Tetherball: The Sport Behind the Sportsmen

The release of A Place in the Sun proved that Russell Houghten can paint a compelling and pristine picture of skateboarding in Los Angeles. But, when something is all shiny there’s some part of each one of us that wants to reach out and start scratching it up a little. Questions can do that and critics might ask; Has Houghten become a slave to color depth? Is his equipment slowing him down? As stunning as his work is, has Russell Houghten’s drive to become the greatest action sports documentarian of our time imposed some limiting factors on his agility as a filmmaker? The answers are subjective. What we now know for a fact is that there was another camera eye on location during the making of New Balance Numeric’s first video. That eye was watching, thinking and planning before swooping in all like,
“Yo, Tyler. It would be tight if we filmed a line here real quick while Russell’s all wrapped up with that time-lapse.”
The result is part behind-the-scenes documentary, part alternative-angle compilation and part investigation into a new and troubling urban sport that’s sweeping the empty school yards of LA.
This video contains many layers: Alternative angles; rare and exclusive new footage; still photography pasted in with a stock camera-shutter sound-effect; jump-cuts, titling, split-audio edits, cross fades, fade-ins and fade-outs; BGPs from Mike O Meally, Atiba Jefferson, Russell Houghten and possibly even Suge Knight strolling past Talib Kweli’s temporary parking lot. It is basically the Inception of skateboard videos. It is the dream within the dream and the thing I love more than anything else is that what happens behind the scenes of a Hollywood skate production is, simply, more skating.

Annonymous asked: “How do you get these robust taught-chested sportsmen to perform these breathtaking moves?”
Answer: “By refining my hang ten technique at any available opportunity and toning my camera arm on the Tetherball court. Judging from the shakycam of some of these clips it needs more work.”

21 thoughts on “Tetherball: The Sport Behind the Sportsmen

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  7. Cool video. Does anyone actually know how to play tetherball? I never have seen people actually play a game.

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