Photo: Adam Dorobiala
Erik Jensen is a hard person to get in touch with, whether it’s because he’s out skating or filming, or because his phone is turned off because he lives a humble life; but when you go filming with him, it’s definitely an experience. Erik, more commonly known as E.J., has the steady hands that make his filming look top notch, while still having the cool, calm personality that makes him easy to film with. I met up with him in his “studio” and we chatted about his beginnings in filmmaking, his plans for the future and the current projects he has in the works.
“I’ve been skating for 12 years and filming for about 10,” E.J. mentions after I storm into his basement early in the morning, waking him up for the interview. He said that he realized he could film while others skated what he didn’t want to skate and that way he helped get something accomplished instead of just sitting there watching. “We started filming and producing movies because we had seen the Dirty Hessian movies and felt like they influenced the whole SLC skate scene; filming, producing and releasing films of local people on the come up,” he says. He has produced a total of six movies, ranging from his early days where he and Rory Bruggeman would film and edit whole movies just of friends, and then all the way to his last cut, Weast, a classic movie featuring all of the pros of the SLC skateboarding realm. On remembering his first camera, he said, “We didn’t have a camera really; it’s more like we stole our parents’ cameras and put them to good use.” In 2005, E.J. upgraded to his current camera, the VX-1000, and that made him even more stoked to film friends and local skaters. “It definitely made me more psyched to film and help friends get their ‘sponsor me’ tapes to the people they needed to get them to.” He has had footage in the almost video, Random Lurkerz, and has helped out on some of the Filmbot videos as well. “I filmed Tyrone Olson’s whole part [the almost video] and edited it, too,” he says. “I actually had to look in his phone to get the number of the guy I had to call to get paid for doing his part for the video.” He also helped film for the Binary video and had some footage in the first Technique video as well. Pretty impressive for a local skate bum, at the young age of 24, the future definitely looks bright for E.J. His current project, Salty Peaks’ Makin’ Moves, should be making its way into theatres and peoples’ brains early April. Expect great parts from the whole Salty team and get ready for his next movie, Weast Infection, to hit shops soon after that.
Not only does he film, but he also has some of the smoothest moves on a skateboard. All of his footage is super-unexpected tricks landed with style; he is definitely one of the chillest motherfuckers around. Living it up at night at X-Wives Place to wait out the security guards and police before heading to a spot, he is always down to get shit done. So if you see him on the streets with a camera in hand or being filmed, know that he is putting down some quality shit for the ages. Erik would like to thank (in no particular order) Niels Jensen, his parents, Andy Pitts, Mike Murdock, Dirty, Snuggles, D-bell, Isaiah, Mark White, Rob Peterson and Andrew Wilson for all their support and motivation.