DYLAN RIEDER'S 2010 GRAVIS PART
Skate 3 Remake By Tom Fry
TEXT: STUART GOMEZ
We're just going to come right out and say it: Tom Fry is a genius. For years, Tom has been painstakingly recreating his favorite skate video parts in EA's "Skate 3." Those of you who know what it's like to simply build ONE spot with "Create-a-Park" know that it isn't exactly a WYSIWYG experience—sometimes it's a little closer to WSYSIWTF. By utilizing and combining every obstacle and building piece in Create-a-Park, Tom has been able to compose uncanny facsimiles of classic video parts. His skill is impressive.
A solid video part takes many months to film, with some requisite periods of self-doubt and physical and mental exhaustion. Hunched over his XBOX 360 controller, fine-tuning every detail—from the skater's wardrobe to the curvature of the skater's nose—Tom is no stranger to the frustrations of putting together an epic part. Key frames and camera positioning are tweaked constantly in the start menu's "Replay Editor"; Tom even takes advantage of a quirky glitch that tricks the game into thinking that his custom players are actually playable "Skate 3" Pro skaters. Talk about gaming the system.
In the past few years, Tom has put together tributes to some of his favorite parts. Heath Kirchart, Ben Gore, Jake Johnson, and many more get the soul controller treatment. They all share subtle stylistic touches and an incredible attention to detail, which can be verified in real time via picture-in-picture. It can be hard to decide which version to give your attention to, though: Heath Kirchart or "Heath Kirchart." Both are mesmerizing.
Tom's latest creation is a tribute to Dylan Rieder. Skateboarders were stunned by the unexpected news that Dylan had succumbed to leukemia on October 12. Many were shell-shocked, unsure of how to memorialize such an influential and unquestionably inspiring figure in our culture. But Tom had his own method of coping—completing his "Skate 3" remake of his 2010 Gravis part, "dylan."
"I started it a solid month before he passed away," Tom says. When he heard that Dylan had passed away, Tom actually hadn't worked on the remake for a couple of weeks. "I lacked motivation," he explains. "I have been working nonstop to finish it because I felt it needed to exist."
Now completed, Tom's "dylan." remake is a gloriously accurate work of art, right down to some notable flourishes in the credits. Dylan is one of Tom's greatest influences, and Tom's remake is a loving portrait of a man who inspires great work.