- 1 double-sided DVD
- 1 bonus DVD
- playtime: 3+ hrs

- a documentation by Reid van
- FIFTY24SF & Upper Playground
  in association w/

Reid van Renesse
Location: SF/NYC
Occupation: filmmaker, designer

Reid van Renesse
Upper Playground
Ricky Powell

BGHD Archive
August 2003
Interview. Reid van Renesse

How did you get in touch with
My friend Jason put me up on, because I was making hats at the time. I was basically just peeping current events.

How did you get into filmmaking/editing?
It was something that evolved slowly. From photography to DJing, it just seemed like a natural next step to combine mediums. I got work shooting video for an outdoor sports channel and taught myself editing on their system after hours. Eventually I began to produce my own work.

The Project

How did “DITHERS” come about?
I was approached by Upper Playground to do some artist profile videos for their website. The initial idea was to interview the artists that had come up through their t-shirt line and gallery 5024SF. Ideas were kicked back and forth, more artists were added to the list and eventually it was decided that we'd compile it all on to a DVD.

When did you begin this project and how long did it take you to finish it?
I shot the first interview in July of 2002. From that interview to the final edit was just under a year. I shot SF and NY artists at different times while I was travelling back and forth (big up Jetblue!). there was no order to how or where. I shot all of the LA and SoCal artists in one 5 day trip.

Of the artists, whom did you personally know? What’s your ‘history’ with them?
I had met some of the SF artists prior to the project and I had met Ricky Powell before, but Zephyr was the only artist that I was really friends with. We have known each other for many years, not from graffiti, although we have graf friends in common, but from track racing at the Kissena velodrome in Queens and from bike messenger-ing in New York. I was familiar w/most of the east coast/NY artists like Kevin Lyons, Jest, Stash, and Shepard Fairey and I knew about Andy Howell from skating, but the artist I had the longest 'history' with would be Andy Jenkins. For years when I was younger, each month I looked forward to reading the newest "Wrench Pilot" adventure in the back of Transworld. getting to see those original drawings was one of the most memorable moments from all of the interviews I shot.

How did you manage to include such a range of artists?
When you look at the mediums and personalities, it is a good range of artists, but these artists all represent different facets of a certain movement that is relatively young and for the most part, just coming into its own as being widely culturally and commercially accepted. In the grand scheme of the "art world", the majority of these artists fit into a well defined niche where the influences of graffiti, street art, and skateboarding are the major threads that tie them all together.

Were all of the artists open to the project from the beginning or did you have to persuade/convince?
As far as I could tell, pretty much every artist was happy to be interviewed. I really had no set format and I discovered early on in the project that I was able to develop a good rapport with each artist and that really helped to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. The interviews just seemed to flow from there on.

Did you have to pre-screen it to get approval?
No, but I did have to go back and re-edit some of the segments due to the music. A bunch of tracks that were originally OKed were later determined to have conflicts with the rights for use on the DVD.

How did Ricky Powell become involved with the film making?
Ricky has been working with Upper Playground for a while and they thought it would be a good idea to have him interview some of the New York heads due to his previous relationships with them. Over all, I think it worked well, his interview with Seen is priceless. One of my favorites is his interview with Team. That dude had mad influence on a lot of writers in NY and, personally, it was cool to hear his story and see his current work.

Which took longer: the actual filming or the editing? Why?
The editing took MUCH longer than the shooting.
Sometimes I was shooting 2 people a day, but it could take a couple of weeks, or in some cases, months to get a final edit done. I was working on multiple pieces at once. I would be putting one story together, while I was waiting for images, more music, or shooting more footage to finish up others.

What was the most difficult when deciding what to include or omit?
Most of the interviews were between a 1/2 hour to an hour long and I was cutting them down to 3 to 8 minute segments, so the difficulty was in determining what parts of the interview best fit with the story of the artist that I was telling. A lot of good anecdotes and stories were cut because I had to focus on compiling a concise profile that best represented and reflected the artist and their personality.


What are your next projects?
On the video/photo tip:. I have 2 documentary projects currently under development as well as putting together a photo show documenting a major event that took place this past summer.
On the design tip:. I partnered up with a friend in the Bronx to create a line of t-shirts that will be dropping very soon under the label YES I limited. Keep a look out!

Any comments/recommendations/hints/shouts?
Thanx to Upper Playground for giving me the opportunity, big thanx and shout out to the boys at Triplewide media who were instrumental in getting the DVD finished and of course much love to for staying on top of it!


BGHD says thanks for the interview and the signed DVDs!

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