WORDS AND ART: Abe Dubin
“Dude! Did you seriously just film that upside down!?” Many of us have heard this from our friends and loved ones, immediately preceding their reviewing the botched footage of their latest skate trick conquest.
There are an infinite number of ways to ruin someones footage.Holding the cell phone wrong side up is an easy way.Don’t hold it horizontally either—this isn’t for Youtube, bruh. I’ve been yelled at so many times over the years for cheering too loud for your buddy’s make… I guess that’s poor etiquette?
When I’m skating around, having the time of my life, and my friend comes up to me and asks, “…You mind getting this for me…?” a burst of images wurrr before my eyes.Me, hunched over in agonizing discomfort for what could be hours.Assuring my buddy, “No, you got this…” all the while watching the sunlight, and my free time, slowing fade to oblivion.If I manage to survive dehydration and cramped up thighs, the end is still not necessarrily in sight. Was the filming shaky? Did the tape glitch? Did I somehow fall into the deadly reverse rhythm, pressing record in between the attempts and not even recording the actual tries!?Theres a chance I’d be too sore and fed up after this hour-to-several-hours ordeal that it’ll be dark by the time we’re done, people are heading home, and I’m left cold, alone, and hungry.
In the golden age of the VX, and even now in its retroactive, ironically unironic lofi-savvy resurgence, with the VX1000 and -2000, its super easy to completely blow it. The exposure could be too high, or too low.Pleading ignorance when it comes to properly setting VX colors does not necessarily ensure immunity.
Did you cover it?Did you end search? Was steady shot on? Not on? How about the shutter speed? Did you cut off their head? Were you low enough? Were you close enough? Did you just scratch the lens!?
And the ultimate and most potentially expensive misfortune, slamming while filming! Hopefully you’re okay… but the camera better be! Especially with HD rigs that cost more than the POS car that I don’t even have.Student loan debt is one thing, but destroying your friend’s DSLR could have you riding in the trunk and paying for gas for the rest of your sessioning days.
Paying your dues is important (even if you’re not damaging your friend’s video equipment).Think twice about rejecting a request to play filmer; hell hath no fury like a skater whose been scorned.Say no, and there’s no way in hell that your buddy is gonna trail behind you, run after run, as you finesse your cruising downhill line.They’re definitely not gonna give you that Fat Bill zoom in and out treatment either on your banging single either.If you wanna get your glory, you gotta reciprocate.That’s the name of the game. No skater is not a filmer, and no filmer is not a skater (they gotta prove their skilmer cred after all)!
This amateur skateboard documentation, in this back and forth exchange of unpaid labor, is in many ways a feudal system.A barter currency of patience and flexibility is cashed in for an opportunity to capture your finest moments in maneuvering, for eternity.
Often enough, I’m happy to grab a clip of my buddy. Camaraderie between two kindred spirits after the same goal of bottling the magical essence of skateboarding and presenting that to the rest of the skate community and the world to enjoy.More often than not, having a second party take part in getting the glory can go south in oh so many ways, it almost makes you wonder if filming skateboarding is even completely necessary. Skate for the sake of skateboarding? Nahhhhhh! Just set up the tripod! Or against a rock!
Abe Dubin, better known as “Orange Man,” *sees life through orange-tinted VX lenses. Visit his YouTube channel and get a dose of carotene.*
“The Orange Spiel” appears in *Berrics Magazine. Get your copy in The Canteen today!*
For more on the hazardous side of filming, go here. Ouch.