Self portrait stolen from Cory's Facebook.
Cory Hagelstein is a damn good filmer and editor, and he rips too. I originally wanted to reach out to a few filmers in the area that I respect to interview them much in the way I've interviewed many skateboarders in the area that I respect. Cory was the first and only to respond, so, I decided to try and put together an article on his forthcoming video Recess that has been mentioned pretty often on the blog. This is the first part of what I've decided to call the Recess Round Table. This one deals with only Cory, the King Arthur of the round table, so to speak. The second part will be about everyone involved, including Cory, again.
"Don't slack. Film everything and anything."
Photo: Nick Williams
On Efil and 'COGSkatemedia':
I wish I could have been in Scott Bankey's Efil. I had no help with that video. That summer I was barely skating, I was really hooked on snowboarding and throughout the summer skateboarding never really appealed to me. I don't know why exactly, I think it was just a weird time in my life. Looking back that was dumb as hell, I feel like I missed out on a lot that summer. Recess is my first full length video that I've been working on since last year. It's going to come out this December.
Chronicles of Gnarnia was Scott, Joey and I's old skate media name. I honestly have no idea how we came up with that name. But for all of you wondering what "COGskatemedia" meant, now you know.
When did you start skating?
I started "skating" in 5th grade. I played all the Tony Hawk games and and thought skating was super sick. I really got into skating in the 6th grade when I met Scott Bankey and Jared Howell. We would skate at Summer Stephens park which was right by my old house.
What comes first to you: skating or filming?
Since I'm filming a full length video, filming comes first. But I love rolling around when I get the chance in between filming.
When did you get into filming?
I got into filming when I met Scott. He had this little handycam and it seemed like I was always using it more than him. I never really thought it would be something that would become a part of my life.
When making a video, what's your thought process? Do you have a certain technique or aesthetic that you try to have shine through?
Don't slack. Film everything and anything. I try to get the most footage I can so there's a bunch to mess around and edit with.
Have you ever had any close calls, horror stories, missed tricks, tape glitches, or happy accidents when filming for Recess?
Well filming with a VX, tape glitches are almost an everyday thing. I've had many lens hits, but nothing too serious. I can't think of the tricks I was filming, but I definitely remember a few times when my battery would die right as someone would try a trick, and of course they would land it. We would always go back and re-film it though. A good horror story is when I got a fisheye for my first camera. I was skating around with my long time friends Ross Babinski and Matty Grygorcewicz. We were riding down Matty's street and I had my camera and fisheye in my hand. I was rolling up a curb and I hit a stop rock. I literally chucked my fisheye at the ground and the front element shattered. I can't even describe how bummed I was. There's a happy ending though, I called the fisheye manufacturer and told them the ring that held the glass together was completely loose and the glass fell out when I put it on the camera. I sent back the fisheye and they sent me a new one! It seems like I was suppose to film a bunch of other people for my video, but it's like they fell of the face of the Earth.
"I give mad credit to HD filmers though..."
Cory and Joey Martinez. Photo : Balogh
On the flipside, what would be your proudest moment as a filmer?
Probably my proudest moment was when I got the VX1/MK1 setup. Nothing compares to the footage from a VX so I was proud to have it and actually make legit looking skate videos.
SD or HD? Why?
SD. You can't get that raw look with an HD camera... But it's 2013, tapes are becoming extinct and HD is taking over. I definitely see myself getting a new setup in the near future and it will most likely be HD. I give mad credit to HD filmers though, it seems like trying to get a nice looking picture on a HD camera is twice as hard getting one on a VX.
Do you have any regrets with how a video part turned out?
I've only really had one video part and that was in Joey Martinez's Model Mouth. That part was filmed in 3 nights so I wish I could of gotten more footy, but I'm a filmer and being in front of the camera is kinda weird.
How much of the footage you've filmed has came about through planning, and how much has came about by going out without having a set destination?
I think most of the footage I have gotten was just from going out and filming whatever. The only time I could of think when we went out through planning is when my camera was broke and everyone had a huge list of tricks they wanted to do.
"I'm already looking forward to filming my next video, and Recess isn't even done yet."
Ollie. Photo : Bankey
You've put together video parts for people before. What is the hardest part about, if there is one, about making a second, third, etc. video? Do you ever feel any sort of pressure to have the next one be 'better', per say, than the one prior?
Filming for Recess has been a huge learning experience with filming a full length (editors note: as opposed to filming something like Hockey Howard). I feel like I'll be way more prepared with my next video with a more solid line up of people and idea behind it. I'm already looking forward to filming my next video, and Recess isn't even done yet. But yeah, you definitely feel the pressure to make the next video a lot better. I feel like that's more on the skaters part though because they're the ones skating and I'm just pointing a camera and staying close.
When getting a line up together, how do you go about it? Is there anyone you've never filmed that you wish you would have?
I love to have all my close friends in the line up. I really base the line up with people I think deserve a part. I wish I could of filmed all the friends I have made with skateboarding, but that would be impossible.
Obviously, the filmers know what tricks were easiest and hardest to get. Do you have any stories about that, or any 'near makes', so to speak?
I've been out with my friends numerous times trying to get tricks that were insane. Plenty of times someone would be trying a trick and end up doing something else. I remember Ivan was trying a trick on this slanted ledge, and he must of fallen on his ass like 5 times in a row. He was so over it. I haven't been back to the spot since.
Who would you say is the hardest person you've filmed with to film, be it accurately capturing how fast someone was skating, keeping up with someone, being able to showcase how gnarly something actually is, etc. ?
I'd have to say it's tie between Joey and Ivan. They skate the weirdest/coolest shit and skate fast. Keeping up isn't a big deal, but with some of the stuff they skate is just like, "how the hell am I going to film this".
"I'm going to film BBW porn. Find me on xvideos."
Fisheye self portrait frame grab.
Finally, a notorious problem about how skateboarding transfers from in person to the TV screen - what spots would you say are notoriously hard to film, in order to show how hard it actually is to skate, like that phrase "That spot is so much harder to skate than it looks"?
I have never really faced a challenge with filming at a spot, wherever I have filmed always seemed pretty smooth and easy, or I would figure out a way to film it so it's easier. But one place I can think of that is hard as hell to film at is not a spot, but a skatepark instead. The Streets Skatepark was one of the trickiest places to film. I'm always jumping off my board and running around there while I'm filming. It almost seems like you're trying to dodge the ramps and rails as you're filming. I recently filmed a Berrics rip off for the park featuring the park's team rider, Justin Zimmerman, and I must of only been on my board for 5 seconds during the 60 second run. The rest of the time I was running around trying to keep a steady hand.
Do you think the DVD release is dead?
Not really. Having a hard copy of a video is always cool, but everyone is on YouTube now so online releases seem like a good idea.
What can we expect in the future?
After Recess I'm quitting with filming skateboarding. I'm going to film BBW porn. Find me on xvideos.
Part two next week.