Going Gold: Filmmaker Chris Ray's Big Win at X Games Real Street
In 2019, DC Shoes Video Director Chris Ray and pro-skateboarder Chase Webb received the gold medal at X Games Real Street, an all-video, both judged and fan-decided, street skating contest. For this year's competition, the duo teamed up again to produce a dynamic reel showcasing Chase's new, wild tricks and Chris's keen eye and prime creative direction.
"It's hard to out-do yourself, even though it's only been a year. Skateboarding's got even crazier" Chris says.
The pressure was on to top their performance from last year, so the two went above and beyond to deliver a part that exceeded the imagination and broke records.
Chris Ray recounted the experience with us, and revealed the Wooden Camera gear and strategies that helped him strike gold.
Wooden Camera (WC): What is X Games Real Street? What are the two parts of the contest?
Chris Ray (CR): "Real Street" is a contest X-Games has been doing for the last 11 years. Instead of the usual format of putting skaters in a skatepark and having them compete that way, X-Games has really done a good job showing how the real core of skateboarding is done in the streets with skateboarders and skateboard filmers. Each skater gets a filmer and you have to compete a :60 second video part. The main contest winners for Gold/Silver/Bronze is decided by guest judges, and the "Fan Favorite" is decided by online votes. It's always been exciting because the contest isn't just judged off of the skating, but also the filming/editing.
WC: How did you become involved in this year's contest? How many times have you participated in X Games Real Street?
CR: I've actually done the contest for about 8 years and have always done very well in them. I have fun participating in them and each year I usually work with a different skater. Chase and I won last year, so they asked us to come back. Each year is a whole different experience and I've been fortunate to place Top 3 the last 6 years. I never thought in my life I'd earn a Gold medal from holding a camera.
WC: What was the strategy and process of shooting Chase Webb's video? What were some of your goals? How big was the crew?
CR: My goal has always been to make the part as strong as possible. Obviously Chase is a great skateboarder and handles that part, but even though it's a 60 second video, I try to make it feel like a full length piece. I wanted to use the best of the best shots because you never know what footage the other guys entering are getting, etc. Our crew was pretty small, but consistent. It was usually myself, Nick Cunningham and Martin Fobes out filming.
WC: How did you choose the location(s) of Chase's video?
CR: Chase is known for skating big rails, but him and I talked about how diverse we had to make it this year. In order to impress the judges, you have to surprise them. Chase was able to skate more than rails and when he did skate rails, he go more technical on them. His last clip was one that really surprised people.
WC: Were there any Wooden Camera products you used during the shoot? If so, how did they assist in achieving your shooting needs/desires?
CR: Absolutely! I filmed most of the contest on the Red Epic and GH5. It's funny cause unlike most skaters, Chase is a really big fan of the Red. I think he always loved that camera cause he worked on a video part with Ty Evans. Using the Red, I have the Kippertie ND system which is great for being quick on changes in sunlight, etc. In order to mount my monitor though, I needed the Wooden Camera Revolva Pass Through Top Plate so that was a huge help. My number one used item though is the Trigger Handle. That helps me hold the camera lower to the ground while rolling on my skateboard next to Chase. I'm then able to get those up close shots that are in your face!
The judges of this year's X Games Real Street summed up the collaboration well: "With Chase Webb you saw a perfect synergy of the great Chris Ray, and this variety of spots, creative maneuvers, surprises. This is the dream team. Can't be beat!"
Check out the Real Street 2020: Gold Medal Video HERE
Shop Gear In This Article
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