In part three of our series Brisbane skater and videographer Gabby Zussino shares her tips and techniques on filming and editing roller skating videos. She just released her film GLOW which is a wonderful example of how you can combine a moody atmosphere and skate action.
I have a Bachelors of Film and Television which I didn’t want to pursue a career in, but then realised that I could combine it with my only other hobby which was skating. Now I get to combine two things I love the most and make some really cool content for myself and my friends as well as strangers on the internet. My favourite days are spent just out shooting and skating with mates, then I get to come home and create a permanent and viewable memory of that which is pretty awesome.
I like to keep my setup basic to make it easy to shoot and move around at short notice. I shoot on a Sony a6500 mirrorless DSLR and rotate between zoom and long lenses depending on the vibe and style of the video; wide angles for street and park videos and longer lenses for b-roll.
Built in camera stabilizers make handheld shooting easier and more streamlined which I prefer over carrying around a gimbal or external stabilizer.
Slow motion is a great tool to use to highlight both tricks and the atmosphere of a session. I shoot all my videos at 100fps which gives me the ability to slow down any part of a clip. This is great for highlighting technical parts of lines or tricks as well as making for some great b-roll. It’s also just as important to also know when to not use slow motion, for instance when you want to show the speed or ferocity of a trick.
Tips & Techniques
Practice makes perfect! The more videos I make the more I figure out what works for me and the skaters I’m shooting, which angles make tricks look as best as possible and how to frame shots to portray the skills being captured.
When planning a video, I figure out which music I want to use so I have an idea of the feel of the video (intense, laid back, pumped etc). Then I work out the length of the video and estimate how many clips I’ll need. This varies depending on what I’m shooting whether it be street, park or more of a b-roll based video. Shooting for Instagram usually requires 10-20 clips for a 60 second video which is a great structure to start with.
While you’re shooting, try to keep your subject in your frame the entire time. Focus on whatever is important in the clip, whether it be their face, skates, or an obstacle. If you have to cut off their body, no worries, just make sure you show them either before or after the trick.
3. EDITING YOUR ROLLER SKATING VIDEOS
How to give your skating videos that special vibe
I edit in Davinci Resolve Studio which really streamlines the editing process as I can edit clips, effects, sound and colour grade all in the one program. For any clips shot on my phone I use trusty iMovie to quickly edit clips for same day posting on Instagram or Tiktok.
When I shoot, not only am I trying to capture the skating but the overall vibe of the day. Being able to capture people’s expressions and reactions to their own tricks as well as others is awesome and adds so much to a video. I want people to watch my videos and feel like they were at the session, and for people who were there to remember exactly how the day was. I love that I can go back and watch old videos and remember how much fun I had. Shooting content for other people’s enjoyment is great but it’s super important to make the videos that YOU want to make. It doesn’t matter what gear you’re shooting on or if you don’t think you’re good enough, just start somewhere.