No doubt you're already familiar with the work of the multi-talented Mikey Alfred. He's the skater and loosely affiliated Odd Future member behind one of our favorite streetwear brands, Illegal Civilization. What you might not know is that while the team has been incorporating scripted segments into their skate videos over the past six years, Mikey Alfred and his crew have much larger cinematic aspirations.
"The past year," Alfred told The FADER, "we've been taking narrative film making seriously, renting locations and using sound guys, the works." When The FADER stepped in to collaborate on a video project, the Illegal Civilization team had a treatment ready and waiting. "Me and my friend Lionel Boyce had written the general concept of the short already, so the timing was insane. FADER paired me with [the director] Aaron Brown, who helped make the ideas a little more grounded. He added an art aspect to it instead of us always trying to make these super dialogue-heavy Scorsese-feeling pieces."
Over the course of filming, Brown and Alfred geeked out on cinema. "He told me about films I've never known about like Brothers McMullen and old John Cassavettes movies," Alfred said. "The finished project came out amazing." It's tough to categorize: part skate film, part narrative short with a surreal bent, part lookbook. The collection was Alfred's first dive into the businessman aesthetic that typifies his team's intense motivation and creativity. "Most things seem to either be all about 'fuck it, fuck everything,' or they're just too clean-cut and boring. Not enough big movements push balance. You can be ridiculous and have fun as long as your business is handled."
The result of Alfred, Brown, and The FADER team's efforts has finally arrived: a genre-bending, unexpected little short that takes you on a wild tour of Illegal Civilization's Los Angeles, one that basks in the same slumming angels and sun-blinded sidewalks as Raymond Chandler's noirs, but fits squarely into the optimism and motivation of Mikey Alfred and Illegal Civilization.