To mark the release of the new Lurk NYC edit we sat down with Nick vonWerssowetz to discuss his filming process, editing, and Youtube versus the hard copy release of edits.
Your most recent video went up on Youtube before it was released as a hard copy.
Yeah, for me it’s like I put all my spare time into making a video and I’m usually more psyched for people to see it then to wait for them to maybe, but most likely not, buy it on dvd. Maybe that has to do with the internet and the whole “instant gratification” thing that everyone’s brains are so wrapped up in [laughs] someone told me I was a sell-out once and maybe it got to my head. I don’t wanna be like that. I’d rather put a full video online for free, than let it sit and waste in a box in my room. I think New York moves to quickly to let things sit around.
Why do you do the numbered edits as well as the named edits?
The numbered edits are just “New York times”, it’s the shit in between skating around, it’s like a video blog. The named edits are things I put time into.
What’s the longest edit you’ve made?
Just about 25 minutes but that’s not something I like. I think videos should
be 15 to 20 minutes tops.
Why have you not edited anything longer?
It just gets boring, if there’s one thing I want my videos to do it’s to make people want to go skate and a short video is what’s going to do that. I feel like everyone has A.D.D these days (again back to the social media thing) and I can say for myself that sitting through a long video is just boring, I start zoning out. Maybe I just have A.D.D.
Your last three edits have gone HD, VX, Hi-8. What do you prefer working with?
[Laughs] I wanted to call the HD clip “social experiment” because there is a lot of controversy with all of that shit right now and I thought it’d be funny to throw people off. It must have worked because you are asking me about it in an interview. I’m all over the place and it really comes down to what inspires me. I had some VX sitting so I just kept filming VX to finish Cee-Lo but I’m obsessed with 90’s footage and the way it looks and initially I was messing with this big heavy VHS camera until I got a VX3 which is Hi8. I love it. A lot of people hate it and I think that’s kinda why I wanna stick with it. I decided to bring it out to SF to film Stresscase after watching Real – Non Fiction. That video is amazing. My next video is all Hi8, hopefully it’ll be done in a month or so and hopefully some older guys can feel nostalgic.
Is this older camera kit hard to get hold of?
It can be yeah and batteries are annoying.
How do you fit filming in with your day job/routine? Do you see it as a hobby, or is it a compulsion?
I actually have a full time job with Vans so it’s tough, it takes up a lot of my time. I have to divvy up my time between work, skating, my girlfriend and my dog, plus shipping out orders and daily life shit. If I want to skate I have to go out around 5 or 6 at night or on Saturdays. I try to save Sundays for my girlfriend so I don’t get put in the dog house. Having such limited time to skate makes me mental and I think I’ve turned a lot of people away from skating with me because of the anxiety of time restraint. Fuck. There’s a million filmers now so I doubt it will ever turn into a career, I fuck up a lot. It is a hobby but your right that it’s compulsive, it’s an addiction.
Does filming ever feel like work?
Nah it is my outlet.
Are you following any skate filmmakers at the moment?
Always liked Strobeck, and Bronze always puts out good stuff. Peters dope.
What do you think about Strobeck’s recent Paris edit? He uses a lot of slow motion.
He went a little overboard in the past couple videos. His best clip to me will always be “HOMEBOY we $till here” I’m big on talking to people in the streets, I think this is what kinda inspired me.
To document people on the street?
Yeah. These people that society looks down on, those are the people with stories, those are the people you learn shit from. I like having conversations with strangers that most people will avoid all contact with.
I’ve only been to New York once, but I was surprised to see so many people living on the streets.
If you think New York is bad you should go to San Francisco. People smoke crack like its chewing gum.
Who do you like filming with?
I like filming with people that understand my “vision”, I’m picky about spots and style. I don’t like schools or blown out spots that might as well be a skatepark.
Are there any west coast filmers that you’re into?
Yeah Ryan Garshell. He’s good at filming and they skate similar shit to what I like to skate. I’m psyched to see the video he’s about to put out.
How do you feel about putting the names of the skaters up on screen in the edit?
It avoids a thousand questions of “who was that.”
And finally, who designs the Lurk product?