Owens Photo: Marc Johnson 2012
Marc Johnson has been a favorite skater of mine for a very long time. From the first time I met him as an intern helping to build the Emerica Pit article back in 2000, he’s always been really nice and down to earth. One of the good ones. But I never really got to shoot skate photos of Marc all this time until last year right before Pretty Sweet came out. I went on a session with him and Guy Mariano and it was epic. Here’s the sequence I got of Marc. His part is my favorite from the video. His first line alone is the most memorable for me. Damn, that backside nosebluntslide and backside flip are beautiful!
Below the photo is the Pretty Sweet bonus video where the trick ended up. And below that is my interview with Marc from our Dec/Jan 2013 issue. Check it out in case you missed it.
My Marc Johnson interview from our Dec/Jan 2013 issue when Pretty Sweet came out. In case you missed it:
How’s it feel to be close to the finish line with another part?
It feels weird. I can tell you that it doesn’t feel good. I know a lot of the other guys are feeling the pressure and for me, I’m kind of looking around right now and thinking, “What happened to the last five years?” It flew by. Basically, the past four years didn’t feel like we were filming a video. There was no video vibe. We might go skate a school on Saturday or something, but it wasn’t like we were filming for a video. Fully Flared had a lot of momentum but it was harder for different reasons. We were on that grind for four years straight, traveling constantly. It was insane. They told us we were going to start working on this one after Fully Flared came out. We had a team meeting and stuff, and then everyone just went home and didn’t really pay attention to it. Then years and years passed. What I saw was that we were just kicking it [laughs]. Time has flown by so fast and I can tell you right now that I am not remotely comfortable with the amount of footage I have or the quality. I’m just not jazzed up. With Fully Flared, I didn’t have any pressure. I was, like, “I got a ton of footage. I’m chilling.” But this one, it’s just been, like, “Fuck! I’ve been going skating and nothing’s working.” Basically, as we’re nearing the footage deadline, I’m just sort of confused of where all the time went. I know I was out skating. I just can’t remember doing much.
Does the Countdown clock and deadline help you to pull it together?
No, it’s not that. The entire five years I was skating, I was focused on getting stuff for the video. We just didn’t have that momentum. That energy wasn’t in the air. Four years ago when I was trying a trick for this video, I was stressing out. Filming is stressful, especially when you get as many video parts under your belt as some of us have. It’s like this in your head: “I gotta one-up myself and I can’t do anything someone else has done. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I gotta avoid this trick at this spot and I can’t do this because this guy did it. I can’t even do this trick anywhere because I would be biting this dude over here.” It gets insane when you get to that point where you’re just, like, “What the fuck can I do now?” I feel pressure every time I’m in the front of the camera. I don’t need a deadline. I was stressing out a year ago. Fuck a deadline, you know [laughs]. As of this interview, I’ve gone out 55 of the last 60 days with lights, generators, night and day sessions, sometimes both. It’s 130 degrees out here, just sitting at a spot trying a trick and not really walking away with much, and it’s such a really bizarre head state to be in. You can’t do stuff you’ve already done. You have to do something different. You have to do something super hard, something better than your last trick, and it’s gotta be something no one else has done. It’s really hard, man. Just pressure across the board in general.
You skate with Guy a lot. Do you guys feed off of each other?
I’ve definitely been skating a lot with Guy in particular. It’s good because he’s so dedicated and has so much heart. You need to be around people like that. I know I need to be. I know how I look at things and I need to be with someone that looks at things and gives as much to skating as Guy gives. I can’t function with going out with people who complain or don’t even touch their board to skate, because when I’m working and trying a trick, I’m gonna skate until I drop, literally, and can barely make it back to the car. Skating with Guy definitely motivates you because he’s the same way. The dude won’t give up. I’ve been in sessions with him when we’re skating for six hours straight in 100-degree weather and he’s puking over behind the bench and still getting the trick. Sometimes during projects, you get into weird states of mind where you think, “Why am I doing this to myself.” The torment and the torture you do to yourself and you think, “Who cares? No one is gonna give a shit.” And all this negative shit in your head, and it’s good to have someone there that when they’re going through that, you can help talk them through it. He’s the most dedicated skateboarder I’ve ever met. It’s definitely inspiring just being around his skateboarding and his drive to get the job done. Its unparalleled and unmatched.
It didn’t seem like you went on many filming trips for this video.
I would have loved to go on those trips. I missed out on so many trips because I was in the process of buying a house and it took seven months to seal the deal and that just happened recently. It was insane. Sitting there with my thumb up my ass for seven months. The only reason I bought a house in LA was so that I could film for this video part. And by me buying a house for this video, it screwed me for filming for this video. I couldn’t leave town! But I do know that I’m not leaving the premiere and going back to some hotel—I’m coming back to this house.
How closely do you work with Ty on editing your part?
I actually haven’t done any of that yet. I need to go look at my footage. I’m not looking forward to how I’m going to feel after seeing my footage. From what I understand, we can go in there and he makes a few different rough cuts for us to choose from. And as far as music, I don’t even know what footage I’ve got ,so I don’t have an idea for a song. I just don’t know. I might just leave that up to Rick, Meza, Ty and Mike.
Is that how it’s worked in the past?
In the past, I’ve had nothing to do with the editing. For my 7 Steps to Heaven video part, I hands-on edited that part with the editor. I picked the music. Picked the tricks, the order of the tricks, the timing and everything, and then every one of my parts since then I’ve had nothing to do with them.
Do you see everybody’s footage before the premiere or do you get to be surprised by some stuff?
I haven’t seen anything. It’s so sick because when I go to the premiere I will not have seen any part of the video besides my footage. So, it will be new and exciting to me. The only things I know of will be tricks that have gone down while I was at the session. I’m not trying to go over to Ty’s and say, “Let me see everybody’s footage.” I just want to see that video like normal.
Will you take a break after this one?
I’d like to go into another project. A five-year video project is like shifting gears in a car. You start off in first gear going slow, and each year after you shift the gears up and now we’re definitely in fifth gear. For me to go from fifth gear to just slamming the brakes doesn’t make sense to me. If you got this momentum and you’re going and going, you know, keep going. I can’t be, like, “Here’s my footage. Now, I’m not going to skate for two years.” It just doesn’t work that way for me.
After all the mental torture and stress through the years, your love of skating hasn’t diminished an ounce, has it?
Not for me. Nope. I’m still a skate rat. I’m still out there bondoing spots at night by myself. I’m always on the prowl. I’m a lurker. I love it.
Hell, while you’re here….let’s watch his Lakai commercial too: