If you have heard anything about Riderographies, the new movie from OG Productions, it is probably that this movie takes an "MTV Cribs" style approach to the wakeboarding lifestyle. Thankfully, this is not the case. The movie provides introspection into the home lives of select pro riders, but does so without the vanity that is trademark of 30 minute MTV "exclusives". From the little that I had heard about the movie and from what others had told me, I prepared myself for a movie that was filled mostly with off the water footage, with a little bit of riding mixed in between. Much to my surprise the video was quite the opposite. There is plenty of riding to go along with interesting and entertaining off the water scenes.
The editing in Riderographies is a noticeable step up from previous OG Productions' releases. It just has an overall more polished look. The music is synced better to the riding, for example, and there are smooth transitions from scene to scene. I have heard some complaints (from Collin himself) that the video is digital, and not filmed in 16mm. The video is a bit too grainy at times, but I really have no problem with the use of digital video. Also, OG Productions continues to show that they know what is up when it comes to slow motion by keeping in mind that less is more.
The running time for RiderOgraphies is 43 minutes. Obviously there is not going to be 43 minutes of straight riding due to the nature of the film, but the riding footage is still adequate.
As is typical in a movie from Collin Wright, there is a wide variety of music styles. There is something for almost everybody; spanning from Bob Marley to Van Morrisson. Some of the music is a little too "happy-go-lucky" for me, but this does not really detract from the film. Other artists in the film include Busta Rhymes, Hatebreed, and Guns and Roses.
Jeff McKee, Collin Wright, and Erik Ruck are the main riders featured in this film. They all take you through their house and give a glimpse into the wakeboarding lifestyle. All the commentary is
pretty relaxed, even sarcastic, showing that these riders don't take life too seriously. Collin's section proves to be the funniest. His narration is filled with classic lines such as "This is where all the magic happens" and "Drink up, boys". Some of the sections need to pick up the pace a bit but overall they are pretty good. In future 'Ographies releases, I hope to see more emphasis on the boats the riders use, their boards, etc.
Jeff McKee rides on his home lake in Windermere, Florida. Jeff looks as smooth as always in his section. He continues to increase his deep bag of tricks, adding backside fives and frontside sevens to the mix. Jeff also shows off some solid skills on the wakeskate, performing frontside and backside 180s, and also hitting a couple rails. Smooth, happy, content - that's how Jeff rides.
After Jeff's section, the video then takes a turn north to see some riding from Scott Jobe and Pete Ward. I was a little disappointed with Pete Ward's coverage. He gets fairly decent time in front of the camera but I don't think it fully represents all that he can do. Even so, he has a good looking style and pulls off some solid spins and a couple inverts. Jobe does some grabs, a scarecrow, and shows his very technical rail sliding prowess by doing a one of a kind backside boardslide to butt slide.
Collin Wright basically has two sections in the video. I think that this video does a good job of showing how well rounded a rider Collin is. He is shown sticking plenty of hard moves off the wake like a switch toeside seven, heelside mute tail grab BS 180, and a toeside tail grab BS 180. In other videos I have not seen much footage of Collin hitting sliders but here he is shown hitting rails both big and small. He also does quite a bit of wakeskating. There is some cool footage of him starting off from a slide on a houseboat. Some other wakeskating highlights are his rail slides and a big body varial over an obstacle.
The film then goes into a section with various riders. Parks Bonifay is up first and performs several inverts and a couple hop scotch spins. Billy McKee is next and manages to squeeze in a few stylish moves. Rob Struharik boosts big with a Moby Dick and Slob Crow Mobe five, among other tricks. Keith Lyman rounds out the section with some large, technical riding. His Whirlys and Batwings to blind are bigger than anyone else's I have seen and almost every one of his moves is landed way out into the flats. To say that Lyman goes big would be an understatement.
The following section is made up solely of people wakeskating (or more aptly, waterboarding, as Collin prefers to call it). The section starts off with riders sessioning a drain in France. It's basically the same thing that was featured in the '02 October/November issue of Alliance. After this, there is some canoe jibbing shown at Jack Blodgett's private lake. I was also pleasantly surprised to see cameos from Derek Seaman (WakeBoarder.com forum member) and Kenny Davis. It's only a few clips, but cool to see nonetheless. Both are shown sticking kickflips and there is a double-shot of Davis sticking a frontside flip. Apparently wakeskating behind a pontoon boat is where it's at.
Adam Balon (another member of the WakeBoarder.com forums) makes his film debut with a hybrid snowboard/wakeboard section. He does a lot of grabbed spins while wakeboarding and mainly hits rails while snowboarding. His riding looks good and it's cool to see his crossover abilities.
Erik Ruck finishes off the video with a solid set of riding. It's not his most technical section, but it looks like he is just out there having fun while throwing 540s, Methods, and a bunch of other moves. He is not shown hitting any sliders, which seemed a little unusual to me seeing how sliders have become so commonplace in his riding.
I think that Riderographies is a great concept and it will be interesting to see what the next volumes have to offer. It is one of the few films that has off the water footage that is relevant and that I want to see. It also still maintains the "rewind factor" because of all the solid riding included. For these reasons, RiderOgraphies gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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