TEXT: STUART GOMEZ
One weekend in Fall 2010, Colin Kennedy and Bucky Fukumoto shot a series of mock commercials for DVS. The product in each ad was a bizarro interpretation of common skate preoccupations, exploiting etiquette (“A.B.D. Attorneys At Law”) and style bias (“Mongonex”), among other things.
Of the concepts, Colin Kennedy says, “Pretty much it was just like, ‘How stupid can we get?’” Kennedy had already been Creative Director at DVS for eight years at the time of shooting the commercials, and he noted a definite trend towards more a “traditional” style of commercial in the skate industry. Everybody else was starting to go in one direction, so Colin and Bucky wondered: “What can we do to stand out?”
The team quickly came up with a handful of ideas that were hilarious, cheap to produce, and—more notably—weren’t actively trying to sell an actual shoe product.
One commercial in particular is almost aggressively not trying to sell anything: “A.B.D. Attorneys At Law.” Colin and Bucky found the perfectly-cast actor by posting an ad on Craigslist and quickly found the right candidate (a strategy that paid off with the unpolished actors in “DextraLarge,” too).
The “A.B.D.” law office is actually Tim Gavin’s old office at the Torrance DVS building. In fact, all of the commercials were shot in different areas of the DVS building except for Mongonex, which was filmed at Colin’s friend’s house (“I had to call in a favor,” he says).
The idea of doing commercial work for pocket change was obviously appealing to the bosses at DVS, but it takes a certain amount of finesse to pull it off under budget (about $10,000). Tricks like using his daughter and stepson, and his future wife as actors (as the children in “Licky Sticky Fun Grip” and the disembodied hand model in “Decks For Diamonds, respectively) certainly helped to make the dollars stretch a little further. But the deceptive high production values of “Decks For Diamonds” are truly impressive: a double-digit budget yielded millions of fake dollars’ worth of shiny faux diamonds.
The “Decks For Diamonds” script called for a voiceover in a foreign language. Colin and Bucky got a tip that their friend’s Vietnamese dentist would be down to translate the script and lay down a track in his native language. Colin recorded the audio in his car—just think about that when you watch the video. The announcer’s gusto shines through among the glittering images of “diamonds,” possibly from an unnamed parking lot in South Bay Los Angeles.
Keep an eye out for hidden touches throughout each commercial, as well. Little tributes and nods to well-known skate lore are peppered throughout, just look for the fine print.
With 2010’s DVS “mock commercials,” Colin and Bucky succeeded in parodying some of skateboarding’s most enduring stereotypes. Six years on, it’s clear that they set a standard for fun and creativity on a shoestring budget. They showed that you can do much more with much much less.
A.B.D. Attorneys At Law
Decks For Diamonds
Licky Sticky Fun Grip