New ‘iHomie’ Film Pays Homage to Vermont Skateboarding Roots with a Look to the Future | Cinema | Seven days
Twenty years ago, Travis Card started filming his friends skateboarding. As a skateboarder himself, Card recognized that some of the skateboarders on his team were getting really good and someone needed to capture them.
“I became a filmmaker because I wasn’t at the level of some of my best friends,” he recalls. “But again, not many people are.”
What started out as a modest attempt to document the progress of his friends quickly turned into a full-fledged effort to land Vermont skaters in major skateboarding publications. Card and his friends saved up money to go to skate competitions and to film tricks in faraway destinations like California and Barcelona, Spain. In less than 10 years, Card had produced three full-length skate videos, and several of his friends were well on their way to going pro.
A lot has changed since Card released his last movie, Good things happen to those who skate, in 2010. Skateboarding went from a public nuisance to an olympic sport. Sprawling concrete skateparks, such as Burlington’s Andy A_Dog Williams skatepark, began to appear in cities around the world. Social media platforms helped to increase visibility and performance in skateboarding.
Through all of these changes, Card continued to film his friends.
On Saturday September 11, Card launches its fourth skate feature film, iHomie, to Double E Performance Center‘s T-Rex Theater at Essex Junction. The first includes music by DJ Kanga, DJ Transplanted, JFG and SINNN, as well as live graffiti from Anthill Collective, raffles and a high ollie contest.
Golden hour, a new entertainment company created by Card with co-producer Shaun Machia, is releasing the film.
“It’s the kind of thing that I’m involved in just to pay my dues to the community that is close to my heart,” said Machia, who has also been involved in motion graphics, editing and photography at the iHomie project.
Although Card had shot his previous films with video cameras, he captured iHomie entirely on smartphones in vertical format.
“I used to lug around $ 10,000 of photo gear to skate spots just to get a clip,” Card said. “I wanted to show people that if you have a boyfriend and you have a phone, you can make a video.”
The film is also unique in that it features skaters in their thirties. Due to the physical demands of street skating, most of the skaters featured in the movies are in their 20s. Kyle Burroughs and Collin Hale appeared in each of Card’s films and were among the first on the team to have sponsors. In iHomie, they skate entire parts – video segments devoted to a single skater – although both juggle the responsibilities of fatherhood and careers.
Burroughs, a chocolatier and personal trainer, still makes skateboarding look as easy as it did in his twenties. Hale, sous chef at Doc Ponds in Stowe, was one of the last skaters to join the draft and didn’t expect to produce a full game.
“Travis is very good at pushing people in a reasonable way,” Hale said. “He can bring out the best in a skater.”
Notably, iHomie presents the last complete part of Dave Abair, who passed away suddenly in June at the age of 34. Originally from St. Albans, Abair moved to San Francisco, where he became a professional skater known for creatively stringing tricks in places most people wouldn’t even think of skating.
“Dave has always had a very unique approach to skating,” Card said. “He just has an eye for new spots.” Abair returned to Vermont last November to film his role, which first appears in the film.
One skater viewers won’t recognize in Card’s previous work is 30-year-old Tyler Jermano, who produced his very first feature film for iHomie. Jermano, who recently moved to Vermont from Saranac Lake, NY, says he already knew Card while skating at Talent Skatepark in South Burlington when he was younger.
“We used to roll out on him, Collin Hale and everyone who was in his videos,” Jermano recalls. “Then I moved here and became friends with him. Now I am in one of his videos. It’s a journey! ”
In addition to its four integral parts, iHomie features a section of friends who skate and a section entirely filmed at the Landry Park skate park in Winooski, aka “the Woo” among skaters. These sections give U-30s a chance to shine, including Chris “Cookie” Colbourn, who in December 2019 became one of the last Vermont skaters to turn pro.
Throughout its 30-minute battery life, iHomie honors hard-working Vermont skaters who have helped pave the way for future generations and recognizes how technology is reshaping the industry. Skateboarding will continue to evolve, but it’s all about spending time with your pals.