Underexposed is now on iTunes! Click here to buy and read our Reel Talk below with director Amelia Brodka.
Gender inequality in the skate world is not so much a secret as an inconvenient truth that most people would rather not talk about. Undaunted by the status quo, Amelia Brodka took the issue head-on as writer, director, and star of the documentary Underexposed. Featuring legendary pros, industry heads, a transgender skater, and even Nate Sherwood, her film explores the roots of the problem and advocates for change. —TRAVIS HANCOCK
What conversations do you want people to start having as a result of seeing your film?
Well, I just kind of wanted to raise aware- ness in general, so conversations about the fact that there are girl skateboarders and that there are growing numbers of them skateboarding at a higher level, because that conversation in itself is great. It’s kind of raising the visibility for it in terms of also growing it because there are younger girls that might be trying to decide what pastime activity they would like to get involved in, and it kind of opens doors for them. And then, on the industry side, maybe thoughts about how to incorporate it into whatever [companies] are doing, or maybe seeing it as an opportunity to grow their brand.
It seemed like almost everyone stayed for the Q&A at the Santa Monica premiere. Has that been typical at all of the showings?
It has, which is amazing because that is pretty much the goal of the documentary: to get people talking about it, to get people thinking about it, and just get people excited and motivated. And it has done that every time.
Who was your favor
My favorite was Elissa Steamer. She was just so fun and so friendly, and it was just a big deal for me to meet her because I grew up watching her skate and idolizing her. She was great and had a lot to say, and then she invited us over for this meatball cook-off she had, and it was just a phenomenal day, and she added a lot to it.
“I wanted to raise awareness in general,so conversations about the fact that there are girl skateboarders and that there are growing numbers of them skateboarding at ahigher level.”—Amelia Brodka
Is this your first documentary?
Yeah. I had no idea about anything having to do with film when I started, and I was like, “Well, I don’t even have a camera.” And my first thought was like, “I’ll just use my iPhone. It’ll work.”
And then I just ended up borrowing cameras and kind of learning as I went and just teaching myself how to do Final Cut. Then I met Brian Lynch, who was the producer, and he had more experience in film and he had equipment, too, and he just wanted to join forces, and so we did and that was great because I don’t know where I would have been without him. I would have been still trying to fiddle with some external audio thing [laughs]. But it was great. It worked out.