One of the most exciting skate filming projects was a longboard run I filmed for WashCo. Skate Crew in a nearby state park. This video was by far the most planned. The road we filmed on was smooth, open, scenic, and fast. The combination of these factors meant that we had the perfect recipe for a great skate video.
Scouting the Run
Planning for the video started when we first heard about and skated the road a few months prior to the shoot. We loved the road so much that we thought it would be a crime not to get a video of one of us riding it. We put our best skater up to the task and he went to work practicing up for the run.
The First Film Attempt
My friend decided that the best way to film the run was to go up and film during the winter when the park was closed. We figured that winter was the easiest and safest time to shoot since there wouldn’t be any park visitors driving on or walking across the road while we filmed. The closed gate meant we had to film with a bike instead of a follow car, but that was a minor setback. We arrived at the park, hopped the gate, and began walking up the mountain with our equipment. Just as we approached the top a park ranger told us we had to leave due to safety concerns. He said it was unsafe ride the park road while the park was closed since it wasn’t heavily monitored that time of year. The ranger said that it would be fine if we came back to ride in the spring when the park opened, so we left and waited for spring.
Filming Round 2
Our rider had been gnawing at the bit all winter long so when the park did finally open we set out to take another shot at our shoot. Since the park was open we no longer had to deal with the closed gate. We drove to the top of the mountain and mounted our GoPro on the hood of the car. The road was everything we hoped it would be, but after filming two practice runs we ran into an issue. Our friend the park ranger came up to visit again and once again he told us we couldn’t ride. This time the reason was that the park was open and so it was possible there would be pedestrians on the road either on foot or in cars. This was exactly the concern that drove our decision to first film in the winter, so it was a little on the annoying side to hear that as the reason especially after we were told to come back in the spring. But we aren’t the argumentative or aggressive type, so we agreed to leave. We ended up driving around the mountains to get some filler shots for the video.
Ultimately we got everything we needed for the video even if it wasn’t as much as we had initially planned. Very often when filming (and especially in skate video) you don’t get every shot you wanted and you need to improvise, and this video project was a perfect example of that.
With some editing and music by our old friend Arye we ended up with one of my personal favorite videos to date: Down the Mountain