Danny Beer Interview
April 30 2015
"A time traveling Greco Roman warrior sent to don a pair of skates and become a true powerhouse in the Canadian rollerblading scene. He's a good old east coast b'y with a big heart who isn't afraid to speak his mind. Behind and in front of the lens, his eye for the unconventional is undeniably impressive and refreshing. Danny is the epitome of new school. So sit back, crack a cold one and enjoy." - Taylor Ritchie
Hey Danny, what you been up to today?
Well hello there Samuel! I'm currently in school now, thinking about going to the steam room near my apartment after class. Mushroom Todd (McInerney) is in Vancouver for work, so we're gonna meet up later and watch the Canucks vs Flames hockey game somewhere tonight with a few other men. What are your plans today?
I'm now off to the chip shop then pub, got a feeling my favourite chip shop is gonna be closed though. Too good not to chance it. Are steam rooms pretty common there? Rare treat here.
Major fan of fish & chips, always a treat. Growing up in Newfoundland we always had the best little shops around for that freshness! Not as good here in Vancouver, but lots of other thangs to try. Few steamers around but super lucky to have the community center right next to the crib!
What's your usual order from the chippy?
When I'm visiting home I don't mind a little 3 piece battered cod with chips and an Iceberg beer. Comes in a blue bottle, its fire!
Damn that sounds good, you probably get a load of fish we don't? Big bastards?
We used to, but now the seals eat all the fish and big celebrities try to stop the seal hunting because the seals are cute.
So seals are actually a pain in the arse then? Can you hunt them at all, surely it's a bit of a tradition in Newfoundland?
Yeah theres always a big conflict between the fishing community and the seal lovers. Funny stuff! Oh well, in Vancouver now. Different ocean, different problems.
There's a similar thing here with foxes, I like them but they can be little twats. They've banned hunting them. How's Vancouver treating you, recent move to study right?
Foxes are great but that's life right. I can see those little guys being ruthless, I've only seen a few. Ya I'm here in film school, I graduate at the end of June! I kept coming out here every summer for the past 4 years, so doing the move was a no brainer. The city is incredible for skating, plus the weather is a treat compared to home. I ski too, so having the mountains close by is deadly!
Noticed a few things in your part that looked ski inspired. What's the deal with your course, you specialising in an area of film or learning the whole shebang?
Yeah doing the whole deal, its a two year program. I started off wanting to be a camera operator but lately I've been enjoying directing as well. I studied business for a little bit but I'm too distracted with video to finish that right now. I want to do commercial type things when I'm out of school but who knows what will happen. Yes some ski inspired bits in there, have you skied before?
An understanding of business and film will be a deadly combo, sure you'll do good wherever you take that. I've never skied but I enjoy the videos Joey (McGarry) puts on the Mushroom Facebook. That heel to toe jam reminded me of some things I've seen in ski edits. Have you skied longer than you've skated?
Yeah Joey is so pumped on skiing now, its awesome. I've definitely seen him mix it into his skating lately and he's killing it more than ever. I started skating when I was 7 and I think I got into skiing when I was 12? I guess I started because it was the closest thing you could do to blading during the winter months. Now that I'm in Vancouver, you can blade all year round and ski most of the year as well. I've been inspired by skiing, but I like how they differ. I really enjoy skating in congested cities with your friends. I love how people react to seeing rollerbladers still existing in the streets of downtown while you're all having a laugh. Then skiing is the total opposite. If I have the day off, its great to get out on the mountain and experience the freedom you have all around you. I'm a super social person, but I find it relaxing to ski solo and just listen to the outdoors. I find skiing has an amazing flow to it, so thats what I'm trying to take in from it and apply it to blading. Connecting lines and taking those random/unexpected paths. It's giving me a different way to look at all the spots and it has me hyped on blading more than ever.
So what about hockey, the way you skate looks like you've had a bit of that in the mix growing up too? Here at school you have to play football in sports classes, is it like that over there with hockey? Ice rinks in schools?
It's not a rule to grow up playing hockey but definitely a typical Canadian thing to do. I got into hockey when I was 2 or 3. I was obsessed with it but once I found skating I liked how you could keep going and not hit the boards or have to deal with the coaches yelling at you. Really thankful that I played at such an early age, it made skating come more naturally. Crazy they force you to play football, I was always the worst at that.
You can get out of it but you need a note from the doctor, the fat kids always had the hook ups when it came to doctors notes.
I'd be at that for sure. The only goal I got was a head butt the summer I played. I see that's how u guys got that fancy foot work happening.
Yeah I think it's like hockey for you guys, most people here love football. Can't see it helping much with skating though unless you're into milking your falls. Did you and the guys you skate with in Newfoundland grow up together?
I'm a few years older than the crew we have now. I grew up skating with the older generation of bladers and my cousin Mike (Gehue). They eventually got out of skating, but they still love it. I learned a lot from hanging with them all the time and putting us in the right direction! We're all still good buddies and it's great to meet up with them when I visit home.
So how old are you now and how old are Colin (Brattey), Stuart (Brattey) ect?
I'm 24 now, Colin is 20 and Stu is 18. They've been so sick to skate with since the beginning, and thats had a big impact on my blading. Once all my friends at home stopped, they just got into it. We all had to learn how to film together and its been a great ride with them. Skating with the Bratteys, Errol (Elli) and Liam (Flanagan) is always a hoot. Stuart is actually moving to Vancouver as well very soon, so that will be a treat. We are still gonna make videos together and collab on projects. We just started filming for "Watchdagame". I'll be filming for another project this year as well that hasn't been announced, which I'm super happy about. It's all about the content these days Sam, I'll tell ya dat.
The world revolves around content Danny, let's talk content. So "Watchdagame" is getting the Instagram treatment right now and a lot of people are excited about it. Give us a little insight into that project. Are you guys going the whole hog with the hockey theme for that one? I loved Tim Hortons but thought you should of run with the Tim Hortons theme more, was hoping for something people would confuse for a fully endorsed staff video..Hortons trying to break into that monster market type deal.
We're basically taking all the Canadian stereotypes and running with them for now. That video was done by Colin and Errol, I wasn't around for a lot of it. Now that we're both here in Vancouver, I'll be working with Colin a lot on Watchdagame. So the plan is to have a video with full parts more like Fish N' Clips I believe. So we'll be updating the instagram with all types of crazy stuff, and hopefully finish filming in the fall. Going to be filming another part as well at the same time, so I'm definitely keeping busy this year.
Let's talk about the video you done for us, what's Dino 3 all about?
So back in high school I would apparently bounce when I walked and put my hands out like a nervous dinosaur and the name stuck lol. At the time I wasn't working on any specific projects, so I ended up making the first "Dino Mixtape", which was a little mini part I put on youtube. Later on I made Dino Mixtape 2, and now we have Dino 3 (The Movie). This one was a little longer then the previous mixtapes, and I knew I wanted to stack for this one and call it "The Movie". Funny because people still call me Dino, mostly within my family now though.
Justin bieber cameo?
Shout out Justin mang, so inspired by that young man. He's always giving Canada a good name, so I thought I would include him in the movie! I remember seeing that picture of him driving the ATV and I lost it. Had to put it in there. I like people to watch the skating in the Dino edits but they're all supposed to make people laugh and have a good time watching them. I love watching stuff with obvious or hidden humour like Nemos (Andrew Nemiroski) videos, Drunk Blading, Mushroom Blading, Air Dolphin, etc. It makes the viewing experience way more entertaining and lets you connect with the skaters more. You get an understanding of their personalities which is key to go along with some nice blading manoeuvres. Watchdagame is gonna be full of that stuff, so its making the project super fun for Colin and I.
Do you shit yourself every time you boot that three grand lens?
Yeahhh about that! Funny you bring it up, since I've been the only one to scratch it (twice). Last year filming for Seba edit Brian (Long) and I made, I kicked it the first day Carter (LeBlanc) was filming! Only a tiny ding, but in this new part you can see me give it a good smack. Taylor (Ritchie) was so worried, his face is priceless in the shot. So right now I'm actually hoping to replace the front element and I don't have insurance on the lens. I've been smoked a bunch of times filming with it, but we just end up getting lucky so once I get the baby all fixed up, I'm gonna cop insurance.
Yeah it's probably a good idea. Looks great but I don't think I'd get close enough with a lens that's worth more than my car. Anthony wrote our fisheye off into a post yesterday, we're on our third in half a year so sticking to cheap gear. We flail with the best of them.
Yeah I guess it all depends on what look you're going for too right? I like to switch up looks to keep it fresh, whether or not its a different bub, cam, ratio, whatever. As long as it works for skating and your image matches the mood. For example, I really enjoyed that new cut of Harry (Abel) talking about his life and how he balances skating with it. A+ on that one.
Yeah that came out good, I think anything Harry's involved with is guaranteed gold. Me and Scott (Blackmore) were chatting earlier about different scenes and he wanted to know what you think of the UK/European, Canadian and American scenes at the moment?
I'm really into the UK scene right now! It feels like you guys are thinking forward and trying to do something different than the skating that was documented in the past. I would say that skating with specific crews influences the way you think about skating or do it in general. Canadians always have this stereotype of being weird, which could maybe be taken as a compliment? You hardly hear people speak out on this topic, I'm really glad you brought it up. I think blading in general needs more people speaking out with their thoughts. I find a lot of it is hidden names hiding behind a keyboard. It would be cool to see known skaters doing things like what Harry did recently to spice it up as a posed to seeing just really good skating with little personality.
Those things usually come over pretty kooky though, I think there's a lot of skill involved on the film makers part to capture someone naturally and for it not to end up sounding like the end of brain fear gone!
True! Its got to be nailed in order for it to come through correct. Pumped on the UK scene though, it seems like the scene is all about going out and having a laugh with a celebration afterwards. I think as people get older too, we all appreciate that we're still doing this and how lucky we are to have such a fun hobby included into our lifestyles. The serious and competitive nature dies, then the creative and fun aspect shows up again like when you first started. I find that makes a skater way more entertaining when that message comes through.
Scenes have really thinned out too. The UK scene is really small now and everyone is pretty much old friends at this stage so I think that helps a lot. We get overlooked by most companies too so no ones trying to be the next big thing, just crack out the tins and have a laugh. A lot of talent has come through the cracks because of that attitude though. Canada seems similar, pretty much defined, refined and made popular an entire side of skating that not so long ago everyone was pushing against.
Very valid point about having all the old friends doing it together in a tightly knit group. It seems as if everyone is finding a balance in what type of skating they prefer and people are more open to it. For example if someone has a boot sponsor, takes it super serious and likes to skate contests. That's not what I like to do in blading but I can appreciate it and respect their approach. I feel like the heat has died down between everyone lately because we're all having fun doing it anyways. It's brought us all together and has been amazing for our already niche culture. Pow Wow seemed like a futuristic event, the footage from that was a prime example of what I'm saying. All types of bladers getting hyped together and appreciating all the different skill around them. Want to go next year for sure.
Do you think the fact that it's common knowledge now that you have as much chance pulling a living from skating as you do winning the lottery has helped? I think a lot more people are skating for themselves now, where's the risk in putting things out that the community might not like?
That's a great way to put it. I would hope to think everyone nowadays is doing it for themselves. I'm happy for those few skaters that get paid to do it or skate all the time as their job but with the way our community is now, it's just not realistic to keep paying people to do it. All those types of skaters can help out the companies by supporting them and that will let the technology get better. Times change and you can make money from contests, product development, or vods if that's your thing!
While we've been doing this you also did a Mushroom Blading podcast in which you cover a lot of things I was going to ask you. I'll put the link to the podcast and then we can start to wind this down and get dino 3 (the movie) out for everyone to see. Is there anything you want to talk about or if not people you want to thank?
Yeah that could be good to put on the page! (How to be Unpopular #207 - Danny Beer, Colin Brattey, Todd McInerney) I would like to thank you for all the help while I'm in school it's been awesome to have the support from dirt box and it's a company I believe in. The products are top notch, the approach is perfect and I really want to help with promoting it so we can keep doing more cool shit.
Cheers for taking the time to do this Danny.
Filmed by Colin Brattey & Taylor Ritchie
Edited by Danny Beer
Text by Sam Currie