The internet is everywhere and the internet has influence, but skateboarding is physical. It’s something enjoyed outside, with friends, in real life. For this reason, skateboarding continues, and will continue, to be regional and localized. Because of the internet though, these local scenes have been able to showcase themselves to much wider audiences. The ‘homie video’ has become the new standard for full-length offerings, with every city’s scene cranking out new videos like clockwork; this is a small look into the independent videos coming out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Skate Jawn - Bruns
The Skate Jawn crew gets a lot done. They are known for producing a monthly zine and pouring concrete all over the Northeast. They also produced one of the best independent videos of the year.
With help from New Jersey filmer Kevin Winters and a title referencing one of the dirtiest of the Dirty Jerz cities (bowling capital of the world, New Brunswick, NJ), Bruns is full of fast, crusty skating set to a mix of 90’s hip-hop and music with guitars. Nik Stain, who knows no speed but mach 10, kicks off the video by smith grinding and back tailing for miles. Stain also does possibly the longest back lip ever performed in Pennsylvania in his part. Sloan Palder seeks out the crustiest spots the East Coast has to offer, wears a bionic man arm brace for half his part and doesn’t flip his board once; he’s your new favorite skater. Thrasher released a few parts from Bruns on their website when the video was first uploaded, but the full video, up on SkateJawn.com, has parts from both of New Jersey’s Gesko brothers and a full part from always-looks-like-he’s-gonna-fall Mitch Wilson (this part includes a 30 second montage of just about every slappy trick known to man).
The rest of the parts are equally good, and Winters’ filming is on point throughout. The video, like the physical versions of the Skate Jawn zine, is free.
The most recent feature from Brian Panebianco and Ryan Higgins’ Sabotage Productions, released at the end of last year, continues their reign of VX1000-made-to-look-like-VHS style that has since become the hip kid standard of nostalgia seeking editing techniques. Panebianco and Higgins are masters of this style. Full parts from Ishod Wair and Mark Suciu don’t hurt either, and while those headlining parts have been remixed and made available on the skateboard internet, footage from Dylan Sourbeer, Tore Bevenino and Youtube favorite Jamal Smith (of tornado spin fame) are alone worth the $15 price tag (plus the song Ishod skates to in the official version is way better than the Thrasher remix part).
The video is centered almost entirely around Love Park, with bum fights and graffiti writing mixed in with the skating; the video feels like it might give you hepatitis if you stare long enough. The whole crew has been downtown every weekend and word around Love Park is that Sabotage 4 is coming along quickly. Be on the lookout.
Ming Kong's Revenge
The filming in Ming Kong harkens back to the era of Photosynthesis and the Eastern Exposure series, showcasing Love Park the way it actually feels; like a mess of switch back tails and beat boxing bums in powder blue suits. Devon Connells quick footed lines in the Love section are some of the best to be done on the top steps, and the video’s ender might just be the best filming of a trick down the Love Park fountain gap yet.
Ming Kong features the elder Philly contingent of another video worth mentioning; Stop Fakin’ 2, which should also be Youtubed/purchased.