You know how when you watch a skate video you tend to memorize the whole thing? The tricks, the order of the sections, the audio from the DVD menu, even the commercials? Well, those commercials are often just as much work as what you see in the video itself. A long drawn out process of importing clips and arranging pieces on a timeline that, in the end, lasts only 30 seconds or so onscreen.
I bet you didn’t know that for a long time most of the commercials and animation in general, for that matter in those videos was all done by one person. I bet you’d be surprised to find out that that one person is a pro rollerblader of whom you’ve already heard.
Matt Andrews is that rollerblader. While he doesn’t skate nearly as much as he used to, he’s still right there in your latest skate video, but behind the scenes. Those trees in Barely Dead growing out of Franky Morales hands? The little animations in both We Are Valo videos, and online before Valo’s clips of the week? Those are Matt Andrews. He’s created a very secure business for himself in the inline industry by providing all things motion graphics for all the companies you know and love. Nearly every major inline skate, clothing and accessory company has worked with Matt on some level at one point in time. From the IMYTA (where I first met him and got to work with him) to Rollerblade, Xsjado, USD and Esoteric.
As visible as he is in the inline world, it has now become just a small corner of the Matt Andrews universe. Since moving to New York City in late 2006, Black Mandrews has spread out his network considerably, working freelance with such illustrious firms as Imaginary Forces, BUCK and Liflelong Friendship Society. You might have seen some of this work on the MTV Video Music Awards last summer. In more recent news, he just wrapped up 11 straight days of 10-plus hours each working on a piece for Kobe Bryant and Nike Basketball. Big Time.
As with just about every artist I’ve gotten to know, Matt has that commitment to his craft that creates marathon battles of productivity vs. the desire to sleep. I’ve watched him at work at 5 in the morning, after being up for most of the previous day, only to sleep for a few hours in the early morning and then get up and do it all over again. He’s relentless. But that shows. In that natural, water-like skating style of his and in the work he produces. You know it’s Matt when you can’t look away from the screen.
If you’re into his work and want to see more, check out his Web site at silkyblackgold.com. Or, you can just sit tight until the next big skate video is released, because undoubtedly, Matt will be a part of it in one way or another.
- Mike Rios