The TEXALONA Interview
Lets just cut to the chase, tell me the story behind Texalona.
The idea behind Texalona was that I was filming in Barcelona and when I would come to stay in Texas for a few months I would film with some friends from all over Texas. I had always been into cameras and movies since I was a kid. When I was skating in my teens I had a digital 8 camera and my friends and me would film each other like most kids do. I was filming with Josh Love and Mac Dafoe in 2008 in Texas one day and I said to both of them “ I really wanna make a video but what would the name be?” I think it was Mac who came up with the name (thanks Mac) he just said, “why don’t you call it Texalona?” And right away I was like “hey that works”.
So I started to film with that name and idea as the concept. I had my Barcelona (Europe) boys and my Texas boys and that was the concept of Texalona. Later I needed a logo for the video and a guy named Adrian Trouve made the logo for me. If you watch both the videos they have an editing style, a kind of comic, fun, cartoon slapstick style. Patrick Biffle who had a part in the first video made the animation for the first and second video. I wanted both of the videos to follow a specific style and not have each one be drastically different then the other in that aspect. The first video since it was my first video took about 4 and half years. I spent two extended stays of about 6 months in the states and some short trips. The second video took about two and half years. I made trips to Texas but lot shorter lengths. Both videos are a mix of HD and VX. The second video has more HD as all the clip that are fish eye are VX and all the clips shot non-fish eye are HD. I used compressor to make the HD footage fit the VX footage and also I did this for the format to make dvd’s. The first video took longer because it’s also a learning experience so you learn all kinds of things and make mistakes, dos and don’ts along the way. The second video took less time, as I knew what I was doing. I tried to film parts during the process of the first video with people who in the end didn’t have parts. This is quite common too due to motivation, availability, injury etc. Between both videos we filmed in Barcelona, Paris, Zaragoza, Madrid, Berlin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and San Francisco. I just premiered Texalona 2 in Berlin and Barcelona and soon in Texas and we are already working on a Texalona 3, which will be a VX only video.
My favorite as far as skateboarding filming goes is the night sessions, filming at night in the US with the generator and lights. It’s hard to explain. There is something about the vibe and mood when you are out at night. There’s no one on the street, no traffic.
People are getting each other motivated and hyped.
You sneak into places and set up the lights, have a few beers. Someone skates, someone doesn’t and watches and then at the end everybody is skating the spot and your filming. People are cracking jokes. When the session is over we pack up and go to the next spot. And also at night you have more options for spots due to the kick out during the day. I’ve been out filming with the generator a few times until the sun came up at 7AM I think one time 10AM.
As far as crazy stories while filming I don’t know if I have anything too crazy. Just the usual stuff. Getting kicked out of spots, almost getting kicked out of spots and then being let to skate. One time a cop car pulled up at night in downtown Dallas at these ledges called Jackson 5. We were thinking they were going to kick us out but they just sat there in their car for a while. Josh Love went up to the car to talk to them and they said “oh we just had nothing to do so we wanted to watch you guys skate a bit before we have a call”. Josh ended up asking them to shine their light on the ledge so we could see better. Meeting crazy people on the streets. Johannes and I were in the bus in San Fransisco and this big African American dude with head phones started kicking the door of the bus and hitting the bus and shouted “ you better stop and let me off this bus or I’m a cut your fucking head off. We were sitting just opposite of the door. It was pretty intense. San Fransisco is filled with a lot of characters and mental people on the street.
You get like a handful everyday coming up to you saying some wacky stuff. Johannes met a homeless African/American guy in San Francisco that spoke fluent German.
The guy told us he had been at an honor school when he was young and university and al that and had gotten into smoking meth and one thing lead to another and he was living on the street now for a few months. Johannes gave him his shoes. Recording random people on the street free styling, drunk people. I have one funny story that comes to mind. One guy, who I will keep his name anonymous, was in his car with a European friend of mine who I will also keep anonymous. It was x-games weekend in Austin and I had already gone back to the motel to sleep from another party and these guys were still out. So these two were driving around in this American friends car drinking beer and tequila and smoking “something” and blaring rap music with the windows down. The driver was on probation for “something”. The European passenger is scared because where he comes from “something” is also not super legal, you feel me? So a few conversations occur between them with the driver explaining to the European when he gets scared about driving around with “something” and drinking .
“why N***** are always in trouble with the law because “n******” don’t give a fuck. And a conversation about how you “have to spend 20,000$ a year on your b***** or she’s gonna fuck another n*****”.
So they finally make it back and wake me up. The driver let’s call him “Dan” rolls up a blunt and watches a romantic comedy on the t.v. (after talking so macho about woman go figure) and smokes and passes out. The next day we go to brunch with two girl friends. We are drinking mimosas and I believe long island ice teas. The girls don’t want to finish their drinks so “Dan” drinks theirs. “Dan” is probably 4 drinks deep at this point.
So we leave and “Dan” smokes a blunt and we go straight to this big 14 stairs rail to skate. I don’t even think we warmed up a skate park or anything.
My European friend is filming second angle and I’m on first angle. The rail is sticky because it hasn’t been skated in a while but we have no wax. A young student comes out of the apartment complex and is watching us and says he has wax and goes and brings us a huge bar of wax from his apartment (thanks guy!)
So 5th try “Dan” wracks on the rail right between his balls. He’s down for a moment but then gets back up and next try does the rail.
I don’t know why but the sequence of events the night before and the partying and drinking and smoking in the morning to then skating this intimidating, dangerous rail makes “Dan” a beast in my books. The European friend and I still talk about this and laugh. This stands out in our minds because “Dan” is such a character too I guess.
I want to thank Ben Schlesinger for getting me into skateboarding when I was 12 years old without you none of this would have happened, thanks for that. All my homies skating as a kid, Austin Adams, David Pink, Oscar Herbas, Jake Ward (R.I.P) and the whole MSA crew. My folks! My Aunt Pam for letting all of us sweaty boys invade your home in Houston a million times! The whole Texalona 1 crew and Texalona 2 crew. Flo for giving me a chance to point my camera at you and learn when I didn’t know that much yet. Winkle for giving me the best filming tips. Maria Monreal. Ana Llorens. Sorana Paunescu. Barcelona family. Berlin family. Texas family. Any of my friends I’ve left out, anybody who’s helped me along the way, inspired me, motivated me and anybody I’ve lost along the way. Cheers!
Thanks for all of this! BTW Winkle gave me the best filming tips too not going to lie. I think a lot of filmers need to thank that dude.
I like what you wrote about making your videos too. That fuck street league, fuck x games, fuck corporate skatebaording. I just do it because I like it, the feeling videos got you when your a kid that's the thrill of making a video. Seeing other people get hyped. that's the satisfaction you get out of it.
Yeah the close friends, only kind of recently was I able to express that in words.
Yeah. It's a LOT of work and stress to make one on your own. After the first the second one I was like that's it. This isn't worth it. Too much stress. Then after a while I was like fuck it I can't stop really. I guess 3rd vid is gonna happen. I guess if you are hooked up like super fat from a company it's cool and your traveling and decently paid. But going around fishing for money chasing dudes for clips just for a bit. No thanks. I would rather go with people I like and have control over the footage, what goes in, the edit, the songs, etc. Everything. I don't know if you can out that in some how or add that. But yeah I just wanted to say that haha
I will be because that is the perspective I've built over the years. I used to be in Barcelona asking people I did not even know to film and that was dope, but nowhere near as dope as filming with the friends I made there.
I mean If someone is good then you for sure want to film good tricks and like to film new people and meet people etc. But to go chasing dudes just because they are the guys that are hooked up sucks. I've seen dudes in Barcelona only doing that. Like you see that guy and you're like "every dude he's with is not really his homie homie and he's out with them because he's chasing. Trying to only go with dudes who can get him some where or he can get payed or get product. I just don't see the fun in that. I mean if someone came up trying to put me on contract or something I wouldn't say no but if not then I prefer to do it the way Ive been doing it.
Yeah man, when I made friends with people and just got clips out of the blue because it was fun the clips felt way more authentic and as if they from my favorite skate video.
I use to be super into my videos and like, " hey lets go back to get that trick" or " you said you want to get a fakie tre well I know this spot and we gotta go there for it." I would get super director style into it and sometimes that kills the spontaneousness of it. its not bad to plan a bit, but now recently I've just been trying to be like, "Oh yeah lets meet here this time and we just go to some spots and film some cool stuff and some good tricks will happen."
Some people dont get that mentality. Thats how we skate chicago. You can never plan. You try, but nothing is ever what you expect.
The most important part is meeting up and being motivated. Im a fan of finishing unfinished business but only go back like three times and never conseculatively.
I use to plan a lot. Now I just try to be like, "Let's just go out, we'll get good stuff." And if we try something good then we got a trick that's good or then we know of a trick pending to maybe come back and try to get. And always the skater has something in mind and I don't have to plan which is always best. I'm always good at coming up with ideas and loads of times guys haven't had trick ideas and Ill be like " why don't you try this and that, your good at this and that might work" and they be like "Oh yeah good idea" Half of the tricks in my video I had an idea for them to try. Going back to back for something is a bad idea and almost never works. I hate unfinished business. I love getting it. But having to go back kills the motivation so hard. You want it but it's like, "Fuck we gotta come backkkkk!" So it's like lets go a bunch of days somewhere else then come back.But Im all about getting that shit if it's really goooood and you tried real hard. All about it. Hate to go back but I'm all about it and I won't let the guy forget about it hahaha.
"You didn't get that remember we tried a year ago? Let's go!"
Haha film it for the next part.
Or like I just don't forget. I always remember the stuff we didn't get. It will be a year later and Ill be like. Remember? Lets go! we didn't get it.
Me too man I love that shit, most people do. My homie adilson does that for me when I dont get a trick he'll capture the almost and send it.
I dont capture attempts often but sometimes. If it's a hammer or nbd attempt maybe...
Youtube: Jordan Texalona