It has been a very long time since I have bothered to write anything here. Let's chalk it up to life shall we? It's been a busy few years, both good and bad. First of all I feel I need to explain why there is no "My Knees Hurt" movie yet. Well to be honest I sort of feel like I was being crushed under the weight of the thing. I am not sure how all the pieces fit together, and the glue I was hoping to use to piece the entire thing together left us, Mark Hubbard. So I need to step back and think it through. Skateboarding is so huge, and even the subject of "older skaters" is a bit much to chew on. I have a ton of great video and interviews and will eventually come back to this....but for now I need to concentrate on some other things... things that I can easily accomplish. Which brings me to "Wood and Wires".
It started when I was looking for something interesting to shoot outside of skateboarding. One day while flipping through the new arrivals bin at Easy Street Records I noticed the speakers mounted in the corners. They were tiny, and pretty, and sounded really nice. Next to them was a sign explaining that they were made in Tacoma by a guy named Clark Blumenstein. Which got me thinking that he might make an interesting story .... so I contacted Clark, we talked it over and decided to shoot a video. I thought that the Arizona band Forest Fallows would be a great compliment to Clark's artistry so I contacted them though my friends at Joyful Noise Recordings and they were gracious enough to agree to let me use a few songs. Now it has over 800 views on Vimeo. Part two is in the works, more on that after the video. If you haven't seen it please click below, I have been told by people who have zero interest in hi-fi and/or speakers that it was still an interesting watch.
I really liked how this video turned out, so I decided to make it a series. Loosely based on the idea of profiling independent audio manufacturers. I see this as a pretty general term, I am not planning on limiting it to just stereo or hi-fi producers, but anyone making interesting audio gear. I am thinking of maybe profiling a guitar amp company in the future after I finish part two, which will be about Bottlehead Corp.
Bottlehead makes really gorgeous tube amp kits. There was a time when the audio kit was a huge industry. Audiophiles and budding electricians everywhere would order their Heathkit and put it together in their garage or at their kitchen tables. Today we seem to be too busy to undertake this sort of project. That said, companies like Bottlehead are keeping the dream alive. You get the satisfaction of putting something together yourself in addition to a fantastic amp. They seemed like a perfect compliment to Blumenstein Audio. I shot an interview with Dan Schmalle (their CEO for life) at their headquarters on Bainbridge Island recently, the same day he returned from setting a land speed record on his motorcycle at Bonneville. Now I am about to begin the process of shooting the construction of an amp. This is going to be an interesting shoot, since I will be undertaking the build myself. I bought a soldering station and will first build a practice kit I ordered off the internet (a digital clock)....hopefully all will go well. I am not a fan of being in my own videos, but I really couldn't think of a better or more honest way to portray what Bottlehead does than by showing a novice going through the process, and I am very much a novice when it comes to electronics.
Dan Schmalle, at Bottlehead Corp. Two camera view.
In addition to "Wood and Wires" I have also shot some video for a future piece on Gigs4U and the Seattle City of Music Program. These are the people responsible for the musicians you see playing at SeaTac when you are waiting for your flight. I have shot some video at the airport as well as a couple of interviews. I also recently went on a birding adventure with my lovely wife and pops.... of course I took a camera...so I have a few other irons in the fire....more video will come as soon as I get enough spare time to whip things into shape. I seem to have more ideas lately than spare time.
Founder of Gigs4U Ed Beeson from a recent interview in his home.
So that's it. I am still here, still shooting and editing when I get the time. I will churn out videos as fast as possible considering I have a day job and a wife and a dog. I hope you enjoy them.
Ben Rupp, film maker, rocker, skater, boarder, husband, dog owner.
Middle Aged Shred
"You didn't quit skateboarding because you got old, you got old because you quit skateboarding" - JAY ADAMS
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