Here in the US, we’ve dubbed a giant chunk of our nation as “flyover country.” It’s kind of a dick term that refers to a large chunk of our population and landmass, and honestly, it sells short a lot of what makes the US such a unique place. Many of us will never visit even half the states in flyover country, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything worth checking out there.
No Way is a glimpse into some of those forgotten bits that we as skaters might be more drawn to. It’s a crusty homie video filmed by Joey Hansen around Indianapolis, Indiana, and edited by Cameron Brenkman and Austin Encinias. The heavily features Chris Zschunke and it serves as a visual gateway to skaters in middle America who don’t get the same attention as their coastal counterparts and is a reminder that alleyways, dumpsters, and shitty kinked rails may exist everywhere, but it takes a crew of talented homies and a good video document to turn a lesser-known city into a real skate destination.
We talked to the two editors behind the video to learn a bit more about how to make a video that paints a compelling picture of your local skate scene, no matter how remote it may be.
Q&A W/ Cameron Brenkman and Austin Encinias
Was your goal to find the most unsettling track for the first part of the video?
C: The goal was to find a track that matched the energy of Chris’ skating without using some tough guy bullshit or something too on the nose. Stoked if it comes across that way though.
A: Not at all. It’s always been a thing where the editor chose the song for each part but we wanted to take into consideration what Chris wanted to hear for it, and we met him in the middle of what we thought represented what we like and what Chris likes as well.
Why did you use all local artists for the music?
A: We wanted this video to really represent what’s going on here in Indianapolis. It usually gets overlooked and at the end of the day, a bunch of us here make our own music and art so it only made sense to keep it in-house. Also, when everything is homemade it just makes it that more special, ya know?
C: Our friends Heath and Zernak are really talented, and including them just makes the project more special. Our music scene here is really strong and I wanted to show that.
Chris does a lot of stair skating. Why do you think that’s fallen out of favor recently?
C: I feel like most skaters get burnt out on watching people grind mile-long rails or huck down mountains. Chris just skates whatever is in front of him. I feel like the way he approaches those things are fresh and relatable.
A: Trends don’t mean shit, just do what you love.
Are slappies beat?
C: Nah man, slappies are sick if they’re done on something cool or interesting, but if you’re under 50 you better just jump your ass up on that ledge.
A: Slappy type beats are in.
What should people know about the Indianapolis skate scene?
C: The scene here is really strong for the most part. Our homie Nyle Lovett just went pro for Theories and everyone is really inspired by that. We just got a new park in honor of our late friend Ethan, and it is the first inner-city park in like 25 years. The older guys have been really great to us and have put in so much work for the scene that is unreal, man. Shoutout MoonTower, Jeremy Tubbs, and Tim Devlin.
A: I would say it has its ups and downs like any scene, but at the end of the day it’s so sick! The people who care and genuinely love it show that through everything they do, and that’s all that matters in my opinion. I also think people here have felt like “Damn, guess I have to go somewhere else to do something cool,” but I hope that this video is another step to show anyone in the scene that they don’t have to go anywhere else. “Home is where you make it.” – Joe Dirt
Do you really think Middle America skate scenes are overlooked?
A: Absolutely. Obviously, people have always been more focused or attracted to scenes from the coasts and bigger cities, but to be from certain parts of the midwest and to love skating is a different breed. Not better or worse, just different. If you grow up here and love skating you really have or had to go out of your way to keep doing it because it’s not as accessible as other places. As you keep going you really have to love it and keep trying new shit and being creative because people don’t really care about what’s going on in Indiana in general, let alone in skating, but I think they will soon.
C: The Midwest is such a special place and we are so proud to represent it in any way that we can. There’s so much incredible shit from here way beyond just skating and I do not think people really recognize it. Especially Indiana. Nobody even knows where we are on the map, or they think everyone here is just a psycho hick or something.
What do you want people to take away after watching No Way?
A: That’s kind of a hard question because it means a lot, so much, to be honest. I’ve loved skating since age seven. To be a part of making this video that’s going to be seen by more than just your friends is insane.
I told Cam while editing that the three major things I wanted out of this were 1. That Chris loved the video and was proud of it 2. The people that Chris loves and who love him liked the video and were proud of it and 3. Hopefully, it reaches as many people as possible and showcases all the amazing stuff that’s going on here because everyone involved in making this video deserves that! Especially Chris, that motherfucker is skateboarding to a T for me. Ever since I met him years ago I was like “Damn this dude is it. He rips!” and you can feel he genuinely loves it. As corny as it sounds, he was made for skating, and skating was made for him.
I hope people simply just get hyped from watching it and I hope all the people from here, the midwest, or any place like the place we’re from go “Damn that’s us!”
C: This video means the world to me, man. Me and Chris went through so much shit together and it feels like a triumph to get it out there. Skating is everything to us, and it is what brought all of us together. I want kids from Indiana or any other place that is not represented like that to know and feel that it is possible to break out of the bubble. Be as active as you can in your scene and keep pushing on. It takes a village.
Any funny or memorable stories while filming this video?
C: Dude we found a fuckin’ hex bag washed up on the shore in Miami that was pretty freaky. Pretty much anytime you skate street in Indy you are definitely bound to see some shit.
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