On Christmas day, we presented the first installment of Matt Bublitz’s Hi-Tide, which featured full parts from John DeMar and Fries Taillieu, accompanied by a small friends montage. Nearly a month after its release, we caught up with Matt to learn a little more about the video, the motivation behind making it, and what’s coming next.
You named the video Hi-Tide. Explain the name.
Hi-Tide is pretty much the sequel to Lo-Tide (lotidefilm.com), an independent video I made last year. With Lo-Tide, I used relatively lo-fi cameras—the VX1000 and 8mm film—and now with Hi-Tide, I’m trying my hand at using HD cameras, hence the name. I’m still using a lot of 8mm footage in Hi-Tide, though, as a way to keep the overall vibe somewhat consistent.
I get a sort of Alien Workshop vibe from the edit. Where did you draw inspiration from?
Definitely. I’m heavily inspired by Alien Workshop. Of course their early videos, but Mind Field came out around the time I started getting serious about filming and making skate videos, and it completely blew my mind. To the point that I physically wrote Greg Hunt a letter to compliment and thank him for putting together such a masterpiece. So naturally, I look to that video as somewhat of an ideal of what a good skate video should be. What Benny Maglinao does with all the Life Splicings, too, is pure magic. He knows how to make skate videos look interesting and mysterious yet still keep its raw backbone, which is always important. I’m basically inspired by things that make me feel something. Sure, a good skate video needs good skateboarding, but that only goes so far—it needs soul. Something that speaks to people in an intuitive and emotional way. Not a stair-counting, who-did-what way. That’s what elevates skate videos to a level that is timeless. That’s what I strive for.
Comparing Hi-Tide and Lo-Tide, is there one that you like more than the other?
It’s apples and oranges between the two for me. Lo-Tide carries a lot of nostalgia for me just because I worked on it for so long with my best friends and it’s full-length, but Hi-Tide was great for me, too, because I stepped out of my comfort zone and experimented with HD, tried new ways of editing, and became really close with two new friends. I guess I can say I am less sick of Hi-Tide than I am with Lo-Tide, but that’s just because it’s newer to me and I haven’t watched it a thousand times yet. I mean, at the end of the day, both are just me skating with my friends and making little videos out of what happens.
Why did you choose to feature Fries and John in the video?
I didn’t necessarily “choose” Fries and John; it just came together naturally. I met Fries through the Gravis/Analog dudes, and he ended up staying at my house for the summer while he was here in the States. And around that time I became good friends with John through mutual friends, so us three would go out pretty much every day—that was our crew. The other people I would skate with had other projects to film for, which is why a lot of people in Lo-Tide don’t have parts in Hi-Tide.
When can we expect to see another Hi-Tide segment? What’s the reasoning behind piecing it into sections?
I’m not sure. I haven’t officially started it. It just depends on who steps up to the plate and how long it takes them to film a part. I pieced the video into sections because I like the idea of always having a place for my work to go. As long as I’m interested in the Hi-Tide aesthetic, I’ll keep the project open-ended for future parts.
How long did it take you to film Hi-Tide? And did you set out with this video in mind or did it just sort of unfold?
The bulk of the video was filmed over the course of six months. Initially, I was going out to film separate solo parts for Fries and John because that’s what you do in 2013. But when I was thinking how to present their parts, it occurred to me that I can finally start the Hi-Tide series, which I have always wanted to do. Luckily, The Skateboard Mag was down to let me follow that vision instead of making them into two Mag Minutes with a lot less artistic freedom.
Can we expect to see a hardcopy, full-length edit with all the parts pieced together one day?
Most likely. I love having a hard copy of skate videos, so that’ll probably be a good time to put together a DVD, with all the parts in one place.
What was the funnest trip or session you guys had? Give us a crazy story while filming.
Probably driving up to Northern California and sleeping on the beach in Monterey. We drove up, skated all night, and slept on the beach in some ecological reserve because we couldn’t find any campgrounds. We only slept for probably an hour before the sun came up and the park rangers came. We had to sneak around the dunes and run to our car with sleeping bags in hand to get away. After that, we drove straight to Redwood City, and Fries did the five-0 180 on that long rail in his part first try, and then we drove home. That was probably the most fun trip.
A pretty crazy story would be John’s grind on that flat-and-down rail in Berkeley. That spot is at a frat house, and while John was skating the rail they were partying outside, of course. It was just a strange situation because on one hand they let us skate the rail, which was cool, but on the other, they were doing everything you wouldn’t want them to do while you’re trying a gnarly trick: yelling right when John popped, asking him if the footage would be on Scarred, and spilling beer on his griptape. Somehow John kept his cool—I mean, he had to if he wanted to skate the spot—and got his trick.
What else are you working on right now?
Nothing too major. I’m making a Thunder edit for Tom Karangelov. Besides that, I’ll be skating, filming, and editing the same as always; I’m not taking a break by any means. So it’s just a matter of things falling into place for Part 2 to come about, but I don’t see it taking too long.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to say thanks to my family, Cassidy McCraney, Ryan Allan, Arto Saari, Russell Houghten, Matt Price, and The Skateboard Mag.