Chad Shackelford on \ Chad hard at work. Photo by Lino Gonzales. Scroll down for a link to a rad Shook promo.

Chad Shackelford is one of the most original videographers in BMX. His camerawork and editing are both amazing, and he knows how to hustle to keep the jobs coming. Read what Chad had to say about his job and the future of BMX videos in general. 

What is your background in BMX? How long have you been riding?
I rode for about ten years. I’m not going to front like I still ride. I’d say the only time I get to ride is when I’m out filming on trips. The rest of my time is consumed by post-production work. Part of growing up, I guess?

When did you first start filming?
I got a vx-1000 when I was 17.

At what point did you decide that you wanted to try to make a living filming BMX?
I never actually made the decision. It just felt right. I always wanted make things look better and step up the quality, so it just sort of happened.

Speaking of jobs, how hard is it to make a living filming BMX? Do you do other things as well?
Well at times it can be extremely hard. It’s definitely not like other industries where going rate for a camera operator is eight-times ours, but it’s worth it. In the end you do it for a reason, not a paycheck. I take on many projects at a time, in and out of the core industry.

What projects are you currently involved in that takes the most of your time?
At the moment, I produce the Shook series quarterly. Will Stroud and I are co-producing the new Odyssey video, and I am also doing the Sunday Bikes team video.

What's the hardest part of what you do?
Most of the time, the art direction and title. Those are key for a project and really need to be set ahead of time.

What's the most fun part?
Well I’d like to say burning the master, but in a different sense the entire production (i.e. shooting, trips, hanging out, etc.) is always the most fun.

Which is more creative to you, filming or editing?
Well for me, editing, and more so motion design and animation. Will Stroud and I work really close these days and he’s really inspired me to become a better filmer, so I’m working on that.

Where do you get inspiration from for your projects?
It’s really hard to say. I watch a lot of movies and TV. I’m really into fashion and art, as well. I don’t know?

Who are some of your favorite riders to work with and why?
I like to work with anyone, once. Every rider is different and the way they go about filming is different. It’s interesting to watch how people motivate themselves, overcome fear, and deal with pain. Off the top of my head if I had to say a few they'd be Brian Kachinsky, Matt Beringer, and Tony Neyer.

What equipment do you use to film and edit?
I shoot a Panasonic DVX 100b, Century .3x fish, Apple computers, and various software.

With equipment constantly getting better and cheaper, and with everything getting bootlegged online, where do you see BMX videos heading?

Well it’s hard to say. It’s at a very unstable point right now. Like I’d love to say the big “upload-phase” will fade out and people will go back to buying videos and the market will be great, but I think it will remain 50/50. I think there are just as many people out there who want to have a hard copy of a DVD/magazine/CD as there are who want the digital files. There are different scenarios where this is more harmful to our industry. I think videos are soon becoming what is seen as promo-only material for a company and the idea of a full-length major production is to some, out of the picture. I believe this has happened partially due to the recent rise in illegal online uploads. I also think that we have once again reached a plateau in our video progress. I think once HD cameras become more widely used and once again quality prevails, that DVD sales will see an increase. They are a lot of companies that will go all-out for a team video, even knowing that they might not make it back. It’s great promotion, so it’s worth it. But for a company like Shook, that’s all we got. There are components, frames, or softgoods that [some companies] rely on to sustain [them], but it’s only the DVDs [for Shook]. I really hope the support just comes back all around.

Any advice to up and coming filmers?
Read your manual, read forums, buy books and magazines. Learn as much as you can and keep it professional. Just because you've got a camera doesn’t mean your sh*t’s tight. Keep it moving.

P.S. I just want to say thanks to everyone that’s helped me out, put in a good word, hooked me up with work, or been there for me.

Chad Shackelford on \  PhotoClick the image to watch a trailer for Shook's "Brainstormed." And click here to visit the Shook Interactive Network's site.


Create New Tag
1 comment
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment