Ted Kim is a mellow guy. He speaks inconspicuously, telling the story of how he put together his fourth skate film, "VX Days," which first premiered in Anchorage on July 14 to an estimated crowd of 220.

The title of the film, "VX Days," is a reference to the influential Sony VX camera series, an electronic that has been a staple in Kim's career, both as a skater and filmer, since its arrival on the scene in the mid 1990s. Kim is particularly proud of the opportunity and experience the VX has afforded him, and fondly volunteers technical and sentimental information about the device.

As Kim speaks, it becomes apparent that everything truly admirable about the final film is a small reflection of who he is as a person. "VX Days" is light, often playful, and totally devoid of the pretense or hardness occasionally present in mainstream skate videos. Additionally, and contained within the film's buoyancy, is a deep respect for the practice and the art of skateboarding, for the community and for the ritual that comes with keen devotion.

Skateboarding is often cast off by mainstream culture as immature or rebelliously individualistic, but for Kim and those who skate with him, skateboarding is a way of life resulting in dedication, longstanding friendships and a strong sense of community.

"Sometimes we put everything on the line to get a trick," Kim confesses, "it can be life threatening. It's crazy. But we do it because we love it." Kim smiles and looks to his friend and fellow skater Will Ingram, of the local skate and snowboard shop zAK's Boardoom. Ingram adds, "(Our) community's pretty strong."

Skater Nick Schoeffel chimes in, "(and) Ted's the master."

Ted Kim and crew will host a second premiere this Friday, July 20, at the Anchor Pub in downtown Anchorage. The event is free of charge and open for those 21 and older. Movie starts at 9 p.m. Prizes will be distributed, and DVDs will be available for purchase.

Contact Katie Medred at katie@alaskadispatch.com