CALZONE: Matt Velez

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Photo: Connor Peterson

I like your varial flip in the video. Where were you?
Haha thanks! That was in Philly at a subway stop on Market Street. About 10 beers in, too.

What made you want to make another video?
I felt like I didn’t work on ‘Sable’ as long as I should have. I was just really hyped on the people I was skating with at the time and it made sense to put it out before Mark’s ‘Bleach’ part, which was the main project at the time.

How long did you film for Calzone? Are you happy with how it turned out?
2 years. Yeah, I’m happy with the end result. It was fun experimenting with film for the first time and having an excuse to travel with all the buddies. Good times.

Are there certain tricks that stand out to you? Favorites?
Jacob’s line at night in Philly. Ian’s back heel on the bump over grass in Jers, and Mark’s noseslide pop out at night in mid town. I guess I favor the night footage.

How did you go about finding the music?
Mainly through movies or TV shows I’ve seen. I get lost in Soundcloud too sometimes, but it can get weird fast. Friends would also send suggestions or genres I should look into. It has to be a song I can listen to over and over again and still not hate it.

In a time when everything seems to be free online, why print DVDs?
I see it as being more special on a dvd. All of my favorite videos growing up were ones that I owned copies of. It appeals to a certain crowd for sure. Some people hit me up asking what to do if they don’t own dvd players hahah.

Well how did you get Buggy and Mark’s part on Thrasher?
Richie made that happen. He passed on my info and they reached out.

What do you think of the current state of skateboard media?
It’s uninspiring. I do my best to keep up with Instagram, but everything gets forgotten so fast. And on Instagram your Explore page is flooding with quick cut clips edited to Future or some shit. I can’t stand those. I still watch a ton of skating though; certain crews and projects get me hyped.

Where are you from? How did you start skating?
I was born in Staten Island and moved to Jersey when I was 9. That’s pretty much when I got introduced to skating. My older brother and I would try to learn tricks barely rolling in our driveway. I met this kid up the street that owned ‘Menikmati’ and I remember being hooked after watching that.

What about filming?
I used to film with my one friend Drew all the time growing up and when he wasn’t around he’d let us take his Vx out. We had no idea what we were doing though. I remember asking him “how do you use this thing?” and he just goes “I don’t know, I just turn it on and hit record.” When I turned 19, my parents got me a Rebel T3i DSLR for Christmas, which was horrible, but made me realize what I wanted to see. I eventually traded the DSLR for a Vx2100, then Mark Humienik taught me the rest.

Do you have a day job?
Yeah, a few, ha. My main source of income in the city is from the moving company ‘Lou Moves You.’ A lot of buddies I skate with work there as well. I’ll do PA work in Tribeca a few times a month or work cash box at a friends night club. Pretty much just grindin’, paying rent and watching my bank account go down to zero.

How did you find time to film the video?
It was rough. Before I moved to the city in the summer, I worked a job in Jersey that left me with no free time. I nearly stopped skating myself and would just film. Even with that free time I couldn’t take the trips I wanted to or come up to the city.

Did you have keep everyone motivated, or did the crew want to skate?
I’d say it was 50/50. Some people like Buggy would get me amped to get out of the crib. Mark Wetzel too; easily the most creative skater I’ve ever filmed. There were only a couple people that needed some guidance on their board, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Do you have any favorite filmers/filmmakers, other than the obvious answer, JP Blair.
How’d you know? Hahah. JP is certainly a favorite, he’s taught me a lot. Justin White, Paul Young, Andrew Petillo, Josh Stewart; each have certain qualities that I try to incorporate in my own filming.

What about brands? Whose content are you feeling?
As far as board brands I think top 3 are Alltimers, Quasi and WKND. They each stand out in their own distinct way.

Do you want to do video production full time? Or is it just a passion?
I never really thought about it. I graduated college with my Bachelors in Business, but never did anything with that, so who knows. I’ve also never filmed anything but skateboarding.

What’s next for you?
Barcelona with Grand Collection next month. It’ll be my first time leaving the country, so I’m psyched. As far as personal projects, I still have ideas. Definitely not done with the Vx.


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