Tengu and Colin Read

From the brain cells of Colin Read aka Mandible Claw comes TENGU. It is one of the best skate films to come out in years. Shot on the classic VX-1000 and cut to an non-traditional sound track there is little filler and the transitions between parts blend smoothly, uniquely and in some ways they are the best bits of editing in the film. Divided into multiple parts and cities he weaves together footage that inspires you to get out your door. Mr. Read is able to put a new twist on what it means to skate a city; hitting the roof tops and tunnels avoiding third rails and ten floor drops. Through his lens and reputation he has been able to curate skaters, contributing filmers and maintain a solid, unique aesthetic to produce a truly inspiring piece of film making. Featuring a line-up of underground rippers from three continents with a similar approach to skating. A raw street vibe that permeates the globe; from the back alleys of Tokyo and San Francisco to the gritty and grimy of NYC and the Boroughs. Part of a growing worldwide underground these skaters and filmers are creating their own pool of stoke with inspiration from the past and an eye for the new and undiscovered.

Colin answers a few questions about the making of Tengu below.


Colin was in SF a couple times to film. This pole jam by Evan Kinori was on his first.


Ben Gore and Colin.

Ben Gore.


Ben, tall front 50-50 in a stinky S.F. alley.

5 Questions with Colin:

How long did the project take, from idea to DVD in hand?

I started filming over two and a half years ago.  I put out other side-projects during this time, but most of it was just outlets to get rid of footage I knew I wouldn’t be using.  So, in essence, all the SLAP edits and Ride Channel edits were throwaway footage.  I was saving the goods.

How much outside financial support did you get? Including flights and expenses.

Magenta Skateboards paid for my plane ticket to France, because I was also filming for Soleil Levant.  The rest was on me.

How long did it take you to edit it? Were you editing as you collected footage?

I was editing bits and pieces as time went on, experimenting, shaping my vision for the project.   I didn’t have a solid idea of what the theme and real direction of the video would be until the final year.  But by then, I had a good bit of the raw editing done and a lot of the songs picked out, which served as the backbone to finish it.

What’s the back story behind the footage of someone being backed over by an SUV while dialog from Kurosawa’s Ikiru provides advice on living?

My friend Justin Clady, the guy who has the part following that footage, is the one who got hit.  The driver was reversing the wrong way up a one-way street.  When he hit Clady, he then tried to pull a hit-and-run, but people stopped him.  Clady was really hurt for a long time, and we were all scared.  He didn’t wake up for a long time, and when he did, he wasn’t right for a long while.  But Clady is a fucking ripper and one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met, and you can’t keep him down.  He’s skating again, starting to get his tricks back.  The last clip of that section, the skitch on the taxi, was filmed after the accident.  SKATER!

Has there been any blowback from the subway skating section and Koki’s track ollie or the roof footage?

I currently have a warrant out for my arrest, but other than that, everything’s groovy.

For what?

Subway skating.

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