Colin Read (Mandible Claw) has made quite a name for himself over the past few years as one of skateboarding’s most exciting filmmakers. His film Tengu: God of Mischief was burnt into the retinas of every skater on the planet when it came out – specifically the subway section of the film where Koki Loaiza ollies across the train tracks (towards the third rail) at the 145th St stop (watch it here). Shout out to our bud photographer Allen Ying of 43 Magazine who snapped the infamous photo (which you can see here).
Read’s newest film “Spirit Quest” has the energy of his previous films with a heavy dose of mind-melting editing and camera tricks. I watched the trailer above roughly a million times to analyze what I was actually looking at. Love the multi-cam stuff and the sequence at 0:33 is a thing of beauty. Creativity like this makes me want to go make stuff. I was so excited about the film I had to toss a few questions at the Claw himself. Enjoy a short interview below!
Booooooom: Gonna assume your alias Mandible Claw comes from a deep love of the wrestler, Mankind. Where were you when his Hell in a Cell with Undertaker went down?
Colin Read: I’m actually not really a big wrestling fan, the nickname sort of came by accident. But I’ve since watched that match and it was insane–Mankind getting tossed from the top of the cage. I feel like him, my body just destroyed.
Booooooom: There was an energy in it that’s in your films for sure. Can you speak a little bit about the importance of putting your head down and working on your own project versus constantly looking at what others are making?
Colin Read: I actually barely watched any skate videos, or any skate media for that matter, for the last few years while I was working on SQ. I was a bit hyper-focused on what I was doing. I think it’s important to shut yourself off a bit and hone your own vision.
Booooooom: I can’t remember the last time I was as excited to watch a skate video as I was after watching the trailer for Spirit Quest. I get the sense you really enjoy the process of editing and planning a trippy effect.
Colin Read: It kept skateboarding interesting for me. How many skate videos have we seen that follow the same formulas? Skating doesn’t need another one.
Booooooom: Who or what have been the biggest influences on your filming/editing style? There’s sort of a Gondry-ness to it.
Colin Read: Akira Kurosawa, Luis Buñuel, Maya Deren, Takahiro Morita, Joseph Perrin, Gondry too.
Booooooom: Do you have plans for other non-skate projects? A surreal adventure film?
Colin Read: I’d like to work on animal documentaries. Not sure how to get into that, though.
Booooooom: Can’t wait for Planet Earth II, love that series. Who are some filmmakers (skateboarding or otherwise) that are making cool things that people may not be aware of?
Colin Read: Nikola Raçan, in Croatia. He just made a great skate video called Solsticij that is the culmination of five years of work. It is unique in a lot of ways and shows a different skate scene than we’ve ever seen. It also ends with the most beautiful 8mm sequence I’ve seen in years, showing his love for his home.
Grab a copy of Spirit Quest here.