Better Call Sal
Well, it's been about a month since I last posted on this page so I figured now was a good time.
Over the past few weeks many skateboarding videos have been released. Some were excellent. Others were pretty good. However, regardless of the awesome skating that has gone down there seems to a growing trend in the industry. One that really annoys the shit out of me.
Now, just so you know, I have become way more forgiving over the years. In the past I used to nitpick on things that in hindsight were just lame to waste even a second of energy on. Life's just too short to worry about the small stuff. Sure, there will continue to be skate videos with horrible choices in music or have riders doing "illegal tricks" or multiple skaters per video video part, etc. You get the idea.
What annoys me the most in skate videos (not all, some) today is the fact that the creators seem to think that it's okay have literally ZERO insight into who we are seeing on the screen. Many skate videos today almost seem to have minimal personal connection like some of the classics. Even a new skater today can instantly get a feel for what Brandon Biebel is on and off the board when they pop in or YouTube his part in Yeah Right or Fully Flared.
I don't know about you, but if I were pro today and I just spent the past days/weeks/months/year busting my ass for a video part that is going to be distributed for free across the interwebs, I'd be pretty damn pissed if I didn't get any intro or have my name listed right at the beginning of my part. I'd be miffed that I could be potentially missing out on a board sale because by the viewers are too lazy to watch the credits, rewind, confirm, take a screen shot of the name, etc. for future reference.
How are companies okay with this?
Skaters names = advertising.
Let's face it. Skateboarding is a business. A business that wants to move product. All kinds of products. So why not include the names of the riders we see in these videos? Sure, there will always be that one skate nerd that knows each and every rider on the planet and can spot them a mile away or simply by seeing their shadow, but most of us don't have the time or ability to have such insight.
This is why putting titles with the skaters names worked in the past and should continue to be utilized today and moving forward. It's simple and doesn't really cost that much. I talked a little about this in Episode 17 if you feel like circling back and checking it out. I mean, at worst put in some audio in post. You don't even have to have the same person. Just hire Sal Barbier to do all your intros like he did in the H-Street video. Talk about a win, win.
But anyway, it was the latest Nike SB video "Trust Fall" that really triggered this post for me. I absolutely loved the video. In fact, I might even talk about it on the next episode of the No Mongo Podcast. The skating was so damn good and the whole time I was watching it I was taking it as a huge statement to all of Nike's doubters that they are a legit brand and have an equally legit and talented team. Oh, that and the fact that they appear to be on a mission to take over the world.
You know, to basically kick ass and take names.
Speaking of names, while I thoroughly enjoyed the video I had no idea who the hell I was watching half the time. Yeah, I follow a couple of these riders on social media, but that doesn't matter. Skate videos should have skater intros or titles. Period. They have in the past and should continue to until infinity.
I mean, unless you can convince me otherwise in the comments below. Please. Enlighten me because I just don't get it. Simple questions continue to pop into my head like:
Why would you not want to give the audience the most info possible in these videos?
Don't you want to sell some boards? Shoes?
Why not simply put their social media handles on the screen?
Why am I even talking about this?
Another recent video guilty of doing this was Welcome Skateboard's "Seance". Same thing. Great video, but I had no freaking idea who I was watching half the time. This time I kept asking myself these questions over and over and over.:
Was that Ryan Lay?
No, it's a girl so it HAS to be Nora.
Wait, that dude looks like the guy a few seconds ago.
Is that the other Ryan?
Who the hell is this guy? Was that switch?
Is that Ryan Lay? Do I follow this guy on Instagram?
Wait. Is that Ryan Lay?
What's really sad is that these questions take away from the experience of the video. Sucks the enjoyment right out of it. Well, at least for me. Only because I am waisting precious energy on things that aren't necessary. Put. Names. Or. Titles. Or. Some kind of info on skate videos please.
Or, as I mentioned above, convince me otherwise.
You could be like, "Dude, Rick. You have it all wrong. It's the titles that are a distraction, man. You should know the names and faces of every single rider on the planet." or "You know, Rick, putting the names of the skaters for their parts is against law. You just can't do that. Give it a rest." I'd love to hear your thoughts either way.
Even Nike SB's "Gizmo", which was their first ever all-women's skate video, had zero intros for their riders. Huh? Luckily, I already knew many of them, but it was still annoying as shit.
Maybe it's just my Reticular Activator causing me to focus and notice this stuff? I just think it's a horrible trend in videos right now and I am just really confused as to why? I know there have been a few videos over the last few decades to not put titles for their riders, but it's being talked about more and more as of late.
I suggest you give Sal a call and offer him some Michael Buffer money to intro your videos. That'll help solve the problem.
Drop a line below or hit me up on Twitter @rickbata. Let's get to the bottom of this growing trend in skateboarding. One I consider it to be way worse than "big pants, small wheels".
And yes, I just went there.
9/3/2019 12:26:09 am
Skateboards are really affordable nowadays. Back in my day, people need a lot of money just to buy a single skateboard. Well, I know that times have changed, but I am really sad about what we have to deal with right now. If you are in the field of selling skateboards, then life might be really terrible for you. I really hope that people who are in that business can catch a break, then need to sustain the skateboarding culture.
9/8/2019 09:35:23 pm
Good point. Luckily, board prices haven't gone up too much over the years/decades. They've always stayed just above $100 for a decent complete.
9/29/2019 09:40:25 pm
I was listening to your podcast the other day and saw your bit about the importance of skate music. Have you seen this? https://pudding.cool/2018/06/skate-music/
10/1/2019 03:21:21 pm
I have not seen that yet. Checking it out now. Appreciate the info and thanks for tuning in!
11/13/2021 03:41:05 am
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8/11/2022 05:14:19 am
Hi nice readding your post
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Skateboarding changed my life.