By Nichols-Charnoski Productions
VHS/DVD. 2003. 55 minutes
From the Creators of Fruit of the Vine and The Skateparks of Oregon/Ecuador films, comes the latest from the NCProductions team, called Northwest.
Filmed entirely in Black & White Super 8, Northwest expands on the theme from the Skateparks of Oregon video (without the whole story line) as we follow some of the most influential skateboarders/artists/philosophers of our time on a journey through their scene in the Pacific Northwest. The do-it-yourself attitude that prevails among the skaters of the Northwest is highlighted throughout the film. We witness the design and creation of their own skate facilities, a tour through the garage-based M&M Skateboard facility, and hit the road on a variety of skate excursions.
The narrative, provided by the skaters themselves (most notably from Munk and Red, the founders of Grindline and Dreamland Skateparks, respectively), offers the perspective of skaters willing to take complete command of their own skate scene and not willing to settle for anything less than the very best. The motto abounds: if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. The creativity that follows is a natural progression in the mind of a skateboarder trying to build something new and original to skate. The skills they've developed have been fined tuned, primarily through use of basic trial and error, however their dedication and unmatched attention to detail make all their projects stand out from all the rest.
In relation to the Skateparks of Oregon video, the message is much more clearly conveyed this time around. The soundbites from the film come from skaters a lot more comfortable and confident in their positions as influential members of the skate world and society in general. Whereas in the Skateparks of Oregon era, Dreamland and Grindline were in somewhat of a shock and awe at the monster they've created, in Northwest they're fully hitting stride and pushing the limits in the standards they've already established for themselves.
What I really bought the video for was for the skating. I wanted to see people riding all the latest Dreamland/Grindline skate parks of the Northwest and beyond. Super 8 is a difficult medium to film skateboarding, however the skateboarding in this film won't disappoint. Burnside, Orcas Island, Donald, Aumsville, Brookings, Port Orford, Astoria, Hailey, Montana, and Lincoln City all get massacred by the likes of: Red, Munk, Sage, Peter Hewitt, Matt Dyck, Greek, Royce Nelson, Crooked Arm, Pete the Ox, Ben Krahn, Ryan Johnson, Shaggy and a crew too long to list. There's never a dull moment with the ongoing comedic commentary. Red reminisces about Burnside and introduces us to Dreamland's latest creation, Hailey. Munk "drops out of society" at Orcas Island. Northwest legend Q provides ongoing comedic commentary and a tour of the Portland pipes. Shaggy shows us the secret Montana bowl. This film has a little bit of everything, including a long epilogue of pool and ditch skating. The film concludes with a glimpse of the last days of the majestical Asbury Park Pool and it's destruction.
Northwest goes on for about 55 minutes with the extra footage, but it doesn't really seem like it. I actually wanted it to go on for another 55 minutes and cover some more spots. Actually, the rumour is that the actual release of this video is being pushed back until June or later and perhaps some new footage will be added in. We can only hope, because the more the better. Another hour would be nice. For those of you who are fans of Fruit of the Vine, and some of NCP's other works that appeared on Bluetorch TV, this film is a must get. They can be contacted at NCP Films.com. For those of you that aren't into NCP, what are you still reading this review for? Get out there and skate Makiki or Kaneohe or something.
I don't know what kind of fucked up rating system we have, but this pre-release video deserves at least a 4 out of 5.