When Sayer dropped The Booted a line to inform us of a new project he was working on with Jeff Stockwell we couldn’t of been happier. Not only because it meant the world was about to see the first Jeff Stockwell blading since his departure from Xsjado but because Sayer has been involved with some of the best things blading has brought out. Not only a great blader himself but a truly artistic mind and creative eye who’s talents have recently been used to direct projects for BMW, Vans and more.
With these two forces together we can only expect great things.
This is what happened when we caught up with Sayer Danforth .
What made you want to film a video part with Jeff?
1. Cause he's one of my best buds. I’ve known Jeff since he was 15 and that's like right when he was getting discovered. 2. Besides him being a great friend I have always respected his skating and talent. He’s like a kid that can do anything and laugh about it. He’s not really a kid anymore but you get the idea cause I’ve known him so long. I remember one time we were in Japan for a Heat team trip and we were at Serichiro’s hometown skatepark and it was late and we had a few beers. Well Tory and Jeff found beach cruisers and were ripping around on them laughing there asses off. Jeff climbs up on of the drop in ramp dragging this heavy ass bike with a rack or a baby seat on it. Tory’s like “do it you pussy” i think half kidding and Jeff drops in and hits this huge launch box at full speed. I was like “there is no way.” Sure enough the asshole flys through the air clearing the box perfectly and landing like he had been practicing for a month. But thats whats to expect out of Jeff he has so much talent and confidence that it's like no big deal. 3. Because of our long relationship and Jeff knows what I do and has always been super interested. We wanted to take that to blading. You know higher production value and shoot a film for Jeff like its a big budget project.
You've known each other for quite some time now and even lived together for a while, did that relationship help at all with the creativity/direction for the film?
It gave us more patience I think. We both work a lot so getting the time for our schedules to align was tough. I initially came to Jeff with the idea and he was way down, so I presented him a full breakdown of how we should do it. From there we got more creative when we were shooting it, and he's got a great eye so he gets it.
How long have you been working on this for, from initiation to completion?
we started shooting at the beginning of November with the intention of a Christmas release. But we needed more time cause our schedules got heavy and we had work. Plus the holidays are busy anyways. We basically wanted to release it the first of each month since. March 6 is our sweet spot now.
Any funny stories from making the film?
So far yeah. We have a scene with a kinda “secret training facility” which is we used my girlfriend's warehouse. I had an idea to build this weird ramp for the film so it took me like 4-5 days to build it with help from Jeff and Erick Sauer. As soon as the paint dried on it we had to skate it and get the shots because a new tenant was moving into the space the next day. I’m stressing cause I built this huge thing thinking im going to get to store it and skate it a bunch after we are done. Well we get the final shot and say fuck it. I throw a tow rope around it and pull it out of the warehouse with Ambers Jeep. Now I'm Blocking traffic with this massive ramp sliding around this busy street. There is an empty lot across the street so I yank this thing with the jeep and the ramp breaks apart leaving a perfect roadblock in the street as cars are honking and Jeff is trying to man handle it himself. Finally got it up there only to find we had to move it days later. I put “Free Ramp” on craigslist and it was gone the next day. I spent 5 days on it and only skated it for 15 min. At least Jeff got to show it who's boss and I filmed that so that’s all that mattered. Some kid on the internet came up on a sick free ramp.
What gear did you use? Any reason you chose to shoot on said equipment?
I shoot with a RED Dragon and I have a little Drone for those hard to reach areas. I have been shooting RED for a while now and just love the range I get with the footage. It looks amazing and it.s small enough to be a travel skate cam or build it out super pro for higher budget projects.
Is this a one off or would you like to make more blading flicks?
This is for sure only the first of many. I like the freedom of making stuff for blading. I have way to many ideas that I need to get out.
It's been a while since anyone has seen much from you in the blading world, are you blading much yourself?
I do. I’m not getting as crazy as I used to but I'm always having fun. I'm behind the camera more these days but I pretty much get to blade at least once a week with some buds.
Artistically you've contributed alot for various companies, for anyone that isn't familiar with your work would you please mention a few accolades?
Yes hopefully some people reading will know what they are because most don't exist anymore. I designed the cover art for Carl Sturgess’s video’s (De’Mode,’ Killerboots). Also the cover art for all Brandon Negrette’s early videos (Noir, ForeverNow). I designed most of the cover’s for Drew Bachrach’s Life+ series along with the DVD menus. Biggest was my branding and design for Heat Wheels. I worked as Tory Treseder’s right hand man with his company designing all the early logos, wheels, and shirts.
Outside of blading you work in the media industry and have been quite successful working with some high profile clients? Do you have a title, what is it you get upto on a day to day basis and who for?
I have had lots of titles in the last ten years but the one I am mostly known for professionally is as a Director. I shoot content and direct commercials in all realms of the Ad World. I recently started my own company D4 Pictures (d4pictures.com) and am working with clients like Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Vans, and Paul Frank. I also Shot a short film this year that is traveling the circuit. Im continuing on that path in 2015 with the addition of some Blading projects much like Jeff’s film.
Making a living outside of blading and being surrounded by other industries, do you ever think about what blading needs? Or a direction that could benefit it's awareness?
Yes I think about it always. It's funny how many talented people the blade world has that go on to do amazing things. Some come back to lend a hand and some you never see again. I think the old school of thought that we aren’t ever going to be accepted is pretty much gone. People everywhere, in general, respond really well to our sport. I think the biggest thing we can do as bladers is keep making sure people know we are out there doing cool shit. We don't want to become irrelevant and harbor this sport to ourselves. We need to make cool content, show the world, think more like we are providing entertainment. Who is your audience? I think our audience is everyone, not just bladers, and saying that you have to appeal to everyone. I want somebody that has nothing to do with blading to watch Jeff's film or anything else I make and connect with it in some way. That’s how I think bladings awareness could benefit. Thats how I have benefited in my career.
Lastly, how long can we expect this film to be and how much?
It's 5 bucks to buy and 3 bucks to rent.
The film will land between 6-10 min
Filmed and edited by Sayer Danforth (D4 Pictures) Space Invader will be released on 6th March 2015, available for preorder now from either Vimeo or Sellfy