This article originally appeared on ScooterDad.com and has been reposted here for posterity.
Stand out in the crowd by not copying everyone else. Be original. Be yourself. Follow your own creative ideas.
Lamborghini makes pretty amazing cars. But what makes them so cool is that they are different and unique compared to the cars that Ford, Chevy, Honda, and Toyota make. If every car manufacturer made cars that looked exactly like those made by Lamborghini, they wouldn’t be rare, interesting, or cool. The same thing applies to scooter videos. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to do something different than everyone else is doing.
You can create a unique perspective through your videos by trying to be completely original, but that can sometimes be hard to do. Another way to help promote original ideas is to try to avoid cliché and common techniques that you see in many other scooter videos. That’s not to say that these often-used techniques are bad ideas, but you might want to try avoiding them if you want your videos to be creative and unique.
In the Beginning…BAILS
I can’t count how many videos I’ve seen that start with a series of bail clips. I’m not even sure what the purpose of this is. Are riders trying to show that they are human and they fall too? Are they trying to indicate how many of these tricks took several takes before getting it right? There’s nothing wrong with including some clips of bails and falls, but a string of them at the beginning of a video has been done so many times that it’s now total cheese. Stick your bail clips at opportune times in your video or add a short reprise at the end of your video with some bails. You could even save up a bunch of bails and make a video of just your falls after you’ve released 3 or 4 clean videos. Bail clips aren’t bad, but try to avoid a string of them at the beginning of your video because it’s just been done too many times.
Bwoowwww WAAH WAAH WAAH Bwoowwww
I recently heard a scooter kid say, “I don’t know what song to use in my video. If I don’t use dubstep, no one will like it.” I couldn’t believe that he said this. It’s sad that he felt that way and it’s even more sad if that statement is true. I’ve got nothing against dubstep except that it has become the go-to music solution for scooter videos. That is, everyone thinks they need to use dubstep in their videos because it has become the music genre du jour for the scootering world. If you like a dubstep song and you want to use it as the bed for your video, then great; use it. However, you should never feel that it’s necessary to use a dubstep soundtrack because no one will like your video if you don’t.
If you’re not stuck on having a dubstep song in your video, try something completely different. Some of the most effective video soundtracks that I’ve heard have been styles I would have never even tried, such as motown. So listen through your playlists and try some different songs and you might be surprised as to what styles fit and work well for your edits.
All Fish, All the Time
In action sports, the fisheye lens effect has become a staple. In fact, I just recently got myself a fisheye lens for my video camera. They work great for filming because of the wide-angle effect they provide. But just like with anything, too much of something isn’t a good thing. Use your fisheye lens, but don’t use it for every clip in your video. Mix it up. Shoot some video with the regular lens on your camera and some with the fisheye. The idea here is that variety is important. Like I explained with the Lamborghini analogy above, if every clip has been shot with the fisheye lens, it’s not unique or special, so use it when appropriate, but not all the time.
Spread the Wealth Around
If you find a good spot, such as a nice stairset, you might film multiple tricks on the same obstacle. You might even film them from the same angle. If you end up with multiple high-quality clips on the same obstacle, especially from the same angle, don’t string them together all in a row. Spread those same-angle clips out throughout your edit. If you have them all right next to each other, the cuts will look sloppy and lazy, but if you spread them out, your viewers won’t easily notice how similar they.
There is one exception to this suggestion, however. You can effectively use multiple clips from the same angle on the same obstacle if you cut them together in rapid succession. It also helps if you can time the cuts with the music. It’s difficult to explain in the general sense, so play with it and you might be able to pull it off. Just know that it will be a challenge to get this to work without it appearing as lazy editing.
Give Yourself a Hand
I understand that it’s a filming and editing technique to mark quality clips at the time of filming by placing your hand in front of the camera. This makes the editing process faster by being able to quickly and easily identify those clips that you thought were good at the time. Unfortunately, there has been a trend recently of editors including the hand wave and the accompanying “Aww yeah, boy!” (or whatever) before the cut. That’s not professional. It’s cheese. Cut it out of your edit.
I recently heard someone talking about endzone celebrations in the NFL and he said that the players should be professional by acting like they had been there before. I think the same thing applies here. Let the clip and the trick stand for itself. Even if you and your buddies freaked out at the time, cut that from your video. Be professional. Act like you’ve been there before.
Scooter Domestic Abuse
Speaking of professionalism, don’t throw your scooter. And don’t drop it. In general, don’t mistreat your scooter ever, but especially take care of it on camera because that lasts forever. It’s not cool to watch someone throw their scooter after missing a trick. Act like an adult, get back on it, and try it again. Similarly, if you pull off some amazing trick, don’t drop your scooter like you’re too cool to set it down. I don’t even understand how that is supposed to be cool. You should be holding up your scooter with pride, not dropping it like it’s worthless.
If you want to get sponsored by, say, Phoenix Pro Scooters, do you think Phoenix wants someone on their team who throws their scooter? Phoenix, or whatever company you’re trying to get sponsored by, wants you to treat your scooter like it’s your prize possession because you are auditioning to advertise their product. If you treat their products like crap, then kids watching your videos will see that. If you treat your scooter like it’s a key piece of equipment that enables you to do the tricks you’re performing, then that message will resonate with the sponsors and your viewers. So act like a professional and treat your equipment like you appreciate it.
You should learn from others, draw inspirations from those you aspire to be like, but don’t copy them. Musicians and artists will sample little tastes of their influences, but they don’t copy it. They take that inspiration and use it to make their own statement. Never do something simply because you’ve seen it in another scooter video and you feel like that’s what you need to do to make a legitimate video. That’s what this whole article is about. Draw inspiration from others, but don’t copy. Do your own thing. Be creative and be yourself.
What makes you and your creativity unique is that it is yours and it’s based on the way you see the world. Do what you want to do because you want to do it and not because you think you need to do it. Forge your own path and learn to be someone else’s inspiration. Redefine the norm for scooter videos and you will truly be noteworthy. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Now go be creative and make some great videos! Good luck!