L.A. Skate Film Festival Wrap Up And Founder On Event’s Roots

A shot of the chalkboard outside on the sidewalk
A shot of the chalkboard outside on the sidewalk

The L.A. Skate Film Festival (LASFF), hosted at the Downtown Independent Theatre off Main Street, kicked off last week with the momentum needed for continued festival growth with more than 250 in attendance for the award ceremony on Wednesday, September 1st. After nearly a year’s worth of planning and preparation, the first annual international skateboard film festival received a healthy response from more than twenty countries and received almost a hundred videos.

The festival consisted of a three day gathering of professionals from the skateboard industry congregating for movie screenings, panel discussions, rooftop after-parties, and an awards ceremony. According to LASFF Founder Fabrice LeMao, the event was hosted in L.A. to appeal to both the film/movie industry, as well as the skateboard culture and its Southern California roots.

“My original idea and intent was to reconnect with the fundamental skate culture,” says LeMao. “Since the early eighties, with the first Bones Brigade videos, there has been this way to better connect with the culture of skateboarding. It was through videos.”

Read the full interview with Fabrice LaMao, which includes a look at the event’s roots and how he hopes to grow the festival in the future.

Tuesday was the first day of screenings for the official choices nominated for the seven different categories including best U.S. film, international film, independent film, skate shop video, documentary, commercial, and emerging filmmaker. Supplemental to the movie screenings, LASFF worked with both Barefoot Wine and Pyramid Breweries to create a unique L.A. rooftop party for attendees.

Wednesday marked the second day of the official screenings, and was headlined by two panel discussions in the morning.

LASFF Staff and Panelists
LASFF Staff and Panelists

The series kicked off with “3D Today and 3D Tomorrow,” a panel made up of Moz Mirbaba, co-founder and executive producer at WINDOWSEAT Pictures, Matt Devino, skate filmmaker and lead editor at WINDOWSEATpictures, Jason Goodman, CEO at 21st Century 3D, and was moderated by Steve Luther, brand marketing manager at Converse.

The group of panelists worked together on a commercial featuring Rune Glifberg skating in 3D, and discussed the history of film progression, and how 3D is gaining popularity faster than HD did in years past. The panelists also introduced the audience to a new type of 3D, which involves recording from an optimum “inter-ocular” distance with two Red brand cameras instead of recording on red and blue channels.

The second panel, “Visual Effects Integration in Skateboard Filmmaking” included speakers Jerry Spivack, owner and creative director of Ring of Fire, Joby Barnhart, executive producer of Rabbit, Jackson Karinja, director of Rabbit, and was moderated by Greg Hunt, skate filmmaker/photographer.

This panel zeroed in on the directors cut version of a commercial for Shaun White Skateboarding. In the commercial skateboarders skate real spots but just as they ollie onto or grind something the ground shakes and ramps come up out of the earth. The entire commercial was recorded in the streets without green screens. Panelists spoke on behind-the-scenes efforts, as well as ways to create and record special effects to add in post production for those working with little equipment and resources.

The third and final day of film festivities consisted of the awards ceremony Thursday evening, hosted at The Music Box in Hollywood, with some of the most recognizable names in skateboarding. As a whole, the first annual film Festival seemed to run smooth, with positive feedback from those involved and should have a bright future ahead of it.

Outside on Hollywood Blv.
Outside on Hollywood Blvd.

Photos By: Skyler Wilder