The way we watch skateboarding has changed dramatically over the course of the last five to ten years. The full-length video has taken a backseat to the three-minute edit, which ends invariably ends up posted daily to various websites and social media platforms. Locally, meanwhile, the skateboard scene is lacking for skate-focused auteurs, as it often seems not much is created aside from Instagram clips of the same handrail at the same skatepark.
Despite current trends, there are still skaters that see the value in a full-length video premiered at an actual place, among actual human people. Matt Oistacher is one of those skaters. Oistacher started young with the Criterea For Failure videos, which memorably featured early footage of Jax-native and current pro Paul Hart, as well as notables Grady Smith (of LurkNYC fame), Nick Blanco, Craig Clements, and the always amazing Matt Fink. Oistacher`s newest video The Spongers brings many of the faces from C4F along with a new crop of extremely talented skaters, while the editing and scoring highlight a new level of maturity in Oistacher’s creative arc. I recently met up with Oistacher to discuss the making of The Spongers.

The Spongers | Full Video from Matthew Oistacher on Vimeo.

This video as a different vibe than C4F. Was there a different mindset while making this one?

I had some of the best times of my life filming both of the C4F videos. All of us grew up together and we all knew we wanted to make a video. So when we were finally able to do that it was a dream come true. The Spongers was something I spent a lot of time on. I probably changed each person’s song five to six times. I spent a lot of time on the music for this one. I’ve also wanted to use Super 8 for quite some time, and I was really happy it was able to be such an integral part of this film. Overall, I think I’ve grown up with all of the videos I’ve done. This video is just a representation of where I’m at in my life right now.

How long did it take to complete? Were there any hang-ups?

A little over two years. It was a lot easier to find time to film when I was a kid. I work a full time job. Fink worked the night shift at UPS for most of this project. Garret just graduated from UNF and got hurt more than any person ever should. Conor and Grady both moved. And everyone just has other responsibilities as adults. This was definitely the most difficult of the three films I’ve done, but I would say this is the one I am the most proud of. There was definitely a lot of times I didn’t think I was going to have the time to finish it.

Matt Oistacher at work. Photo: Martin Morales

How much of the video was filmed in Jacksonville, was it hard to find new spots to film?

Most of the video was filmed in Jacksonville. There’s some clips sprinkled in from travels to New York, Atlanta, California, Tallahassee and some other random places in Florida. Traveling is the best part of skateboarding in my opinion, but doing it on your own dime is tough.

Your No Comply was pretty beefy, was that the biggest one you’ve ever done?

It was definitely one of them.

Why are all filmers good at wallrides?

I wouldn’t know, I’m not very good at wallrides. King has those covered for sure, though!

Taylor Greenspan during production of The Spongers. Photo: Trevor Stevens

Sketchiest thing that happened while making the video?

Actually, this video went pretty smooth. Conor and I got circled by a police helicopter skating the top of a parking garage, but we’re pretty sure they were looking for somebody else.

Out of everyone, was there any standout as far as work ethic is concerned?

I couldn’t single any person out. We all worked super hard on this. We were all on such different schedules that a lot of times it would just be myself and another person out skating. The camera light became my best friend during this project, and without it I don’t think this video would have been possible. We would stay out skating until two or three in the morning and all wake up in the morning to get to work on time.

Transworld posted some parts. How did that come about?

Huge shout out to Chris Jolly for that one, he gave me a contact over there that was able to help us out.

Best part of making the film?

All the good times for sure! No matter how easy it all looks in the end, every trick is a battle. Some tricks come easy and others take hours, but nothing is better than cracking a beer with the homies after somebody gets a clip!

Matt Fink for SOTY [Skater of the Year]?

Always.