By now I imagine many of you have watched 'Soul Rebel', Mark Appleyard's new part from Element. If you haven't or you just want to rewatch, click here.
And to be honest, when I first watched it, I was a little bit
disappointed, and I wasn't really sure why. At first I thought it was just
because many of the tricks in there were on bank spots, and I tend to
think that Mark shines on ledges and rails, but I don't think that is
right, because when I thought about it I realized that I liked the
tricks he did. Also, you don't generally watch Mark for difficult
tricks, you watch Mark to see his effortless, unnaturally smooth style.
Not to mention, I think the guy is in his 30's, so it would be foolish
to expect his best work at this point. Not everyone can be Guy Mariano.
After watching the video a second time, I realized what I didn't like
about it- the filming and editing appears to have been done by a 12 year
old. I'm not usually picky about this sort of thing, but watching this
part made me realize just how important editing is. Someone took footage
of Mark Appleyard and somehow made it into something that I don't want
to watch. It's like someone tried to serve me a pizza off of a man-hole
cover. It's a terrible waste of pizza, although the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles would probably eat it if I refused to.
There were a lot of details that I feel they just didn't get quite right. First of all, there was not one, not even two, but 3
montages of Mark falling down. And not a single fall was particularly
gruesome, as most of them are just him slipping out on banks. It doesn't
make Mark look tough and it's not interesting to watch, so it seems as
though they are just there to fill up time.
The most prominent mistake was the amount of slow-mo involved. I went
through and counted each shot of each trick- in other words, second
angles counted as 2 tricks, but in lines filmed as continuous shots, I counted each individual trick seperately. Mark's Soul Rebel part had 53 shots of tricks in
it, and of those, a whopping 20 of them were in slow motion. Let that
sink in for a second. 37.7% of the tricks were in slow motion. I have
no problem with slow-mo, but even if they had used it properly, having
over 1/3 of the tricks in slow-mo would get old. The kicker is they didn't
use this technique properly. Slow-mo is generally used to emphasize
something unique about a trick, whether it be how the skater caught the
board or something about the spot, or on rare occasion, a really
technical trick that needs to be slowed down to fully comprehend the
difficulty. No matter how it's used, it's primarily to call attention to
a trick, and that begins to lose it's effect after about the tenth time
you slow a piece of footage down. At that point, you might as well go
Fully Flared on us and be blowing stuff up in the background as well.
Most of the tricks didn't need to be slowed down at all, which made it
extra frustrating. A fakie flip to switch crooks is pretty
straightforward, and although clean and smooth, the way he did it wasn't
really odd in any way. In other words, I wouldn't have missed anything
if the clip had been shown at normal speed. Same goes for his fakie flip ender. But even
all of that would be forgivable for a different skateboarder- slow
motion doesn't work as well with a lot of Mark's skating. It takes away
from the effortlessness of his style. Everyone appears pretty relaxed
when things are moving at half their normal speed, so to slow down Mark
Appleyard is to water down what makes his style so good.
I don't know who edited Extremely sorry, but they understood what I'm
talking about. Despite having innovative tricks in it, Mark's part in
Extremely Sorry had 65 tricks and only 4 were slowed down. It's also
worth mentioning that that part also had some more trick variety, but
again, there's no question that Mark is great to watch, so I feel like the filming and editing is the reason it turned out so... well, blegh. It
turned out 'blegh', in my humble opinion.
Kirk Dianda has the credit for editing and partially filming this
video. He's worked on many of Element's other videos as well, including
Nyjah Huston's "Rise and Shine" part and "Future Nature". This fact
baffles me a little, because I distinctly remember liking how "Future
Nature" was put together. Maybe he didn't know how to put together a
part for a seasoned pro of Appleyard's caliber. Maybe he got caught up
in trying to give this part a different look and forgot that people were
actually going to watch it. Whatever the issue, I encourage him to try
again. I look forward to seeing the Youtube remixes of this part to come