15 Minutes Promo – New Deal Skateboards

When the 15 minutes promo from New Deal skateboards came out in the 90’s, everything changed. It was the beginning of street skating as we know it today and it was such a rad era. So when I found out Paul, Steve and Andy were re-launching the brand, I was really stoked and I love reading about all the behind the scenes from when they were starting the brand so here is the latest note from Steve Douglas:

Making of the 15 Minute Promo video, getting busted, and some little known ND facts. – By Steve Douglas

It was a fun and exciting time hiding out at Paul Schmitt’s house in Costa Mesa, California in early Spring 1990. Andy and Gorm were making the art, and I was working with the team, on the 15 minute promo video, and setting up the international distribution. We had to keep all this quiet from Vision as we needed to keep getting our board royalties from Schmitt Stix. Unfortunately our cover was almost instantly blown…

When we were ready to launch and wanted to let the distributors know, we still wanted to keep Paul’s involvement quiet for as long as possible. What we didn’t realize though, was that Paul’s fax machine added his name and number to the top of every fax sent from it! Paul Schmitt and his fax number right there for everyone to see.. BUSTED! The word was definitely out and it was another push for skater owed and run companies, ND was a big part of that change that we are really proud of to this day.

Videos were one of the main focuses for New Deal so back to the 15 minute video… After all these years it’s still hard to believe that I made the first 3 videos (before I passed the torch to New Deal team rider Josh Friedberg). I had studied skate videos for years and I was eager to learn and be involved in what I felt was a key part of skating – video… Thank goodness for Paul being there to help me and show me what to do. 

We had years of footage for Schmitt – 100s of Hi8 tapes and S-VHS tapes, and as this was way before we had started 411VM we were sitting on piles of footage with no plan of how to use it. What is funny Is that some of the footage I used in the promo video was almost 4 years old at the start of 1990!

Back in those days you had to lay each trick in order one after the other, there was no insert editing with the equipment we had. I had to make the whole video in order of what I thought would work, then study it and write each part out in order how I felt it could work better, and then that was it – 2nd time was final. Slo-mo had to be done at local studio and then we added them together, thankfully Paul took care of that. It was a painful experience which took so much time, but I did not care as it was so much fun.

A little known fact is that the music for the 15 minute promo video was going to be Agent Orange. As the video was wrapped up and I was getting ready to drive back up to Nor Cal where I lived, Paul called me saying the bad news that he had spoken to Agent orange agent and they had said if we used the music it would ruin their release. I was gutted as we were almost done. When I got back to San Jose I met with my good friend Ray Stevens II and I told him my predicament. He simply handed me a tape of a local band of the Odd Numbers, and the rest is history. They say things happen for a reason – The Odd numbers are huge part of New Deal and I am still great friends with them today, many people tell me that when they think of the New Deal they think of the Odd numbers as much as the riders and art. Looking back it was the perfect mix that quite easily could not have happened. As Kirk Dianda (411Vm/On Video) said to me after hearing that story: ‘Wow I wonder if New Deal would be been so well received if you had used Agent Orange, basically an old band starting a company called the New Deal?”   luckily we will never know…
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