I wanted to find out more about the journey behind this short film, Watched it a dozen times the first time seeing it. If you haven't already seen it, do yourself a favor. I asked them both a couple questions I was interested in knowing more about, Enjoy!
David Stoessel (@steaktage)
Patrick Billazo (@nj_2_ca)
Questions: Will Fisher
Photos: Patrick Billazo
W: How was this project different from previous skate videos/edits?
D: This project was different from anything I've done previously for many reasons. I had never worked on a project where I didn't know the direction it was headed. This was my first attempt at a narrative piece. I've worked on projects that had an underlying story or direction if you will but nothing with an intimate message like this. Pat had a rough idea of what he wanted but it was my job to make sense of it and fill in the gaps to convey the message. It was an amazing learning experience.
W: Tell us a little bit about your gear for this project?
D: I was lucky enough to have access to the RED Epic Dragon, which I had only used once before to film a trick at a skatepark. So I had basically no experience with it. Pat had just bought the Canon 70-200 mkii and already had the Canon 24-70. He also had recently bought the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced which sadly on the first day of our trip crashed into the ocean, never to be seen again! Haha, luckily thanks to warranties and some finagling, we managed to get a replacement the same night but 2 days later, Pat got a little too comfortable and crashed that drone also! We polished it up and made it look good and hoped customer service at Best Buy wouldn't look too closely. We managed to return it and buy a new one at another Best Buy the same night! Haha, it was pretty insane.
W: What was the absolute best and worst part about the making of this?
D: The editing process was a struggle. Trying to find a balance between what Pat wanted and what I believed was the best way to portray the story was tough at times. To be more specific though, finding a song that had the right emotion that we could put VO on top took weeks. Pat also struggled with recording the VO. He knew what he wanted to say but was having trouble using the right words to say it so we had our friend Dakota Hunt come over and I recorded them having a conversation for about 30 minutes. I then took pieces of what Pat said and tried to make a cohesive script. I then recorded myself reading the script in the tone I thought best fit the project. I put it on the timeline and showed it to Pat as a reference and luckily, he loved it! He then tried to re-record what I had said and eventually we got it. I had the chance to experience so many things I thought I would never get to do. We went skydiving, rented a 4x4 and rallied through the desert, skated an abandoned pool in Slab City, swam in natural hot springs and made new friends along the way.
W: How long was this project in the making?
D: We started the trip a week before Christmas and were on the road for 1 month. We drove to Morro Rock, Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, Mammoth, Slab City, and San Diego. It was incredible!
W: What are you currently working on?
D: Now I'm finishing up another Thrasher part with John Dilo & trying to find work. The freelance gig is as hard as it seems! Life on the road for that month had me spoiled. No obligations, only adventures! Now it's back to the real world. I plan to make more content out of some of the leftover footage from the trip, I think a series of short stories about our travels. We'll see!
W: First off, where are you answering these questions from?
P: I’m currently on the side of a residential road in San Diego, CA, answering from my couch in the bus. Just woke up, making some coffee!
W: What has been the absolute best and worst part of the bus adventures?
P: The absolute best part of the bus adventures is meeting like-minded people. It’s so very rare to meet a good friend that has the same mentality and respect for the wild that you have, but it happens so often when you’re on the road. There are many great things about living the “bus” life though. You’ll realize that even the toughest of times when you're down on your luck and the money isn’t coming in or the jobs aren’t lining up still end up being the best stories.
The worst part about the bus adventures other than when something mechanically goes wrong has got to be finding showers and bathrooms. Well, at least that’s what I think most people would enjoy the least. I still enjoy this though because it becomes it's own adventure at times.
W: How was the transition from the job you left and hitting the road, and what was the job if you don’t mind me asking?
P: It was a slow transition. I was working for the federal government doing scripting and programming during college at 19 when I decided I was going to move to California. I bought the van at 20 and started driving at 21. In the meantime, I worked construction and learned a lot about being “hands on”. That short move to California has now become a way of life, which has branched from California to all over the United States.
W: All time favorite place you have been in the bus?
P: I have many favorite places from Big Sur to Yosemite and more. I couldn’t just pick one but for the sake of the interview, I’ve recently gone to Zion National Park with my sister and a group of friends and we hiked Angels Landing. This is by far one of the most rewarding hikes I’ve been on.
W: Where's the bus going next?
P: Angela the bus and I plan on going on a few adventures in 2018 and early 2019. The next one depending on funds is all of Mexico’s Baja peninsula.
Thanks for reading!!