As you know we’ve teamed-up with Spike TV to shoot an ad for Fairfield Inn in San Diego. Amanda Powell and Amanda “Panda” Caloia were the chosen ones to represent Longboard Girls Crew values, message & of course, radness!
We couldn’t be happier not only with the result but with the fact that more and more brands are choosing to portray real athletes shredding, women doing amazing, rad and exciting things. Most of the images of women in media don’t focus on our skills and the popular current female role models mostly focus on looks. So the fact that all these brands are choosing to portray women in our actual true potential is more important than what you may think. The more we portray women athletes doing extremely cool stuff, pushing their limits and challenging the stereotypes that we’re normally shown, the sooner society will be healed and we can all grow in gender-labed free cultures.
The ad was shot in California in two days and the girls had the most fun while shooting. We asked them some questions regarding this shoot, life visions and working with friends. Enjoy!
1. How was the shooting? How was the general ambience of it?
Amanda Caloia: Whenever I’m skating with Mander the atmosphere is always full of good vibes. Going into the weekend we were both pretty hyped to be heading South to a hill we hadn’t been to in a good while. I can’t speak for her but I always feel a little nervous in the beginning of any shoot. It usually happens during the first take when I see the big expensive cameras. The goal of this shoot was to share who we are, Longboard Girls Crew, with a wider audience. We are always representing something larger than ourselves when we step on our boards but it’s always a nervous feeling when you see the cameras getting ready to record your every move. We were representing hundreds of girls across the globe that do what we do and I didn’t want to disappoint any of them. The nervous butterflies tend to disappear as soon as we are given the OK to jump on our boards. Camera or no camera, when I’m skating the feelings are always the same. Nothing but stoke.
Amanda Powell: It was all smiles! The whole crew had a really great energy, everyone was truly excited about the project. On day one we shot the freeriding and production had the road shut down and provided shuttle rides to the top – what a luxury! Despite the fact we had huge camera rigs pointed at us at all times, while we were skating, it felt like it was just Panda and I on the hill. Or better yet, me trying to keep up with Panda! On day two we filmed the hotel shots, which was a fun and unique experience to be allowed to skate through a hotel. Usually we do that kind of thing outlaw style, but this time we had full permission to! All in all, everyone on-set was genuinely stoked on how the shoot went, and thrilled with the finished product.
2. How do you feel with the fact that more brands are choosing to feature real skaters performing?
Amanda Caloia: I’m happy to see the spotlight on the chicks who ride because they are truly in love with a board with four wheels. I think girls and guys across the globe would agree that chicks are ripping harder than ever. Slams and falls are a part of skateboarding but they aren’t the most endearing parts. The rippers you see in the spotlight have likely taken their fare share of visits to the asphalt and are undoubtably in love with what they do because they continue to skate.
Putting lady rippers in the spotlight breaks the mold for what society thinks a chick on a board should look like and what their bodies are capable of. Breaking this mold paves the way for girls of all ages but young girls especially.
Why think twice about stepping on a board? Chicks do it all the time, and they’re really good at it. I applaud every company positively spreading this message.
Amanda Powell: I would say I almost feel relieved – like it should have been happening since the beginning, but the exposure is finally getting to where it should be. There’s no doubt that “Hollywood” is a totally different realm from the skateboard world, and there’s been a bit of a disconnect there when a project casts skateboarders for a part. For a while it seemed like they were just putting models on skateboards to play the part, which is okay in the sense that I want everyone to enjoy skateboarding, but it lacked authenticity and often skill. So people weren’t seeing real skateboarding or style. But I think more brands and production companies are seeing the benefit in casting real skateboarders doing their own thing, and that benefits everyone.
3. Besides regularly skating together both of you have already worked together shooting RHCP’s video Dark Necessities. What’s your favourite part of working with your friends?
Amanda Caloia: I have a blast working with Mander. We compliment each other nicely and because we spend a lot of time on board together we know how far to push each other on set. The biggest challenge is when we have a set amount of time to get a job done and we are faced with a situation where we wish we had some free time to learn this “one thing” because we know the line will flow better for the both of us. Moments like that make us better in the long run and gives us something to look forward to during off camera board time. She also lets me know when there’s dirt on my face and I let her know when there’s food in her teeth so I’d say I get pretty hyped every time I find out I get to work with my friends.
Amanda Powell: Working with friends on shoots instantly makes the whole filming process more comfortable. Personally, I always get a little nervous going into bigger shoots when I don’t know what to expect. But when I have a close friend like Panda, or Carmen, or Noelani there, it can make it so much more relaxed. We just joke the whole time and keep the mood light and fun, never too serious. Which is a perfect distraction from thinking about doing everything right for the camera, and it keeps the shots more natural too.
4. Any fun anecdotes from the shooting?
Amanda Caloia: Hah! So many. Lots of laughs were shared with stylist Tara Nichols and makeup artist Jenna Nelson. I can’t remember everything that happened but I do remember my face hurting from laughing so much and eating all of the kiwis in the fruit box, fuzzy skin and all. The crew called in Dane and Dusty to help out with the follow cam footage and nicknamed them “D and D”, “The Boyfriends” and “Boyfriend 1 and Boyfriend 2”. My favorite and final scene had to be jumping into bed with Mander. Judging by the look on my face I probably wasn’t having any fun.
Amanda Powell: Panda was REALLY good at jumping onto the bed for the last shot of the commercial – haha! They had us do that so many times to get it right, but Panda was a natural every time.
Endless thanks to the whole team that made this happen. To Mike J. Tome, Melissa Chussid, Tara Nichols, Jenna Nelson & the whole in-site crew. Together we’re changing the game!