Creating skateboarding videos is a fulfilling process that I know first hand. Although it may seem like a simple process, there are factors that can be easily overlooked. Holding a camera steady while staying as close as possible to the subject can be difficult, if not impossible, at times.
To begin, you will need a camera set up. This does not have to break the bank. I started out with a Sony camcorder that used big cassette tapes. Find a camera with good video quality that you would be satisfied using. Watch footage filmed with the camera on YouTube to determine if the quality is right for its purpose.
Next, you are going to need some sort of handle to attach to the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. This is extremely important because the handle’s stability is going to determine how shaky your footage turns out. Online you will be able to find handles specifically for this purpose, but they can be pricy. If you feel like making one yourself, you can go to Lowe’s (bring your camera with you) and look for a bendable metal rod to make a U shape out of. Eventually, you will need drill a small hole into the bottom of it in order to attach it to your tripod mount via screw. Get crafty with this.
Now, I will talk about filming single tricks with long lens (no fisheye or lens attachment on the camera). You need to pay attention to the rule of thirds. Have your subject approach the obstacle from one side of the frame. Be sure to have the trick performed in the middle of the frame, and then let the subject roll away on the opposite side of the frame. Search YouTube if this is still unclear. After the trick is done, you have the option to zoom in on the skater’s face, shoes, board, or whatever tickles your fancy.
Once you have a fisheye lens that fits your camera, you can use it in conjunction with your handle to film lines, otherwise known as a succession of skateboard tricks, and single tricks. The goal is to be as close as possible to the subject without cutting off their board or any part of their body. It is a daunting task. When following behind them in a line, get the camera low to the ground, but have it tilted up at a slight angle to fit their entire body in the frame. When filming single tricks, make sure to still follow the rule of thirds as it applies to skateboarding.
Lastly, watch tons of videos by great skateboard filmers like Ty Evans, Mikendo, and French Fred! You will learn so much from them. If you are going to imitate, you might as well do it from the best of the best. Good luck and happy filming!