Words: Danny Wilson / more Gleaming the Cube
The announcement in the last few weeks that Crailtap’s primary filmmaker Ty Evans was parting ways with the Girl/Chocolate/Lakai camp was met with expectedly mixed reactions. The 2007 release of Lakai’s Fully Flared was turning point for Evans as despite the videos massive success worldwide and the unquestionably high standard of the skateboarding within there were complaints from vocal pockets of skateboarders that Evan’s approach to editing was frankly speaking just too much. Evan’s regular use of slow motion, earnest ruminative indie rock and multiple “lifestyle shots” of skateboarders intensely staring down a 6-inch ledge was viewed as symptomatic of a negative movement within skateboarding, a movement within which people like Evans were just taking themselves too seriously, plain and simple.
Criticism of Evans’ embracing of a kind of MTV, over-produced, “High-End Action Sports Entertainment” aesthetic reached fever pitch with the release of Girl and Chocolate cinema’s latest full length, pretty sweet, in November of last year. Pretty Sweet is a phenomenal production in terms of the level of skateboarding on show but also in terms of it’s quasi-cinematic look, even at a glance it is clearly apparent that Pretty Sweet isn’t simply just another skateboarding video. Despite the amazing showing from Girl/Chocolate young guns like Corey Kennedy, Elijah Berle and the young LA skater that seemingly came from nowhere, Stevie Perez, as well as some established greats like Marc Johnson and Guy Mariano, Pretty Sweet is not without it’s detractors. The over-saturation of footage of smiling men high-fiving each other throughout the video has not only not gone unnoticed but spawned the fantastic “Pretty Soft” and some of the music selections were extremely questionable (looking at you, truly dreadful Guy Mariano song)
When one considers the Pretty Sweet/Ty Evans backlash it has to be kept in mind that lots of the people complaining are of the opinion all skateboard videos should look like this and regardless of ones tastes Evans was behind some of the unquestionably fantastic and significant skateboard films of the last decade or so (Chomp On This, Modus Operandi, Yeah Right) his legacy is in some respect secure. The real news surrounding Evans’ departure from the crail camp is where he is going to end up next. In an announcement that is pretty much equal parts“ No way, really!?” and “well yeah, of course he is”. Evans has apparently signed on to work with production company Brain Farm best known for their snowboarding film The Art of Flight and just generally using super expensive cameras to film stuff in super slow motion, both passions of Mr. Evans’. Though it is hard to be entirely happy for him when you witness the bizarre teeth gnashing and maniacal laughter he indulges in throughout the video introducing him to the Brain Farm team.