Paul Rodriguez hasn't had a full video part drop in nearly three years. When you're as talented, productive and driven as P-Rod, you know that means he's sitting on some serious footage. After some setbacks with the Plan B team, through injuries and team shake ups, Plan B's much-anticipated first full-length video offering since their return as a brand has been pushed back once again. With over three years of footage accumulating and the fear that some of it would soon be too old to put out, Rodriguez decided to put out a solo video part. With the help of Plan B, Rodriguez will release his full length part on iTunes on Monday, November 15, 2010. If the teasers and rumors are any indication, it's sure to make an impact. I spoke with Rodriguez on the eve of the video part's release to talk about the part, his decision to go it alone and the future of traditional skate videos in the Internet age.
ESPN.com: So are you psyched to get this video out the door?
Rodriguez: Yeah, man. It's been three years. I'm so psyched to finally unleash it, unveil it.
So are you going to have footage that's as old as that?
Yeah. Some of the footage is exactly three years old. Every time I'd get a trick I'd write it down on a list and I dated the list when I started it and it was actually November of 2007.
So you're new video drops on ITunes on Monday. Walk me through your decision to release a part solo and how you and the folks at Plan B decided to release it on iTunes.
Well originally, I was filming for the Plan B video, for the full team video. So when I started filming that's what was in my mind. And it just so happened that shortly after that, into the year, [Ryan] Sheckler ended up getting hurt pretty bad. That took him out for almost a full year. Danny [Way] got hurt and that took him out for almost a year around the same time. Then we lost Brian Wenning and Jereme Rogers; they stepped away from the team. And we lost Ryan Gallant also. The team was falling a apart a little; guys were leaving and other guys were hurt. So that was really holding up the process and as it gets to be a year and a half, two years down the road I'm like, crap man hopefully the video is going to come out some time this year or whatnot. Two years went by and I was just like, dude I need to get this footage out within this next year because I don't want it to get old and outdated. I want it to still be fresh. So we came up with the idea of me putting out my own part and my idea was for us to see if we could try to get it on iTunes and that worked out. That's what brought us here.
How's it going to work with iTunes, will kids have to pay for the part or will it be free?
They'll have to download it like anything else on there but I think it'll be only like $1.99, $2.99 or something like that.
How much footage can kids expect?
Five minutes worth.
Are we going to see any of your friends or Plan B teammates making cameos in your part?
No, man. It's all me. I figured over the past three years I put this much into it, I might as well be stingy and make it all me because it was something that I worked hard on.
Did you edit the part yourself or did you have a filmer or someone else edit it for you?
No. It'd be awful if I did the edit. My boy Dario Rezk, he's our Plan B main filmer. He did the honors of editing it for me. I think he did a good job. He filmed a whole lot of the part itself. Dario and our other filmer, Hoops and a friend of mine, Heath Brinkley and a couple of other guys, they filmed it. There's probably five guys that filmed the most of it.
Without giving away tricks or anything like that, how do you think this part stands up to all the video parts you've had in the past?
For me, I don't want to put out a video part unless it's better than the last. So for me, it's the best video part that I've put out to date. The second I stop putting out videos that aren't better than the last one, that's when I'd start thinking about stepping down. My goal is to just show progression between the last part I put out and this one. With every part I kinda approach it like that.
You've been making video parts for at least eleven years now since the DNA video, "Micro Analysis" in 1999. Of all those parts, which ones have been the most memorable as milestone moments in your career?
Of course the DNA video is in there because that's my first video part ever shown to the public. But then, obviously the City Stars video, "Street Cinema," my first TransWorld video part in "In Bloom" and then obviously this one coming out. They're all special to me because with each part I've just wanted to show that I've improved from my last part and hopefully done a couple things maybe that I haven't really seen anyone do, hopefully add a little something new and put my little flavor on it. They're all special in my hear but milestone-wise the City Stars vid is what got me recognized. "Girl skateboards' "Yeah Right" was a big one for me. "Forecast" was good because we did that video on our own. I kind of in the same predicament then that I'm in now where none of my sponsors were ready to put out a video and I had all this footage that I didn't want to get old. So with that I was able to put out a video and also that helped to break in some new guys like Mike Mo Capaldi and Nick McClouth that hadn't really been recognized yet. So that was a good one.
Shane O'Neill released his pro debut part online and some companies are following suit with Adio putting out their video in monthly segments on their website and Nike releasing "Debacle" online as well. Do you think that's the road we're headed down as far as skate videos go?
Yeah, I mean just with the way the Internet is going right now, that's the trend. These days footage comes out so fast and so frequently that the progression is just on hyper speed. I think the Internet is the reason why that's happening and that's kind of the way things are now. I don't see it slowing down. There's obviously going to be new ways, new things coming in the future that I wouldn't even know what to predict but I'd say for now this is going to be the standard.
Do you think we're moving toward seeing individual parts more often than seeing full team videos?
I think so because this day and age the kids that are rowing up right now are used to watching skating that way. They search different websites looking for clips of their favorite guys and watching certain segments and then going out and skating. When I was coming up it was like, you sat there and watched the video a countless amount of times. Not that kids don't still do that but I feel like more kids are accustom to being on their computer looking at The Berrics for example, where they do the "Banging" videos and the "Battle Commanders." The kids are used to seeing quick little segments. I feel like that's what it is now.
Right now, you've just come off a heavy contest season and you've got a video part finished and ready to drop. The next big contest isn't until some time in 2011. Are you looking forward to some down time or do you have other projects in the works already?
Well project-wise, down time for me is just being able to stay at home and not having to travel. I skate always, 24-7, that's what I do. I want to just keep skating like I haven't finished my video part yet. I don't want to get in this little relaxed zone where I get complacent like, 'Alright, that video part will hold me for a while,' because, like I was saying earlier, footage comes out so fast in skateboarding that the second you get caught slipping, you might be a little bit behind. So I'm just treating it as if nothing ever happened. I'm still going out skating street, trying to get some footage just as I always have for the past 11 years.