It's hard to escape the influence of New York City skateboarding right now. It seems like every crew in the city puts out clips on a weekly basis, and it's now mandatory for board and shoe companies to send their teams through in the summer to stack the type of footage you only get from filming in New York. Everybody wants to be a New Yorker.
One thing about the skate scene here that doesn't get talked about much is the fact that the vast majority of skaters who are filming in New York are not actually from here.
That's where Zach Moore's Transplants comes in. Rather than hiding this fact, Zach has chosen to highlight one of the other greatest things about the city - it's a place where people from all over the world come together to do things better than they could elsewhere.
We talked to Zach about his video, life in New York, and about how his long awaited video premiers tomorrow night at Sunshine Cinema at 9PM. If you're in NYC, transplant or native, we hope to see you there.
Since the title of your video is Transplants, I'm curious as to why you think so many people are moving here?
I don't think it's anything new, people have been moving here consistently for a while now. There's so many factors that could attract someone to New York City. It has a strong skate scene, tons of spots, and just the atmosphere of the city is exciting and motivating.
Where are you from? Why'd you move here?
I'm originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I moved to NYC in 2009 for college; I transferred to NYU to study cinematography after spending a year in Chicago.
Coming from the Midwest, what were your initial impressions of skating on the East Coast?
Initially it was a little intimidating since I had never been here before and didn't know anyone out here. I was really excited to see so many spots that I had seen in videos growing up. I was expecting everything to be really rough and hard to skate, but compared to the Midwest it isn't so bad. I had no idea what to expect from the skate scene here since I had never skated the East Coast before, but it ended up being really easy to meet new people just going out to skate, you'll always run into someone.
How'd you get linked up with the skaters in your video?
I first met Michael and Jason randomly skating the St. Vincent's bank back in October 2010. I started talking to them and found out we were all at NYU at the time, so we exchanged numbers and Michael hit me up to film that weekend and we just kept it going. There weren't many skaters at NYU so it was cool to have friends there with similar schedules. Mike moved to New York a couple years after that and I think I actually met him at an art show one night and then ended up going skating the next day.
Mike is pretty much down to skate anytime he can so we started filming together a bunch, especially after he ended up moving right down the street from me. Yoshi grew up skating with Michael in Maryland/DC, and I met him on a trip out there in February 2011. He was 15 at the time and just ridiculously good. Watching him skate in person is incredible. As for Alex, Pat, and Josh, they were my best friends growing up in Minnesota so I was really excited to get them all into one video since we live all over the country now. Alex and Pat have visited New York a few times over the last couple years so I gradually built up a little footage with them, and I was able to get some clips of Josh on a road trip in California.
Many filmers have turned to releasing regular web clips, what's kept you stuck to the more traditional format of filming for a few years & releasing a video?
There's so much more value in a full video that you spend more time on. You work on it for a few years and really care about it and want it to be the best it can be, and in the end you get a product that you will be so much more proud of. Also having hard copies of a project you worked on feels really rewarding, it's great to have something tangible to pick up off the shelf and look back on after putting in years of work.
While web clips are cool, they just don't really stick as much for me. They are easily forgotten because there will be another one the next day. I like seeing footage where you can tell they really put some thought into the spot/trick selection, the music, the editing, everything. Something that feels unique or original for a specific project. Everyone seems to be in such a rush to put footage out nowadays because of social media. I got into filming and editing because of skateboarding and being inspired by videos that had a lot of work put into them, I'm not going to half-ass it just to get some likes on Instagram.