James Craven


We already knew that filmmaker James Craven chose the less beaten path more often than not, while managing to get some skating done, but this time, for a new Grey project, he goes for a different mood, as, for once refrain from going North, and heads closer to the Equator, and Sri Lanka, to see what's to be found there, with once again an ATV crew, if not more Francophone than usual. While keeping the same special mood that is his signature, by now.

Idle Hands

Heroin is a longtime U.K.-based board company ran by Mark Foster aka. Fos, local avant-garde skate visionary due to being quite the authentic being, punk ethics enthusiast, and regular displayer a notable weakness for coffee and cassette tapes that has to go along nicely with being a visual artist (as his recent-ish guest board on Magenta could attest). One notably responsible for the art direction of Altamont Apparel, but also for countless deck graphics (on top of the Heroin ones) for the likes of Black Label, Toy Machine, Real, Deathwish, Zero, Element and Baker.

In an era of U.K. skateboarding where most eyes were set on the refined aesthetics of Blueprint Skateboards (version 1.0, also known as the right one; the current iteration looking like a Canadian counterfeit), upon its inception in 1998, Heroin popped up and stood out as the wilder alternative that appeared more brutal, and definitely crazier. Its philosophy was made obvious by how it embraced any supermarket parking lot piss corner as a potential spot to document on Sundays, and any type of motion as a trick as long as one - or more - instance(s) of the object "skateboard" was somewhat visibly involved.

Very much like Traffic, Ricky Oyola's company (see this post for "Look Right", their latest Far-Eastern trip video), Heroin recognized the creative frenzy of the Japanese skate scene quite early on, by sponsoring Gou Miyagi for years (after an early guest board), but also by casting some light over the genius of ChopperDAL and Osaka Daggers, of Triangle Park. More insanity that was quite notably featured on a scientology website back in 2013, and that you can now catch a clear glimpse of here.

In the considerable time span over two decades makes for, Heroin did undergo quite a few changes, most notably as far as its roster; but a long trail of full-length videos help keep the entirety of their legacy alive, each of them imprinted by their respective author's personal style but never without that very specific Heroin imagery at the core. "Everything's Going To Be Alright" (2002), "Live From Antarctica" (2005) or the later "Video Nasty" (2013) are some good ones to check out, or revisit. On this topic, Alan Glass (the man behind some of Heroin's early productions) and Pixels.tv produced this neat little two-part documentary on former rider Chris Pulman, not too long ago.

"Magic Sticky Hand 2" is the 2017 Heroin video that just now found its way online - and it's exactly the type of plastic spank you might need to get inspired to go skate right now (and maybe forget about caveman boardslides for good).



This will be the breath of fresh air that is always needed to start the week! James Craven follow through on his series of videos for Grey dedicated to the real adventure of hunting for spots where there really should not be any, and if they were, they would most likely not be skatable… All this documented in a style that is very much his own. And what destination would fit all this better than Iceland? Do put your muffler on to watch this, seriously.

Over there…

If the idea that a video project (whatever its subject might be) could even reach "must see" levels nowadays, the latest James Craven production, in conjunction with Grey Skate Mag, might be the only one to get there, in a mighty long time… Following the already striking Land, to transcend it and reach masterpiece level. There, we said it. And if the idea of showcasing the search for somewhere anew to put his wheels on is not new, it is treated here in a way that stay clear from the pseudo-epicness that mentally exhausts us everyday. But enough pontificating, do yourself good and enjoy this rare moment…

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