Thursday, July 18, 2013

Memory Screen.

"For full effect, hook VCR to stereo and view in total darkness."

Memory Screen was the first video from the Alien Workshop and was released in 1991. At this point it is probably a little redundant to sing its praises as I've said I think it's one of the best things ever made by mankind, but whatever. I'll keep it short. The video showcased new pros Rob Dyrdek and Duane Pitre, along with veterans Neil Blender and Steve Claar. The ams were Scott Conklin, Thomas Morgan, John Pryor, and Bo Turner. Conklin, Morgan, and Turner would all turn pro for the Workshop in the next year or two.

Working off ideas that began with G&S's Footage video, Chris Carter and Mike Hill created something otherworldly that moved beyond just a basic skateboard video. In between the tricks, were clips of life in Ohio, random stock footage, weird montages, Chrome Ball animations, and video feedback. The soundtrack featured Dinosaur Jr., a J. Mascis solo tune in "A Little Ethnic Song", Don't Mean Maybe, Eddie Boy, and the Painteens. There were also several bands that Neil Blender was involved with, such as Worked World and Toxic Death Sentence.

I feel Memory Screen is a valuable documentation of a variety of underground scenes that were happening in the early 1990s. You have the skateboarding obviously coupled with the music and art, both visual and video. It registers as a motion picture version of a 'zine that focused on all of those things.

"Saw the Royals on the screen today."

Note: Rather than tease you with two years worth of video coming soon ads, Alien ran multiple ads for Memory Screen in a row once it was released. These are two that I liked the best.

Top: Transworld - September 1991 Volume 9 Number 9

Bottom: Transworld - December 1991 Volume 9 Number 12


Anonymous said...

Digging all the workshop post. I have a copy of MS on VHS and it plays great, not to many viewing so the quality is perfect. Great point about Alien not over doing the Alien theme. My first board was a Thomas Morgan ( whales-slick) and during that time as a middle schooler I must say the Alien/eerie ads and aesthetic ( overly used word in skateboarding nowadays) really seemed amazing to me. I think there is two boards that really represent AW's past, the 3 alien heads with the rainbow colors and that Beleive deck that Omar had reissued a few years back...once again, digging this weeks post

Anonymous said...

O and DeathBox's video "spirt of the blitz" kinda of emulates what you said about Memory Screen capturing underground skating for the time...ok finished rambling

Keith said...

Great early Alien ads! Always been one of my favourite companies.

90% of the boards I've ridden the past 5 years are Alien or Habitat.

Justin said...

I have not seen the Death Box video. I'll have to look for it when I have some spare time at work.

I liked the first boards with Steve Claar's blue jay, the one with the speakers, and Pitre's Olives.