Description image

'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.

Here is a little bit from Marc Ritzema on how they shot the film:

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?



We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 28 COMMENTS

  • Eye-candy. Thanks. I bet pulling focus on those shots was fun.

  • Sick video and I really liked the soundtrack I noticed a lot of video copilot lens flares which was cool.
    The skateboarding videos that have an emphasis on freedom, expressing yourself etc are starting to become so cliche.

  • Very nice! Also good und professinell is the new Girl & Chocolate Skatevideo “Pretty Sweet”. A must see for every skater but also worth watching for normal people. Filmed with Red Epics
    Sorry for my bad english!

  • I love this videos……but when they are shorter….is it just me or about minute 8 it got kind of boring??

    • *these

    • that’ll be because you’re not a skater.

      • i’m not a paleontologist and I really loved Jurassic Park, so I think that’s not the point. And I do like a lot skaters videos but not for 15 minutes, it gets repetitive and lacks of thrill and emotion….just 3 minutes full of amazing stuff is more than enough….

        • A real skate video is over an hour. It does apply, I skated for years and watched the same hour long skate videos hundreds of times without getting bored.

          • Daniel Mimura on 03.9.13 @ 2:38AM

            Definitely. I can never get thru an hr long skate video myself thou…unless its raining, cuz they always get me amped and I turn it off to go skate.

            My first professional work was on a skate video. It’s amazing to see how they’ve evolved…I was shooting them on hi-8 and later on DV.

        • I only skated when I was younger, but I still didn’t think this was too much. When you have a connection to it, it is not just “all the same”.

          I am still an active snowboarder and therefore I watched The Art of Flight at least 3 times because it is just amazing – and it’s 1 hour and 20 minutes long.

      • > Is it just me or about minute 8 …
        It is not you, I think they over-lulled us !

        > that’ll be because you’re not a skater.
        Nor am I. I am also not a Filmmaker, not a lot of things …

        So, do YOU think this is a WAY better “Skate Video” ? —

        If someone were of the opinion that “Using Anamorphic Lenses _made_ the whole Movie for us” then I would say the
        message did not get passed on as well as it could. You could have added fake Flares and cropped for some of it, and
        when you can do that as a substitute your obviously not “using” the Lens.

        They really needed a shot that used the Lens and showed (yelled loudly) “This IS our World, and we WILL Skate it all”.

        Note the (likely you would agree by comparison) cheap Lens used in the Filming of the Video I linked above ACTUALLY
        do MAKE the whole Video (along with constant pounding stunt after stunt after stunt). They hit EVERYTHING and this
        Video shows it, from a mostly FishEye perspective, off the rail, over the Table, through the Traffic and up the Wall.

        The Anamorphic Lens brings a “Boxing Documentary” feeling (for want of a better comparison, anything) and makes
        it all soft, but the ugly FishEye puts you in their Face (and almost on their Board, which is out-of-bounds for YOU !).

        Likely the Filmmakers with the money (for the good Equipment) are not Skaters and the Skaters (who make
        their own Videos) have no money; that is also part of the Story conveyed in the Video I linked.

        Yet, both Videos are staffed by Film Crews who are quite skillful – one just made the better Video

  • Brian Little on 03.1.13 @ 10:17AM

    Truly amazing – makes you want to go out and produce something amazing right now…. not just the boring stuff, but something fun!

  • Skateboarding videos should be filmed with a Sony VX1000 only! LOL, just kidding… you guys should check the work of Ty Evans, the videomaker behind the “Pretty Sweet” video. They used helicams with GH2s, Phantom Miro M320S and the BMCC, such a sick production!

  • Just want to say that cinematic filmmaking has been introduce to the action sports world and its getting more and more popular. This is something that I been wanting to create for such a long time, but of course didn’t have a budget to get it done. I believe that Globe was probably the first to do such a thing. Look for Globe’s United by Fate. In that video there is a mix of narrative storytelling and that raw VX fisheye filming style. Check it out.

  • It’s totally cliche with the overuse of slow-mo Hollywood Edge Sound FX and speed-ramping, but other than that, it’s technically sound. I used to skate, so the subject matter is interesting enough for about 2 minutes.

  • How nice of them to put it up in 3840×1600, on a 27″ display you can really enjoy the difference.

    Great Vid and i’m not particularly a fan of skateboarding but those guys have my respect.

  • Although i haven’t seen a lot of skatevideo’s that were shot ‘high-end’ from beginning to end, there are quite a few who use it for segments or intro’s. Spike Jonze (who started out in skatefilming) has a nack for these as well. Check out the intro’s for Fully Flared or Yeah Right! for instance.

    And although slo-mo with action sports is somewhat cliché, i still love it. Not just for the spectacle, but also because you can clearly see that it’s never truly controlled. The skater winds up, positions his feet, pop’s the skateboard, unwinds and flips the board, and barely controlled chaos ensues but somehow it all gets back together again and the skater lands the trick.

  • I enjoyed this just like I enjoyed “The Art of Flight” by Red Bull Media house. They get amazing results by bringing together talented people and letting them do whatever they always wanted to do. The camera departnment can pick whatever cameras and lenses they’d like to shoot on, the skaters/boarders can pick any location they always wanted to ride – and the results are just as amazing as you’d expect! :)

    • Daniel Mimura on 03.9.13 @ 2:45AM

      Red Bull is doing some quality work all around, production-wise…

      Danny MacAskill’s “Way Back Home” blows my mind and is gorgeous too. I don’t even ride and I’ve watched it at least half a dozen times.

  • what is the modern day type polaroid camera that they have around 13min mark? looks like it printed pictures for them right there. looks awesome. If anybody knows, would be super grateful to find out. thx!

  • Harry Kemball on 03.7.13 @ 5:48PM

    I was really enjoying this film until some fool cued the rap noise. Had to shut it off.


  • You need to see Mike Manzoori’s “Aimless” skate movie .