It Wasn’t Me


A couple weeks ago, I stopped by Downbeat Lounge for the premiere of bUTT Naked the video, a new short film starring some of Honolulu’s top skate talent. Shown without credits, it was still pretty clear to me that local artists Alec Singer and Max Field had a hand at the helm.

Filmed in three months and edited in one night, the video was designed in part to be a teaser for the upcoming bUTT Naked the Movie, which they plan to show in July at the HI-Sk8 film festival at Doris Duke Theatre.

The film trolls Shaggy super hard and makes it look like it was presented by the reggae artist himself. The opening sequence features half of the music video for It Wasn’t Me interspersed with skate footage. It’s pretty common for a skate video to have occasional clips of different films or music videos between cuts to liven up the footage — but I’d never seen it done in reverse. There was also extensive use of picture-in-picture that almost mocks the technology. At one point, four windows pop up showing four different tricks at once, for a sensory overload. It gives a bit of the effect of channel surfing, with the rapid cuts of skateboard footage mixed with frequent song changes. (Shaggy, meanwhile, is periodically spliced in to lend facial expressions and reactions to the skateboarding.)

One thing that was particularly interesting to me is the way that the skate-boarding is very representative of how most non-professional skateboarders — and many professionals when they’re not filming — actually skate. The tricks are at times silly, accidental and occasionally unsuccessful. While incredible skateboarding does pop through sometimes, this video seems to capture the uncertainty that is inherent in the sport. In one instance, Field does a wallie (a quick wall-ride/ollie) and lands fine, then attempts another, but lands too far to the nose, sending him toppling over. There certainly are a great deal of technically impressive tricks, but they’re punctuated by a lot of the candid, awkward moments of skating.

Living up to the promise of its title, the video ends with the skateboarders actually getting butt naked and skating down a street.

Field and Singer are the same innovative artists who have brought multiple experimental installations to the downtown art scene — like last summer, when they set up a pseudo-medical clinic where each attendee got a one-on-one interaction with a “doctor.”

Singer had attempted to get attention from Shaggy on social media by tagging him in posts leading up to the video release, but if his music video has anything to do with what his real life is like, it seems like he probably had a lot of women to attend to in his mansion. If I were to ask Shaggy about his involvement in the project I feel like he’d probably say, “It wasn’t me.”