'Red Bull Perspective - A Skateboard Film,' Shot in Gorgeous Anamorphic on RED EPIC & Phantom Flex
Skateboard videos became more popular as digital cameras got smaller and cheaper, and it was practically free to go shoot your friends for a few hours or tape over anything you didn’t like. High-end skate videos are in their own world entirely, and you don’t have to be a fan of skateboarding to appreciate the beauty and talent exhibited by the skaters and the filmmakers. In Red Bull Perspective — A Skateboard Video, DP Marc Ritzema shows off some gorgeous anamorphic photography with the RED EPIC and time-stopping slow motion with the Phantom Flex, and Director Nicholas Schrunk crafts a story that takes you into the lives of some of today’s premiere skaters. Check out the film below.
Here is the video, which was produced by Red Bull Media House (there is some NSFW language):
[Update]: Director Nicholas Schrunk sent me some info regarding the look of the project:
Stemming from the theme of team/environment and creating a visual feeling “through the eyes” I wanted to shoot true anamorphic lenses for the entire project and not have to crop to 16:9 but show the native 2.40 2x stretched image. Besides just the flare effects the feeling that the format gives you is quite unique and instantly takes your guard down, encouraging you to listen and pay attention for what’s about to happen on-screen. Committing to the format was quite a challenge as we ended up having to do 5 separate shoots between the different back-stories, pickups, etc and we ended up shooting nearly every brand of anamorphic.
For instance, the back-story segment I wanted to show a dated older look so we shot old square front lomos to really soften and “date” the visuals. The shots from downtown Los Angeles were all shot with first generation C-Series Hawk anamorphics which required a lens swap on the ultimate arm system every time we need to change focal length, nothing I’d ever recommend doing again but it did contribute to the texture of the opening scenes. Our DP Marc Ritzema and operators Ryan Young and Ricki Bedenbaugh were challenged (and successful overcoming) the handicap of capturing a vertical sport with the wide format with no zoom lenses and a very shallow depth of field (three near-requirements of shooting sports). But really all the tech was used to support the visual story of environment and what it feels like to experience these scenes with the characters. The visuals were a tool to get you into the seat and engage the characters and story that hopefully showed you a unique perspective on skating from the eyes of four of the best.
We shot with two epics and one phantom flex, all were outfitted with Kowa anamorphics.
We shot everything 5k anamorphic so you can actually see a 4k version (titled original) on redbull’s youtube page. One Epic was always at 24 fps, the other jumped around from 24 to 72. If we had enough light we would tend to shoot around 500 fps on the flex. I’m not sure what redcode we used. In the end it was all raw for the best color session.
Focus with older anamorphic lenses was a bit of an issue. I found that we needed to shoot at an F4 or deeper to avoid the edges of lens from going too soft. All in all it was blast shooting skating in anamorphic but a challenge keeping them in frame.
Red Bull has also posted a few other clips that weren’t in the film:
Obviously this isn’t your backyard skate video (Red Bull clearly threw some serious money at this), but in some ways it shares many of the same attributes. The passion and the drive that the guys have for skating definitely comes through in the piece, and the anamorphic touch gives it that extra bit of Hollywood magic that really makes the video stand out from a lot of other skate videos I’ve seen. It’s very easy to overuse slow motion in a video of this length, but I think they straddled the line perfectly while continuing to tell the story using the voiceovers and interviews throughout.
What do you think? Have you seen any other skate videos with these kinds of production values?
- Red Bull Perspective –A Skateboard Film — YouTube
- Red Bull Perspective — Website
- Nicholas Schrunk — Website
- Marc Ritzema — Website