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Fill In The Blanks ReviewAuthor: Wakeskating.com Staff
Hello there! I have been courted by her Majesty's Secret Service to pen a critical review for Sidewayz's latest film creation Fill in the Blanks. This project was the brain child of Kyle Conrad and features the riding of talented lads from teams Cassette, Integrity, Hyperlite, Kampus, etc, etc. Without further adieu, here are some positives and negatives about the vid that I feel are worth mentioning.
Firstly, I felt there was some stand-up riding in this film. I feel it's a true and worthy documentation of how far wakeskating has come in the past year. Some riders to watch for are Phillip Basino, Clint Tompkins and George Daniels. Between Clint and George, they managed capture kickflips, varial flips, sex changes, frontside flips, and the elusive backside flip.
On the flip side, one thing the video lacked was more trick lines. It's something that everyone aspires to, whether you wakeskate, snowboard, or skateboard (or whatever). Difficult, stylish tricks that fall into place one after another are always something to behold. Quite frankly, lines are impressive to watch and they show consistency.
Another aspect to the film that's tasty is the guest editing from Erich Schmaltz. He put together the video section for Integrity, which has some entertaining riding intertwined with what I can only presume to be personal influences and inspirations. The editing fit in well with the rest of the video, yet still had its own identity (for the aforementioned reason). Anyway, the section was short and not everyone is keen on slower, melodic music in a wakeskating video. However, it was still great to see something from Erich after all of this time..and we all knew he could do it, right?
On a similar note with regards to the "artistic" editing, some may say that this aspect is also the film's downfall. The "over-editing" is a common point of criticism for the film, but the way I see it, editing, like riding, is an art form with different styles and you may not always like what you see. I enjoyed the vid, though I've been a fan of previous releases that have been toted as "over edited" and "artsy." At any rate, I really respect the work from the director and the fact that he takes pride in the style of his video: "I'm glad that some people are uncomfortable with the methods used in editing because it means that the film is something different than what they have seen before."
Now, I'm not sure if I overreact to things or if I'm easily pleased, but I enjoyed the "terrain" in Leif's section. Skinny rails and picnic tables added a different degree of difficulty, versatility, and uniqueness to his video part (and to wakeskating in general). Yes, it's been done, but you don't see it a whole lot. And it was nice to see something else besides a pvc or fiberon rail.
One other drawback to the vid might be a little bit of "B" grade footage. I feel like this is a minor drawback, considering all of the quality footage that still comprises the vid.
Finally, do you like humor? If you do, I think you'll smile when watch this vid, specifically with the second Cassette part, "Georgio" and the displaying of Aaron Reed's musical talents at the final stop of the Professional Wakeskating Tour. Hmmm...maybe Aaron SHOULD quit his day job...but I guess it depends on who you ask (and nobody really asked me anyway). At any rate, from me to Aaron in the words of ABBA: "Thank you for the music." (And for all of you little wake fetus' out there, ABBA is a now defunct Swedish music group.)
Overall I feel like this is a good film that has documented the current state of wakeskating. If you're truly psyched on wakeskating, you really can't go wrong with this vid. Otherwise, take into consideration what you're looking for in a film. If you really can't get yourself past the visual effects to view the plentiful bounty of progressive wakeskating that this video beholds....I would suggest you buy yourself a Rubic's cube because you'll need something to do while your friends are watching this vid.
Watch Video Teaser
Check out the teaser in the Sidewayz film guide at Sidewayz.com
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Interview With Kyle Conrad
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