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Street editing: NB numeric hyperlinks Vancouver.

The New Balance Numeric team went to Vancouver on a mission to gather material for their second video project, The Second Narrows. Their strategy was to shred the parks and streets all day, every day, for two sunshine-filled weeks. For some reason, the blokes in charge of the production decided to take me along as a second camera operator. Their idea was to build on an editing technique that has been played with a bit recently. They wanted to create the ultimate hyperlink edit; since they're a lot of fun to make and to watch.

Hyperlink editing is when you build up your timeline so that each clip flows into the next as seamlessly as possible. The effect is that the action never stops and the skater seems to quantum leap between spots and sessions. The first time I saw a hyperlink edit was in Blind's Video Days, which was put together by a bloke who would go on to become a top Hollywood director: Spike Jonze. Thanks to Spike, we knew that the editing technique made for a fun viewing experience, but it wasn't until John Rattray and I started working on our Following Joe video that we realized the approach was under-utilized; there was a little bit of room to play around with it. The jump from spot to spot provided a sort of suspense (where are they gonna cut to next?) and the whole thing had a non-stop flow to it. No slow-mo throw-down clips or spurious shots, just non-stop shredding; that felt novel. Rattray said it reminded him of the first time he saw skateboarding. The big lads he saw, when he was just a little nipper, went thundering across the street, ollied up a curb and kept on pushing with no need to stop. "That was what stuck with me," John said, "The fact that there was no need to stop."

Our edit had that same sense of constant movement; the feeling of total stoke could continue, uninterrupted. Anyway, to get to the title of this article it turns out that when time is of the essence and you have multiple dudes all keen to rip, the single-most time-effective way to get this technique just right is to edit while sitting right there at the spot, in the raw city streets.


While in Canada, we stayed in a house on Vancouver's North Shore and the name of the bridge we crossed to get into the city most days was The Second Narrows Bridge. The city proper is linked to its north shore by a couple of bridges (the first narrows, or Lion's Gate and the second narrows, or Ironworker's Memorial). At certain times of the day they really bottleneck the traffic and movement on the roads gets sludgy. Relaxing in heavy traffic on top of a huge cantilever bridge gives us time to take stock of the talent we have with us: The legendary prowess of Flip's Arto Saari; the mysterious jedi skills of Plan B's PJ Ladd; the enthusiasm and determined gnarlitude of Zero's Tom Karangelov; the pop and elegance of Element's Levi Brown; the all-around, next-level fluid talent of Sk8 Mafia's Tyler Surrey; the energy, quick feet and creative eye of Toy Machine's Jordan Taylor; the smooth, consistent finesse of DGK's Marquise Henry and the power and flow of 5Boro's young Jordan Trahan. Sometimes a traffic jam on a tall overpass can also make you consider the similarities between bridges and video production. Bridges connect two points and so do edits. By the time you've realized that you're thinking such dumb things you'll have arrived at the first spot of the day, Hastings skatepark.


Rick McCrank is one of the best ever, and most days Rick met us at Hastings and ripped the back section with us. If you've seen his recent Thunder commercial, you've already witnessed a sick clip he got while sessioning the back wall with Tyler. After hitting the park, he would guide us to all the spots in town he knew about. Despite what Rick's recent Skate Vancouver video might suggest, there is still a crap-load of interesting stuff to skate all around the city. Add to that the fact that there's more than 50 unique concrete parks to blast around and it makes Vancouver a world-class destination for a truly epic skate vacation (aka skate-cation).


When we first arrived, I felt a little anxious about whether we'd be able to pull this project off. Doing these edits with one filmer and one skater, piecing it together over the course of a month or two is mellow, but when there are eight dudes and a time limit it can be a little nerve-wracking. Luckily, the crew we were with all got on board and started cranking out epic clips at every spot we found. There comes a point where you look at the timeline and realize that it's going to work great. Then it just becomes a matter of finding ways to fill the gaps in the jigsaw puzzle. The last couple of days of the trip was just that. At this point I should take a moment to give a special shout out to Tyler Surrey and Jordan Taylor. Jordan took the slam of slams right in front of me--full-on feet over one side of a barrier on top of a loading dock to backwards slam seven feet down onto the hard floor on his face and shoulder. He literally skated his face off for this project, and it was high time for him to rest up and recover. Then Tyler contracted some sort of Staph infection on his leg. It flared up like a hellish volcanic island on his thigh, but his sharp Sk8 Mafia instincts told him that the best thing to do would be to wear some loose, swishy board shorts and rip even harder than before. All the clips where he's wearing shorts were filmed while he was skating through the swollen pain of that gruesome carbuncle. True MVP stuff.


Warning: Hyperlink edits may be habit forming. Once you start down the hyperlink path it can be hard to turn back. Here are four reasons why:

1. The excitement you feel every time you go to load a clip into the timeline is intense. Will this one line up or did we blow it? The harder someone works on a move or a line the more intense the rush of nervous excitement for everyone involved.

2. The way these projects build up is totally different from the path we traditionally follow while collecting clips for a normal video part. Clips in hyperlink timelines are for the most part structured in chronological order. This is fun because it's unconventional. Which brings us to...

3. The edit is in control, not you. Once you film your opening line, it's on. Wherever that line left off becomes your pick-up point for the next line and so on; what the next line will be is often not our choice. We are at the mercy of the spot or our own stamina and ability. It gets to the point where you don't do the choosing anymore. The project controls itself by virtue of the random circumstances that allowed the skater to get whatever they got (this might be one of those things that doesn't make sense until you try' to film one yourself.)

4 A good rule of thumb for hyperlink editing is to remember that everything is a spot. Working on these projects, you start to realize how many spots there actually are out there. You also realize that the less choosy you are, the more fun you'll have. When the last move was a slappy grind, all of a sudden a curb and a two stair is the most valuable spot in town. It's almost as if once you enter the hyperlink vortex you see things you didn't see before, or you get a renewed appreciation for old, forgotten spots. Try it. You'll finish your first edit, tired and stoked. You'll rest for a bit and then, "Let's do another!" you'll say, anxious to feel that nervous anticipation of dropping the clip into the timeline and hitting play, everyone getting stoked, together

A Note on Street Editing: If you're planning on whipping your laptop out in the streets, it's probably worth rolling with a big, tough-looking crew--just in case.


Big thanks to the entire crew for making it such a great trip and getting it done. Great thanks to Moses, Danny and Matt at Centre distribution for all of their help and a huge thanks to Rick McCrank. Legend!

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Author:Pease, Joe
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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