Pretty Sweet: Sean Malto
Sean Malto turned pro for Girl Skateboards in 2009 and "Pretty Sweet" will be his first video part since TransWorld's "And Now." For the last three years, Malto has been stacking clips and taking trips -- literally. He spoke with ESPN.com about the wide range of hotel accommodations in China, how he shot a magazine ad after not skating for eight weeks and how he's always dreamed of appearing in a Girl Skateboards video.
ESPN.com: What did you enjoy most about filming for Pretty Sweet?
Malto: The whole process of the video was an amazing experience. I got to travel all over the world on a lot of trips back-to-back, for the last year, with an amazing group of people. A lot of what made it fun for me was hanging out with these guys that I don't get to hang out with as much as I'd like.
Which trip was your favorite?
The trip that sticks out in my mind was the trip to Spain. We had 23 people go to Barcelona together and we stayed in three different hostels for a month. That was a trip that got me so hyped. We were out there all working on the video together and having a good time, so that was probably the best trip for me.
What was a typical day like in Barcelona with all those people?
There was a spot called Paral-lel with manual pads. In the morning we'd meet there at 10 o'clock to go skate. If you skated for five or six days straight and you were burnt, then you'd go to the beach where there was L'Estel Ferit, a sculpture of four blocks stacked on top of each other. So if you wanted to skate you'd meet at Paral-lel and if you wanted to chill you'd meet at the four blocks sculpture. So those were the two crews. It was fun. You'd skate for four days at a time, then go to the beach to hang out, and then do it all over again. Obviously there were a couple of Jamboree club nights snuck in there till 6 a.m., but other than that, it was a lot of skating and us hanging out doing whatever.
Talk about some of the U.S. trips you went on.
I went on a couple full-force U.S. trips. On one we took a big 15-passenger Econoline van and a minivan. We started in California, went through Las Vegas and Montana and ended in Detroit. That trip was good but not a lot of people showed up for that one because those trips can be a little harsh. It's a lot of driving and a lot of skating. Unlike Barcelona, you didn't have that escape to the beach or the ability to take a day or two off. On the last trip, I was in the minivan with Federico Vitteta and Mike Mo Capaldi, and the Trunk Boyz and Ty Evans were in the Econoline. We stayed at a cabin in Montana and shot a bunch of skits out there. Being on tour in the U.S. is different because when you go to Europe, most of your time is spent skating. In the U.S., it's just a ton of driving.
You shot an ad for Pretty Sweet where you're doing a nollie crooked grind on a rail. Where was that?
That was at a rail at River Market in Kansas City. I live close so it's a convenient rail for me. I tore my meniscus on a trip eight weeks before that day, in Florida, and had to have surgery. I had the surgery and then eight weeks later Ty Evans and the guys came to town. I hadn't filmed anything and I hadn't been skating a lot and we went to the rail and although I skated it a lot, I didn't know what to do. Cory Kennedy started skating it and I was watching him and got psyched, so I decided to skate it. It was the right day for me. I had the right broken-in shoes and my board felt good. It didn't even take that long to do. The first one I locked in on I just took. I was excited about that and it was my first post-knee surgery trick that I got on film. And when I saw it as an ad, I was psyched because it's in Kansas City. Obviously anything skateboarding-related that happens here, I'm psyched on and my friends are as well.
Do you have a lot of clips from Kansas City?
Yeah because I skate here all the time and I did a last little push for two weeks straight to see if I could finish anything I wanted to do. There should be a good amount of clips from Kansas City. Overall, for two and a half years, I was saving clips and footage. There may be some clips that go as far as back as three years, but most of it is within two years.
What was the biggest challenge for you in getting this part done?
The biggest challenge was the travel schedule. This year there was Street League, and because it was the last year to film for the video, you want to go on as many trips as you can to finish out your part. But there's four Street Leagues going on that you have to schedule in too. I ended up flying around a lot more than I wanted to. That was the most challenging. I went from London to Italy, then flew back for a Street League stop and then flew out to Spain to meet up with everybody. Planning the travel around the contests was a little difficult.
Did you also go to China?
I did go to China. I went for two weeks with Nike and then stayed for two and a half more weeks with the Girl team. It was my second time being in China. The Nike trip I was on was in Shenzhen -- we stayed in a really nice hotel. It was actually one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in, in my life. It was state-of-the-art. It was on top of a mall and we were 36 floors up. There was a Louis Vuitton store at the bottom. I had my own room and the shower was in the middle of the room, in a glass cube. You could take a shower and see out into all areas of the room. The bed was so comfortable, so I loved it. It was a Nike trip so we had some nice dinners and stuff like that. I had a good time working on the "Skate Every Damn Day" campaign and I did some stuff for a commercial they wanted to do.
...the most important thing about skating and the reason why we all love it is because we have fun doing it. This video, when you watch it, it's going to make people laugh and obviously we tried to put out some good quality skateboarding.
From Shenzhen, Eric Koston and I took a two-hour taxi ride in a van to Guangzhou. I went from staying in the nicest hotel in my life to staying in the worst hotel in my life. I was rooming with Chris Roberts and the bed was like a hardwood floor. I would come home all beat-up from skating and could not believe how hard the bed was. It was the hardest bed I ever slept on. The room had no windows at all. It was seriously like solitary confinement. I had no idea what time it was, ever. The showers sucked, but obviously we make the best of whatever we've got. Rooming with Roberts was awesome. I don't really get to room with him too often on trips. I had a good time. The Girl guys are amazing people to travel with so we made the best of it.
How do you like filming for a video like this?
Every video that Girl has done has been a big project. Girl videos are a staple when it comes to skate videos. The way they do videos, they kind of go down in history. I've always wanted to be in a Girl video ever since I was little watching "Yeah Right" and "Hot Chocolate." I'm just excited to be a part of this chapter in Girl skateboards. Hopefully I come through with my part.
Whose part are you most looking forward to?
There are so many good parts, but the obvious answer to that one is Guy Mariano. His part is going to be insane. He's on a whole other level right now. Also people are really going to be surprised by Stevie Perez. The stuff that he's been doing on trips that I've seen in person I can't even put it into words. He's so talented and so good and such a stylish skater. I'm really looking forward to seeing how his part all comes together.
What was it like working with Ty Evans?
I've heard of how gnarly and crazy Ty is when he's working on videos, but I've had so much fun working with him on this video that I'm almost a little sad it's over. Ty is a really motivating person. He'll do whatever it takes to make something awesome. As a skater on a trip, when someone's working that hard to accomplish something, it gets you motivated and you want to work hard. You want to skate the spot he worked so hard to make skateable. Being a part of that and seeing someone who's been in the game and knows how to make a video, it's an awesome experience being around that. It helps to know what it takes for the future.
What are people going to like the most about "Pretty Sweet"?
I think what Girl does better than anyone is that they make really good influential skate videos, but all their videos are so fun at the same time. They have funny scenes and funny skits. I think that's a really important part of skateboarding. You work hard on filming a part for however many years and it can suck at times, but the most important thing about skating and the reason why we all love it is because we have fun doing it. This video, when you watch it, it's going to make people laugh and obviously we tried to put out some good quality skateboarding.