If skateboarding is the artwork of kinetic meditation, of being nonetheless while in motion, then producing skate videos is the artwork of patient nostalgia-crafting, of shifting some others whilst they sit even now. I put in most of my lifetime undertaking each and, until finally not too long ago, never imagined I’d quit accomplishing either—especially not the latter.
But alas, I have created a vocation in the film field and it’s bit by bit tainted my marriage with my digital camera in the way, I think about, some compensated skaters’ associations with their skateboards may possibly be tainted by sponsorship.
So about the pandemic, I marketed my camera, scoured my challenging drives, and made a online video of lost clips and forgotten trips I’d filmed about the many years. And then it made me assume about skate movie-earning considering that I’d started out in the 2000s—how considerably experienced altered, how it all started, how considerably it had formed me as a human being.
I tried to produce an accompanying short article that showed how filming gifted me with the patience to survive a violent stepfather, the place to investigate my Asian American-ness, and the opportunity to see the planet for what it definitely is. But it obtained swirly, so I’ll help you save that for another time.
I invite you to see this online video and examine these liner notes as a form of archaeological stratum focused to a particular era of skate filmers. I hope you will be moved.
– Bing Liu
NOTES ON FILMING
The dubbed VHS copy of Sorry gifted to me at the center faculty lunch desk.
The hello-8 digital camera I viewed my homie Thom plug into his Computer tower with an adapter. The Tom Petty tunes ripped from a CD and transcoded into Vegas Motion picture Studio.
The utilised Sony DCR-HC20 I bought off eBay soon after washing dishes at a pizza parlor for a winter season. How our city bought our to start with public skatepark that spring. How I filmed everyone with a $50 Opteka fisheye that vignetted.
The youngsters from a couple of towns about with a child demise lens. The hometown hero on my large faculty bus who messaged me on Intention and advised me about the VX1000.
A cracked copy of Adobe Premiere Aspects I obtained on a thumb push.
Finding out VX2000s have the finest lowlight abilities. Watchlisting employed VX2000s on eBay in 2004. The promotion I acquired at the pizza area. Borrowing dollars from my mother.
The smell of the secondhand VX2000 when it arrived, of packing peanuts and burnt plastic and disinfectant. My Lowepro digital camera bag shaped like the underside of a stone arch bridge.
The homie Eric who marketed me his scratched Century Optics Ultra Fisheye Lens for $300.
The very first edit on YouTube—my camera set to full auto with the focus and publicity leaping all about the fucking spot.
The hrs invested on Skate Notion. The hrs invested looking at Middlewestern and Initially Adore and Yeah Correct! The hrs put in experimenting with angle and length. With crossfades, opacity, keyframes, and font measurement. With openers, hammers, fillers, enders, bails, parks, buddies, life style, pranks, digital camera hits, and bong hits.
The hours expended hunched above grass gaps, straddling tree branches, laying in alleyways, skidding shoes, and rolling backwards. The several hours put in gripping the focus wheel, seesawing the zoom, thumbing the begin/prevent.
The ache of forgetting Steadyshot, of reverse recording, of glitched tapes, of misaligned heads, of clipped sound.
The premieres. The homies who convert up and get turnt. The cheers and laughs and sighs and whoos and claps.
The DVDs offered on Bigcartel and from vehicle trunks.
The fuel funds, the 4-packs of Sony tapes that arrived in blue wrapping, the tape head cleaners, and lens cleaners.
The ready in the darkish for the generator to roar to lifetime and the floodlights to come on. The waiting around in the shade for the homie to get shut. The waiting around in the automobile until eventually the security guard usually takes a piss. The waiting around in the computer system chair for the online video to compress to .wmv and .mov and .h264.
The timelapse from Chicago to Arizona. The sunset silhouette, the higher noon ND shift, the nighttime get. The deadweight of the Bescor bouncing at the hip, the laundry sheets clipped to the barn doors, the homie’s minivan brights pointed at the landing.
The pranks. The skits. The second and 3rd angles. The fucking handbook clips.
One more for the lengthy lens. A single much more for the picture. One extra for the enjoy.
The PVC pipe dollies, the Letus adapter, the Panasonic DVX100 24p Tremendous Champion Funzone glimpse.
The DSLR and Jason Hernandez’s custom made tackle. The shitty widescreen and shitty fisheye and shitty audio and minimal memory cards that get corrupted often.
The Glidecam working.
The refurbished VX1000s, the super8, the drones, the cranes, the gyroscope-balanced best arm mounted to the top of a Mercedez-Benz, the Road League arena-cam backpack transmitters, the GoPros, the iPhones, the REDs, and that 360-degree factor-a-ma-jig mounted to a stick.
The Instagram selfie. The airdrops and reposts and tags. The group chat footy.
The selling of my cameras.
The reminiscences and regrets. The permanently homies and missing contact folks. The confessions and mystery-holding. The goodbyes and the peace-outs. The options and the ways they slide aside. The moments and the good that came from them.