Q&A with Brian Shannon on new skate vid, screening Saturday

The Montreal filmographer premieres new skate video Duluth at Pro Skates this weekend

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Brian Shannon's new skate vid screens Saturday - HOPE CHRISTERSON
  • Hope Christerson
  • Brian Shannon's new skate vid screens Saturday

On Saturday, our g's at Pro Skates (6451 Quinpool) are screening a new feature-length skate vid by Montreal filmographer and occasional VANS doggie, Brian Shannon. Shot since 2013 in Montreal, Chicago, Arizona and Barcelona, Duluth features the elite riding of Josh Clark, Zander Mitchell, Ethan Kilcour, Dustin Henry, Charles Deschamps, Johnny Purcell, Nate Oliver and a fuckload of other people. "This is all raw street skating," Shannon says. Named after his crew's old house near Duluth and de Bullion, Duluth also features a few shots by former Color Mag bruh Joel Martell (Oddfellows Barbershop). Bruh

Shooting Charles Deschamps in Montreal - RYAN LEBEL
  • Ryan Lebel
  • Shooting Charles Deschamps in Montreal

You took a crew trip to film in Barcelona. What was shooting in Europe like? 

Skating in Barcelona was cool. I had never been to Europe so everything was new to me. We tried to hit unknown spots while we were out there, but half of me wanted to be a tourist and see all the famous spots. Our only issue in Barcelona came at this point when Josh Clark tried to bluntside this rail into a bank and then pop down a double set. He had tried it out a year prior and he really wanted to land it for the video. Right before his fifth attempt, cops rolled into the school (during school) and as Josh ate shit (as in the teaser), Dan (our photographer) and I were told that if we were caught again anywhere near the area, we would have our gear confiscated. 

Do you still catch hard times when filming in public or skating structures? I know every city is different but it still feels like half the triumph of filming a landed trick is that someone didn't shoo you away before you could get it on camera.

Yeah. Everyone thinks they are cops. Wherever you go, you deal with super citizens who think they are the law but really you just tell them to call the cops and they just look at you like an alien. I'm not scared to get a ticket. You either film a trick on the last try or you make a plan to come back. Either coming back five minutes later, or later at night. If you're going to do it, you can do it. 

Tell me about the soundtrack on Duluth. Who picked the segment jams?

I selected the whole soundtrack, excluding Dustin's and Ethan's songs. Dustin really wanted to skate the song he skates to, and it ended up working better than what I selected. For Ethan's song, I had tried a few different songs and he didn't know what to use. I had told my friend Ryan that I was looking for a song (for him) and he ended up sending me his song one day. He was at a show and heard it the night before. Some of the band members actually live on Duluth. I actually bought the song off the band's website and it was such shit quality. I tried to fix it and it still sucked. I was lucky enough to run into one of the guys in the band two days before the premiere and got the proper version and fixed it. Very weird and random. It almost didn't work out. 

How did your experience filming other vids help you out on this one? In terms of, like, creating a flow or choosing the best scenes, the order of appearances...

Well, this isn't my first rodeo. Definitely filming for the last two Dime videos set a standard for what skateboarding should look like coming out of Montreal. Those guys are my friends, I respect them a lot but just because it didn't fit in their video didn't mean it wouldn't fit in mine. A few of these tricks had been previously cut from Dime Turd Season but everything has a home somewhere. When I made the first cut of the timeline mid-August, the video was 20 minutes of skating. I cut three minutes (besides credits) because I thought it was too long. That's hard because then you have to re-think the whole video. After I cut that, the parts just fell into the proper place. 

What were you going for with this one?

The video is just meant to be fun. It's like, this is what I have been doing for two years with no bullshit. I guess it would be cool if people watched it and wanted to skate but if you would rather watch it and drink some beers, even better. 

It premiered in Montreal in September and then Toronto. What was that like?

Montreal was pretty crazy. Grey Goose, crowd-surfing and even a fire. Toronto wasn't as nuts but it was a lot of fun and everyone was stoked. It's hard to top crowd-surfing and a fire. There are Hamilton and Moncton premieres coming up too.

I've spent my whole life trying to skate. It's fucking hard. When did you get into it?

I think I've had a skateboard since I was eight, but it was some Wal-Mart "landshark" shit board. I used to put sand on it and push it down the street. I didn't understand what it was actually for. I remember this one time I was going to Blockbuster with my mom, I saw this guy ollie up a sidewalk curb and I was like, 'I want to do that.' From there, I got a real board and played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. As dumb as that sounds, that was what helped me get into skating. I was some suburban kid who played sports, but skateboarding was better than all of them. Now skating is just second nature. I've gotten worse at a lot of tricks and gotten better at others, it's a never-ending cycle. I mostly just film so I guess I'm good at avoiding cracks and other obstacles. 

Not dumb, me too. I still love playing Tony. You filming now?

I don't think I'll ever stop. I'm going to try and film some more tricks for the new Dimestore video whenever I'm not working. 

Tell me why people should come check this out on Saturday. 

Because watching shit on your phone sucks. Enjoy the video. 



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