I’ve been riding down hills on my skateboard for about 4 years now; various artists related to skateboarding have had cameras rolling for about 3 of those 4. I’m not claiming a deep and understood knowledge of skateboard photography or filmography, but over the course of a few years I have learned a thing or two.
To me, the outcome of the picture or video depends mostly on the actual photographer or videographer—the skateboarder is the vehicle to complete the artist’s vision. Everyone has a different style of working, but I believe some ways of directing the riders are more effective than others. A clear vision of what the media’s outcome is supposed to be is one of the basic building blocks to a productive shoot. When the person working the camera knows what he or she wants to see in the video or picture, it makes it easier on the rider. Being asked if I can hit a sketchy switch-check in between some cars, for a line in a video, is a perfect example. All I then have to focus on is nailing that maneuver perfectly, and they do the rest. I have taken photos and videos with a large number of people, but I’ve definitely gotten used to working with a few people in particular. For example, Dustin Damron from Caliber Truck Co. always has the most epic ideas and knows exactly what to look for when it comes to the location, rider, equipment, and colors. He also knows what effects he will use in post-production to complete the photo. Blake Smith from Comet Skateboards and Caliber Truck Co. is a good buddy of mine and has been shooting my skating longer than anyone else. Before we bust the cameras out we usually sit down for a bit and rap about what the video’s or photo’s purpose is; from there we can tailor spots, lines, music, mood, and lighting to perfectly accompany the media.
I have seen a lot of new skateboarders getting into capturing video and pictures—trying to get their creativity and skating out there. I am stoked on all the different longboard related sites that feature new videos of up-and-comers, it’s a great way for people to showcase their skills. Cheap HD video camera equipment partnered with sites like youtube and vimeo make for a never-ending flow of current skateboard related media. If I could offer one piece of advice to skaters interested in producing sick media it would be to find the perfect partner you can work with. When both of you are on the same page when it comes to a vision for a particular media project, you are more likely to produce the best results possible.
GENERAL DISCLIAMER: The statements, comments, and opinions expressed by Liam Morgan through Notes of a Greasy Young Man are those of “Mr. Greasy” himself, who is solely responsible for them, and they do not necessarily represent the views of Wheelbase LLC. Questions or comments regarding any information listed in this particular column can be addressed by contacting aliens, or channeling the spirit of Isaac Hayes.