After hearing from Dave Ehrenreich about a short video from a Vancouver crew coming out under the “WET” blanket, I set out to learn some more details about this project and crew. Last week I saw a rough cut of their video, entitled Wet Kisser, and now you can watch the whole thing here. I also sat down to talk with the creators, Brad Warlimont and Sam Sleigh. I think most of you will identify with these guys and dig their video. –Jeff Thorburn
What is WET?
Brad: Originally, it started when we were all in Montreal. We were playing around with words and just started calling things “wet”. From there it just turned into a small crew, making little point-and-shoot trip videos for fun. Later down the line, we wanted to do something a bit bigger.
Did you guys live in Montreal?
Brad: At the time we were just visiting, but Sam has lived there before.
Did you grow up there, Sam?
Sam: No, we’re both from the valley area, around Abbotsford, BC. Montreal is where it started because I first started doing a lot of trips there, with Derrick Fast, and then Brad had joined us on one. Pretty much every summer we would go to Montreal to skate and film.
Eric Warlimont, Front Crook. Ehrenreich photo
So was this video, Wet Kisser, filmed over a long period of time?
Brad: Over the course of a year maybe.
It seems like you covered a lot of ground to film for such a short video.
Sam: Yeah, Montreal is in it, Seattle, New York, Vancouver…
Sam:I lived in Edmonton for a couple of years, and two of my friends I grew up with moved out there for work, so I ended up skating with them quite a bit.
Was it large groups on trips or just a few of you here and there?
Brad: New York trip was large, Montreal as well, but then Seattle was just a couple of guys driving down for the day.
Derrick Fast, Back Smith. Fenton photo
Are people in the video pursuing skateboarding in any professional way?
Brad: No, definitely not. We all work.
You guys all work and rip, so was it hard to find a balance to make this?
Sam: I guess depends on what you’re going for. How we went about doing this, we all skate street an awful lot, and we enjoy traveling as well. We would do it all regardless. I just pretty much always have my camera with me, so we would just do our everyday thing, but then we just decided that maybe more than casually doing this, let’s put some focus into it and at the end of the year we can actually make a good edit.
Do you guys have any background with cameras and video work? Or is it just through skateboarding?
Brad: Just skate related.
I noticed a lot of Noseslides in the video. Was that just trending in the group over the year?
Brad: [laughs] I’ve just always done Noseslides. I don’t think it was trending. Maybe it’s just because we are all older.
It’s easier to get up high that way. What do you guys look to for inspiration? With the styles and music in this video, I first thought of Static.
Brad: Yeah Static, definitely. There are lots of influences.
Sam Sleigh. Fast photo / Sam, Wallride Nollie. Ehrenreich photo
What videos did you guys like most this year?
Brad: I really enjoyed the Lurk NYC edits. Obviously the Static video was amazing.
Sam: Yeah, there’s an East Coast influence for sure. Also though, I get sucked in by Magenta edits and things that are shorter or conceptual. Videos where it’s a group thing, people that were all a part of something and then put an edit together around what happened naturally. I think that’s the main influence I had this past year and during this video.
Do you guys watch all the videos online? How much do you consume?
Brad: I feel like I follow quite a bit of stuff. I definitely pay attention to most of what’s out there.
Do you watch things even if you are pretty sure you won’t like it?
Brad: Hmm, sometimes. I mean I definitely follow what I like, but I’ll watch a part on Thrasher just for the shock value, even if it’s not necessarily the skating I am most interested in.
How old are you guys?
Brad: About to turn 26.
What did you guys like the most in skating when you were 14 or 15?
Brad: Growing up I definitely followed Chocolate and Alien Workshop a lot; that was probably brought on by the older guys I skated with that showed me lots of videos.
Sam: Definitely Workshop. Primarily that and a lot of Chocolate and Girl stuff too.
I think those would be the popular answers for your ages. So maybe a kid growing up in the city now would say something equally on point with the times, but what do you think a kid now growing up in a smaller place like Abbotsford would be into? What do you think grabs a small-town kids attention now?
Brad: Probably Girl or something. Maybe Zero.
Do you think there are better things now?
Sam: It’s probably the same. There was a lot of underground stuff going on beforehand that we were shown; now I find that everything is so accessible, and there is so much rad stuff going on. The stuff people used to have to wait for or dig for is now easily available. You can definitely tell in the city that kids are hyped on Noseslides, or you see people putting their feet on the ground more. But for sure back in the valley or smaller towns, you see more of an influence of things that are based on shock value. It’s an interesting point in skateboarding for sure. There is a lot of diversity.
Do you have any thoughts on bigger production videos?
Brad: Personally I like smaller projects. Even if it is a bigger company. To work on a video for five years, it might not be as shocking with how accessible so many things are every day.
If you had an option though, for Chocolate or Alien say, to either put out occasional small videos online, or a full-length video every few years, which would you choose?
Brad: Ahh, maybe wait for the full productions. They have always been great, so it’s cool to wait.
Sam: Yeah, wait. It is interesting with those bigger companies that have a history of doing that, when you think back about the anticipation of waiting for a full-length video, hearing the rumours, it was rad.
I like seeing how companies like Workshop or Emerica will be relatively quiet for awhile, or Antihero most recently, and then they’ll just drop a really well done full-length that everyone is hyped on.
Brad: Yeah that is great.
Do you think you’ll continue and do something similar next year? Are you thinking bigger, trying to do a Dime type of thing?
Brad: We’ll probably do a similar video next year. We’re definitely not trying to do Dime. They are great.
Sam: Dime is doing insanely well. Very cool.