February 28, 2017
If you haven’t heard of the Threads videos, don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you. With their now 4th video offering releasing this week, and several of their videos being hosted on the Transworld website, it’s crazy that the video series is still so underground. But it doesn’t seem to phase the guys who make up Threads Collective. They seem to really be onto something with their video creations and the contentment they’re finding in the creative process and getting their friends recognized on a wider scale seems to be enough for them. But we found the new video so strong and grabbing that we decided we needed to catch up to the dudes behind the camera and find out just exactly who was behind these ethereal videos. The mysterious collective is made up of three very different skater/filmmakers all based in different locations. We caught up with each one of them, Alex Rose in Chattanooga, Matt Creasy in Atlanta and Chris Thiessen in Long Beach and got to the bottom of the story…..so please enjoy this glimpse behind the curtain of the Threads Collective.
How did you, Matt and Chris come to form your video partnership?
I remember when I had my first VX1000, I needed a fisheye for it, and somehow I found out he was selling his. I drove down to Atlanta to meet him to buy the lens, and when I got there he was really serious about selling it. He gave me a good deal, but you could tell it wasn’t about the money, just how important the fisheye was to him. He must’ve been making videos for at least 10 years at that point, and they were all shot with that lens. Anyways, I kept skating and filming with Matt and a few years and a few videos later, he asked me to work on a video with him. I was really excited, Matt’s crew and his videos were my favorites growing up. I still feel that way, and am still excited to work and skate with him. We’ve talked about videos, characters, ideas, and skating on the phone nearly every day since then.
After the first Threads video, Matt moved to California. He wanted to keep making videos together even though we wouldn’t be able to work in person as easily. He started skating with Thiessen (who is also originally from Atlanta) in Long Beach and they formed a small group to film with. I remember Matt calling me, and introducing the idea of putting the group in a new Threads video (which would become Headcleaner). I was pretty skeptical, until I saw what they were really doing. It was the side of Southern California I had seen in much older videos; skating the back alleys and sidewalk cuts, promoting the roots of street skateboarding! By the time I visited them, I could see it was going to be a really valuable part for the new video.
“Headcleaner is an independent recording by the Threads Idea Vacuum (Matt Creasy, Chris Thiessen, Alex Rose, and Bryan Reynolds.) Filmed in Long Beach, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee (with NYC and Florida in the mix as well) Headcleaner features James Coleman, Jason Spivey, David Clark, Brad Cromer, Jimmy Lannon, Taylor Nawrocki, Glen Fox, Jim Arnold, Tyson Peterson, Logan Lewis, Fletcher Renegar, Nick Guertin, Randy Rhodes, Danny Renaud and Wil Harcrow
How much of a difference do you think it’s made working together with these guys, combining scenes from 3 different parts of the country? Do you think it’s brought a lot more eyes to your work?
It has actually made a huge difference in the design of the videos and given us tons of ideas to work with, based on presenting these regions. What was available to connect our skating to, has just became much larger by skating in all these places. You know there are a lot of skaters in middle America, and they see an Everytown, U.S.A spot being presented in an exciting way, and it inspires them. They have the same stuff to skate! In California, there are so many skaters fighting to get their shine on the same spot. You know, racing to get a trick and get it published or in a video first. It is where the industry is, so I understand, it’s basically like an oversaturated job market & there are only so many jobs available. But what about the regular skateboarders? The ones who are working other jobs and skate for the love. They shouldn’t be in videos even if they skate with all their heart and think about spots and tricks at work all day? I think this is how we are able to relate to people who watch our videos. It’s important to try while you skate, to get better and think about skating in your own way. Take what you have and do it to the best of your ability, and know that it’s cool to take skating and videos seriously.
I’m grateful for how all these different scenes have related and want to be involved with Threads! We really do believe in the stuff we put in our videos, so to see people enjoying it and promoting it is effectively getting our voice as skateboarders out there.
You guys have achieved something that’s really difficult to pull off these days….you’ve found a formula that makes your videos more than just skate footage set to music. It’s more of an experience, you really FEEL these videos instead of just watching them. Was there a specific moment when you just knew you had found it? Like, a moment where it all just clicked?
It still feels like Threads is clicking, the momentum has been gaining since the first video. Creasy had the idea to make the annotated video text; cites, puns and references to connect shots and skating to broader ideas. Threads aesthetic is generally about the connections and congruence occurring in our realm of skating. We use multiple formats; the hi8+24p telecine footage has its own novel mood. The dramatic quality of 16mm juxtaposing against the scratchy and erratic look of the 8mm and the sharp, vibrance of the VX1000 allows the videos to rise and fall and brings a balance, similar to how albums are arranged. Also, we try to present the skating and characters equally and honestly, and that could help people feel Threads.
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