Brennan Conroy Q & A

Filming a video is not for the faint hearted; you have to be willing to spend hours kneeling in dirty gutters, convincing security guards it’s only going to be one more try, all the time holding together someone else’s fragile ego whilst they mentally breakdown because the board will not do what it is told, all on the off chance that you might get a three second clip that will end up on youtube nullifying those expensive transfer cables you bought to get maximum quality from your vx1000. Of all the jobs in the skateboard industry, filmers are amongst the lowest paid but most passionate, hands-on people you can find—it absolutely takes a sado masochist to make it in this field. We caught up with one of the creme de la creme of the filming trade, Brennan Conroy, a man who is as nifty on the board as he is behind the lens, and discovered how he found himself holding the reigns at Habitat.

When did you start filming and what was it that interested you in filming to start with?

There was always a camera around when I first started skating, I think that’s pretty much how every skate-crew is, but I didn’t really get into trying to film and make a video until I saw the FTC video, Penal Code. That was some serious inspiration right there. One of my all time favorite videos

Who were some of the first people that you filmed and do you still film with them now?

I owe it all to Rob Welsh. He could probably claim the reason I got anywhere filming professionally and getting paid for it. I haven’t seen Rob in a long while though. You better have a full part in the Lakai vid Rob!

What were some of the early influences on your filming when you started out?

Aside from Welsh giving me my first chance at filming, I definitely learned a lot from Heath Brinkley. He use to do the Logic videos, and I had my first salary job with them. He gave me a lot of help, not just with camera settings and technical stuff, but more along the lines of how to film someones entire part, and everything that goes along with that.

Who/what are some of your influences now?

Habitat and Joe Castrucci. Josh Stewart, Jason Hernandez, Ty, I guess just hard working people. Thats what I really like to see.

You moved to San Francisco quite a while ago now, how has skating changed in the city during the time that you have lived there?

It’s pretty much like night and day. I moved here when you could still skate at Union Square.

Is skating dead in SF?

It really pains me to think that skating in SF is dead, but when I’m driving around and see the lack of skate-spots its pretty obvious. There’s a new park being built now in The Mission that I’m sure will be really good. But as far as street skating, it’s really hard. There will always be spots popping up, but its just different with San Francisco. I mean, there use to be more stuff to skate here than anywhere in the world. Even more so than Barcelona. It’s just an amazing city. Skating or no skating I will always love SF.

So, let’s start at the beginning, when did filming proper start for Inhabitants?

3 years ago. I’d say. Right after the little part in the Static video. I got an apartment in Barcelona for 3 months, and a lot of people came out and stayed there. In the end though, most of that was in vain. The stuff I got of Wenning went to Plan B, and all of Renaud’s stuff went to the Ipath video.

How has the original line-up from the first filming trip for Inhabitants changed compared to the team now?

It’s really hard to keep the same line up from each video to the next. I miss filming with Rob Pluhowski, he’s an awesome guy. Seeing Renaud go was rough too. He is one of my all time favorites. With Wenning leaving as well, there was a pretty big void in the team roster. It’s only normal for new guys to be put on the team, we just try and keep it so they fit the company and everyone is down for them.

Why was Daanny Renaud let go from Habitat?

Despite what people think about Danny destroying a hotel in Barcelona, that never actually happened. He just became too much to deal with. We are always going on trips and he was too hard to travel with. His part in Mosaic is still one of my all time favorites. He is the definition of a street skater.

During the filming of this video, where was the best place that you traveled to and why?

Going to Israel was amazing. I went there with Ed and Steve Nesser. It was beautiful. Good stuff to skate too.

Where was the worst and why?

Riverside. That place sucks! Just kidding, Ray.

When you started filming the video, did you have a set deadline or did you decide that towards the end of the video?

Oh man, who knows. Having a deadline is pretty weird. It can either get people hyped, or do the reverse and people just get stressed out. We had one premature deadline, but I think everyone knew it was going to be pushed back.

Do you prefer making full length videos like Inhabitants or shorter promo style dvd’s like Regal Road?

Inhabitants has been my first real full length video that I’ve filmed. I started about half way in on Mosaic. It’s been an insane experience, but I’d prefer to make a few more videos like Regal Road.

Who’s part in Inhabitants is your favorite?

Guru has my favorite part. He had ankle surgery right when he got on the team, and still pulled of a full part. Plus he’s just a super good guy. He stayed out in Spain with me for days, when he could have just went back to Texas.

Which videos are you looking forward to watching the most in the upcoming months?

Lakai!

What advice do you have for anyone out there who wants to get into filming?

Make a really good video with your friends and local skaters. If it’s good enough something will happen. Watch The Streets is Talking thats a good example.

Who is your favorite person to film with?

Stefan, cause he always brings Liam with him.

Is there another Habitat video on the horizon any time soon?

We’ll see how this one does first.

Check out the slideshow of Habitat riders attached to the left!