Filming longer roller skating edits has been a pet project of mine for a while. There is something about the motivation and rush that comes from stacking clips and editing together a longer part. I first shared this love with the community with the Making Gravy short films, and now with my brand Chuffed Skates, I hope to be able to create more edits that help to feed the growing appetite of the roller skating community for this kind of content. But now I own a brand, we can pay a professional filmer and editor, and this latest project is definitely the highest quality project I have been a part of. Recently, me and some of the Chuffed Crew headed to Melbourne for a week of filming with the very talented videographer Gabby Zussino. Check out a short Q&A with Gabby about the project.
Sam: What’s your background with creating films? Did you study in the field?
Gabby: I studied Film and TV at uni and tried dipping a toe into feature films, but it just wasn’t for me. I figured I could combine my two interests and here we are.
What do you like about filming roller skating specifically?
I have a real fondness for candid shots, a big part of my videos is very personal B Roll which I like as much, if not more than, the skating. I’ve always loved shooting action sports even before I started skating, so it seemed like the obvious choice. Also, the skaters are crazy and getting to capture their tricks is an honour.
You were injured this year, right? How has filming and editing helped you to stay connected with the community?
I think knowing that I would be able to keep filming kept me going through my recovery. Breaking my ankle for the second time was definitely a kicker for me to quit while I’m ahead, which honestly sucked. Being able to feel included in the community through filming is pretty special and I feel very lucky.
How did you wind up filming this edit for Chuffed Skates?
I met you and the Chuffed Crew through skate meet ups and then properly at Blade Cup in LA this year. I filmed the crew on and off during the trip and we built the relationship from there. I was stoked when you asked me to jump onto this project and it was exciting to be paid filming for a brand doing something I thought would only be a hobby.
If you had to summarise the Middle Ground project in a few sentences, what would they be?
Middle Ground is about finding the balance, whether it be in your speed, tricks, spots, or mindset. Life is all about balance and skating is no different.
Melbourne is a bit of a skate mecca. What was it like spending a week filming there?
Honestly it made me jealous that Brisbane doesn’t have the same range of spots. But really it was awesome. I couldn’t believe how many spots were around and so close together, and no one was around to kick you out either. It was sick seeing so many DIY’s as well. Sadly, since we filmed the DIY we hit up and another has been torn down though (RIP).
Middle Ground is a mix of parks, DIY’s and street. Why is that? Was there a conscious effort to not film solely ‘street’ spots?
I don’t think it was something we aimed for specifically, we just found a bunch of cool places and thought ‘fuck it why not’. The beauty of filming with such a big crew was everyone saw the spots differently so that many tricks came out of single locations.
Were there any challenges that came up along the way?
It’s Melbourne so the obvious answer would be the weather. But we actually got so lucky and the rain held off the whole week. Minus having to completely dry Abbotsford DIY from being an actual lake to skateable in under an hour. Now that was teamwork. Also Melbourne folk, why doesn’t google maps work in the city? Very strange and very stressful.
Any advice for skaters and filmers who want to make their own edits?
Stop being so critical of yourself and just get content out there. The more you make the better you’re going to get, and you are your harshest critic. You learn from your mistakes so the more you make the better. I watch my old edits and it makes me happy because I can see how much progress I’ve made; as well as seeing the progress of all the skaters I film.