'Making The Clip' with Nathan Williams

Doing what it takes to get it done for #etnieschapters in Vegas

12 Oct 2015

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Words and photos by Kevin Conners

We have all dealt with it as riders, In one facet or another. When it comes down to it, it’s the nature of filming and especially filming street riding, making the clip happen. No matter how amazingly perfect the spot is or how much the rider may have the trick dialled, lets face it almost NEVER is a clip easy to get. From dealing with security, ruined run ups, bad generators, tweakers or just self mindset an easy clip to get never seems to be the one you are most proud of at the end. Nathan’s nollie to hanger was certainly one of those, that during the process, was a battle and in the end was well worth it.

This spot has been alive and well for years now within the Vegas scene, and is no stranger to its fair share of action. Years back when living in Vegas we'd walk around it daily with shovels in hand to build trails in the once un-concreted wash just under it. As riding changes so do the spots and the ways riders look at them. Years later the trails have been plowed and the wash is now cement leaving us far from the perfect rail in its wake. For years it had only been double pegged for numerous reasons. The run up is a complete disaster and the landing is narrow and on an angle. A few years back it started popping up in both skate and BMX media alike. The first of heavier things done on it was Drew York's over-ice some years ago. I’ve shown numerous people this spot in hopes of shooting on it. Every rider has looked at the run up and hellish narrow, dirt covered landing and passed on it.

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"As riding changes so do the spots and the ways riders look at them."

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After eating a quick meal with Nathan, Aaron Ross, Povah (etnies TM) and filmer Will Stroud just right around the corner I decided to show them the spot just to make sure it really was that bad. To my surprise Nathan was actually really into riding it. So after a quick trip to Home Depot for some Bondo and other such needed supplies we were back at the rail in no time with the idea that we would fix up the spot with the remaining daylight and come back at night and set up the lights.

In typical fashion nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to fixing a spot. Nathan and Aaron must have spent nearly a hour just sweeping dirt and tumble weeds from the landing. Not to mention all the confused day walkers wondering what was going on. One even asked "Is it ok if I pass under the bridge?” And then said ”Oh, I thought it was your bridge." In proper TM fashion Povah was helping Nathan fix the top of the set with Bondo, only to notice the mid size bottle we got was way to little to cover and level such a bad spot. Before you knew it Povah was off to Home Depot for more supplies and gas for the generators (yes two generators. Will apparently isn’t messing around when it comes to #etnieschapters).

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Arron and Will.

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Incase you didn't know... John Povah is a proper 'hands-on' TM.

"When it comes down to it, it’s the nature of filming and especially filming street riding, making the clip happen."

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Nathan sweeping, from day...

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...until night.

With the top properly smoothed out and level enough for Nathan to feel comfortable enough to go for a trick the fun was about to begin or so we thought. After just a few pulls to the generators it was that sound anyone trying to clip a spot at night hates to hear, the start up to instant flicker off had begun. Before you knew it the entire crew was trying anything and everything for over 45 minutes frustrated and ready to give up on the spot due to generator issues. Then suddenly like a true believer somehow both generators kicked back on just long enough for Nathan to get a nollie to double peg to feel the rail out. Before we knew it that horrid putter of the generators dying out had begun. At the same time we all started to see the edge of the Bondo pulling up at the seams from the temperature change. I was instantly bummed and only moments away from slowly tearing down my flashes and giving in. Then out of nowhere the crew got the generators running and Nathan quickly spoke up and said "I’m ready", with Will saying "You got this!" I posted up right next to Will and before I knew it Nathan went for the nollie hanger and got it flawless. Seconds later the generators gave out and it was a wrap.

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Nathan and the nollie hanger - If a job is worth doing then it's worth doing right. Photo - Kevin Conners.

I do not personally consider myself a 'Godly' man, but what I do know is someone realized how much work and persistence Nathan and the entire crew went through for well over a hour just to make the spot rideable and decided to let us have it that day. That, or maybe it was the choke, oil filter, huge lights or simply the fact that the generators hadn’t been ran in at least a few weeks. Either way I’ll take it any day as it was well worth that feeling of going from 'Nathan's got this, we’ll patch it and be good to go', to 'Oh shit, this isn’t happening today we're out of Bondo and the generators hate us', straight back to go time and the overwhelming feeling that the entire crew and Nathan's persistence in getting the clip paid off and changed all of our spirits. - KC

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Nathan and Will review the footage.

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Job done!

For more info: etnies.com #etnieschapters