R_666 Crew / Michael Cukr
SKATE / FLIMMAKIING / PHOTO / WHAT YOUTH / MONSTER CHILDREN / ...
Michael's work has always been a huge influence to me 'cause it contains a human-documentary essence that goes far beyond than 'just tricks'.
The other day I wrote him to do a little interview and talk a little about his point of view about all this > passions / influences / trajectory / ... And He was veeeeeery nice to me.
In consecuence, you're reading this and you should continue below_
PATÍN / VÍDEO / FOTOGRAFÍA / WHAT YOUTH / MONSTER CHILDREN / ...
El trabajo de Michael siempre fue una inspiración de cojones para mí, ya que su visión iba mucho más allá de los trucos y las maniobras para centrarse, más bien, en la esencia humana y documental que subyace tras los protagonistas.
El otro día le escribí para ver si le apetecía hacer una entrevistilla acerca de su punto de vista - pasiones / influencias / trayectoria / ... - y fue tannnn buena gente, que ahora estás leyendo ésto y no deberías pararte aquí [aunque la entrevista esté en inglés y requiera un mínimo esfuerzo. Hala, cursillo online cuaténico]_
Yeah Michael!! Very pleased to have you here!
First of all, I’d like to know more about your roots, influences, interests… Talk us about your home/environment!
I got into skateboarding when I was 6. That was the first obsession for me. That feeling ended up showing itself in a few different forms over the years - photography, filmmaking, music obsession, etc. Then skate films, which got me into filming skateboarding when I was 11. The DC video, Baker 3, Good and Evil. etc. I got in a car accident when I was 16. I couldn’t skate for about a year so I picked up surfing. My dad used to be a pro surfer and surfs everyday so it was easy for me to go with him just to pass time as I was recovering from the car accident.
What Youth, Monster Children, Brixton, Carhartt-Wip, Louis Vuitton… WOW.
This universe is a kind of unnaproachable dream for the majority of the mortals but you’re very into it. What’s your point of view about the ‘elite’/’pro’ crew after being a part of it
I think what separates the ‘elite’ creatives are that they are visionaries. Sure, they shoot photos and make films, but at the end what they have is a very strong vision.
They will do whatever it takes to get to that end goal. It’s really inspiring to see and it helps you believe in yourself to follow through with your ideas and experiment with different things.
PHOTO >>>>>> LEO ROMERO
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Initially it was just filming skateboarding and making web videos and trying to get sponsored. I wanted to do what I loved watching. Skate videos. Then I met John Dykstra, who did special FX for Star Wars. He got me into photography when I was about 16. So then still photography became very prominent in my work. I got hired to work at What Youth when I was 18. At that point I had never shot an interview. I would say my “style of work” spawned from making work for What Youth during my 4 years of working there. Interviewing and filming the subjects, shooting portraits, extended interview goes in print. Etc...
Any personal lesson that you’ve learned from some concrect person or any special moment that marked your life?
Jeremy Lynch always supporting my work and believing in me to do what I felt was right. I look back at some of my work that he was supportive of and laugh because I don’t care for it now, but that motivation to believe in myself made it easy for me to keep at it.
You were able to work with very –very- talented people, both surfers and skaters. Thinking about them as two different collectives, what’s the different between each scene?
There is the wide range of skaters, and a wide range of surfers. There’s jocks in both. There’s artists in both. etc...
I don’t think you can say a skater is different than a surfer on a broad level really
Would you say that skaters are more raw and creative people while surfers are quite more competitive and athletic?
No. Look at Ozzie Wright vs. Nyjah Huston.
Obligatory theme! Hahaha. I’d like you talk us about your personal evolution since your ‘early-amateur days’ until you became a part of all those huge names/brands!
One of the things I loved about What Youth ‘golden era’ or Monster Children is that your productions talked about persons but not just tricks.
Is this ‘deep and personal’ lifestyle the facet that captivate your author’s eye?
It’s more fun to work on. I love people.
I grew up watching things like ‘alex olson slice of life” and patrick odells “epicly laterds” so I wanted to make videos similar to that. Nothing will beat a good skate video or surf video. You need them and I really admire everybody who makes them.
I just ended up on a different path.
There is a huge human factor in your photography too, which is closer to the soul of the persons than their performance or activity.
What seduces you the most to taking a shot? Tell me your ‘cult’ influences!
Influences - Old photos. Classic family portraits, or a picture of somebody in front of their first purchased car when they’re 18. Just snapshots in time.
I don’t really think of it from an artistic or creative point of view. Classic and sincere is what I’m going for I suppose.
Well Michael… And now… With all this shit happening, what do you think about the future of our ‘lilttle’ industry (surf / skate)?.
Do you think that brands will push creativity and nice content or the sky is a little grey
for those who live of their ideas?
When you say shit happening, I’m assuming you’re referring to corona virus and isolation.
This is giving truly creative individuals who can make something out of nothing A LOT of free time and it’s allowing them to make amazing work. Meanwhile the big brands need a lot of money, sales, and people to get anything out.
So in saying that… I think big brands will take a big hit from this. Smaller and more creative endeavors will start to put out a lot of cool shit. Look at instagram. It’s already happening. I think you just need to adapt to the current landscape of content and culture. Big or small, you need to be relevant. That’s why brands like Frog can exist next to a company like Nike. In scale, they are polar opposite, but somehow it works.
Talking about a Deep content, what’s your opinion about little projects like ROAD666, [which are focused on long talks and extensive points of view] in the middle of a world that demands easy and brief shit? Are we doomed to extinction?
Different reasons for both. I personally make the “longer form” stuff. but as a consumer I also fly right past long form pieces when people post them. You will watch what you’re interested in. I think long form is good for researching.
For example, if you’re interested in learning more about Thurston Moore, you will google his name and watch a 25 minute interview on him. But if somebody posts an interview that’s 25 minutes long on instagram that you don’t know, you will fly past it. Also, when you’re on instagram you want a quick fix. You aren’t in the mood to slow down.
It’s like…. There will always be this constant noise/buzz of quick content. They’re both relevant. Just different.
I personally would prefer if the noise of quick content would slow down a bit, but whatever. I’m not gonna change the world. Also I’m part of the problem because I look at stuff on instagram for 0.5 seconds so….
PHOTO >>> LEO ROMERO
It’s fun you you accepted this!! Hahaha Why??
...Still thinking about your fast and good answer.
I was complimented that you hit me up and I also have a personal outlet where I like to interview people so it reminded me of what I do
Well Michael, once again, THANKS. It’s a huge pleasure to me that you become a part of ROAD666. Hope you be back soon! If you want tell some last words... ☺
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PHOTO > CHIPPA WILSON
CREW IN PICTS
DANE REYNOLDS & FAMILY
KYLE KENELLY [SURFING]