James Kelly: Interview and new RED video

Hey James, how’s it going? What are you up to these days?

Yo Justus, I’m doing well. Um, these days I’ve been chillin’ tough. Stoked. It’s been a busy year.

Congratulations on doing so well during the first IDF world cup season! Are you going to be back again next year in full force, or will you be focussing your energy elsewhere?

Thanks Justus. I feel so lucky to be able to race for the world championship, it is a bonus being a contender in the last race of the year. I’m really stoked on second and first couldn’t have gone to a more deserving and cool dude, my teammate Adam Persson AKA Thor. Although it is a big goal of mine to finish first in the world rankings. I’ll be back next year in full force and then some.

What else can we expect from you in the future, both short term and longterm?

Hahaha, short and long term expect me to skate till my knees give out. I just feel really lucky to be a part of this skateboarding community that has developed over the years. I’m always going to be to doing what’s best for the sport I love. When my knees do give out, I’d like to become more involved in event organization and brand management.

Tell us a bit about this video: Where did you shoot it, who did you work with, what was it like? You’re one of a few skaters who have experience filming with a RED camera already, was it different this time around?

Filming with the RED camera and working with its crew is an awesome and lucky experience. It takes a solid team to operate the thing, like five dudes. Dustin Damron was directing this shoot. He’s the shit, a boss, and always fun to shoot with. We shot in California at a few undisclosed locations (can’t blow the spot out for the locals, sorry). We shot this video over two days, incorporating static corner shots, steady cam corner shots (the steady cam rig for the RED is huge), and we mounted the RED on the hood and in the trunk of stunt driver/skate vid editor extraordinaire Jack Boston’s Subaru. Both shoots have been rad. This shoot with Arbor was a little more personal because we were shooting the video for The Arbor Collective, not just the RED company like last time.

As a guy who’s involved pretty deeply in filming (shooting for SkateHouse, in addition to doing polished stuff with Arbor, Caliber, and RAD) where do you see downhill filming going?

Video parts inspire. When I was just getting into downhill skating of course I watched race results. I rooted for my favorite skaters from NorCal: Noah, JM, and Patrick. But the thing that really got me stoked to get out my door and on the street skating every day was the video parts people were putting out at the time. I learned everything from watching old skate videos on YouTube, the classics. I only see video parts growing in number, relevance, and quality. It’s been awesome working with brands like Arbor, Caliber, RAD, and SkateHouseMedia. Each are progressing the media our industry puts out, and doing it in their own unique ways. Video parts aren’t slowing down, haha (or sped up for that matter).

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What are the best and worst parts about filming a video like this as opposed to something a little more raw?

Nice question. I really love going out and filming raw videos. Skating for weeks straight in steep mountains collecting follow cam run after follow cam run is super raw and delivers the skater’s style in the most organic way. But that being said, a seven minute raw run isn’t the prettiest or most clean looking to the non-skating viewer. This shoot had production value. Each shot is planned out to be aesthetically sick, and catch the eye of anyone watching, not just the downhiller looking for skate porn. Hopefully it reaches more eyes than just our community and ultimately gets what we’re doing in our sport out to more people, that’s the goal. All in all both are fun, awesome, and unique experiences in their own right. Both definitely have their place.

Anything else to share about this video?

Huge thanks to the entire team behind this video and everyone that helped make it possible. Every person involved was extremely passionate and excited before, during, and after the shoot. The vibes were awesome, I really think that helped better the final product.

How about life in general?

Aww, thanks for asking Justus. Life’s good, I can’t complain. I’m stoked to be up in Petaluma right now chillin’ with my friends and family before the holidays. Hope the best for you and everyone reading.

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