Director Colin Reed, a.k.a. MandibleClaw, spent over two years capturing people skateboarding in the subways and on rooftops for his urban skating video, "Tengu: God of Mischief." This week, Reed uploaded one of the best segments of the video online, in which skateboarders traverse Brooklyn the way they were always meant to (that is not true, they know how to walk and ride the subway, but you get it).
Back in 2014, Reed told us no one got hurt or in trouble while secretly making the video around the borough: "It wasn't meant to be a 'controversial' or 'viral' piece, instead it was an exploration of how you can push the boundaries of skateboarding, and open up a whole new world of possibilities," he said. "This is not a regular pastime of skateboarders, no."
Reed said he and his friends had an epiphany about a "whole world of unexplored skate spots right above our heads." It took over two years to film all of the stunts in the video; he said they could only film in the cold months of the year when the roofs were hard (you can't roll on roofs when they're soft and soggy in summer).
To scout for potential spots to film, he and his team rode the elevated trains all around the city. He explained in an interview with French skateboarding site "Live Media:"
But it mostly involved a lot of trial and error, and what you might call illegal activity. We had a few tactics: we'd wait for people to walk into buildings, just catch the door before it closed (or hit all the buzzers and hope someone got annoyed and buzzed us in) and run up to see if we could get on the roof from the stairwell. We'd jump and grab the bottoms of fire escape and climb up. And we'd ask everyone if they had roofs we could get onto to check out. Many attempts at getting onto a roof or finding a spot were fruitless, but just as often we'd finding something unique and exciting.
Finally, of course, it was dangerous. There were some close calls where people got terrifyingly close to falling, and a few boards were lost off the edge. (But we always made sure no one was walking on the sidewalk or street below before we tried a trick.) And we had to run away or hide form the police a few times, too.
Check out the equally nerve-wracking subway skateboarding video below. (It goes without saying, perhaps, but please don't try this yourself and blame us when you get messed up.)