari – he back – the part of a lifetime; blah blah blah… 4 fs.bs and a back lip. Come on…
    I’m already over it…

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