MENIKMATI éS Video premier

Menikmati video premier, Showcase Theatre.11.2.00

Last night, éS shoes put on the first of fifty worldwide videopremieres, and launched it’s newest project menikmati (which meansenjoy). Skate media, pro’s, and anyone else who was lucky enough to geta ticket, took a seat to witness what has become the most anticipatedskate video of this century. For sometime, eS shoes has prided itself ontechnically advanced, stylish shoes, and this been supported by atechnically advanced skateboard team. The ads have talked forthemselves, but what would the video hold? Fred’s the man responsiblefor the concept behind menikmati, he did all the editing (with the helpof Mike Manzoori), and the filming (Ako Jefferson is responsible for theclean map intros). He’s been through some sleepless nights, and beentraveling a year and a half to get this project finished, and it’s paidoff. From day one, Fred had a vision of what he wanted this video tolook like. He’s stuck to a plan and style of filming that remainedconstant throughout the video.

Arto Saari set the pace with the first part, Helsinki loomed as Artonarrated his humble upbringing, and the reasons he’s now residing inHuntington Beach. Needless to say, Arto did not disappoint with theopening part, we got to see trick after trick, executed with Arto’sunique, smooth style. When it was over, the vid went into a slow motionsection of Arto’s bangers. You will not be disappointed.

Next up was eS, and the Firms newest talent Rodrigo TX, a smiler fromBrazil who’s amazing. His opening part gave you a real feel of what thiskid’s all about. He thanked Bob Burnquist, who was Rodrigo’s motivationto start skateboarding. You get a good feel of what motivates this kid,and how stoked he is to be in the video. It’s difficult to know whichway he was skating, because Rodrigo’s switch is not far behind hisregular skateboarding. The tricks and lines came one after another, lotsof flip stuff to ledges, lots of switch, and lots of skating indifferent places like Barcelona and Paris. By now, it was easy to seethat the filming was taking on a certain shape, all the main skating wasbeing filmed from two angles, with a fisheye, and long lens. Some ofthe long lens filming was done in motion, it looked pretty sick.

Ronnie Creager came after Rodrigo, the skating Ronnie did was sick.Although the part is short and sweet, you get the feeling he did allthat he had to, and it left you wanting more. A lot of effort was put inby other skaters also. It was ironic that Ronnie lived the closest toeS, was the only rider born in America, and still couldn’t come up withsome kind of intro (keep in mind the others traveled around the world toshoot theirs). The crowd were going crazy during some of Ronnie’sfootage, what’s in there is the shit, but there just needs to be more ofit.

For those of you wishing that this video would see the rebirth of TomPenny, I’m afraid totell you that you’ve been waiting in vain. All the talk of a new partand unseen footage has just been a pipe dream. Tom got the secondbiggest cheer of the night when his introwent up on the screen. Geoff Rowley did a good voice over to the introof Tom’s part, and many in the crowd were feeling it. What followed wasa black and white montage of footage that you’ve probably seen, in someway or another, over the years. Two or three new lines showed nothingout of the ordinary. When the part was over, it marked, to me, the endof an era which finished in ’96–Penny’s enigma has been carrying on eversince. That’s the way legends are made. I, like many others, wanted tosee a part to match the likes of Koston, but it just wasn’t to be.

Rick McKrank hit the screen next with a part that mixed up park andStreet. It was funny,entertaining, with unbelievable skateboarding. Lots of it was shot inParis and Canada. Rick’s one of those skaters that show a rare mix of fun and amazing technical ability. Everything looked as if it was being done effortlessly. There’s somegnarly stuff in his part. You may have seen a little of his footage inads, but there’s a lot of new stuff too, it’ll make you want to go outand skate.

The last two parts went to Bob Burnquist and Eric Koston. If you everthought that vertical skateboarding could not be pushed any further, just sit backand look carefully atBob’s part. The theater was full of mainly street skaters, yet everyonethere cheered at what Bob had managed to put on film. I was stoked on Bob’s part his intro was done well, it gave you a sense of where he was from and what Brazil was about, making his rise to thetop of the vert ranks even more impressive. You have to watch this part to believe it.

Writing about Eric Koston, for me, is always difficult. Over the yearshe’s pushed street skateboarding to another level. He has come out with countless amazing video parts, won all the major legitimate contests, and is still seen by his peers as the man. The last parts in videos are usually reserved for something special, once again Eric Koston came up with something special that could not disappoint anyone. His part has everything we’ve come to expect, with the difference of his opening being filmed in Bangkok (there’sskate footage in Brazil also). The banger at the end had the crowd going mental, amazing stuff.

A fun montage in the close lead to the end of the video. Fred’s done agood job, he’s stuck to a style and it’s paid off. Sometimes a new videois a little bit of a let down, all the hype and talk gets blown out ofproportion, and you’re left wanting a little more. This was not the casein menikmati, it’s a skate video that, for once, lives up to the hype.