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Hard working filmer, editor and skateboarder Dennis Williford is about to premiere his 7th skate video titled Smegma in NYC next week. Rob Larry caught up with him at a recent contest for an interview, read below as they discuss being a VA to NYC transplant, filming for multiple companies, his denim vest and putting out Smegma.

 

Interview by Rob-Larry

RL: It was good running into you at the contest today, but your hands were occupied.  Did anything gnarly catch your eye?
DW: Everybody was killing it, as always, but my buddy Yoshi Tannenbaum took home 1st, and my other friend Dan Corrigan (whom has a part in my new video) won the destroyer award for the 2nd time in a row which I’m not sure if anybody else has ever done so that’s pretty cool. Too many other kids to name.

RL: You’ve been a representative of the Rotten Apple for quite some time. By now you should know the hang of things. Let’s get it rocky!! Move it! Move it!! Move it!!! What missions do you have locked on the radar?

DennisWilliford_04DW: I’ve been here for 3 years now and things seem to be working well, meeting and working with more and more people I respect or look up to all the time. Right now I’ve just been trying to work freelance as much as possible to stay afloat. I shoot a lot of events (skating and non-skating) but I really like working closely with Network A for “DOSE” and also with Homage Brooklyn & Torro! Skateboards. (Also shout out to 1031 Skateboards, The Killing Floor, The Bad Idea, and Pow!! Skateboards) The last few weeks have been one of the most hectic times of my life. I have been wrapping up editing for my new video “Smegma” and all of the parts were just about wrapped, then out of nowhere the project and my computer just start lagging to the point that I cant even work. Not to mention people asking me to film or do projects or get last minute clips and I cant even do it, my head is ready to explode every day. So I’ve been locked up in my room trying to do all I can to pull this video through and I’m scared now that I’ll have to sacrifice some of my ideas and leave them out just to make the premiere deadline on time. We will see.

RL: Did the skate rats, music, food and hot babes lure you to the city?
DW: I had been visiting NYC a lot during the filming our video Toxic Turdz from Virginia. I thought about coming up, but didn’t really have a clue how. I contacted Homage Brooklyn to help set up a premiere for Turdz since they were the only shop I had been to that I ever saw hospitality. After the premiere went down Jose over at Homage asked if I would be interested in doing videos for them and that they would help me get here any way they could which is really insane for anybody anywhere to do for anybody anywhere that they barely know. I truly owe them everything.

I started filming with their riders at the time, as well as anybody at all that wanted to film, and it eventually developed into a video full of random people with just 2 full parts (Dwaynne Almonte and Dan Corrigan) which I titled Worst Video. I tend to never really have a lineup or a set crew for that matter which I think is very obvious in my videos. I’ll pretty much roll around & film with anyone.

Through Homage I met Joseph Delgado, from Joseph I met Rodney Torres and ever sense Rodney started his company TORRO! Skateboards we’ve pretty much held each other down with projects and whatever else. A lot of people ask me am I “the Torro filmer” or think that I only film with those guys and it’s not necessarily the case, Rodney is always just the first one in the morning hitting me up and keeping everyone on their toes. We’re always down to mob out and nobody is excluded.

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Now, that being said, my new video to me is just a recap of the past 2 years since I went HD and is my first full length video. I managed to create 5-6 full parts for a few people, none of which were planned necessarily, and 4 friends montages packed with a ton of familiar names and some maybe not so familiar. I’m really hyped on all the different people that I’ve had a chance to skate and build friendships with in the past 2 years. Some of the footage used has been seen on the internet in various web parts but I guarantee it will still be new to most people with my personal spin. In this internet age we scroll past a lot of videos or just check them once and never again (I’m guilty too). Maybe you DID see some of this footage once, and never again, but I filmed it and I’m proud of it, and I’m putting it all together on a DVD for people to actually hold and view over and over when you have friends just hanging out because that’s how it should be. Skaters and filmers work too hard for it all to be swept under the rug of the internet. So I don’t need to hear “I’ve seen that footage before,” how many times have you watched Mindfield on DVD? Get over it.

RL: Do you envision moving out of NY anytime soon or are you stationed for good?
DW: Yeah I love New York it’s the best, but I miss home and I visit more than anybody I know. Currently I’ve got wanderlust. Right now I’m feeling putting out this video and running away to the desert but I’m sure I’d be back before long. My dream is to live in a van that’s actually livable. I tried last winter but my van blew up, that’s another story…

RL: Whoa that’s a harsh moment bruh. From your perspective how would you dissect Virginia and New York apart?

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DW: I’m from Richmond Virginia, the easiest most laid back place to live that I’ve ever seen. It’s a small town, everybody knows everybody and for the most part everyone skates together, you don’t have much of a choice. Coming from a southern town where everyone is filthy I never thought much of it and I love it! But up here it’s really funny to see some of the straight laced or “fresh” dudes that I hang out with that I have little to nothing in common with besides skateboarding, that’s where the whole “DirtyDirtKid” thing came from . I definitely don’t go to as many of the types of shows or house party type things as I use to/ would like to. Richmond always amazes me how much footage and new spots or ways to skate old spots that people keep coming up with. It takes a lot of creativity and passion to want to keep it up where as NYC is a mecca, loaded with a literally infinite amount of spots being built, and destroyed or even things that are only around for a couple of hours or days. The two places are really not comparable at all.

RL: What is going to make this video release different then your previous material?
DW: Like I said before it’s my first HD video and theres a lot of new heads. I’ve also placed a significant amount of weird B-roll and hijinx that I’ve shot which I’ve never really done before. Sorry there will be no Youtube rips, trap music or Windows 95 Tumblr art.

RL: Is filming natural for you? Ever took any curriculums?
DW: I never went to school for it, it all started just the same as most skaters. Friends skating started filming each other then I just took more of a liking to it. I want to do so much more with it but who knows.. The dream is just to travel with it.

RL: What are you doing different that other filmers may not be doing or should be doing?
DW: Even though I seem to take things very seriously, for the most part I’ve learned to care less and less, it’s jut skateboarding. You are not going to argue with me about VX vs HD because I don’t prefer either. At the end of the day those who are good at what they do are going to create good things no matter what they are working with. I’m making an HD video because its new to me (and god knows I’ve gotten enough shit for it). This is my 7th video and I wanted to do something significantly different from my other 6 videos and I think I have.

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RL: I took visual-heed of your rocker persona, for example the dope ass denim vest with the buttons. Any clue on transitioning that into New York culture or sending any messages through your videos?
DW: I like rock music, I listen to all kinds of music actually but I’m not going to fake the funk and use Wu-Tang and other popular more modern-day trap music to appeal to the “New York Vibe.” Watch any 80’s video, it was rock & roll regardless of color or background and it was awesome and I don’t know what happened. I like a lot of hip-hop in videos, especially the Static series, but I’m not going to emulate it. I’m gonna use music that I like, or that’s new or different, that you don’t and won’t hear on the radio everywhere you go and maybe people will discover something new that they hadn’t been introduced, if not then fuckit.

RL: Is there a type of skating you like filming? Or find more appealing when it’s being filmed?
DW: I’m not the pickiest to be honest. In fact I’d say most of the guys with full parts in my video get a lot of hate for their style or persona or what have you. But I think that the video as a whole with all the friends is really diverse. The same kids who hate on the hesh rail chomper, will also hate on the PRod-esque ledge skaters. They are going to hate on everything that isn’t flood pants and no-complies, but hell I enjoy that along with the rest. I don’t think there’s any right way to skate besides not being a dick. This video has a little bit of it all.

RL: Are you trying to incorporate your ideas to the NY skate culture?(as music, skating goes, filming)
DW: Not really, people can take it or leave it. It won’t change what I’m about.

RL: What is going to make this video release different then your previous launches?
DW: Like I said before it’s my first HD video and theres a lot of new heads. I’ve also placed a significant amount of weird B-roll and hijinx that I’ve shot which I’ve never really done before. Sorry there will be no Youtube rips, trap music or Windows 95 Tumblr art.

RL: Alright, let’s get the to highlights  of this conversation. When and where can all the skate rats sneak into see this premiere?
DW: The video is playing October 23rd in Richmond VA at the Byrd Theatre and NYC at Hotel Chantelle on October 27th. (21+ unfortunately) Thanks Rob!

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Additional Links:

Dennis’s YouTube Channel
Dennis on Vimeo
Dennis on Instagram