Watching Shop – Shop videos are great for so many reasons.

Skateboard videos have been a popular and effective way to market a brand-any type of brand-for almost two decades now.

And over the past ten years, shops have also taken advantage of this.Most shops sponsor a team of rippers that lend credibility. Shop videos showcase the team’s talents and promote the shop, teamriders, and the local scene.

The recent success of Coliseum’s P.J. Ladd’s Wonderful, Horrible Life shows that producing a shop video can be a solid path to follow when deciding where to spend limited marketing and promotional budgets.

“Putting a shop video together is one of the best things that a shop owner can do for skateboarding,” says “Fat Nick,” the owner of Anonymous skate shop in Cincinnati, Ohio. “It separates the ‘core shops from the mall shops. And it brings the scene together.”

Stacy Peralta is one of the pioneers of the skate-video revolution. Without Peralta’s first video, The Bones Brigade Video Show, and the subsequent releases of Future Primitive and The Search For Animal Chin, the skateboard environment would be vastly different from what it is today.

The advent of the video cameras and the explosion in popularity of video cassette recorders (VCR) brought new life to an entire generation of skaters. Magazine photography captured a moment, while skateboard videos showed skateboarders all over the world what was possible on a skateboard.

This same evolution happened in the shop-video arena as well. With the explosion of affordable home-video equipment throughout the 90s, it became completely feasible for a small shop to make a video. Early innovators such as San Francisco’s FTC and Philadelphia’s Fairman’s helped launch the careers for some of today’s top pros, including Karl Watson, Scott Johnston, Kerry Getz, and Bam Margera.

Shop videos are a great way to support your local scene and promote your shop at the same time, but it’s an arduous task. The best way to begin is to locate a filmer and an editor. Meet with everyone involved and discuss the expectations. It could be a beneficial project for all involved-the shop gets promoted, the filmers and editors get experience and money, and the skaters get exposure.

Locating a filmer who can also edit would kill two birds with one stone. It’s the editor’s duty to log tapes, edit music, and work closely with the riders and filmers. The editor will likely be using editing software such as Final Cut Pro for Macs or Adobe Premiere for PCs.

One of the toughest stages during editing is deciding what footage gets used and what gets cut. Ed Cox from Cowtown explains: “You have to set a standard for footage being used and try your best to adhere to that standard. You can’t sacrifice the video for riders being lazy. After all, the video represents the shop, and you don’t want a poor turnout.”

Matt Roman from Coliseum adds, “Don’t listen to any of the skaters, be careful who you let pick footage-be ruthless, and make the tough cuts.”

Sound mastering is a tricky aspect when winding up the editing process. Audio levels must be in range, and it pays to have this done by a professional. Joe Perrin of Westside Skates in Florida had to troubleshoot: “Some songs had too much bass, which makes it very tricky, because if the video isn’t being played on a high-quality sound system, there could be distortion.”

Box cover art says a lot about a shop’s video. Most duplicators can handle the printing of box covers as well as the duplicating of the videos. It pays to consider all the potential fees, such as shrink-wrapping, face and spine labels, art charge, and turnaround time.

It’s possible to start marketing the video even before it’s back from the duplicator. Making a trailer to run on a loop tape in the store is a great way to hype the video while it’s still in the production stage. Sending advance copies to the major magazines for review can give the video added exposure.

Wrapping up the process once videos are selling includes paying the filmers and editor, discussing a possible DVD release after a few months, and planning for the next video. Creating a shop video is a long, tough process, but if done right, the shop-and the local scene-will benefit from your efforts. Ian McPherson from Atlanta, Georgia’s Ruin skate shop explains: “I wanted to show Atlanta and whoever else wanted to watch that we have amazing skating going on in Atlanta.”

Producing a quality shop video can put your shop on the map, bring attention to unknown great skaters, and establish it as the place to go when in your area.