Filming the Kanthaka video, I wanted to keep things action packed with fast cuts and show the diversity of our new board the Kanthaka.
I find it is refreshing and a good exercise to vary your filming techniques and to try something different every now and then. If I were to do the same camera movements – slow pans, slider movements, crane raises – for every single video, I might go crazy, hahaha. So no crane, no slider, no camtrol: just a solid tripod, long 28-300mm lens with a Cinevate Follow Focus, and a 10-20mm Sigma lens and bam, we were set… a nice run-and-gun setup that was fun and challenging to use.
With long lens shots there are many challenges, one being trying to keep the subject very large in the screen to bring the action close to you. Plus, the closer in you are the more hectic and action packed it looks; much of this was shoot at 300mm. With the rider moving quickly and every which way, it is a challenge to keep him in the screen and cropped nicely, so multiple takes are needed (plus, I am a perfectionist at times). Any rider I have filmed with will account to my “one more time” request, hahaha; even when we nailed a good shot there is usually a “One more time just for good luck” statement thrown in there. Stokow has a very hard job, as well: he is rolling focus the entire time with the camera moving all crazy. He and I pick points on the rider’s path and mark the focus, and then he rolls between the points as the riders skate through the frame. We usually shoot around f5 -10 to give us some focus room. Rolling focus is a technique used to be able to shoot with some depth but also keep the subject crisp the entire time by adjusting the focus relevant to the rider’s changing distance from the camera lens. We varied up the long lens focus roll shots with a wide shot at times which Stokow ran with, collecting all the nice wide shots you see in the video. For each shot three things had to come together: camera movement, focus roll and the rider landing the trick… yeah boy.
For the editing I tried to mix it up, as well. For the viewer that complains “I just want to see skating, not artsy scenery crap,” you will be happy; minus the 7-second title sequence at the beginning, all the rest is straight up skating. Along with all the skating I did a fast paced edit to the piece. Multiple shots and angles were used to piece together each trick and mini skate story. I still very much appreciate a beautiful shot that lets the rider do the trick through the entirety of it, but I did have a lot of fun working with a lot of angles and cuts. Don’t worry; I still got artsy scenery shots in me, so watch out.
This video also shows so much variety in riding styles; Ethan, Trevor, and Nick each bringing their own style to the San Fran terrain is very refreshing to watch. This was my first time in a long time filming more of a street skating style with Nick. It is challenging in the sense that most of the time you are pushing your luck at spots and risk getting kicked out, so you do not have a lot of time and many takes to get the shot right. It is also tricky in the sense that if he is trying a hard trick you may have just one shot to film it well because it may be hard for him to land it again or he might be over it.
Stokow, Ethan, Trevor, and Nick all killed it. Stoked to be working with such rad guys. Hope you all enjoy the video; I feel like there is so much stuff crammed into it that it is a video you will need to watch multiple times to fully grasp. I hope the video makes you want to go out and skate.
- Adam C.