Behind the scenes interview with Craig Smith

Since we started with Be-Mag we’ve seen many filmers come and go. But there are always a few who stand out. We’ve seen Craig’s work for almost a year now. In that time he has released dozens of edits as well as the unique flick “About Rollerblading” not only amazing us but rollerbladers all around the world. It’s definitely time now to focus on this young Australian who knows how to get the best out of each of his protagonists and whose work is garnering the attention of everyone. Read on!

Images by Hayden Golder and Matthias Ogger
Edit by Craig Smith
Intro and interview by Ned Scholfield

I’ve known Craig since we were 14. One of the first proper conversations we had was down at our local skatepark in our hometown of Wangaratta in North East Victoria. ‘Wang’ as all the locals call it is home to around 20,000 so as you can imagine the rolling community is pretty small. I had been skating for a few years and used to roll with my skateboarder friends because no one else bladed. So one day this nerdy looking, clean cut kid rocks up, and starts trying to convince me that a soul grind was called a mizou. I have obviously never let him live that down, but I can now confidently say he knows way more about what’s going on in the skating world than me. Ever since those first few months of skating Craig has immersed himself into skating in everyway possible: filming, editing, and rolling in every bit of spare time he has.

Fast forward 5 or 6 years and he is heavily involved in Rollerblading in Australia. He is a lot of peoples first point of call in Melbourne if they want to roll, and usually finds himself skating 4 or 5 times a week, and filming whenever someone does something ‘film worthy’.

At last count he has had more than 40 pairs of skates, and spends his time at night colouring and dying his skates, changing his set up, and just thinking about skating. The only thing that parallels his addiction to skating is his lust for Coca Cola – every session he will down a two litre bottle at least. This craving runs in the family; Craig’s Grandfather used to work in the Coke factory and his dad loved the stuff to.

If you come down under to skate chances are you will bump into this all round nice guy, and no doubt in a few hours Craig will be driving you around to spots he thinks you will like – that’s just the kinda guy he is.
Good on ya man.

Ned Scholfield caught up with Craig at a P-rail comp at their friend Owen Parry’s house one Sunday afternoon.

Ok man basic info, how old are you, and where do you live?
I’m 22 and I live in Ormond, Melbourne Australia.

Tell us what you like about rollerblading?
Freedom of expression, it’s art, it’s like painting, drawing, or photography, you can make it anything you want it to be.

How do you think rollerblading has helped you in your life so far?
Enormously; moving to Melbourne, meeting people, making friends. It got me interesting in filming and editing.  

When did you first get interested in filming and editing?
Pretty much when I started skating; straight away. Living in a small town I wanted to draw some attention to what we were doing and film was the way to do that. I started with a little high-8 camcorder. I used to edit it by having the stereo plugged into the VCR and the VCR plugged into the TV, just putting songs over the top of it. It took me hours to make a 3 minute edit.

Those were the days. What Camera do you use now?
I have a Sony Z7P. And recently picked up a Canon 5D with a f2.8 15mm fisheye lens.

How do you support yourself while you are making videos and edits of skating?
Well I don’t have a job so to speak. I own my own business doing freelance editing and filming, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

So one could say you spend a lot of time and money on the Inline industry with out getting much back.
Yep haha, but that’s the way it goes.

Do you think that’s going to change?
I don’t see it happening… Some people out there have a better chance of making a living because they love to promote the shit out of themselves. That’s just not for me. If you want to be a superstar, rollerblading isn’t the best place to be. But I can’t actually say that I don’t get much back from skating because it has changed my life, everything today would be different without it, my friends, my lifestyle, everything. It’s been really good to me.

Where do you see the future of Rollerblading in five years?
The scene in Australia will be a lot bigger and a lot stronger, because there are people like Guy (Red Distribution) who are running things passionately and properly now. There is also a lot more events going on these days like the Australian Rolling Open, which draws international skaters here.

What can we find in your fridge?
(laughs) Coke…. Cheese maybe, but I’ve never got anything to put that cheese on. Maybe a bottle of wine that’s been there for ages (laughs).

Who do you go out skating with?
There’s no particular crew in Melbourne anymore, but I guess I skate with whoever is on the phone to me in the morning wanting to go out and get some clips or just skate. Lately that’s been Andy Plumridge and Matthias Ogger.

What’s coming from you in the future man?
Filming the Razors Australia guys for the Razors team video; Game Theory (or something gangster like that), another DVD this year, more travelling, filming for 4Life with the Aus Valo team, a Denial Pro Wheel edit for Matthias. I think Jon X-Rated is coming to the land down under later this year. I also graduate from this year, so overall it should be an exciting year.

Tell us about some of the side projects you have been working on:
I am finishing up editing the ‘MADD GEAR So-Cal Tour’ DVD (scooters). I was over in LA in December filming for this; It was a really good experience. So yeah that was a side project that came about because of my experience shooting live-action sports.

Nice talking with you man, you wanna give some shout outs?
I’d like to thank anyone who has ever said anything, positive or negative about my work; it all shapes where I am, and where I’m headed.