Hand Over The Death Lens

Filmers have come a long way, baby.

Whether its Super-8, 16mm, or good old digital, the newbreed of skate filmer is smart, artsy, and intelligent. Theyve got tobe to stand out in their overcrowded field.

Dont forget about image. Stacy Peralta shot the old BonesBrigade videos on expensive 16mm film while Spike Jonze did VideoDays on a cheap camcorder. Which was more influential? With thesetwo visionaries having walked the hallowed bridge to Hollywood,heres a cross-section of todays most influential generator-totingguerrilla Spielbergs.

Dan Magee
Résumé: W.F.T.W. (Blueprint Skateboards UK), FirstBroadcast (Blueprint Skateboards UK).

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

It is now that every kid has a three-chip and death lens. Itis good to see more footage coming out of Britain, but at the sametime, if a load of badly filmed footage comes out from over here, itwont really represent British skaters as well as they could be. Thespots and styles of the skaters I film make up a large part of the feelof my videos.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

I think editing style really has the final say, the way avideo is edited and the music used can certainly make or break askater. I think FTC Penal Code is still a top three video, and thats allHi-8.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

In Britain, there are all these kids who are jumping downhuge flights of stairs because Misled Youth was the first video theysaw. Its a shame they havent seen vids like EE3, Video Days, FTC II,because there are not that many kids coming up in Britain who havethat sort of “finesse” in their skating.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

It gets worrying going filming with two cameras, agenerator, et cetera. Ive had a knife held to my throat at a spot witheight skaters there and had my stuff taken, plus I have to take allmy lights and generators out of my van every time I park it becauseits really easy for criminals and smackheads to sell stolenpowertools in this country.

Greg Hunt
Résumé:
i.e. (TransWorld), Sight Unseen (TransWorld),currently working on the DC Shoes video.

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

Hell yeah, its difficult. I dont think Ive even gotten to thepoint of developing any sort of style. Im just concerned with thefootage coming out clean and the trick looking as good as possible.You have to be really comfortable to develop a true style, kind oflike with riding a skateboard.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

Id say filming. Great filming speaks for itself. It can beedited in the most basic, traditional way and still create impact.Even with amazing editing a project can suffer if it contains a lot ofpoor filming.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

A huge role because its so inexpensive and accessible.When skating was small, some of the most impactful videos weremade for almost nothing.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

Digging through the garbage dumpsters behind LAX allnight, desperate to find a shoe box full of stolen footage. I was thereuntil six a.m. or somethingnever found it and never reallyrecovered. That was pretty interesting.

Dan Wolfe
Résumé:
Underachievers (Eastern Exposure 3), Reel to Real(Real), Beware Of The Flare (Lakai).

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

Pretty hard I think these days because almost everyonejust films fish-eye. Some of the long-lens techniques and of course16 millimeter have set some people apart.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

Both are equally important because one can ruin orcomplement the other.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

There are too many videos these dayswith theDV/computer revolution, everyones a producer. A good skate videois one of my favorite things, but so many bad ones come out on aregular basis.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

I filmed Woody Harrelson doing a 411 station ID my firsttrip to Europe.

Jon Holland

Résumé:

Feedback (TransWorld), Sight Unseen(TransWorld), In Bloom (TransWorld).

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

Of course you care about style in reference to quality. Youhave an opportunity to compose a shot every time you film. You canmove with the subject or be stationary, zoom in or out, film longlens or fish-eye, create depth of field or infinitely focus, lay on theground or climb a treethe options are limitless.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

Both are equally importantyou could have this editedmasterpiece, but if the content isnt worth a damn, then the overallpiece isnt going to be either. On the other hand, you may havewonderful content and its butchered by the editing, or the filmingcould be so bad that good content becomes unusable.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

Skateboard videos are driving the industry. The videosgive teamriders a goal to work for, and many guys are working yearson their video parts. Like the magazines (TransWorlds) ProSpotlight was to the 80s, the video part had become to the 90s, andits still the industry standard. A lot is riding on a video part for aprofessional skater. Its proof; its a way peers and viewers see youskate and judge your abilities in comparison to other professionals.Its a forum that dictates who and whats popular.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

You have to be a motivator, a chauffeur, a paramedic, ateam manager, a construction worker and spot fixer, a getawaydriver, a coordinator, and skate-spot navigator. I recently saw myfriend Travis get knocked out and fall into a seizure. On the otherhand, I recently met Animal Chin when I was filming Ben Gilleyattempting to grind this massive rail. It was the first time I waslegitimately scared for someones life while filming. Im convincedthe only reason he walked away unscathed was due to Animal Chinspresence.

Jon Miner
Résumé:
Life Of Leisure (Sheep), Dream Reality (Physics),Jump Off A Building (Toy Machine), currently working on theEmerica video.

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

I think being a skateboarder is pretty crucial to it. I can tellif the person behind the camera knows how to skate. Some of myfavorite filmers are guys who are really good skaters. Mike Manzooriand Matt McGrath are some of my favorites. They know how tobomb down hills and film from in front of people.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

Editing style. You can be the best filmer in the world, but ifyou dont know how to edit, its gonna look like shit. But, you couldhave some of the crumbiest footage and if its edited properly, thenit looks great. Like Anti-Hero videostheyre some of my favorites.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

A pretty big role, because whenever somebody comes outwith a big video part, theyre the shit for a while.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

I was working on Reals Kicked Out Of Everywhere, and wewere getting kicked out of a spot. An older man was holding medown in the bushes, basically with his hand around my neck, whilethe secretary called the police. I didnt even have a skateboard, I wasjust holding the camera.

Mike Manzoori
Résumé:
Life Of Leisure (Sheep), Menikmati (éS), Flick (ATM),Come Together (ATM), currently
working on the Emerica video.

Is it difficult to create your own style with a videocamera?

Its more difficult now because therere more people doingit. Its hard when skaters have a fixed idea in their head whentheyre doing a trick and they want to see it in the classic style. Itsbeen easier lately because weve had two or three cameras filming atthe same time, which gives us a camera to experiment with withoutworrying about not getting it right.

Which is more important, filming style or editingstyle?

Theyre both really important. You can film somethingreally well, but it wont look good unless its edited right. Its hard toturn crap into something nice. The editing is really crucial. It couldmake or break really good footage.

What role has the video camera played inpopularizing skateboarding?

Its opened everyones eyes to the possibility that youdont have to be in California to be a good skateboarder. Visually its(video) a lot clearer, and the ability to slow-mo stuff and just reallyfigure out tricks has opened doors for skaters all over the world.And now some of the greatest skateboarders arent necessarily fromCalifornia like they were fifteen years ago.

Whats an interesting situation that filming hasgotten you into?

Its always a roll of the dice when you go out. Youredealing with obnoxious security guards, people who hate you, ormore surprisingly, people who are really stoked on you, whichhappens more these days because people are more aware ofskateboarding. You meet all kinds of fruit loops, which kind ofcolors your day a bit.