Vans recently embarked on a worldwide tour to premiere their first full length video.
It may be 49 years in the making but Propeller does not disappoint, if you’ve seen it you’ll know. Full props to Greg Hunt, the man is incapable of making a bad skateboard video. The hype is very real, believe.
We caught up with Tony Trujillo and Chris Pfanner at the House of Vans in London, ahead of a raucous premiere, and a very messy after party, one which saw a special guest appearance from Skepta on stage whilst Hosoi & Caballero rolled back the years in the bowl.
How long were you guys filming for the video?
Pfanner: I think in total it was around five years. When it started I was still living in Barcelona and in the meantime I moved to Germany with my wife and kid and from there I’ve just been going back and forth. Like my home base is Nuremberg but whenever there’s a trip I go out there, do my stuff, y’know away from home for like a month, get all broke up and then go back home and recover. It’s all about balancing it out.
Trujillo: I dunno I feel like it was four years but the first year there was no end in sight y’know, we were just on the road filming. We’d actually be going out on trips for like mag articles or whatever and then we had all this footage building up and eventually someone had to be like “ok we need to put a fucking deadline on this and figure out what we’re gonna do”, instead of leaking shit on the web slowly or whatever.
Being part of the older crew, having kids and a family. Does that put a stress on things in a way?
Trujillo: Oh yeah dude it’s stressful shit. I got two kids now too. First of all it’s stressful to be on the road and away from them y’know, and then my youngest is still so young, he’s only like 15 months, so being on the road, I’m missing all the little things y’know. It’s not like when I was younger for sure.
Pfanner: I dunno for me it wasn’t that stressful. It’s all about organising, keeping your shit together, having a schedule and all that because with a kid and a family you gotta have a schedule. If you try to run it loose, it’s not healthy for anybody. It kinda works out perfectly. Half the year I’m out on trips, on the road and the other half I’m at home, and when I’m at home - I’m at home with the family. The little one doesn’t need to go to kindergarten on a Monday so we’ll go to the zoo whilst everyone’s at work, we got the zoo to ourselves, for me that’s a luxury. Of course it gets hard when you’re away from the family but you can’t have everything y’know.
What was it like working with Greg? Any pressure?
Pfanner: Oh it was amazing! I mean at first I think I put all the pressure on myself, just knowing all the other projects he’s done like The DC Video and Mindfield, all of a sudden you’re like - ‘Oh man he’s seen so much, it’s gonna be hard to impress him’. When in fact it was totally the opposite. Through his experiences of being a pro skater himself and then getting into the filming side I felt like it was pretty easy. He doesn’t put pressure on you but he does get the best out of you y’know? He was super supportive throughout the whole filming process, telling you what you’d done and what might be better to focus on, so it was super chill. He also came out to my hometown for a week and stayed at my place. Rather than put pressure on skating, he was interested in what I did outside of that. So it was a good time away from all the skate trip pressure, it gave us a chance to get to know each other better. I mean I can now say that Greg Hunt is a good friend of mine.
Trujillo: Yeah it was good. Not really pressure but it stresses me out when he’s stressing out because he can’t get what he wants out of the shot or whatever. I’d see him over there stressing like “Fuck!”, it’s not what he wants and I can see that so I’ll just be like “O…..K…..Well I’m just gonna….keep going, if you get it then….great”. But na dude working with Greg was great.
I’ve heard from AVE that Cody Green (additional filmer) is quite a character. Any stories to share?
Pfanner: I mean he’s not even here on the trip right now but he is here because everyone just keeps talking about him. He’s a funny one man. On the first trip we went on, when he’d just got on, we went to Croatia and it was his birthday one night and we’d just been done skating, anyway he went out with his camera gear and stuff, just leaves it on the floor with all our footage from the day whilst he’s dancing with all the girls, mojitos in hand. He seems to be out of it but he’s actually on point. He was a huge part of this project and definitely contributed a lot.
Trujillo: Cody is one of a kind dude. The best part about Cody is he keeps the hype up, he gets stoked because he skates too so if nothing’s going down he’s skating….and skating GOOD. He’s just fucking hilarious….I dunno….just little things he does….I mean everything he does is just comedy. We’d be in the van driving and he’d have his phone and a burrito and a little cup of salsa balancing on the cup holder. I’ll be like “Cody dude that’s gonna spill” and he’s like “I do this all the time dude”, fucking hit a right hand turn and all the salsa just dumps into the cup holder. Little things like that where you’re just like “Cody dude, what the fuck?!”. Just stupid shit.
Are you happy with your parts overall?
Pfanner: I mean you’re trying to get the best out of yourself y’know? As time passes you progress and you look back at stuff and….you’re your own critic y’know? You always see things that could've been better or whatever but in the end I’m really happy with it. Just to see the finished product and to be involved with all these people like…legends….literally. To be part of that is amazing!
Trujillo: I’m stoked on my stuff but I’m stoked on everyone. Everyone’s got different styles and it just shows you can skate however you wanna skate. Look at the list of people, we’re all so different.
Who’s part you most stoked on?
Pfanner: Ah man…I mean, I really like Tony’s part. Tony’s part is amazing because we didn’t spend a lot of time together and he did a lot of stuff alone due to his family, two kids and all that. Also Anthony cause what Anthony’s done in the past and how he’s managed to still one up himself after all these years. All the dedication he put into it, it’s definitely motivating for me for the future y’know, like yeah it is possible, you gotta just…..keep going!
Trujillo: Probably Anthony, he’s just got power dude! It really comes through, you can see it, you can feel the intensity. I think it’s one of my favourites. If you’re looking for another guy because you’re not like ‘feeling it’ or whatever, you just look over to Anthony and it’s like “Ok he’s fucking trying, I gotta get off my ass and do something”. I mean the whole video is a team effort though, it’s just one solid team. And the way the video’s put together shows that. But it’s not like, fucking super long and drawn out. I mean you won’t get bored cause it’s just skating, there’s no weird shit. It just hits. Like part, part, bam, bam, bam, it just doesn’t stop the whole time and you get to see so many styles and shit.
I always think a professional skateboarder’s career must be daunting as you get older but so many pro’s like AVE, Mariano, etc. just seem to keep going?
Pfanner: That’s the thing and I think that’s the secret, as long as you still enjoy what you do and you know….you gotta be ‘on it’. I mean if you fall off the track for a while it’s gonna be hard to get back on y’know? But for me, I mean I skate every day and I just keep going and I think that’s the key. I mean your body changes and you do have to adapt to it with the experience and know when to pace yourself and adjust yourself to what you’re capable of.
I guess it’s all about lifestyle change and looking after you body?
Pfanner: Oh definitely, I mean I’m not 18 anymore where I’m just pounding beers and getting up the next morning like “Oh yeah where’s the handrail?”. It doesn’t work like that. I have to look at it but I mean there’s still time, I’m feeling healthy, everything’s fine.
Pfanner: I’ve already started filming for the Volcom video which is gonna be released summer 2016 so I’ve got about 8/9 months left for that. I’ve already got a few things together but yeah, straight out of this one and into the next one! That’s what I’ve got going for myself and that’s how I take care of my family, I’m happy man, it couldn’t be any better.
Trujillo: Well I kinda just fucked my knee up so I got a couple of months of rehab and family time. There’s a few things, I was gonna do this thing with Chris in Austria but now my knee’s jacked I’m not gonna do that. I’ll probably be back out here for a Fourstar tour but other than that, whenever I’m healthy, I’ll just be doing the same old shit.
Vans Propeller is available to download on iTunes.