3D Skateboard Videos with a Twist: Unbeleafable

3D Skateboard Videos with a Twist: "Unbeleafable". So there are all sorts of Extreme Sports videos out there – from skydiving and cliff jumping to surfing, underwater diving, motor sports and, yes, naturally.. skateboarding. And most of these videos do the same thing: attach a grab-n-go camera to some mount for a POV shot of the athlete, or dolly alongside for a close following shot… throw in some edgy music, scratchy effects, tight short edits, and there you have it. Another Extreme Sports video. 

So how do you make something different and have it stand out from the crowd? Well the folks at Girl Skateboards company partnering with Levis Film Workshops decided to give it a go creating a skateboard video called Unbeleafable


With Unbeleafable, director Ty Evans came up with a different idea of going to the polar opposite of what the usual in-your-face skateboarding video illustrates: extreme closeups, POV, and speed combined with the usual empty swimming pools, graffiti, steel and industrial cement environment, and takes anew spin and in 3D.

Evans and his crew took the stage into the woods – granted, a staged woods scene, complete with falling leaves and organic-looking platforms for the skaters to climb, jump and leap from.

All with a soft surreal look, gentle focus, and slo-moving dolly shots. Ty Evans and his staff scoured local woods and brought a huge assortment of tree stumps, branches and limbs, along with literally tons of leaves into a soundstage to set their woodsy scene.

According to the Unbeleafable site, Unbeleafable is the first skate film shot using the Phantom 65-Z3D, a lightweight, high-speed camera capable of shooting 320 frames per second in stereoscopic 3D. Released in April 2011, the Phantom 65-Z3D is the worlds only single camera Super 35mm 3D camera system. The film also features sequences shot with two RED M-X cameras on an Element Technica Quasar 3D beam splitter rig.

Not your usual helmet-mounted rig, thats for sure! The video is mesmerizing to me, and to a lot of others, but, ironically, as I was researching this story I saw it mentioned on a lot of skaters blogs and sites that the skaters werent as enthralled. I guess that hard-core, edgy, cement-n-steel look is more appealing to this crowd, but to a video producer, I enjoyed it tremendously. I thought it was a bit too long, but the idea was so fresh and visual entertaining that I enjoyed it immensely. (By the way, in case you didnt know, YouTube now has 3D watchable access with an option to turn off the 3D, or watch it in a variety of viewing methods through a pull-down menu including Red/Cyan, Green/ Magenta, Blue/Yellow glasses, Interleaved, Side-by-side, or no glasses 3D option. Look for the red 3D icon towards the bottom right of the viewer toolbar to adjust your needs, or turn off the 3D visual altogether.)

Here's a link to some interviews with the director and producers about why and how they made this very different, very visual video: Already Been Done and Complex Art + Design.

As a video producer, what I really like about the video is the behind-the-scenes (BTS) setup of the stage, props and shoot. As much as an organic, raw and natural environment as it appears to be, everything from the stacked wood piles to the ramps to fly a skater up a tree were well-thought out using the usual smooth-surfaced props skaters use to perform their stunts.

I'm curious what YOU think of it. keep the 14-year-old teenager angst out of it, please, and just analyze the video as a video producer and let us me know your opinion. Personally, it made me want to go jump in a big pile of Autumn leaves!

Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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