Here at CSC, we're all about shining a light on small, skater-owned brands and giving you lovely lot the chance to support them too. If you're looking to stand out from the herd of Polar trou and Hockey decks, then look no further than Picture Show Studios.
It's no secret that skaters, for the most part, are a bunch of contrarian edge-lords who want nothing more than to be different. From the obsession with NBDs, to the somewhat archaic trend of commenting 'first' on literally anything, it's safe to say people love being able to boast that they were the first to do something. That's why we're giving you this little heads-up about one of the sickest new skate brands so you can get ahead of the game and earn those premium bragging rights.
What The F Is A Picture Show?
Founded by legendary skate videographer, Josh Stewart, via the one and only Theories of Atlantis distribution, Picture Show Studios first began in late 2019, teasing their first video offering as 'The "feel weird" hit of 2020' via Instagram, with a mysterious clip of the Picture Show logo being displayed on a drive-in cinema screen, immediately establishing their fascination with vintage cinema and Americana. A quick scroll through their early Instagram posts offers a thorough lesson in how to build hype, with their iconic art direction and intriguing brand of marketing giving the brand an aura of mysticism and some seriously nostalgic vibes, like this amazing classified ad requesting someone 'to go back in time with':
Or this retro TV commercial which is loaded with subtle skate video Easter Eggs - 10 points if you can recognise which iconic skate video each song is from. Of course, given the brand's emphasis on vintage cinema, video tapes feature prominently in many of their posts, but Picture Show's obsession with VHS tapes borders on Patrick Bateman levels. That reminds me: I need to return some video tapes.
Picture Show Studios first premiered on the silver screen in June 2020 with their teaser video, 'Now Showing', which unveiled their team of East Coast powerhouses - featuring Sabotage alumni like Kevin Liedtke and Tyler Dietterich - alongside plenty of retro visual effects and clips from iconic Hollywood flicks. While the clip doesn't feature a whole lot of skating - don't be put off, the skating featured is of course bangin' - it gives you a nice taste of Picture Show's signature flavour and definitely leaves you hungry for more.
You may have already guessed from the dates mentioned, with the brand having launched at the start of 2020, but unsurprisingly Picture Show's operations were significantly disrupted by the pandemic and their next video offering didn't arrive in theatres until March 2021. 'Admit One' started out with clips from all the boys, before Taylor Nawrocki brings the video to a close with a bangin' full part filled with niche spot and trick selection, and a King Kong-inspired skit with Taylor himself in the leading role.
Following 'Admit One', Picture Show's most recent offering saw a full part from Jasper Stieve in 'Visitors', accompanied by some surreal hand puppets and supporting roles from the rest of the Picture Show crew. Jasper weaves intricate lines through an assortment of East Coast spots that wouldn't look out of place in an old Dan Wolfe video, before pulling the plug with a hectic banger at New York's pyramid ledges. This guy's definitely one to watch out for.
Picture Show Studios' Art Direction - An Ode To The Silver Screen
Drawing inspiration from classic cinema isn't exactly an NBD in the skate industry, with brands like Hockey, Skateboard Cafe, and Sour featuring cinematic references in their graphics, yet Picture Show have managed to carve out their own niche within the already oversaturated marketplace thanks to their stunning art direction. The two men responsible for Picture Show's sublime visuals are California skater and artist Bryce Mandel, and digital artist Josh Courlas. Bryce's artwork draws heavy inspiration from the aesthetics of 1950's Hollywood and Film Noir with a slightly surreal edge, while Josh's art utilises bold shapes and colours, reminiscent of 1950's art deco, albeit with a distinctively modern twist. While the two artists have differing styles, Picture Show gaffer, Josh Stewart, describes the pair's artwork as possessing a similar eerie feeling akin to two 'different parallel universes', which helps provide the brand's art direction an unparalleled sense of cohesion.
From the name alone it's clear that Picture Show's identity is centered around the silver screen, so of course their skateboard graphics draw heavily upon classic Hollywood tropes. Many of their graphics feature allusions to vintage Hollywood - including their 'Blanche' skateboard deck which features artwork from the theatrical release poster from the 1962 psychological-horror film 'What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?' - with heavy influences from the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Film Noir, and vintage Americana. Whether you hang them on your wall or rep them in the streets, these graphics are guaranteed to make you seem like a connoisseur of the arts and a certified intellectual. They'll never even know you secretly enjoy Marvel films.
Picture Show Studios' Skateboard Team
According to an interview with Josh Stewart, Picture Show Studios was born from the need for a dedicated Theories of Atlantis board company to act as a home for the numerous talented skaters who operated under the distribution. As a result, Picture Show boasts an impressive lineup of East Coast legends including Taylor Nawrocki, Kevin Liedtke, Moustafa 'Moose' Abrams, Tyler Dietterich, Jasper Stieve, and John Baragwanath. While some of these guys aren't exactly A-list celebrities, the fact that they've been given the nod by Theories should be enough to merit your attention without even considering their individual contributions to skateboarding.
Whether it's Taylor Nawrocki's impeccable meme selection on his Instagram stories, or Moose's activism, each of these dude's truly deserves the title of legend. Taylor's part in Colin Read's 'Spirit Quest' is absolutely timeless, both Kevin Liedtke and Tyler Dietterich are firm favourites due to their appearances in Sabotage videos, and we've particularly enjoyed the recent output from Jasper Stieve. If you're unfamiliar with any of these boys, we thoroughly recommend checking them out. You never know, you might just find your new favourite skater.
That's enough chit-chat though. Head to the shop to buy Picture Show skateboards to support one of the freshest brands in skating right now, and make sure to keep an eye out for more new brands as we get them in, like Cyrus Bennett's new company, Limosine. Safe.