Film Review: Emerica’s MADE – Chapter One

Posted September 16, 2013 in ,
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MADE - Chapter One
Sole Technology Inc.
Street: 09.12

MADE - Chapter One is the latest video from Emerica Shoes. There have been high expectations for the video since its predecessor is Stay Gold—which is one the best skate videos of 2010, in my opinion. Although this is not a “full” video because it does not feature the whole team, there were over 200 premieres of the video globally, as well as hard copies of MADE available on the release date. Thrasher Magazine posted the video on their website for free for three days. It had more coverage than countless other small companies who can only expect for their video to be released online—some people have it all. On Sept. 12, Blindside Board Shop hosted the Salt Lake premiere at the Post Theatre, near the University of Utah. People around the world have waited patiently to see their favorite skaters in action.

Emerica usually start their videos using stop-motion photography with green filters as they introduce the skaters. MADE sort of used this same formula, it just wasn’t as longwinded as the introduction in the last videos. This may be due to the fact that it had only four skaters who had parts, or maybe the editors weren’t feeling especially artsy on that day. The video flashes the names of the three main skaters before showing an unfamiliar face. It introduces Jeremy Leabres, a half-white, half-Philipino maniac. Leabres is relatively unknown and up to this point, I had no idea he would have a part. When a kickflip to 50-50 on a 12-stair hubba is someone’s fourth trick—you know they mean business. He is able to hold his own compared to the pros in the video. The part is about three minutes long and ends with blunt variations on a handrail.

Collin Provost is how the essence of Led Zeppelin would skate if it could. His part feels like an old western movie where a lone soul is making his way through the desert—it starts as a long shot where he is barely visible, then a medium shot of Provost from the opposite side, and finally a close-up follow shot with a wide-angle lens. This cinematography is thanks to Jon Miner, who has had a major role in most of Emerica’s videos. He shoots and edits with the help of Bucky Gonzalez, Mike Manzoori and many others. Provost is a fairly new pro and has only been in one Emerica video before MADE. In Stay Gold he had a good part as an am, and he definitely does not disappoint in this video as a pro. The bump to ledge that he blunted in Stay Gold gets a stylish miller grind (Sugarcane if you want to be a dick about it) to step it up. Sugarcane is to a hurricane as a lipslide is to a boardslide, if you get my drift. He does not have as many flip tricks as in the last video, but he makes up for it by going bigger and putting himself in more danger.

The most veteran in the video is also the most Mexican—I can say Mexican because I’m Mexican. Leo Romero has been one of my favorite skateboarders since That’s Life and Kids in Emerica. He is known for skating handrails, both the right way and up stream. He is also known for joining Baker after leaving Tum Yeto (Foundation), just to go back to Tum Yeto (Toy Machine). Last year Romero did a front 50-50 down the double kink at the Delta Center (Energy Solutions Center if you want to be a dick about it) for King of the Road 2012. In the video, he lipslides the 18-stair handrail at the U of U. Seeing spots that I have actually been to made the part feel more tangible. A noseblunt on the famous UCI ledge, high ollies and plenty of gaps to grinds make for another memorable part from Romero.

Brandon Westgate rides for Zoo York who, according to Jenkem Magazine, is run by old geezers who have never stepped foot on a skateboard. This may, or may not be true—either way it does not diminish how much of a powerhouse Westgate is on a skateboard. The highest of ledges tremble at this fool’s speed and pop. The quota for the amount of gnarly is met, in my opinion. Westgate reminds me of Chris Senn in Jump Off a Building with raw speed and energy, even skating some of the same spots that Senn did in that video. His ender is one of his well-known 360 flips out of a ditch, showing what a proper front foot catch should look like.

The future looks bright for everyone involved in this video. In the end, this video was about one thing—making money. Selling shoes to pay mortgages, the people behind the scenes seem more interesting to me. If you mention Pierre André Senizergues, most skaters will not know who you are talking about. Senizergues takes part of the money you spend when you buy a pair of Emerica shoes, and he didn’t even have to 50-50 a 24-stair handrail. He is the founder of Emerica and owns Sole Technology—which is the distributor of many action sports companies. Senizergues was himself a professional skateboarder, so I would like to think that some of my favorite brands (Altamont, Emerica) are in good hands. Given its track record, I believe that Emerica will continue to make quality shoes and put out high-caliber videos to get people pumped to go skate.

Here's a video from Thrasher: