"Salvage Title" / PREMIERE

It took Brett Nichols - a great skate filmmaker himself - to make us aware of this crew's ondoings, and we're so thankful he did as their new clip, "Salvage Title", just perspires authenticity. Skateboarding in small towns is certainly not as practical as in big cities; not to say that's a bad thing at all, though, as in turn, restraint most often breeds creativity, encouraging one to figure out some kind of approach of their own to even consider some of the spots they have to make do with. Wes Allen, Trevor Murphy and their filmers, while geographically close to the timeless mecca of skateboarding comfortably-sized San Francisco is, appear to be drawn to not just such considerations but also their materialization, as this new clip proves they enjoy exploring off the beaten tracks, regularly scouting around smaller villages in the sole order to skate on mostly untouched terrain, as though to add more colors to their palette of choice to play around with. No rideable corner is safe! LIVE Skateboard Media just caught up with Wes in order to talk losing houses in the fire, acrework, and giant shorts.
LIVE Skateboard Media: May you please introduce yourself, your background in skateboarding and where you are from? Who are the skaters involved in the making of this clip, where was it filmed and what is Hustlapreneur?
Wes Allen: My name is Wes Allen. I’ve been skateboarding for eighteen years, and obsessed with nerding out on all the little details of it for nearly as long.
This clip, "Salvage Title" has skateboarding from my friend Trevor Murphy and I. The majority of it was filmed by Zac Childers (who also edited it together), and there are three or four clips and some B-roll projector shots from Chris Miglio.
It was filmed in Northern California about an hour north of San Francisco.

Wes. Ph.: Trevor Murphy

Hustlapreneur is a little project that started out as a joke with friends a few years ago; it’s basically the dumbest name you could think of for a skateboard company, and the idea was to have generic rap music tropes as graphics and stuff - like an off-brand, tone deaf DGK. Fast forward a few years and we actually did a run of boards, then recently I decided to quit one of my jobs to put more time into it.

The plan is also to brand a good amount of stuff with the name Portmanteau instead. "Hustlapreneur" itself is a bad portmanteau; and the word has a certain air of pretentiousness about it, which is funny. It's also less embarrassing to wear on a shirt or whatever.

LSM: Can you describe what Santa Rosa and Sonoma County look like, to our readers? In a way similar to the recent "Grains" full-length video from Illinois, the settings look rather rural and a lot of those spots look way off the beaten path.

Wes: Santa Rosa itself is a decent sized city, with close to 200,000 people. There’s no shortage of sterile-looking schools to film at if that’s what you’re into.

"Rough ground helps too"

Going West towards the ocean, there’s a bunch of cool backroads and small towns with interesting spots, and then heading North or East it's “Wine Country” so there’s a bunch of farmland and vineyards to explore; definitely gets mad rural.

LSM: What do you look for in skate spots? How hard is it for you to find them? Is there anything you find special about small town spots as opposed to big city spots?

Wes: I think the aesthetic factor of a spot is usually close to as important as what is being done on it. If you can find some unique geographical or architectural feature to take advantage of, and there’s a busted up building behind it, you’re golden.

Rough ground helps too. I remember Traffic’s “Via” and a bit later videos like “Last of the Mohicans” by Joe Perrin having a huge effect on the type of spots I was looking out for.

Ph.: Trevor Murphy

I’ve definitely driven around for hours in hopes of finding stuff, and done the Google Earth thing. A lot of the time, the best stuff just pops out at you after a while when you drive the same route regularly.

The last clip we put out, called “Acrework” (based on Bobby Puleo describing his spot searching technique as “blockwork”), was focused strictly on out-of-the-way spots, like cattle grates and old bridges.

There’s definitely something I like about how rural spots look compared to something in the city, but the main thing I prefer is just how pleasant that type of spot searching can make a day of skating. We’re about an hour from San Francisco, but driving there and dealing with traffic and finding parking and a million people is hectic in comparison to being out in the country, where it’s beautiful and you’re by the river and people mostly leave you alone.

I love watching inner city footage as well though.

LSM: Whose art is it that’s sprinkled here and there throughout the clip? Any special motivation to use the Jaco Pastorius song? Any particular inspiration as far as the editing of the clip altogether is concerned, skate videos you might have seen or otherwise?
Wes: Zac Childers made the art that pops up in the clip. The footage was originally supposed to go to Chris Miglio’s full-length video, which ended up being lost. I think it made sense for Zac to put that in, to add a personal touch once it became his edit.

"There’s this giant positive feedback loop that’s made possible by the Internet and social media"

Over the course of filming, Zac would make up-to-date rough edits of the footage with different songs and I think I just suggested that one and it stuck. I was into the sound of steel drums at the time and was always looking for songs featuring them.

I’m sure Zac and I could each come up with a huge list of inspirational videos, and I feel like with editing and skateboarding itself there’s this giant positive feedback loop that’s made possible by the Internet and social media. Most interviews in the mags will have pros talking about how Instagram is the new way that people digest skating, or complaining about full-length videos dying off - but there’s a ton of rad, artfully done independent full-length videos coming out all the time.

Artwork by Zac Childers.

Recently I’ve been watching Adam Bos’ video “Steel” a bunch. If you’re really a skate nerd, it’s not that difficult to wade through all the content for the good stuff. You kind of filter all that stuff through your own ideas and preferences, and then again through what you’re actually capable of doing to come out with a final product. I realize that was a bit of a rant that wasn’t directly connected to your question…

LSM: What is that story I heard about you guys dealing with big fires, your filmer’s house burning down and you guys’ losing a full-length’s worth of footage? Sorry to everyone involved. That sounds insane.

Wes: This past October, there were a few fires that broke out and spread really quickly through parts of Sonoma County and the surrounding area. They took out whole neighborhoods including my parents’, where their house was one of only two left on the block. Chris Miglio had been working on a full-length video for a few years and was starting to finish it up, before his house got lost in the fire.
He and his girlfriend escaped with only their cats and the clothes on their back. Fully charging down country roads in the middle of the night with embers coming down on them... Pretty intense.

Chris' full-length unfortunate salvage title.
The footage in this clip was originally supposed to go towards his full-length.
LSM: That's terribly harsh. Let's hope everyone affected by the accident could start over in life just fine, despite such a brutal loss; best wishes to them. On a funkier note, your Instagram handle is @dc_court_graffik. Please expand.
Wes: Instagram is really rad for keeping up with skateboarding and a bunch of other interests, but I never felt comfortable posting any personal stuff or a bunch of pictures of my face smiling or whatever on there.

"Oftentimes, they’ll be wearing giant shorts"

The DC Court Graffik is the footwear of choice for all the most trashy, bro’d out, chongo guys around here, and I’d assume in America in general. It’s a particular type of clueless dude that will go for them.
Oftentimes, they’ll be wearing giant shorts.
People submit photos they sneak of dudes wearing them, or I’ll do a little Photoshop or something. It’s surprising how many people send photos. 
LSM: Any future projects?
Wes: My buddy Ian is putting out a video called "Rose" shortly and we’ll have a five, maybe ten-minute Hustlapreneur promo coming out a bit after that.
Chris got a new VX and Super 8 camera and has already started getting footage; definitely a daunting task after losing so much. We should have another run of boards available soon as well.

LSM: Thank you for your time, Wes!

Wes. Ph.: Ian Johnson
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