Ty Evans is one of the most influential skate filmmakers of all time. Paul Rodriguez is a four-time X Games champ and one of the superstars of the sport. Recently, the two got together and traveled the globe, seeking out skateboarders from all over the world to illustrate the bond the sport provides. The result is We Are Blood, a documentary which comes out in August 2015.
After an event for the trailer premiere, we had a chance to sit down with Ty and Paul to talk about the movie. Over the course of our interview, we discussed how the project came about, what they hope audiences get out of it, how the experience has impacted Paul, and much more.
Check out the full interview below and enjoy!
What was the initial seed of an idea for this project?
Evans: I think initially Paul and I both got to this point in our careers where we felt like we were doing the same thing and we wanted to do something different. I think Paul and I both want to grow skateboarding. Our goal with this film is to continue on what we’ve done with skateboarding and have skateboarders stoked on the film, but also to show the non-core community that this is skateboarding and you can connect to this film on an emotional level. I think we’ve really achieved that greatly with this film. It’s something different for skateboarding. I think for skateboarding this is a first. It’s an action sports documentary hybrid. The two coming together has never really been seen before within skateboarding.
Rodriguez: Yeah, to his point, we’re really trying to reach a new audience. We felt like we’ve just been doing the same thing for the same audience and after a while it’s hard to stay motivated when you just feel like you’re running in circles. Luckily this opportunity came around. Skateboarding is blowing up and becoming mainstream, but there’s more than just one perspective. A kid who may not know anything about skateboarding might see it for the first time watching the X Games or watching Street League. Those are cool events, but usually, for the people competing in those events, that’s not how they fell in love with skateboarding. That’s not how they found skateboarding.
Our role is if skateboarding is going to go mainstream and blow up and we’re going to spread it to the world, we want to be sure to help tell the story from the skateboarders’ mouths. From our perspective. Why we fell in love with skateboarding. What it’s about. Not that it’s just about going to a competition, because really it’s not competitively based. We wanted to give the full scope within skateboarding and beyond.
How’d you two get together on this?
Evans: I’ve known Paul since he was 14 or 15 years old. Little baby Paul. We’ve had a great friendship over the years. I’ve worked with Paul on little projects over the years, a few bigger ones but nothing of this scale. This one’s been in my head for a long time. Paul was always who I wanted first and foremost for this film. Paul’s one of my favorite skateboarders. He has the personality to translate what skateboarding is. He’s the whole package and I couldn’t think of anyone better to come on board and do this. It was just this perfect storm of Paul and Mountain Dew Green Label Films and Brainfarm coming together to do this. Brainfarm’s technology, the backing of Mountain Dew Green Label Films, and what Paul brings to the table, it’s amazing. It’s the perfect recipe to make this film.
Paul, you’re one of the biggest names in the sport. Obviously there’s a lot of power and influence that comes along with that. Is that intimidating at all when you’re going into such a big project?
Rodriguez: Oh yeah. For sure. A lot is expected of you, so you want to deliver a product that’s on the level or beyond. You want to overdeliver these types of things. It’s a cool position to be in when you have the spotlight and you’ve worked so hard to get to that position. For example, Ty’s worked so hard to get here as a skate filmmaker. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am where I have fans. I have people who care to see what it is I’m doing. It’s a lot of pressure, you want to make sure you don’t disappoint.