The only thing that baseball has over skateboarding is the never-ending rivalry between Boston heads and New Yorkers. Even though I could care less about a baseball game, clips of the Red Sox and the Yankees fighting are always entertaining.
I wish this feud was a thing in skating because then I would have a reason to hate on Grace, a new full-length by the Boston-based filmmaker Tim Savage. But this video has pretty much everything you’d want from an east-coast independent video – a crew full of up-and-comers, 16mm b-roll, spots in cities across the northeast, and two friends sections full of notable skaters back in their hometowns.
Turns out this video is actually way better than watching baseball players fight. So, even as a New Yorker, you can safely enjoy this video.
Q+A WITH CREATOR TIM SAVAGE
Are you a savage?
You shittin’ me, soldier? Course I’m a Savage.
Were you bummed when the word “savage” started to become more common?
Honestly, I think it’s pretty rad. Definitely been an increase in the word since rappers started saying it more regularly around 2016 or so. I’ll get a cool response and reaction like once a week when some random finds out it’s my last name [laughs]. “That really your last name?” “Savage?? Okay, okay!” I hear it all the time.
I’ve heard rumors that you have thousands of skate spots saved on your Google Maps.
Haha yea, I have over 7000 skate spots logged on GPS throughout the world but I have most of my pins here on the East Coast. It really just helps productivity when on a skate mission. I already know what’s around the area and have spots snd pics I can show the skaters. It’s kinda become obsessive over the years where I’ll Google Map spots, then log them, so if I’m ever in the area I can scope them out. Been gathering these spots for close to 8 years or so. No amount of money could be offered to me for these pins. I have ideas of releasing them all one day but until then, people are going to have to do their own recon.
If I forced you to sell me your spot map, how much would you sell it for?
Shit… atleast $10k. Would have to be all cash in a briefcase in front of me.
What would you say to someone who claims full length videos are a waste of money? That Instagram clips can reach more people.
I guess technically full lengths are a waste of money in this day and age, but I think that’s the wrong outlook. It’s never about the money. I wanted to create a cool piece of Boston skateboarding history and capture a moment in this scene. Instagram does reach further at times and all that but there’s always going to be those who appreciate a full length and want to see skating presented that way.
When I first started skating, the full-length video was the norm and I’d wait months, even years, for any new video to drop. They bring me back to a time when everything wasn’t so instantaneous. I think more filmers should keep this tradition going in skateboarding.
“I have over 7000 skate spots logged on GPS throughout the world”
What are some of the untold duties of being the filmer of the crew?
I think it’s different for every crew, and it’s different for how far someone wants to take it. For me personally, I love the thrill of finding spots and then having a homie get a trick at it. It’s a really fulfilling cycle and it feels way more special when you complete a vision for some random obstacle you find in the wild. So, I guess, helping skaters find spots they would like, a lot of skaters either don’t have the time or don’t care to find some obscure spot in a random town.
The filmer also plays the role of a motivator and tries to keep everyone stoked to keep getting clips. It’s easy to want to just film a clip and put it online that day. I think it’s kinda the filmer’s responsibility to gather and show the skaters what’s possible if they just stack clips and stick to a vision and a plan.
Do you have any funny, scary, or just wild stories from the filming process of this video?
The whole process of making a video itself funny, scary, and wild. One funny story is with David Milliken and the “Roxbury crackhead” rapping together. That dudes like a Boston street legend. We’ll see him all around the city and I’ve even heard stories of him in other states as well. He’s a nice guy and he likes skating so if he sees us he’ll always come up and spit a verse. David knew him decently well so when he started rapping it was perfect because David already knew it all. David even filmed an edit with him when he was younger.
Was this the first time you’ve incorporated 16mm in one of your videos?
I used some 16mm shots in Brandon Westgate’s last part. I recently got a Bolex and have been loving it. 16mm just looks so sharp and is just easy on the eye. There are so many good filmers who use 16mm. Jon Miner, Chris Mulhern, Josh Stewart, Brian Panebianco, could go on and on.
I really just enjoy learning new cameras and the feeling it gives you when you use it. I hear a lot about how Super8 and 16mm have been done before, but it’s a great look. A lot of the videos that I grew up watching inspired me to try it out. Never listen to the naysayers.
Have you ever slept with someone named Grace?
Never slept with a Grace [laughs]. Everyone knows picking a name for the project can be the hardest part. I had a few in mind the entire time I was making it but none that I felt 100 percent on. A month before I dropped it, I heard the word “Grace” and It immediately made me think. I thought the word was powerful and it popped. I liked that it has multiple meanings and could kinda tie them all to the project. Also when I finished it, jokingly, I was thinking “by the grace of God I finished it” [laughs].
“Boston has so many spots and most of them are untouched or have minimal tricks done at them”
It seems like there are a lot of pros who have come from Boston, but they rarely ever stay in Boston when they’re getting recognized. Why do you think that is?
That sounds about right. I think when a lot of these pros were coming up the industry was entirely in California. They just wanted to expand and progress in skating and felt that moving the Cali was the best move for their careers and skating at the time. Nowadays, you can kinda be a pro skater anywhere.
I actually think there’s a huge benefit to this. Now, footage will be showcased from other parts of the world, not just California. It also gives their sponsors a new demographic and region of skaters or potential customers who may look up to that local pro. Boston is also a pretty small city. Between Philly and NYC, Boston has always gotten overlooked as an “east coast skate destination” lowkey. Boston has so many spots and most of them are untouched or have minimal tricks done at them.
Explain Eggs for someone who has never been to Boston.
Eggs is the Holy Grail. Eggs is the main plaza we have here in Boston and it’s simply a blessing for the city. It’s the kind of spot where you don’t have to hit anyone up. Nine times out of ten the homies will already be there when you pull up. Amazing ledges, best scenery, a rad crew of guys, minimal kick-outs, you can post up all day. What more can you ask for?
Some scooter kids tried to protest against all the skaters kicking them out, and they even went as far as planning a “march on eggs” day where they overtake the spot. It never happened, thank God, but it was just so ridiculous and hilarious.
I’ve spent a lot of time at Eggs, and it’s truly a special place. One day I’ll look back at the Eggs scene and be stoked that we did it and that I was a part of it. Love my gang!
Would you ever film someone who is wearing a Yankee hat?
[laughs] Shit, this is a moral dilemma!