One day, One trick.
Sometimes a whole day can be just dedicated to a simple looking trick, but complex in many ways.
Everybody has different levels and styles, but that simple landing can truly make it all.
A skateboarding video, from a normally ignored point of view. Portraying the parallel approach of three skaters, just trying to land their desired trick, showcasing the whole process involved, from visualizing to landing it, which normally is overlooked.
Although skateboarding is a solitaire sport, at the end of the day, it all comes down to hanging out, celebrating and enjoying it with other skaters, even if you are doing tricks by yourself or only for you, is the best way to end the day.
Recreating a full skate day of three skaters, from sunrise to midnight in Barcelona.
Preprod. – Filming – Postprod.
This video, unlike my previous work, was much more prepared and thought through in every detail, specially because I wanted to transmit a story. In theory the video was going to be a film documenting a whole linear day, showing the skaters relationships, lows and highs, from a true narrative perspective, not at all common in skate related videos.
But this isn’t really what you have seen, all the project was preprodued (locations, script, storyboards…) for what I described above. There was a lot of bad luck, on the first filming day, one skater twisted his ankle and because of a tight schedule, availability and rented gear, a new solution had to be improvised and rethought.
After the reschedule, all the main filming ended up segmented, so every skater could be individually filmed and the injured skater could be filmed some weeks later. So in the original established filming days, we could shoot all the other parts of the film (the other two skaters and night scenes).
The cameras we used where the A7s, RX100 and a6300. All Sonys, totally different sensor sizes fullframe, 1” and APS-C.
The main camera was the A7s with cine Samyang primes (14mm, 35mm and 50mm), paired with the RX100 which was the only second camera we were able to get, essential to shoot at the same time and capture a second angle, above visual evenness, because image wise, they are nearly impossible to pair. So I primed to get the desired shots for showing the actions in the best angles as possible, and trying not to push the skaters too much, by making them repeat the trick 100 times
A part, as extras, a shoulder rig was essential as the lenses didn’t have IS and a circular PVC rig for extra handheld stability. Obviously a skateboard was used for tracking/dolly shots, check out bellow for behind the scenes captures.
This was the first part of all the edit, finding the perfect song/s. How the shooting ended up, the weight was on the cutting of the film and I knew, until I didn’t find the perfect matching tunes, which would inspire and motivate me, I wouldn’t be able to do anything.
After weeks of not being able to find anything, mainly because I was looking for something really specific; variant rhythm, clear pace, no lyrics and fitting with skateboarding… It seemed nearly impossible to find, but luckily, through a creative commons website, a colleague found a song (the first one, which appears in the video), then discovering the perfect match, as the artist describes a mix of Triphop/ Psychedelic/ Experimental/ Jazz/ Reggae/ Downtempo/ Truntablism. Album: Sight and Sounds, Collaboration of two artists: Tab & Anitek
But there was a problem, the song was just 2min long, so I decided to just get songs from the same album for style and pace continuity. I was really lucky to find, that it was a double album including 50! songs (see below in soundcloud), that is ridiculous. I ended up using six songs, which is also pretty crazy for a sub 5min video.
Something, with what I really wanted to challenge myself with this video, was to create the piece from scratch and with total narrative flexibility, with the music being placed to exactly narrate the images. It’s a lot of work, of carefully examining the songs, selecting and slicing them. I’m really happy with the rhythm variation I managed to create, which when viewing the video (I hope I did my job well) comes out practically undetectable, but if you see below in the edit captures, it looks like a puzzle, but there is more to it, ending up being millimetric placement as beats have to flow.
(( SONGS IN ORDER: Pilow Lust, Opaque, Physical Graffitti, Malignant Flip, Cohen Methord, BonesBrigade ))
As I stated above, the music was the guideline to everything, so I went composing the video by parts, starting with the intro and then figuring out how to place and pace the skating, slicing a song apart or just adding new ones. (see by yourself below in the timeline_snapshot)
Something I had very clear, was that I wanted the skating to be in parallel, so the video would be much more dynamic and descriptive, being able to compare, at the same moment what and how each skater is doing in that part.
One final thing for the edit, was that this time approached it calmly and did not try to make everything 100% to the beat, I have already done that, and sometimes, the footage has to breath, and playing with that, makes it all more visually pleasing and understanding, not being jumpcuts and glitches everywhere, because been there, done that.
Happy how it turned out, I was totally able to pace it and integrate the non skating clips with ease, making it have a very unique and different movie alike format, not at all common in skateboarding videos.
Color correction is always a big pain, because of all the millimetric tinkering that goes into it to make the move look visually live one palette.
Specially this time, it was tricky because some shots were filmed with two totally different cameras (impossible to pair color profiles). I knew this was going to happen, so it was just eye and patience.
Sound, something essential to give dimensionality and feel to what you are watching. In this aspect, there was also a decent amount of work put into it, for the main part it wasn’t that tricky as lucky we externally recorded some tricks with a shotgun mic so those where really crispy, although that meant extra sync work.
Finally I decided to try something new and play with dialogue in two scenes (the bridge and bar) creating an unsynced interchange of lines, related to the moment and video, which for example in the bridge shots, were filmed in location when in theory the film was going to be narrative and then the bar ones, at a separate time from the scene.
A little extra I really enjoyed adding, was the credits scene, something that is normally overlooked, but leaves space to add even more creativity and give the final touch to the film. I simply tried to take it to the next step and that meant it had to be previously planned and shot. Incorporating in to the table the credits and on a mobile phone integrating a single take of skater Chris Khan and his snake run to land his trick, filmed on a head mount and a GoPro Session.