411VM has come a hell of a long way since it’s creation way back in 1993. Seeing as they are the true pioneers to the video magazine market, and are still held in high regard for their innovation of the audio visual medium, it’s pretty obvious that 411VM are going to have to stay at least 2 steps ahead of the game if they want to retain their respect.
The near deadly age of hour longs tapes full of redundant advertisements, weak articles and cutting room floor footage are over! 411VM has had a face lift and a revamp- they no longer come out each and every month, they keep it short, and they get an artist to come and animate the whole thing.
411VM 14.1 is the latest offering and inside we find: Donny Barley, Corey Duffel, Marius Syvanen and Tyler Bledsoe, Billabong in Canada, Jack Curtin, a handful of extras and tidbits (c.f. Magazine inserts with interviews…), and the whole thing is given artistic colour by Mr. Todd Francis (graphic designer for Element Skateboards since 1999).
At a first glance, it looks pretty good, but when you scratch the surface, some strange things catch the eye. I won’t knock Donny Barley because he’s the Don. Plus, for all UK heads, you’ll be stoked to see that Donnie has a lot of footage filmed on our shores, notably his opening line in Liverpool! Despite all of the slack he gets for his scarecrow looks, Corey Duffel actually looks good doing what he does, which is annihilate big rails and gaps. Corey better have stock in pharmaceutical goods because when he gets older, he won’t be able to walk… I can’t mock Marius either because the young kid has got a cool style and he backside flips to bomb switch(!) a hill that many of us would find hard just walking down. Jack Curtin is also a very fresh skater to watch roll around, so I won’t hit the skip button there either.
Now the deception: Something screams free advertising in this issue of 411VM. I don’t know if it’s the World Industries team disguised as the Billabong squad give or take a couple of riders, or Hawk Clothing repping their wonder kids with a twinned Marius and Tyler part..? Thanks for Marius’ style and Mike Petersen’s gnarly skating, I might feel slightly duped. The other bother of this issue is Jack’s part filmed entirely in Barcelona. I’m not one to advocate the blowout of Barca footage doing the rounds at the moment, but something says this is all stuff that wouldn’t make it elsewhere for that very reason.
Despite those couple of let-downs (which are entirely my own opinion!), I honestly think 411VM have done good with this issue and have been very smart in the way they ironed out the bumps of previous video magazine formats. Issue 14.1 is in shops now and next issue we can expect a Stereo theme with Olly Todd getting a check out!