Born Slippy Premier and Interview
By Alexandra Hillyer
Skateboarders from all over Olympia, Seattle, Oregon, and even England gathered at the Olympia Film Society to see Alex Cooper’s latest film, “Born Slippy” on Friday, Nov. 22. The film is 40 minutes of intricately-edited footage he collected with like-minded skaters from all over to produce one fluid coherent piece of art. On his board, and with a Panasonic DVX-100b in hand, Alex often shoots from lower angles, giving the viewers a bit of perspective on how it feels to be on a board bombing down a hill or ollieing a bump to bar. “Born Slippy” has a lot of diverse scenery and skate spots – while much of it was filmed around Olympia, there is also a large part of the film that was shot in San Francisco. A couple friends from Japan even filmed some clips around Kobe and Osaka that made it into the film.
Approximately 200 people attended the film. “Born Slippy was the most fun video we’ve ever made. There was no pressure,” said Evergreen student and skater in the film, Carlmelo Ibanez. “We filmed whenever we felt like it, it was very spontaneous. That’s something we’ve never done with any of the past films.” Another Evergreen student, David Jaques said after the film, “It was really tight, I loved everything about it.” Other viewers commented, “I cried the whole time!”, and, “It made me want to go out and ride my skateboard more than anything has in months.”
AH: What was your favorite place that you filmed clips for Born Slippy at?
Alex Cooper: The San Francisco hills because it was so much fun. There is a unique aesthetic associated with the vibe of the city. The combination of the architecture and the hectic spontaneity of the skating there, it’s always changing. You’re going fast and new things are always coming up. I also am really inspired by San Francisco videos such as Stereo’s Tin-Can Folklore and Magenta’s Hill Street Blues.
AH: How do you choose the music that you put in your films?
AC: With Born Slippy, I aimed for having a non-traditional soundtrack. Some of it is music I listen to, and some of it just had a sound that fit the particular theme of the video. Also, my friend Carlmelo Ibanez made a couple great songs for it. His one-man band is called Weather, WhenThe.
AH: Something noticeable about your video/s is that you not only film tricks but you also portray yours and your friends’ personalities in it as well.
AC: My videos capture what it’s like to skate with my friends and me. It conveys our approach to skating, why it’s important to us, and how much fun we have together.
AH: What is it about skating that inspires you to capture it through this medium?
AC: I just love skateboarding. There’s something very special about taking something that really matters to you and showing it to people in the same way that you see it. That’s my favorite thing about filmmaking.
AH: What are some of the best spots around Olympia to skate at?
AC: The streets in general. Part of it is just cruising around a lot and when we find something that looks interesting we’ll skate it for a bit. If you’re not too picky about spots, then Olympia is a pretty cool place to skate. We can have fun skating just about anything, which is shown in Born Slippy when we skate in the forest and on the beach. [laughs] You could say we relate to east coast or European skateboarding more than the traditional Southern California scene. Everything in California is perfect, the weather’s always nice, and there’s lots of sitting in a car driving to spots. This is all a generalization of course but it’s basically the opposite here.
AC: A’ight so first I make a big bowl of tomato soup, with lots of fresh herbs from my garden. And then I spoon-feed my friend, Carlmelo, just enough to keep him alive. Then we go to the aquarium and watch the sea urchins swim around. Their slow movement helps compensate for the anticipation of slappies and powerslides that await us.
DVDs of “Born Slippy” are available here.