Over the past couple years, the Bay Area Concrete Crew teamed up with Hella Grip with the goal of producing one of the finest DVD’s to ever drop in scootering, titled “Hella Good Stuff.” It was finished this summer, with a premiere after SD10. After a long delay, the video has finally made it onto DVD’s which are in stores now. . Hella Grip was nice enough to hook me up with a copy of the video, and so here I am giving a full review.
The level of riding in Hella Good Stuff varies, but at its highest points is top notch. The video starts off explosively, as the relatively unknown Pat Nguyen is featured for his first notable video part. Pat has unrivaled hops and an awesome style, making his part one of my favorites. Many of the riders in HGS, unlike Pat, are sponsored- Jake Sorenson and David Coe representing Proto, Anton Abramson for Aztek, Kevin Closson for Downside, so you can expect some gnarly tricks.. David brought some really awesome SF hillbomb lines (which always have been missing from Bay Area videos) in addition to his familiar handrail shredder style, Jake does things that shouldn’t be possible, and Kevin also conquers any handrail in his path. The more unknown guys like Danila Popov, Trevor Crowell, and Ryan Meyers shred hard too, definitely putting out respectable footage. The only thing I could complain about regarding the riding, is that a lot of these guys do a lot of the same kinds of handrail tricks, or even just a lot of rails in general, which would be sick if it was only a couple dudes hitting them but everyone seemed to be getting in on the action. So in other words, more diversity would have been cool.
Filming for HGS was spearheaded by Anton, the main organizer of Concrete. Anton’s setup was primarily DSLR, with Hella Grip’s HVX providing backup. On the whole the filming was a lot better than what you see in most videos. As a filmer, I think that if the viewer doesn’t even notice the filming, then you’ve done a good job. All the while through the video I was focused on the riding, only a few times did I notice a poorly filmed clip. There was plenty of good b-roll filmed, which is something most scooter videos tend to lack. I think HD filming in scootering still has a long way to go but Anton did a great job documenting his friends scootering and I look forward to seeing his skill and direction improve.
My favorite part about the editing for HGS were the intros. Before each rider’s part, there is a small skit to introduce the rider and show us viewers a little bit about who they are. So while these guys are definitely not actors, they were super fun to see, especically because this is something that hasn’t ever been done in scootering before. They could have been improved with a little more focus and direction, but for a bunch of kids who aren’t exactly actors, it was rad. Big props to these guys for going for it and executing even semi-successfully. Apart from the intros, the editing was more or less simply done. The music all fit well, although starting off with a Fuzz track didn’t get me too hyped. I didn’t know too many of the bands used, which is a good thing.
The measurement of what really makes a good video isn’t how crazy the riding is, or how well its filmed and edited, but rather how the video makes you feel. But even that can go different ways. Did this video make me want to go ride? No. Did it fill me with a sense of hype and give off good vibes? That it did. A big theme in this video was how these guys are truly all homies. The skits, the opening montage, there was even a part showing a few of the dudes walking across the stage at their graduations- what other crew is gonna show up for their boy’s graduation ceremony? If anything, this video makes you want to be a part of that kind of family, to go out and explore, ride, and eat cake with the crew. So, at five dollars, there is no reason you shouldn’t buy this DVD. That is more than a bargain, considering all the hard work these boys put into this, and how good it is. It’s available at all your favorite retailers, including the lovely Outset Select.