Filming skateboarding with James has been a potent mixture of progression and joy for me. I often think; what makes the experience such a unique one? Like James himself, his contribution to Threads differed from the rest of the cast, and elaborating on the approach to our video and his life is necessary to deeper understand Threads and James' mind.
What keeps you motivated to be featured in so many skate videos? Now and in the past?
James: The want and need to keep skateboarding in my life keeps me motivated. Skateboarding is the best thing to ever happen to me. It keeps you sharp, fit, young and feeling free. It's a way to keep creating, sharing, connecting, reaching out and evolving. I love aligning myself and collaborating with likewise individuals who polish their skills regularly and creating something for the people to enjoy, and come together and be inspired. Pushing the boundaries of Audio/Visual excitement with substance and heart. I personally have never had a home to call my own, no true sanctuary. So, I find my sanctuary through skateboarding, I love the physical act of it and the world it embodies. So, I focus on longevity, because I want it to last forever.
(click the images below to watch James' skate video catalog)
Your part in 'Threads' differed from the rest of the video, in that it didn't feature the city of Atlanta, with you originally being from Atlanta, why is that?
James: I branched out from my hometown of Atlanta to explore new environments and become in-tune with each one while meeting new friends and experiences along the way. I've lived in many, many cities and towns, even a Native American Indian reservation in the Florida Everglades for a few years as well. Growing up extremely poor, it made me very resourceful. I find much value in expansion, and utilizing untapped potentials and resources, along with self-discipline and staying true to yourself and others. My good friend and talented filmer Alex Rose spoke to me about being involved in a project he and Matt Creasy were developing. Back around 2004, a younger Matt Creasy and I worked on an Atlanta skate video entitled 'Nouveau', we bonded and had a blast in the process. I have the utmost respect for Creasy and his talents/vision, and to have an opportunity a decade later to collaborate with him was something I couldn't pass up. It brought me full circle back to my hometown and has been a fun and humbling experience. Though I wish I was a part of the filming process with Creasy, I did however have plenty of footage on reserve with Alex Rose, and many other filmers from different locales (San Francisco, New York City, Miami, etc.) The utilization of distant locations and settings is why my 'Threads' part differed from the rest of the video, but it all coincides with our connections and the way we are all threaded together no matter how far away we may be.
Josh Stewart referred to you as a vagabond on www.theoriesofatlantis.com when he posted your 'Incognito' part online earlier this year. How do you do it, and who helps you along the way?
James: It's been an incredibly long and rough journey, and it's only just begun. It's an incredible honor and privilege to be blessed by my supporters. Josh Stewart and the Theories brand help me out immensely, Josh is a magnanimous and prolific force in this new era of the skateboarding. Him putting me in Static 5, grouped in with other friends and skaters I look up to was incredible to me. Thank you so much, Josh! Also an enormous blessing, honor and privilege is to be one of the few Americans being supported by the groundbreaking french company Magenta Skateboards, to be a part of this amazing group of individuals at the forefront of modern street skateboarding pushing the boundaries in this new age is very fun and exciting. Upon visiting France, and spending plenty of time at the Magenta Headquarters, I was truly blown away by the efficiency and dynamic cohesiveness of this inspiring group of people. Thank you Vivien and Soy and the whole Magenta family! Which brings me to my very good friend Yoan Taillandier, a renaissance man whose talents and skill reach beyond the norm. He is the mastermind behind Minuit (french for "Midnight") which is a distinct aesthetic of Skateboard Audio/Visuals (mainly at night) and also offers clothing and accessories under the Magenta umbrella. I love Minuit, and I feel truly blessed to be onboard with the upcoming adventures involved within it's prospects. Thank you Yoan! My friend Eric Staniford started a griptape company in Los Angeles and he supplies me with entitled Reality Grip, which features images of iconic and inspiring people. Thanks Eric! I've recently been blessed with receiving shoes from Lakai Footwear and couldn't be happier! They feel and skate so great, Thank you Daniel Wheatley! I'd like to thank all listed above and everyone whose been with me along the way, Thank you all for keeping me on board, and I couldn't do it without you all, I am truly grateful, Thank you all so much!
(click the images below to watch James' skating with the GX1000 squad)
The dialogue and animations in your section have a humorous, yet realistic sense of humanity. Even though you didn't edit your part, do you feel it's an accurate representation of yourself, given the footage and occurrences captured?
James: Creasy did an amazing job with the animations and titles, we had some back and forth prior to him developing the images. I told him what values and truths I live by and he incorporated them into each individual figure. So yes, I feel those are a great depiction of my personality. As far as the dialogue in the beginning, I didn't even know Alex Rose's camera was recording the audio of an angry man kicking us out of his 'owned land'. "I own this land" he says and I toyed with him implying the facade of possession. I believe I said "there is no way for humans to own land anyway, it's not even real". To elaborate, the land is a living being we are one with, our bodies will nourish the land when we pass, just as the land nourished us through our life. This man doesn't respect the land but claims to own it. He and many like him are fearful and territorial.
You are one of the most productive skateboarders that I know, your 'Threads' part is only a small fraction of what you have to showcase the skate-world as far as footage goes, what else is in the works for you?
James: This upcoming year (2015) is going to be insane, I have my hands in so so many projects. The next Minuit video is a major project I'm really looking forward to, I spent a month in San Francisco filming with Yoan Taillandier, as well as another month in Bordeaux, France. So, I'm excited to see the result once it's released next year. Also, I'm teaming up with Matt Creasy, Chris Theissen, Bryan Reynolds and Alex Rose once again and we are working on a Transworld VX Video project that i'm really hyped on. It will include a pretty eclectic cast that I'm sure will be a breath of fresh air. New GX1000 episodes on Thrasher and the GX1000 full length video with Ryan Garshell is going to be awesome and full of talented underground rippers. I also have a chunk of footy with Zach Chamberlain for his 'Sprinkles' video, but I would like to get more with him before it wraps up. The same goes for Mandible Claw's next project. A few classified Magenta projects in the works along with other Top Secret video projects underway that I'm not at liberty to discuss, but I am so happy to be a part of. Thank you so much to all my friends/filmers across the world!
(click the image below to watch James Coleman in THREADS)