Intro: Sufjan Stevens - The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!
Aaron Homoki: Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Jeff Stevens: Deer Tick - Art Isn't Real
Ryan Lay: Built To Spill - In the Morning
Josh Hawkins: Thao Nguyen - Beat (Health, Life, And Fire)
Derek Tracy: Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams Come True
friends #1: Okay - Tragedy
friends #2: Beck - Gamma Ray
Robbie Brockel & Kody Kohlman: Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement
Nick Fiorini: Music Go Music - Light of Love
John Rob Moore: Wu-Tang Clan - Can't Go To Sleep
John Motta: Okay - Panda
Credits: Radical Face - End of the World
A Happy Medium is an independent film by Buster O'Shea documenting the talents of several gifted Arizona skaters. The video is the follow-up to the underground classic Peter Vlad's Wonderful Horrible Life (henceforth referred to as PVWHL), from 2007. Featuring five of the six featured skaters from PVWHL, and notably missing the former films namesake Peter Vlad except for a couple of clips in the friends section, the video strikes many of the chords that made PVWHL so popular, including a spot-on soundtrack and miles of great skating.
Starting it off 'happy' with floating ballons which set the tone for the video's titles, the intro has an oddly off-kilter song which works wonderfully, making it second only to Alien Workshop's 'Mind Field' intro, in my book. Fun clips and wild bails give you an idea of the kind of time these guys have, topped off by Jaws Homoki getting his face smashed senseless ollieing off a dumpster.
Aaron Homoki (Jaws)
Most of you should know of him by now, an odd looking dude with a huge ollie and some serious concrete park skills. His looks are the focal point of this intro, and we see the titles with flatground technique begin here. An epic dated song adds to the memorable factor of his part, and he starts it off right with a massive ollie and a heelflip into a huge bank. Highlights are his opening nosepick, his cab bigspin-thingy on a vert ramp, his backside grab switcher(which I'm sure there's a better name for that I'm not aware of), the kickflip footplant, melon into the bank, the pollie/kickflip line that comes out of nowhere, his bump-to-bump gap, the 540 and grab to back 5-0, and the not-to-be-taken lightly roof-to-roof that he wrecked himself on in PVWHL. He also pollies into a ditch off of the supports, which is bonkers, and drops into the monster piece of tranny Rune Glifberg frontside grinded recently. While taking the cake as one of my favorite parts of the video, I must add that I REALLY don't think this kids flip tricks are hitting on much, and I'm not all about grabs down El Toro. While still quite sick, I think he'd be wise to stick to ridiculous gap-to-bonks, tranny, and huge ollies and drop-in tricks. Very good part overall, I liked the diversity but just couldn't dig his flip tricks, except a couple notable kickflips.
This guy has a taste for creativity. Showing off his chronic lack of inhibition by rolling into a ditch on two boards, Stevens' part is a mashup of bluntslides and strange grind combinations. I love his 5050 to pole jam, and his feeble to fifty to manual, feeble fs shuv transfer, lipslide to bluntslide, front feeble to 5050, backside 5050 to hippie jump, hippie jump at Ryan Lay's ender spot from PVWHL, footplant over the rail, the last ditch trick and his ender. His song is a bit of a sleeper, and alot of his creativity ends up looking too forced, or awfully ugly. He still does some enjoyable tricks, but as a whole I'd rate his part as my least favorite of the entire video.
Also known as Gay Lay, this kid held the opening slot in PVWHL, and has commanded respect from me since day one. I'm not even gonna mention how sick his switch back 5050 in the intro is, and he points out his skinny-man pop instantly via a crucial nollie. Highlights include a better-than-pro switch backside flip, a gloriously contagious song, a high-risk fs boardslide on a bridge, a nose polejam, gap to dumpster flap which looks completely unsafe, his funky claw-hand wind-up before tricks, and his pop-centered ender. I found his part to be a little short, but I loved every clip in it, and I'm holding out alot of hope for this kid in the future. He's too good to pass up. Creative, clean, lots of pop, good tricks, great style.
Short little Josh Hawkins comes into the mix with a super buttery part set to my favorite song of the video. Kickflip to fakie a bank to rail, manny tricks on rocks, a beautiful bigspin-bigspin-bigspin line, big gaps for a little guy, and perfect pushing bring home the excellency of this part. We also begin to see a trend with gapping through trees in his part, in addition to the one Ryan Lay did in his part. Hawkins does an interesting noseslide to.... edgeslide which is certainly worth a peep, and he also delivers a nosebonk to back tail a la Matt Miller in And Now. His ender is a battle of quick-footedness, and again I found his part quite short, but clean and packed with good tricks none-the-less. And the song, which I cannot stress enough, because that song is brilliant.
This guy oozes personality. Personality which, to the wrong person, could very well be overwhelming. I get a good kick out of this guys part for his humor alone, but regardless of that the dude also delivers on his shred-sled. He starts off taunting a deviant child, and displaying an incredibly white aptitude for rapping. He also yells face-to-face at Aaron Homoki's dad, and foregoes a flatland trick in lieu of a cell phone conversation for his intro. He nails the ever-scary early grab polejam, a huge rock euro gap, a perfect manny polejam, a ridiculous ollie wallride...... come to think of it, all his early grabs and pole jams are perfect. He also has two intense pull-in tricks into banks, and a beastly forward flip. The song is nothing special, but it fits well. At this point we decide short parts are the theme of the video. This part leaves me with a chuckle inside, I love it.
These dudes are some characters as well. Some decidely homo-curious antics decorate the entire montage, not to mention brutal skating. Halfcab wallie, Peter Vlad's two tricks which I could do, some weird wallride sitdown, an ugly no-comply pole jam, a sick one footer down stairs, a frontside wall plant, backside noseblunt, front board polejam, gator-hut drop in, yellow statue transfer, and backside flip noseblunt revert (GOLDEN trick) are clips that catch my attention in this one. Most of the way through the first song the skating gets kicked up a notch, right after the aforementioned golden trick, with a beastly gap to nosebluntslide on some tall park tranny, a swervy switch fs flip, a corner wallride which was highly praised in The Skateboard Mag, a huge late shuv, and also like the last 10 tricks which I will refrain from spoiling for anyone. The first song ends after a bit too long in my opinion, though still a good chill song. The second half of the montage is a much better song highlighed by a footplant, a fakie fs 360 kickflip, switch big heel, step-off thing to manual, wallride melon, insane tucknee transfer, a steezy asian airwalk, more sick polejams, a good bit more significant street bangers and some weird creative clips. A fat girl with an attitude closes things out. Very solid part. But, someone shoulda punched that fat girls dog. Just my two cents.
Robbie Brockel & Kody Kohlman
I Love this song. Also, Brockel rips as the first half of the part. Super long frontside bigspin, impossible (not the trick, the difficulty) switch frontside noseblunts and their regular counterparts, and big set bigflips show his skills. Kody Kohlman steps in pretty quickly, and the guy serves as ample competition to Brockel's footage. Some of his footage truly blows me away. Polejam and wallride variations, shuv crook stalls, weird wallies, nollie biggerspin heelflips, late shuvs, and four ridiculous last tricks keep your jaw dropped. Some of his lesser tricks are a little sketch, but overall this part rips, particularly for a shared part, which sometimes doesn't work so well.
My favorite part of the video. Why isn't this guy a huge name yet? That's my question. Great song, effortless style, fakie frontside flips, handrails done right, speed and pop..... go watch it for yourself. Also check out his ahead-of-its-time PVWHL part, this guy is definitely an elite in the AZ squad. And watch out for his ender. It's the meaning of the rewind button for sure.
John Rob Moore
This is a goofy dude. Weird style, and fedora's to boot. Yet his feet have some of the craziest tricks stored in them, and more than three-quarters of his part could easily be in a pro video. Frontside 360 heelflip, fakie flip tailslide 180, kickflip nose stall a rock, a huge frontside bigspin, some incredibly impressive manuals, big heel boardslide, an unleashed fakie inward heel and nollie heel boardslide, and a bunch of other ridiculousness that needs to be seen, not shared. He evidentally went all-out on this part, and though I don't like the song much nor am I a huge fan of his style, the level of skating carries the part easily.
The ending skater from PVWHL as well, Motta has become fairly well known in the skate industry. Filming for this part occurred at the same time as his Skate Mental part, so it's not the massacre that was his PVWHL part but it's still damn good. Each clip displays the careful thought that goes into his tricks, and he uses unique AZ spots to their highest potential. There are several clips I flat out do not like, such as his back tail stall into a ditch, and 5-0 front 180 into a bank. However, great style, lots of wallrides, and ridiculous spot applications shine through, and my appreciation for the guy is nothing short of massive. I love his nollie bigspin nosebluntslide bigspin, and his ender, which should have reached your ears via the rumor mill by now. His song is the same group as his other O'Shea video part, and it finishes the video on a good note. It's not the classic ending part that his last one was, but it's still ridiculous.
They're credits. Shut it off.
A great video overall, I coulda done without Stevens' part but the Fiorini, Motta, Homoki, Lay, and Brockel/Kohlman all hold it down with quite sick parts. Being very well put together, having a fairly strong song selection, a great friends section and simple yet effective titles bring this video into focus amongst the other big company releases of the day. Support independent filmers and video producers, order a copy from the AZ crew. Search the forum for the location to order.