Shane O’Neill is one of skateboarding's savants. Whether you are a fan or not, it is undeniable how precise and effortless his skating is. From his consistency at the contests to his video parts, it never looks difficult. His last showing was in TransWorld Skateboarding’s "Not Another TransWorld Video," which as you will find out, he was not satisfied with. Having spoken to O’Neill, XGames.com found out what gets him motivated to skateboard, why his part in the Nike SB Chronicles "Volume 2" will be better than his last and more importantly, why it matters in the grand scheme of skating.
XGames.com: How long have you been working on this part for?
O'Neill: Probably about a year now. The first six or seven months I wasn’t able to film for it.
Were you injured?
No, in the beginning they didn’t know that I was going to be in this one and I wasn’t filming with Jason (Hernandez Nike SB Chronicles Vol 2 Cinematographer) at that point. I had footage with other people, but at that point, none of it was in there. And I wasn’t really on any of the trips because I had Street League, so it was pretty much just the last year. But that’s better anyway, because things get old and I didn’t want to have a 20-minute part.
Is it super difficult to balance the contests and filming, or do you look at contests as a way to dial the tricks before you go film them?
To be honest, the tricks that I do in my part are ones that I plan to go and film, but the ones that I do in Street League, or at least most of them, are not ones that I would go and film. I don’t think all these contests make it that hard, they just make me more on point with going for it.
Did you go on any of the trips for the video at all?
When we were in Barcelona for Street League, I stayed after for three days and then I went to China which was a full 10-day trip of just filming for the video. So, I didn’t get to go on most of the trips but I had enough time in L.A. to make it happen.
So most of your filming was in L.A.?
Most of it was, yeah. I would figure out a trick and then just call Jason and go do it.
Did you have a trick list?
Not really. I have a bunch of tricks that I still want to do that I didn’t get to. Jason is really good with spots though, so he would show me some or I would find some and we would figure it out.
So you like a plan when you go film?
Yeah. I mean, it happens when I’m out with my friends that sometimes I get stuff, but I like to be able to just mess around with no pressure.
The guys at TransWorld told me a while back that you set the bar crazy high for filming and it made it tough, but you came through with a great part for that. Is it the same this time?
Nah, that part sucked.
So you like this part better than the last?
Oh for sure. The part I had before that one, for when I turned pro, is the kind of part that I want to have. I got to work on it and I didn’t really had a deadline. With the TransWorld one, it was all my fault, just with the timing and stuff. I started a little late and the footage was just kind of whatever. I got the better stuff toward the end but we had to use everything that we had. With this one, Jason and I sat down and looked at the tricks and we picked the best. Like I said, it was all my fault, it just wasn’t a priority the way it should have been. People seemed to like it but I personally didn’t. I’m not bummed on it, there was just some stuff in there that I didn’t want to use that I had to. If people are going to see the stuff, I don’t want them to always see the same thing. Kids learn from all of us, so if I’m doing the same things that I’m doing in Street League, it’s not helping.
Do you watch any videos or parts to get psyched to go skate?
Yeah, I watch everything. Probably the part that I watch the most in general is Arto Saari’s part in "Menikmati" (eS’ footwear video). Things that he does in that part are so awesome. I don’t want to watch the same kind of thing that I’m doing, I like to watch different kinds of skating, it helps me. It’s such a crazy thing to think about. Some guys can do a backside air on tranny, which to me is not easy at all, and for them it’s so simple. Then something like a nollie heel crook nollie flip isn’t that hard for me. It’s crazy how different it is.
Are there any tranny tricks of you in this part?
There is. I’ve actually got one in there. It’s one of the first tranny tricks I’ve had in my part.
That rules. How much input do you have when it comes to music and editing this time around?
I picked the song and I’m super stoked on it. Jason let me come over and watch my part and I’m super stoked on it. The only thing that changed is that we took some of the tricks out and replaced them with newer ones.
Is this your favorite part that you’ve put out?
That’s tough to say, I’ve only seen it once so I don’t know. I’m definitely stoked on what I was able to do. I’m just happy that I have a new part out and I’m more fulfilled with this one than my last one.
Whose part are you the most excited to see?
About six months ago I got to see everyone’s part and I know they have been able to film lots since then, but I think Ishod’s part. All the footage he has put out this year has been sick Philly kind of skating, but this one is going to have that mixed with insane stuff too. I’m looking forward to seeing how his footage looks in HD after watching his "Sabotage 3" part a lot.
What’s next for you?
I’m filming for a Thrasher part right now. This one is going to be a lot of skating. For this part I get to do a bunch of trips and I get to film it with one of my best friends, so I’m stoked.