Skateboarder Magazine – Emerica’s Substance Addiction – Feb/Mar 2012 issue

After Emerica’s Stay Gold was released, the dudes didn’t just sit around and wait to hop on a new project. A handful of the riders were hitting the streets just days after the video premiered and re-stacking clips for another Emerica project! They all admit it was a less stressful project to be working on compared to Stay Gold, but there is still no rest for these dudes. See what Leo Romero, Colin Provost, Brandon Westgate, Trevor Colden, and lensman Jon Miner, had to say about completing one video and starting another in this article from our Feb/Mar 2012 issue.

Heath Kirchart Backside Kickflip

Heath Kirchart Backside Kickflip

Originally published in the Feb/Mar 2012 issue
Words: Christian Senrud
Photos: John Bradford

In the wake of completing a monumental project, a lot of people take some well-deserved time off to relax and recoup, regain their bearings, and recharge for whatever task lies on the horizon. When someone puts in several years of sacrificing their time, body and mental well-being for what amounts to about three minutes of skate footage, they deserve a little vacation. Unfortunately, people sometimes take so much time off that they have a hard time getting back to the mission mindset that something like filming a video or shooting an interview requires.

Emerica is currently in the midst of the exact opposite situation. While some riders are resting up before they head back to the trenches of stairsets and handrails, a few of the Emerica team, in the aftermath of Stay Gold, have kept the fire burning rather than let the embers cool and are already in the process of churning out a whole new monster, unofficially titled, “The Optional” video. As the title suggests, the video is entirely voluntary for the team. “Initially it was just going to be something quick before the end of the year,” says Jon Miner. “But then it was like, shit, we’re back into a video project!”

On August 16, 2010, Emerica premiered its latest video at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, the result of five long years of hard work, broken bodies and thousands upon thousands of dollars spent and hours drained to produce a final product that would inevitably be pirated onto the Internet and spread into perpetuity. And just as the hype of Stay Gold began to dissipate, out came the B-Sides from each rider, totaling nearly two bonus hours of unused footage. Not only that, but Brandon Westgate came out with an entirely new part filmed for a Web release to coincide with his first pro shoe launch.

Westgate’s Stay Gold and pro shoe part were both undeniable—just raw, fast, powerful skateboarding. When he was through filming those parts, he kept going and it led to what is growing into Stay Gold’s follow up. When asked why he’s continued his personal filming mission, Westgate replied simply, “I don’t know. I just like to skate.” Seeing him continually push himself sparked a few of the other guys to join in as well, first Collin Provost, then Leo Romero and a few others.

“I’ve never worked on a project like this before,” Miner says, “it’s just from the dudes being stoked on skating with each other.”

Simply put, this video is the snowball effect of Westgate continuing to film after his shoe part, then Collin joining in, then Leo seeing their footage and wanting in too. Then Trevor Colden joined the team, and Figgy kept getting more footage, so it’s grown to a nearly full-length video on its own volition. It got to the point where they had to cut off anyone else joining in because it would become too time consuming to have the entire team involved.

The question that arises is why jump right back into filming a new project when DVD sales are dwindling and every video inevitably makes it online anyway? Why not take the easy route and wait awhile or release individual parts online as they’re completed? So far the answer is if they’re going to do something, they want to do it right.

“I’m kind of old,” says Miner. “I grew up watching videos with more than one part. One part just sort of disappears into a YouTube playlist. Personally, I like it that a whole video can show more about a team and that these dudes aren’t just employees.”

Westgate adds, “It’s motivating when you actually have something you’re working on. It’s easier to go out and skate and film when you’re working on something.”

Aaron Suski Back Tail

Aaron Suski Back Tail

Colin Provost: “We were just bored and wanted to do something. We want to skate and want to be working on something so we made up this thing and are just psyched. It’s not as stressful as Stay Gold, that’s for sure. Stay Gold was fucking nuts! There was a lot of hype behind it and everyone was going for it 100% for that video. It was insane, the whole thing.”

Leo Romero: “I see guys who kind of put the bare minimum into a video part and I take whatever I want or can from it. Sometimes I don’t take anything at all. The way I see it is that’s their own problem. If they have sponsors that are still down for them, then all the power and luck to them. I’ve never really been bummed thinking someone’s not putting in the work because it’s going to fuck them up in the long run. I mean I don’t want to be that guy, but I don’t concern myself with people like that. I do what I do for myself, and my sponsors and the people that ride for the companies that I ride for.”

Leo Romero frontside nosegrind grab

Leo Romero frontside nosegrind grab

Trevor Colden: “I started getting stuff from Emerica right after Stay Gold came out. I for sure didn’t think I would get on this early. They were saying i was the fastest one to get on the team and I was so blown away. It seems like everyone on the team is down to film as many video parts as they can, and miner’s down to do it, so we just go on mad trips and try to film as much as possible.”

Brandon Westgate:
“I just like going out and street skating. There’s a lot more behind a street part, like you actually went out skating and found shit, got kicked out. It’s a lot harder to film a street part than to go to a skatepark.”

Jon Miner:
Bringing Heath in as team manager was awesome. Everybody was super bummed when he retired. He wakes up early and is a super hard worker. His big plan after he retired was to go on that cross-country bicycle trip, but that was like one month. He seemed really bored, like he was lost or something. He takes the job super seriously and kills it. He’s on all the trips and is super psyched to skate and travel on someone else’s dime. It’s almost like he’s skating more now because it’s just for the fun of it, no pressure.