Debacle, the first skate film to be shot enitrely in HD was released for free download in May through July. You can now purchase it on Blue Ray at an SB dealer near you. Nike SB just released bonus material on their site. FYI.
I'm cranky. Nike is Suspect.
To be honest, my standby position growing up as a skater, was that Nike was run by corporate douche-bags who are brilliant at selling cultural relevance. I usually blame Dead Kennedy's, Run DMC and the Bones Brigade for my position, along with late-ninties sweat-shop allegations against Nike. The above film may be one of two things:
1. Proof that enough money can maintain the mirage of authenticity and convince skaters worldwide they need to buy Nike skate shoes because they are the most authentic company and understand the the true spirit of skating.
2. The betterment of skate culture by way of putting a company behind a sport that has the power to expand the acceptance of a once-thought underground and devious activity.
Perhaps it's a little of both. Who knows. I'm not an industry insider. Just a fan who pays attention and is still suspect of corporate intrusion on the things I love. My generation had a different relationship with corporations than people in their teens and twenties today. Is it a crisis of belief? There seems to be wide spread acceptance of all things branded, but at the same time more cynicism when it comes to brands that ring false. Free releases are a current trend based on a real desire for transparent brands that don't have the perceived alterior motive of profit. We want to believe our brands don't want to make money. Nike has a bazillion dollars and don't feel any financial discomfort for shooting a skate film all over the world in HD. Yet by doing so they keep their street cred. Brand allegiance is solidified. So who has been fooled? They know their demographic. They know how to get them to buy their shoes. And it doesn't cost them a penny to release cultural relevance. They don't want you to buy their film. They want you to view their products as more true and authentic than Vans, Globe or Lakai.
I will say this- It is pretty damn hard to make skateboarding look bad on film. It can be done of course, but really, either you have the skills and your shit is wired tight or you eat concrete. Most skaters on film have footage of both success and failure. It is the skater expressing him/herself in an indifferent urban landscape. Man vs. his own constructions of reality. This is what makes it true. It happens in real time no matter who is paying for the camera. This film looks amazing and the skating is unbelievable as well.
Just don't forget who is writing the checks.