We got the opportunity to talk with skate videographer Jason Jenkins. If you follow east coast skateboarding you would know Jason's work covering the skateboarding scene in Boston, Massachusetts. Jason has recently moved from Boston to NYC to pursue a career in video production. We are definitely looking forward to seeing more videos to come. He just dropped his 30th Jenkins' Log Clip video in time for this interview.
Jenkins' Log Clip #30 - Featuring Brian Delaney, Dana Ericson, Curt Daley, John Wisdom, Thompson Bond, Nate Keegan, Ariel Perl, Lance, Eli Reed â™« Marvin Gaye - "Trouble Man"
Let's get started, where are you from?
I'm originally from San Diego, CA but grew up all over the place. I've lived in San Diego, Berlin, Frankfurt, Budapest, Boston, and now I'm living in New York.
Wow that is a diverse list of locations, how have you had the opportunity to live in so many different places?
My dad works in commercial real estate so I was lucky enough to get to follow him around from project to project around Europe. It was a sick experience to grow up in Europe and I'm really thankful I got to grow up the way I did.
What did you like most about Europe?
My favorite part was living so close to so many different countries. You could drive a few hours in any direction and be in a different country with completely different culture. It just puts things into perspective when you have a broader scope of the world.
From The Ground Up 3: Memory Lane - 17 Days Back in Budapest - Featuring Mark Bachmann, Libik Gergo, and Karkossiak Zsolt â™« The Meters - "I Need Time"
Did you film skating out there too?
That's where I started. I started skating when I was living in Berlin and didn't start filming until I lived in Budapest. Budapest has a tight knit scene and some really unique spots.
How long ago was that?
I lived in Budapest from 2002 until 2006 and I think I started filming in 2003. I put out my first skate video in Budapest, called From The Ground Up, in 2006 right before I moved to Boston. It's not the craziest skating but we had fun making it and I'm still proud of the final product.
Is the video online?
The whole video was online on Google Video but it got removed. That actually reminds me that I need to reupload it! The promos and a follow up montage from a year later are online though.
at NightPhoto: Jason Jenkins
Did you mostly film the skateboarding scene in Boston? It seems like a lot of your work is focuses on that city in particular.
When I moved to Boston, it opened up a world of opportunity for me. Thanks to Zander Taketomo and Ray Echevers, I got linked into the scene quickly. I'd never even seen anyone skate like the guys in Boston before that. I was going to film school, had access to a lot of equipment, and was learning a lot of new techniques. I skated more than I ever have living in Boston and tried my best to cover the scene in a good light. I started working with Ready Amongst Willing, who was starting up their Know The Ledge series geared at covering the whole scene, and also started up Jenkins Log, which had the same intention.
Crew in the Financial District of Boston, MAPhoto: Jason Jenkins
When did you start the Jenkins Log and what inspired that?
I started Jenkins Log in 2007 right after the Sox won the World Series. I saw how important it was becoming to have an online presence in skateboarding and didn't see a whole lot being done in Boston to keep the world updated in the fast paced online community. All I've ever really wanted to do was give my friends some coverage and try to keep the scene relevant.
Seems like a nice format to promote the local scene. How many have logs have you done so far?
I've finished 29 of them and I'm ready to drop the 30th. It's been awhile since I've done one and I apologize to everyone following them for that. Real life caught up with me and I'm not getting to skate as much as I'd like to anymore.
Jenkins' Log Clip #29 - Spring 2011. Featuring Jack Kelly, Andrew Whittier, John Wisdom, Dana Ericson, Brian Delaney, Devin Woelfel, & Curt Daley. â™« Statik Selektah,Action Bronson, & Termanology - "Money Is Reality"
Will the Jenkins Log feature NYC skateboarding?
Oh for sure. NYC is the most classic backdrop for skating in my opinion - classic spots, city vibes, and a huge scene. I love shooting in New York. Check Log Clip #26 for an example of what's to come.
Jenkins' Log Clip #26 - RAW x Kayo collaboration Event "Boys of Summer" in Conway Park in Somerville, MA. Filmed By: Jon Wolf & Jason Jenkins. â™« Wu-Tang Vs. The Beatles - "Cutting It Up (Instrumental)"
What video productions have you been involved in besides From the Ground Up & the Know the Ledge series?
I've filmed for Zoo York's "State of Mind," Western Edition in SF, Hopps commercials, After Midnight NYC, and Focus Skate Magazine. I'm hardly a photographer, but I also shot an Eli Reed ad for Converse last year.
Focus Magazine's "Stay Focused" Boston Section - March of 2010. Filmed By: Jason Jenkins, Ray Echevers, Tom Grande, & Elliott Vecchia. â™« Wu-Tang Clan - "Ill Figures"
How was the switch from Boston to New York?
Well it's still fresh for me. I've only been here for two months at this point and I'm really just getting situated. Through the years I've made some good friends that live here though so expect to see new stuff sooner than later with New York footage!
You are doing video work outside of skateboarding now, what is that like?
I work on TV shows, feature films, music videos, commercials, corporate videos - pretty much anything in the Film/TV genre. The last project I worked as a production coordinator for the Food Network show "Sweet Genius," airing on Thursdays at 10PM.
How would you compare your work on skate videos and your other production work?
It's a hard comparison - skateboard filming is guerilla style. There's no permits, no producers, no real sets - it's just hitting up spots illegally and getting what you can. The TV world is much more organized - there's large crews, lunch breaks, permits, studios, lighting, camera rentals... Every production is different but they are nothing like going to skate with your friends and breaking out the camera when there's something to film.
Jenkins' Log Clip #25 - Featuring Brett Star, Andrew Whittier, Curt Daley, Ariel Perl, Devin Woelfel, Rob Cabral, and the whole crew. â™« ESG - "UFO"
You work on productions with other skateboarders right?
Yeah man! You'd be surprised at who you'd find on shoots sometimes. I'm not going to drop names but a lot of skateboarders make their money through TV work.
Do you feel like it is harder to cover skating taking on other video work?
It's harder because working in TV means long hours for months on end sometimes. You don't feel really motivated to go skate and film after a 14 hour day for the third day in a row. As far as actually going skating though, major production work only influences me in a positive way to explore new territories in editing and filming.
Who are your favorite skate videographers? Do you think their work influences your approach to skate video productions?
I don't have a specific favorite skate videographer. I definitely have a few that I admire - French Fred, Sebastien Abes, and Dan Wolfe - but I dig seeing a lot of different people's styles. Everything I see influences my approach to skateboarding though. It's not just skate videos that influence me.
What videography influences do you have outside of skateboarding?
If I'd have to contribute my influence to one thing, I'd say it's city lifestyles and city landscapes. I try to make the city I'm filming in as much of a character as the skateboarding itself. I definitely get influenced through working in production, but I feel I create a separation between those worlds. I try to keep my skate filming as organic as possible - no generators, no crazy missions, no pressure on skateboarders. Just dudes skating around the city from spot to spot.
What insight can you give to skate videographers trying to start a career in video production?
If you're really passionate, you can make anything happen in TV and film. It's not the easiest road to take, but just like anything else, there's nothing better than being paid to do what you love to do. You just need to be persistent and not give up on your dreams. It sounds corny but it's true.
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