Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Vinny Minton Interview

(Vinny and his daughter Faith. photo - Johana Minton) 
Vinny Minton is one of those guys that oozes swagger. I still remember the first time that I saw Vinny skating in person. We were in our mid teens at the ASA World Finals in Las Vegas and he was skating a pretty hairy down rail, crushing farfig switch-ups in some blue flats.  Vinny was a true professional and was never selfish or lazy in his prime. While he traveled the world and could have just skated and collected checks, he used his recognition to create a video series that highlighted both well-known and underground bladers. Vinny has changed professions and become successful in another field but he still does more for blading than most. Vinny is now working with large production houses and penning deals with companies like RedBull and Glidecam, Vinny shows that “going out to screw around with your friends” can actually teach you a great trade.

(Photo - Johana)

FT - Let's start with the basics. State your name, years skating,
video’s produced, pro skates had and amount of countries you have

VM - The names Vinny Minton and I have been rolling for about fourteen years. I have had four Pro skates; three from salmon and one from Deshi. I have produced four Skate videos that have been sold worldwide, one was even featured on TV in Japan. I’ve had the luxury travel to 8 + plus countries thanks to skating.

FT -  Blading is inherently creative. How do you think that being a
Blader helped you to become successful in other areas of your life?

VM - Blading helped in a number of ways. I could go on and on but I will keep it moderately short. Skating helped me build a career in video production and I didn’t even realize it. Now I’m using skating to my advantage over other cinematographers. Getting shots that others in the industry have no idea how I was able to achieve. It also helped me build up a network around the globe. Just from being a rollerblader I can pretty much go anywhere in the world and have friend’s. Skating also helped me to build a name for myself in a whole other industry.

FT - Tell me more about the Bittercold Piece. In my opinion it isthe online edit of the year. Where did you draw inspiration from to make people do tag team lines?  Was it in the moment or  was it something that you planned on creating. Also, Did you fly yourself to Bittercold or were you traveling with a

VM - Good looking out kuddy!! I can’t remember if I flew myself out or if Justin from AMALL flew me out. I was just messing around with that piece. Filming in lines like that is just hella fun and challenging. The cinematographer and skaters all have to be on point. Not only does the skater have to land the trick, the filming and timing are just as important. It brings teamwork into skating ahaha.  That kind of filming is fun and can take a lot of time to get perfect but with the Bittercold piece, those were pretty much first or second try. It was inspired by an old school skate video. If you know what it is then you’re an OG if you don’t know then do your homework.

FT - I have been paying attention to your wedding videography for Years. Recently you have started to gain some recognition as one of the best in that field. Even if you do not know the couple featured in the video they are fun to watch. Tell us how you got into weddings and please share any advice that you feel will help those who are trying to break into the wedding industry.

VM - At first, I really just got into to make some money. Then I realized that the people I was working/freelancing for didn’t know what they were doing and the ones who did were making good money! That was my inspiration! They were getting PAID and I wanted a piece. Then just like any relationship, I fell in love with producing wedding videos. I can honestly say that I love working. I love what I do! It’s a great feeling to see a couple really enjoy and appreciate my craft, or I should say, my teams craft.

My advice for anyone trying to get into the field is to work cheap in order to stay busy and build up your cliental. It is better to learn from your mistakes when you’re not charging much. Clients cant get pissed when you are barely charging. This is only my third year in the industry and I went from starting at six hundred a wedding to four thousand a wedding. Probably going to raise my prices again in a few weeks.

FT - Wedding's are not the only thing that you have been filming. The producers of House recently contacted you because of your Bittercold edit. Do you care to expand on how that transpired? Also, what exactly will you be doing with them?

VM - Yea that was pretty crazy…

Basically I received a brief email March thirteenth from a guy named Greg Yaitanes saying how he and the gang at [H]ouse all loved the bittercold piece and asked if I shot it on the 5d. I had no clue what [H]ouse was or who Greg Yaitanes was. I ended up replying with a simple thank you, and thank you for taking the time to watch the video. June thirteenth I received an email from a guy named Gale Tattersall the DP (Director of Photography) stating.

“I know you have been in touch with Greg Yaitanes... our exec. producer/ director on House.... because of the great glidecam material that you shot at the skate park. Well... it just so happens that in our second episode... we would like very much for you to come play with us for a day for the teaser, and the style and technique that you are able to bring to the table is exactly what we are looking for... so I wonder how your schedule is? We would be shooting sometime between 24th June and the 7th July... do you have a booking agent we should get in touch with? First of all Greg Yaitanes, won the Best Director Emmy last year, and the director doing the second episode, Dan Attias, won the best Director episode this year... so you are in very special company and these contacts could prove to be invaluable for the future. Please get in touch as soon as you are able”

We had a numerous email/phone calls and a few weeks later I flew out and spent the day shooting with House and the crew…

FT - Why are you the only person who makes cab drivers look fresh?

VM - HAHA what do you mean…. Farmer used to rock them hella sick!! Ahaha but good lookin out..

FT - Tell us more about your relationship with Glidecam, I know that
you are working with them, how did that happen?

VM - Just networking. I stay on my hustle. Basically they saw my work and liked my productions. I am sponsored by Glidecam. They actually promote my skate edits at video production events and trade shows. I remember going to NAB (National Association of Broadcast), which is one of the biggest video production events of the year. I went to the glidecam booth and was shocked. They had the Bittercold and Victors edit looping on the big screens. If you had me on my facebook you might have seen the iphone uploads of the big screen playing it. It was definitely a dope feeling.

FT - What are your plans for the future? Any exciting news on
upcoming projects?

VM - I had to get my money right and focus on making sure my family is straight and now I am pretty comfortable. Next year is exactly what I’ve been waiting for over the last 3 years. I’m looking forward to slapping the industry with my own skate video ahaha!!! I’ve been missing out on a lot of comps and travel but definitely going to keep it moving next year for my skate project. No title yet, but its basically going to be section based on cities around the world. Similar to my Long Beach piece I did awhile back.

FT - When can we see some fresh new VM clips? I know you still have
swagger, when will you unleash it?

VM - HAHA I have enough clips for a little section. They have been marinating on my hard drive, waiting for Ivan’s new skate video Connected. Four years in the making, most of my clips are over 3 years old ahaha…

FT - any other advice or shout outs?

VM - The bottom line is that if you want something bad enough you can make it happen!!!

I dreamed like most rollerbladers to become a professional and I was blessed to have it happen. My new dream is to travel the world filming weddings and making videos. I am still working on making that happen but I want it bad enough that I am going to make it happen..

Shout to you Kevin for wanting to give me an interview.. Shout out to all the Antioch homies.. Bmike, vic, ivan, jon and to my family..

***After this Interview was conducted Vinny was contacted by REDBULL who is purchasing the rights to his LongBeach edit.  Congrats to Vinny for a being an all around badass and accomplishing more than pretty much anyone in the game right now***


  1. Inspiring... Congrats Vinny!

  2. its funny how alot of rollerbladers talk about media exposure and getting to the masses and why we aren't popular, boo-hoo-bee-boo. THE MASSES CAME TO VINNY! marinade on that

  3. awesome vinny the first time i saw the bcsd edit i was like how....?congrats dude keep it up inspiring!

  4. A very good interview ....

    I am very happy to see the progression that has to vinny had over the years, is a skater who grew up and so far remains a source of inspiration for me.
    I hope you continue to have much in his life ...

    Words of a rider who has projects like those he is doing.
    Graicas for the tips.
    Blessings to you and your family.