The skating and film world merge thanks to the mastermind behind “Illegal Civilization,” director Mikey Alfred. He depicts the societal pressures that come along with the transition into adulthood in “Illegal Civilization’s Summer of ‘17 Episode 2.” The Los Angeles scenery encapsulates the short film, with odes to the GOLF store on Fairfax, NoHo and Burbank. The first segment of the “Summer of ‘17” video depicts a distraught teenager caught in the midst of simplistic, suburban love. Yet, the second segment shows the raw emotion of family betrayal, the necessity of friendships and feeling as if you are not enough.
Alfred always pursued becoming a filmmaker, crediting Martin Scorsese as one of the influences that etched a mark in his desire to experiment with film. He initially got involved in filmmaking through filming skate clips that exemplified camaraderie, as shouts of approval echoed whenever Tyshawn Jones or Sage Elsesser landed a tailslide.
The whole concept of camaraderie and friendship bleeds through Alfred’s “Summer of ‘17,” where at the end of day your friends are the ones who are going to appreciate your worth and push you ahead. The sincere moments of friendship shine through Paul’s (Nico Hiraga) willingness to pay for the debt, Tony (Aramis Hudson) owes money to his mom and Paul being the only one to cheer up a defeated Tony in the final scene.
Even the subtle banter the actors/skaters share over stealing another friend’s fries in the middle of a skatepark bring light to the importance of friendship. The music within the film adds to the seemingly dreamy wonder by playing the equally whimsical “BLEACH” by Brockhampton and Cuco’s “Lo Que Siento.” Alfred focuses his directorial eye on introducing people of color into his narratives, a narrative that shows the reality of Los Angeles. To its nit and grit, Los Angeles is composed of a majority of POCs channeling their creative outlets with companions.
In Alfred’s perspective, his company is much more than guys landing their switch backslides in “Illegal Civilization” gear. “Illegal Civilization” champions chase creative endeavors and embrace your friend’s creative strides along with yours.