Reilly Brennan lives in San Francisco but will always be a Detroiter at heart. He is the Executive Director of the Revs Automotive Research Program at Stanford and teaches a class on heroes and Dale Earnhardt at the Stanford d.school. He created a car photo thingy called Carmagnum.
There’s some obvious charm to this 1989 Haro Bikes video, not least of which is that the majority of it was shot from the shoulder on a consumer VHS recorder. The height of all the shots is in that dad-cam 5-6 foot range, the few exceptions being some camera-mounted half-pipe work. We might even assume the camera was held by different shooters, passed around like we used to do with our friends on our old mini-DV cams.
And like any good old dad, the shooter occasionally misses a good amount of the action when the riders fly out of frame, a little too fast for him or her to keep up. Maybe it’s inaccurate to say we are missing the action, it gives us the feeling that the action is faster than the frame. A few examples of some of the out-of-frame beauty:
As opposed to the high-grade film quality of action sports videos today, what you experience here is almost certainly an edited stream of raw captures. This was shot ‘first-take, only-take,’ with likely no reshots completed or attempted. Contrast that with something from today and your appreciation for what’s on hand will be amplified as an athletic endeavor if not an artistic one.
Of course, it’s hard to block the surface-level nostalgia (1980s, BMX, VHS transfer). The video has a heavy mix of corny jokes, dick-wad voiceovers and repetitive blend edits, but if you can get past that (or revel in it), you will find something of material value that hits reasonable high on your feel meter.
Full video below (34 minutes):
Thanks to Joe Case at Tekino for this find.