DVD Reviews

Jereme Rogers’ Neighborhood

This video drops under the banner of independent cinema, but essentially it’s just a bunch of friends who got together and filmed some amazing footage. Jereme Roger’s Neighborhood show cases the talent of six super-ams: Eli Reed, Justin Schulte, Daryl Angel, Lamare Hemmings, Torey Pudwill and Jereme Rogers.

Jereme is actually pro, and deservedly so, but initially he was one of the first super-ams to appear at the dawn of the new millennium, so he gets honourable mention. Just to save a few of you some time, I must state that this production is probably targeted at the younger zone of the age spectrum with no pool skating, powerslides or other 80’s smooth moves. Middle aged shredders can stop reading now.

Ok, for those of you who are still reading, a couple of things must be established. The line between professional and amateurs has been blurred beyond recognition. Do we need to enforce new rules? I mean, all the amateurs in this feature have got more pop, flick and catch than a lot of their professional counterparts, and it’s all going straight to the bank, both financially and spot-wise. The second thing that needs to be pointed out is the esteem rewarded to switchstance skateboarding. When you see just how much incredible skating goes down in JRN switch, then you’ll understand why the novelty has worn thin. Today’s modern street skater knows no boundaries, and a walk through Jereme’s neighbourhood will prove that.

So, let’s get reviewing… When I first watched this video I squirmed at the below average title credits and intro animation: Garish colours, wobbly lines and undertones of serious plagiarism in regards the Monty Python-esque theme DVS Skate More produced. Being a journalist by profession, my research nerve itched so I scratched a little deeper and found out that the title and inspiration for this video actually came from a very famous American children’s TV show- Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood. This show ran for almost 40 years, but if you weren’t born and raised somewhere within the USA, chances are you’ve never heard of it. That detail out of the way, and suddenly the cheap animated skits pass by without any second thoughts.

JRN clocks in at a cool 30 minutes maximum, including the bonus footage that rolls a few minutes after the credits- no hidden chapters here. 30 minutes is perfect timing to get you and your mates stoked to go rip it up in the streets.

A brief introduction to each of the skaters involved in this project hails the East Coast ripper Eli Reed opening the show with a part crammed full of powerful switch skating. Underrated is the obvious word that comes to mind. Justin Schulte rolls up next and strings together some very smooth lines with a rather effortless style, even if his intro leans us towards the idea that Justin might be a stresser. With the rise of new amateurs taking the shape of a Tsunami, Daryl Angel washed right over me, but this video has got him back on my radar with his more well-rounded than technical contributions.

A brief friend’s section ensues and then the real stylers start to appear. Lamare Hemmings is a face you will soon see all over the place in 2007, and quite rightly so because this kid has lost all of his debut kiddie looks for a taller, broader frame packed with pop and style.

The part before last is my favourite. Call me biased but the facts just keep pointing in one direction and that’s towards Torey Pudwill. This kids consistency; skill and overall attitude are a winning combination of ingredients to create a very worthwhile professional. I don’t think Torey wants to jump the gun though, so a few more appearances in the amateur ranks will do him nicely. Just so you know, Torey has spent the last 6 months or so without a board sponsor. Is the industry blind??? Not anymore.

And so the ringleader steps up to claim last part. Jereme Rogers blew onto the scene in the shadow of one of the most influential videos to drop in the last decade, thus throwing him into the limelight with big sponsors, big money and big stress. Jereme handled all of it like he handles his skating- Smoothly. Whilst most pros and ams run to the latest hot spot in a bid to produce acceptable coverage, Jereme goes back to an OG street spot, the Los Angeles courthouse, and re-writes a few chapters of the manual: Kickflip noseslide frontside shove-it noseslide? Backside tailslide backside 180 noseslide? You get the picture… Add to his deep bag of tricks, and knack for taking switch skating to some hefty gaps and rails, and Jereme is the tip of the future. Just for personal reference, Jereme pops and catches audibly one of the baddest (bad meaning good!) varial heelflips I have ever seen.

Take a stroll through the neighbourhood and get schooled on what the future holds.

Jereme Rogers Neighborhood is sponsored by Studio 411, Billabong, Monster Energy, Core Exclusive, Boost Mobile and The Skateboard Mag.

Ralph L-D