Sweeter Than Juice: Full Video / Interview with Ryan Stiffler

Ryan Stiffler: Are we on wax?

Dave Lewis: We’re live man, you excited?

RS: I’m actually terrified – in like a really cool way. It’s like I’m about to give a eulogy for the last three years of my life. Came up with that one earlier and thought it was kind of cool.

DL: Is it really 3 years, 2015?

RS: Yeah, the first clip that we filmed was on Halloween 2015. It was a line in Dorchester.

DL: Who was it?

RS: It was me (laughs). Wait actually – no, it was Jon, it was actually the day of the Vans premiere I think. It was a long fuckin’ time ago. So it’s been a long time coming, I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

DL: So why ‘Sweeter Than Juice’?

RS: Well it had a really shitty name beforehand, and it was also going to be 10 minutes long and we were going to play it before one of the awards I think 2 years ago? And then we decided it was going to be an actual full-length, and the name sucked – and House, for whatever reason at that time, that was his little catch phrase. I thought that was a really cool name and he was like yeah name the video that, and I was like ‘alright’. Then we made the promo, which kind of solidified the name – and hey, who doesn’t love a nice glass of orange juice?

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DL: So how long did it take for everybody to come onboard and commit to filming a full video?

RS: Pretty much immediately as soon as I was like ‘yeah we’re not putting out this 8 minute edit, let’s go for it’. Once that happened everyone was pretty much down, except Brent and J Cal were the late additions because they started playing poker with us. And we started hanging out with them a little bit more, got to be good buddies, and so we added them in. Then we were all pretty gung ho about filming for about 2 years straight.

DL: Weren’t they filming something different at that time?

RS: They started filming something, and Cal’s still working on a video – but they started coming on all the sessions we were skating and getting clips. They have something coming out eventually. 

DL: Who was the easiest to film with?

RS: Jon Harrington – hands down. He was always the one that would want to do the solo missions – like ‘I don’t want to ruin the session by going to my shitty spots’. And was just always down – so I’m going to say Jon. He also landed everything quickly, for the most part.

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DL: Give me a good behind the scenes story

RS: Oh yeah – probably the night I had my bag stolen. We were skating that Post Office ledge in Downtown Crossing and I was filming Ridge – and everybody was really far away from the bag. It was just a fucking backpack I had at the time, I didn’t even have a camera bag. A car drives up – stops – somebody gets out of the car – steals my bag! And I’ve never seen Brent skate faster, he chased this dude through all of downtown, ended up like – well he got in front of the car first and the dude sped up and almost ran into him, and then a chase ensued. I realized that my bag was stolen and got really mad, so I went to punch what I thought was wood, but it was spraypainted black glass, and I destroyed a window with my hand. And I was bleeding and shit – it was crazy. Then the cops got called. So that’s probably the craziest thing.

DL: Worst slam?

RS: Well there’s two that are my favorites. The first is the first clip in the video where Joubert tries backside flipping that Malden bump and the wheel goes into his asshole – that’s probably the actual gnarliest one was Jon hitting his head and having to go to the hospital for a blown out elbow.  And he was laughing about it – he took it like a champ, until he stopped making sense in the car.

DL: Biggest battle for a trick?

RS: Maybe Steve House’s nollie shove crook in Roxbury. We’d been there 3 times I think – and every time we’d been there for 2 and a half / three hours straight. The last time he was borderline delirious, that was definitely one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen and the way he did it was fucking perfect.

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DL: Yeah it was really clean. Was this your first full length video?

RS: This was my first, and most likely last full length video. It’s a huge pain in the ass, kudos to anybody who’s ever done it – yourself included. I’ve always – like, I did the iPhone thing for 14 edits. So this is the first full length – I also did that tour video and looking back it is abysmal, because I didn’t know what I was doing. This time I had to learn how to really work a camera and actually edit a video.

DL: What’d you use to edit it?

RS: I used Final Cut Pro 7 that I bootlegged from Joubert’s computer

Eddie Allen: Don’t put that in! (laughs)

RS: (Laughs), and I used my shitty macbook that’s now maxed out and unusable.

DL: Favorite part about filming the video – and then we’ll talk about favorite part later.

RS: My favorite part, is being done. (laughs) I liked the sessions – and we’re all a little bit older, so it takes a little bit more for us to get a spark to go street skating as opposed to a park tour or something like that. The dudes really took it, serious to an extent where it was a real thing – but everyday was so much fucking fun. We’d end up buying beers and drinking them in the streets after somebody gets a clip. The overall experience was just hanging out with the buddies. Friendly video.

DL: Personal favorite part?

RS: Mine.

(Laughs)

RS: Just kidding – I really like Ray, Erik, and Ridge’s part because I think it’s the most fun, the song is hilarious and just fits them really well. If I had to go sheer cohesive, perfect part, it’s gotta be Jon. Everybody else changed their song like 6 times – he picked that song the first day we started filming when I asked him what song he wants. Which made it a lot easier – I think it’s the most well-rounded and well put together.

DL: It’s so hard to edit a part when you have to switch the song a bunch of times.

RS: Definitely – and you said the music supervision was good, which is – that was the scariest part, because you’re not listening to the skating – it’s like, especially for a Boston video, there is ONE rap song in there.

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DL: What did he skate to again?

RS: Freeway – and the reason that song came about was because Joubert said when they were filming a video called ‘Steve’s Computer Taste It’, that’s the song that he always wanted to skate to but never was able to. So it was really to pay homage to a video called ‘Steve’s Computer Taste It”

DL: So sick.

RS: It’s a really fuckin’ weird name.

DL: Tips for younger kids / the younger generation trying to film a full length video.

RS: Stop putting your shit on Instagram to bad music. I get it – but there’s no more fulfilling feeling than making a video. People don’t do it anymore, it seems like people are more into the quick one-off edits on the internet. It’s just something more like – those are the people you’re gonna skate with until your legs don’t work anymore, so get a camera – get some friends if you don’t have any, and go out and film a full length video. If you can’t edit, figure it out it’s really not hard – but make a full length at least once, if you have a crew of friends who you think it would cool to do it with. 

DL: What’s next?

RS: Lasers.

DL: Thank you’s?

RS: I want to thank – smltalk, for being the only reputable skate blog in Massachusetts. I want to thank Sean Brooks, because he sold me the camera, and it is his fault that this all happened. The camera came from – it filmed, I think it was the flip King of the Road, so that camera’s got some miles on it. I want to thank Steve House, Rob Ridge, Ray Trotta, Erik Pickard, Jon Harrington, Steve Joubert, Steve Hamblin, Brent Eastman, Justin Callahan, and uh…I gotta look at the flier, I don’t even remember anymore. I think that’s it. Because they’re they ones that made this happen – everybody got smoked. And everybody that came out to the premiere! Because I’m technically talking to the future about the past, which is kind of fucked – so anybody that came out and enjoyed it. We’re gonna have DVD’s eventually, if you wanna buy one of those THANK YOU. And yeah – that’s all I got.

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