The Brodies is an independent skate video put together by Jeremy Elkin. Jeremy Elkin’s previous works are Lo-Def, Elephant Direct, and Poisonous Products which are conveniently packaged (The Brodies included) into a box set for your viewing pleasure. Almost forgot to mention, the box set comes with a book containing fifty pages of photographs covering the period all four of Jeremy Elkin’s projects were shot. You can cop your box set now through the folks over at TheoriesOfAtlantis.com. Although the The Brodies’ running time is only 16 minutes, it doesn’t have any b-roll fillers and holds a lot of weight for the short running time.
TheoriesOfAtlantis.com provide a little narrative, and they also do a great job with interviewing everyone in the vid who had more than 4 tricks. With that being said, I want to take a slightly different approach with reviewing this awesome vid. I’m only going to be talking about the first and last part in this vid and yes some of you might say I’m practicing nepotism, favoritism, being biased and whatever else a “trolling commenter” might complain about. I’ve known both of these dudes for well over a decade and have always felt their talents were underrated in the skate world. Regardless, anybody that skates already understands the importance of the opening curtains and the closing curtains to every skate video. This post will mostly be anecdotes about NY street vets. I personally would like to thank Jeremy Elkin for shinning some light on all of the slept on dudes in this project. Cheers!
Akira Mowatt (of the After Midnight fame) – Opening Curtain
My recollection of my first few years skating is a bit blurred, honestly, remembering anything from that time period is quite difficult. Despite my faulty memory I can easily pinpoint the initial few times seeing Akira seshin’ the small banks (Brooklyn Banks) with style and flawlessness. It would have to be the Summer of ’98 because I clearly recall already owning a VHS copy of Zoo York’s “Mixtape” (debatably the most essential East Coast video for anyone to own), it was a video I’d watch religiously and related to the most because it depicted and encompassed New York like no other video before it. Above all else, it was mostly filmed on the streets of NYC. Another reason that solidifies me being more sure of the fact it was the Summer of ’98 was because “PeepThis” hadn’t come out yet. Akira was one of the younger/smaller dudes from the crew of the older gods that you’d see at the banks on any given weekend and they were the dudes every youngster at the banks (obviously myself included) respected. Akira stud out and I’m not basing that off of his distinctively huge looking fro. Regardless of him being the younger dude in that collective, his beastly pop would singlehandedly balance him out with the level of skating within that elite circle I speak of. Fast forwarding to almost two decades later and Akira is still ripping shit up with no slowing down. “The Brodies” vid projects this “livin’ proof” persona of Akira whereas if it were someone watching Akira skate for the first time they can almost instantly sense he’s been around for some time and this is definitely not his first rodeo, in other words he’s still livin’ and still proving his skills. Here’s food for thought, to me a nollie 540 on pretty steep bank he got in his part indicates Akira’s pop never left and obviously the St.Vincent’s bank got some switch pop treatment (from flat). Watch the part and bare witness the switch trickery for yourself. Salute!
Leo Gutman – Closing Curtain
It’s only logical that this anecdote happens a bit later on being that Leo is a bit younger. It goes like this, my good friend throughout JHS/HS told me her younger brother’s birthday was coming up and he wanted a skateboard. She also wanted me to teach him the basics whenever I had some time to do so. I was working at AlphaBetCity Skateshop at the time and told her it wouldn’t be an issue putting a board together for him and showing him the ropes of getting comfortable on a board. You’re probably thinking my friend’s brother is Leo, wrong. One day I get a call from my friend telling me “my younger brother and a couple of his friends are at the park by your house right now” so I come out the house to meet the young ones and started teaching her younger brother the basics. Little did I know, one of these little groms that showed up was a scrawny eleven or maybe a twelve year old at most with a very developed flat-ground game and that was Leo. I clearly recall asking myself that day “why would my friend ask for me to teach her brother to skate when he’s already pushing around with a talented youngster as good as he (Leo) is ?”
Fast forwarding a few years, Leo moves to Staten Island from Brooklyn with his family. Considering how isolated the borough of Staten Island actually is from the rest of the 5 boroughs, I’d like to take the time to salute Leo for clocking in as much footage as he does. I’d also like to add that Leo is probably one of the more craftier dudes in New York on a skateboard, in a sense where he utilities his environment with a more of a creative approach and a fresh eye on old spots. Salute! Enough of my babbling, go peep The Brodies!