What's What | Chris Ray
Apr 12, 2012 11:38 AM CDT

As part of our ongoing investigation into the filmers behind TransWorld SKATEboarding's latest video, The Cinematographer Project, we caught up with DC filmer Chris Ray. Few filimers have pushed the genre of skate videographer with the trafectory and innovation that Chris has. His films are truly unique and his recent part filmed with DC rider Evan Smith for The Cinematographer Project was no exception. To get a closer look at his work, we sat Chris down this week and bombarded him with a bunch of questions that begin with, "What". Here's what he had to say.


What was the most memorable part of filming for the video?

I would say working with Evan directly. He wanted to be really involved after we decided to make the part focused directly around him. He kept saying “this might be my big chance for people to see me” and I would just laugh at him because he is so good and I don’t think he realizes how big of a future he has ahead of him.

What’s the craziest thing that happened while you were filming for this project?

It was probably when we were in New York when a big hurricane hit. We were out of power at the hotel for a couple days and couldn’t go anywhere. We didn’t let it faze us and ended up staying so we could push around the streets for another week.

What was your favorite section from the video (aside from yours)?

I’d say the Alien section. I’ve always loved their vibe and the imagery added between skate shots was amazing. I'm also a big fan of the whole team!

What’s the hardest thing about being a globe trotting filmer?

Evan’s part was only filmed on trips. He lives in Pittsburgh, so I was never able to just wake up and call him to film. We had to get a full plan together in order to meet up.

What’s different about your style vs. some of the other videographers featured in the video?

I wanted to focus more on one guy instead of a team or montage. I tried to make it just skate heavy with the hope it would make you want to get up and go skate.  The video is rad because everyone is so different. I can watch all of the parts and appreciate all of them for different reasons—talk about so many inspirations packed into one video.

What’s your favorite trick in Evan’s part?

The feeble big spin on the long yellow flat bar in the East Bay. I love when he rolls away and the flashes are going off at night.

What’s your favorite spot from Evan’s part?

The green roll in bridge in Houston where he did the wallie stalefish. I filmed it rolling in fish behind him and it was super scary because I was getting speed wobble and cars were driving by. I was stoked to try filming it in a different way because I’ve never seen anyone film at that spot that way before.

What was your thought process behind choosing Evan as your focus?

I originally wanted to do a whole DC team montage since it’s full of all new guys and I just started working there. As we started working on other projects like the “Rediscover DC” campaign, it made a bunch of the guys on team a lot busier. Evan was killing it on trips and I was shocked on how amazing he was. I didn’t know and I don’t think others really knew until this part came out.

Aside from camera gear what’s the most important thing for a videographer to bring on a shoot?

You need to cover every excuse. Wax, extra shoe laces, extra shirts, and extra grip. Being a filmer doesn’t mean you just hit record. Put the skaters in a perfect situation to help stack clips!

What makes a good video part? What makes a good skate video these days?

If people watch it more than once! With the internet people just click and ask for something new the next day. It’s hard to keep up and a part released six months ago starts to feel like it’s two years old in the internet world. I just always make sure the skater is hyped on his part. If we’re both happy—I’m stoked.

What different countries did you visit while making Evan’s part?

We did a trip out to Australia for our Rediscover “The Road” video and I saved some of Evan’s footage for his TWS part. We also had done a Europe trip when I first started. Other than that we kept it in the US with a trip to SF/Sacramento, Orlando, Houston and an east coast trip to New York/Philly. DC hooked it up on taking care of all our travel – Thanks DC!

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