WOLF: Q&A with Justin Villano

Photo: Liam Annis

Photo: Liam Annis

If you're in the area (or even close to being in the area) this Saturday (7/23) make sure to head to Grants Block - address above, for the premiere of WOLF, a video by Justin Villano and Ian Coughlan, featuring Vans flow riders from the New England area. We sat down with Justin and chatted about the video. See you Saturday!

Alright so what's the lineup?

The riders are Emmett Bleiler, Devin Colon, Corey Goonan, Brendan Manning, Connor Noll and Justin Healey.


Tell us a little bit about the video - how did that come to fruition? Was it your brain child or Ian's?

So like any other territory rep, I have a flow team of guys that I help out with shoes and clothing and I honestly think that these are some of the best (if not the best) guys in the zone that fit VANS as a brand.  The initial idea was to be able to showcase these guys on a larger platform and help expose their name and talent.  I just felt like it's partially my responsibility to help these guys out beyond the product flow, so I just asked everyone if they would be into filming for a video.  Ian was brought on a couple months ago to help edit the film. He's a good friend and we have similar tastes in style so it was really easy to work together.  


What's the name all about?

Oh man, well here is the big secret. WOLF is FLOW spelled backwards. Boom! mind blown. 


Ian and I both get stressed out very easily - we've talked about it and counseled one another. How did you guys handle the stresses of editing a full length video?

Ian was very easy going about it. I have OCD to the max when it comes to things like this so I already had a general idea of how everything was going to lay out. He is the one with all the editing talent so he pretty much took what I would articulate and execute it into video form. He knows a lot more than I do as far as what capabilities those programs have so he was constantly enhancing anything I brought to the table.  That Ian, hell of a guy.


Photo: Ricky Aponte

Photo: Ricky Aponte

Who chose the soundtrack?

I guess I did? I'd run it by Ian and the riders, but for the most part we were all on the same page. I gave all the riders opportunities to pick their own songs but then some songs wouldn't work with their skating. It's tough because you need the song to align with their skating and as much as someone may love a song, it may not work. In the end I think we nailed it in this department but hopefully I don't get in trouble with copyright and all that.


Do you have a guest trick in the video??

Unfortunately I do not have one. I tried to get a trick I had already done a while back but battled it and couldn't put it down again. We had a nice crew that day too so it would have been sweet. However, this video isn't about me, it's about my dudes.  Ian should have got one, he rips!


How long did you guys film for?

A little over a year. 



What was the hardest part about the process?
Having a full time job that takes up my entire life. I live my job. I travel all the time and am constantly doing something related to VANS. I don't go home and it's done for the day. It's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Not that I am doing brain surgery or anything but it's still work. Ian also works full time and has been doing a ton of freelance on the side these days so aligning our schedule after hours is hard at times. Not being able to just go out every week with these guys and film on the same camera definitely complicated things.  Film format was a hurdle when editing. Emmett actually has a full VX part but everyone else is HD.  There was definitely some VX from the other guys that I liked but it just didn't work well mixing with the HD and I didn't want to make a Bronze rip off or anything like that. I had all these rad clips from movies I love that I planned to put in but then Boys of Summer came out and was amazing.  There were a few other videos that came out using that same format so those ideas got put to bed and we moved on.  It's also a project acquiring all the footy from different filmers but in the end they all came through and am super thankful for all the work they put in.  


Any plans for another full-length now that this one's done?

Not really, but I'd love to see all of these guys film another part.  I mean that's why I hook them up. They all shred and look good doing it. I'd like to put a little something together myself before I completely fall off but I think that may have already happened and I'm in denial. 


Maybe showcase other local flow dudes with mini videos or something like that?

Like I said, I don't have any plans but wouldn't mind working on some small things.  I love working on creative projects and seeing them come to fruition. It's really satisfying for me and helps balance out my role in sales.

I am always looking for new guys out there and do my best to keep my ear to the ground. I have certain criteria I stick to but encourage anyone that loves VANS and skates well to have their shop send in footy.  It takes some courage to put yourself out there because skating is so subjective but I always like to see new guys doing something different.

Photo: Karim Ghonem

Photo: Karim Ghonem


Whose part are you personally most excited for?

It's only 15 minutes long so I am eager to hear feedback from people that I actually value their opinion.  I can't really pick one rider, they all bring something to the table.  I just hope this helps them in some way. It feels good to complete this project but knowing myself, there's always another project around the corner. It just may not be in the shape of a video.


Tell us the plan for this weekend combined with the Roll for Rob event. 

- On Saturday July 23rd we have the Vans team coming into Boston for the #VansProSkateTour and we'll meet at Orchard for 11am and then skate over to the Vans Park....I mean Lynch Park to do a demo. We'll most likely do some best trick contests for all the skaters and then make our way to Providence, RI in the early evening. The premier is at 8pm at Grants Block on Westminster St. We'll probably open with another film and wait until it's fully dark to play WOLF since it's an outdoor premier(All ages!).  We will have a Roll for Rob booth set up at the premier for those who can't make it Sunday.  Roll for Rob event #3 starts at noon on Sunday July 24th and runs all day. It's a $10 donation to enter which all goes directly to Rob and his family.  We have tons of product and raffles from all the supporting brands that you can take advantage of. There will be signature contests all day like the Vans' Sk8-Hi Hubba and Element Barrel Challenge.  There are a ton of Pro's coming into town like Chima Ferguson, Daniel Lutheran, Gilbert Crockett, Mike V, Jim Thiebaud, Jake Donnelly, Peter Ramondetta and the list goes on. It's going to be so fun but I am currently very stressed about the whole weekend.


Shout outs?

Thanks to all the filmers that contributed to the video, without them it wouldn't exist. There's too many to name but don't worry guys you're all in the video.  The riders: Brendan, Emmet, Healey, Devin, Connor, Goonan. VANS for being the best brand to work for and allowing me to be in the position to do this project. All the photographers like Rob Collins, Ricky Aponte, Karim Ghonem and Liam Annis for hooking us up with their work to use as assets. All the shops in New England that keep supporting skateboarding. My Wife Stephanie for dealing with me day to day and just getting it and of course Ian Coughlan for being on point.

Thanks Dave, Evan and Rojo. You guys are the best and SMLTalk is a breath of fresh air.  Keep it going and come visit Lil' Rhodey!