Love For Skating - A Mini Documentary.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

 

We saw an instagram reel of cinematographer GianCarlo Stigliano's new mini skate documentary featuring Allie Frank, Caroline Duerr, and Rachel Barnfield and knew we needed to find out more about this amazing project. After you watch the film, you'll understand why. The way GianCarlo captured the true essence of skateboarding, the friendship between the three girls, and tackled the age old question, "why do you skate?" is superb.

We had some questions of our own for the crew, and we are stoked that they were happy and willing to talk about how this all came about and more!

 

Love For Skating - Mini Documentary from GianCarlo Stigliano on Vimeo.

 
We thought we'd start off by speaking with cinematographer GianCarlo and getting his perspective.
 
 
May we ask what made you decide to do a short film with female skateboarders?

Something I am very passionate about is being able to find local people who have really awesome talents, a business, or have a really fascinating story and be able to create a short profile film to tell their story. For me, it's a way to share hidden gems within our community and allow people to express themselves on film. For this project, initially, what sparked my interest was seeing a few photos of Allie skating vert. I have never seen that before and was immediately interested in what it took to be able to do that. I reached out to Allie to see if she would be interested in doing a small profile film about her and her passion for skating. After a few discussions, she brought up Caroline & Rachel. Allie wanted to see if I had any interest in including them in this project. She continued to explain the relationship they all shared with each other and I was immediately enlightened to create a bigger story. I saw the friendship between them and how they empower each other, hype each other up, their passion for helping and teaching younger girls and knew that this is a story not only about them but a story to inspire other girls to get after it and not be afraid to try something, even if society or people tell you, you cant. 

People are sometimes under the assumption that short films come together in hours, can you share with us how many days of filming it took to create this beautiful story?

In total 5 shoot days over the course of a month. 
 
Your films all touch upon very different subject matters - how  did you originally meet the three girls?

So I originally met Allie in middle school I believe. Or kinda knew of her. All I know is that I knew who she was when I saw those initial photos. We also have a lot of mutual friends so it wasn't like reaching out to a complete stranger. Once I reconnected with Allie and started up the conversation she introduced me to Caroline and Rachel. The first time I met them was on the first day of shooting. By the end of the shooting, we were all so comfortable with each other and I am so grateful to have met them.
 
 
Giancarlo during the filming of "Love for Skating"


What did you learn about female skateboarders after spending time filming this project?
 
During the filming process and traveling with them to different skateparks I realized that the skate community really is such an amazing and welcoming place for every person. Wherever we were, they were treated as equals and I think with the growing girls skate scene it's starting to become normal to see more and more girls skating and joining the community. Whenever Allie, Caroline, or Rachel would land a trick or try something new they would get the same amount of hype and claps and praises as everyone else did. For me, being an outsider in the skate community, it doesn't matter if you're a girl or a guy, as long as you have a passion for skating, you're a kind and humble person, you're active in the skate community and you're willing to try new tricks at the risk of slamming, people respect that, and treat you as one of their own.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about the filming process and working with Allie, Rachel & Caroline?

This was my first time filming skate and boy is it different than anything else I have ever filmed. It's so quick and you can miss something in an instant. There were moments where I may have shot 20 or more different takes of this one specific scene when they were trying to land a specific trick. A small part of me was like, "hopefully they land this soon, so we can move on." And the other part of me was so invested in the process that I didn't care how many tries it took I wanted to see them land that trick. The way they kept getting up after falling time and time again was inspiring to me and really showed their passion and willingness to not give up on something they're striving for. Filming with them has been a true honor and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share their story and hopefully have created a film that inspires other girls to overcome their fears and get after it.
 
 


 
Allie, you seem to be the ringleader behind this project, from answering our DM's to pulling the girls together for filming, so we're going to start with you, and get your take on some things we know people will want to know after watching the documentary. Allie is a technical skater and we could see her competing out here in California at some point in the near future. (fingers crossed!)
 

How old were you when you started skateboarding?
 
I started skateboarding when I was 19 in Hawaii. My friends would bring me to Banzai and I couldn’t keep watching on the side lines, I wanted in on the action. I started by rolling down a bank barefoot on a cruiser. It was so thrilling and I was hooked.
 
We saw so many locations in the film - what is your favorite place to skate?
 
This is a hard one. There’s so many fun/different spots around. It depends on what type of skating I’m in the mood for. I love a good hype session at Wharton in Philly when I’m on it. It’s a pretty tight bowl so you can go super fast. Everyone is usually fired up there. My hometown park in Brick, NJ is always fun to try new things at with my friends. My favorite park I’ve ever skated has to be Linda Vista in California. There are a couple backyard ramps and bowls that have a special place in my heart. Those are always the best times, barbecuing and hanging out with your crew in between lines. 
 
 Do you have a favorite trick?
 
 Feeble grinds to fakie, fakie to board slides or half cabs are my favorite at the moment. Once I can do frontside smith grinds on extensions that will be my favorite. 
 
What was it like filming this mini doc with GianCarlo - any moments that stand out?
 
It was exhilarating filming this but also very challenging. I’m pretty new to filming, it puts the pressure on. You don’t want to take up the filmer’s entire day trying to land one trick. What usually comes natural all the sudden becomes more difficult. Carlo was really efficient in helping us feel comfortable on camera. He would remind us that it’s all good if we don’t land something, which I thought was cool of him. He was going to capture what he was meant to capture. The highlight of the project was taking him to Philly with us. He was kicking it with us in the insanity of FDR. He got to meet some of our friends and experience more reasons why we love this. He really got a feel for the raw culture surrounding skateboarding. From fellow skaters egging each other on, all the diverse styles to the upbeat music and energy of a skaters night life.. I think he got a taste for the whole scene. He took the time to get to know us on a personal level which is why I think he nailed the short film. 
 
 
What message do you have for girls who want to start skateboarding, but may be the only girl at the skate spot?
 
 
"Instead of feeling like you don’t belong, know that everyone thinks it’s rad to see a girl going after it."
 
Be more curious than afraid. Let go of what you look like, accept that you are going to fall at times and focus on the feeling. It’s all about having fun. Remember why you wanted to start in the first place. Imagine if someone else started to skateboard because of you. You might just help someone find their purpose in this wild life and that’s amazing. 
 
Last words?
 
Follow your dreams. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s happening for you right now, remember that hard work pays off. You’re on your way! Everyone grows and learns at a different pace on their own path. Take others accomplishments as inspiration that you can too, because we are all just human beings. And most importantly always get back up. Allow all the falls to redirect you to achieving what you set out for in the first place. 




Rachel is always smiling and going for it - it's no wonder that Allie and Caroline approached her at the skatepark and they all became fast friends.While she has only been skating since 2018 she has picked it up fast and has great style - and has a lot of wisdom to share, so read on!

What made you want to skateboard originally?

I started skating in October of 2018, when I was 15. My brother was pretty into skating at the time and really gave me that push to start going to the parks with him. After my first day at the park I had fallen in love. My dad, brother, and I then went ahead to build a mini ramp in our yard, which became my safe spot.

Any place that is your absolute favorite "go to" place to ride?

My all time favorite place to skate is Wharton’s warehouse in Philly. I also love my local park in brick. Both parks always have such a welcoming feel and atmosphere. All the locals for both parks make each sesh super fun and hype. 

How about your "go to" tricks?

My favorite tricks are sweepers and bonelesses/boneless disasters. I love the feeling of landing both tricks. 

 Can you share with us what this filming experience was like?

Filming with Carlo was awesome. He is such a positive and pure genuine guy to be around. Filming definitely was different to me. I am pretty camera shy to begin with, I'm not the biggest fan of having eyes on me but Carlo made me feel so comfortable. He is beyond patient and we all appreciated that so much when we took forever to land something. He pushed us to keep trying not only for his clip, but he knew when we could do something rather than giving up. 

What do you wish other girls getting started in skateboarding knew to make it easier when going to the park for the first time?

Skate with your body and your heart and not with your head. Of course it scary, trust me I know the worries, nerves, anxieties, thoughts, shaky legs, embarrassed red cheeks from just holding your board the first times at the parks let alone actually trying to drop in and learn tricks. It is beyond worth it. Push through the fear and the uncomfortableness for the first month or so and it will change your life forever. Everyone will be so stoked to see you start trying and everyone has been the beginner at the park so know how you feel. The skate community is so welcoming to beginners let alone any gnarly female trying to break the gender norms of this sport. 

Words of wisdom?

 

"Never limit yourself. Don’t hold back because you already think you can’t do something and never be afraid of falling."

 If you never fall you’ll never succeed in skating. Push yourself and enjoy the beauty of skateboarding.

 

 

In this film you get the sense that Caroline is a true soul skater - the OG kind, who would be right at home in Venice, CA back in the '70s slashing and grinding backyard pools, as she is now skating her heart out anywhere she goes. She brings that old school vibe to the group and it's seriously fun to watch her skate! Her answers below fall right in line with the OG vibe - we love it!

What made you pick up a skateboard?
 
I got on the skateboard for the first time when I was pretty little. Thanks to my Dad- an old skater and avid surfer- my garage was fully equipped with skateboards and surfboards growing up. He taught me how to surf and skate but I truly began pursuing skating over 3 years ago now.  

Where would you skate daily, if you could?

I have a lot of love for brick skate park in NJ. I spend much of my time in Philly and skate FDR, Wharton Street Warehouse, and Grays Ferry a bunch. 

That trick you just love to do?

frontside layback

 What was this filming experience like for you?

Carlo was very fun to film with. He’s a great communicator, talented filmmaker and all around genuine human being. His support behind the lens most definitely made a difference when filming. 

What do you want every girl starting out to know?
 
 
 "My advice for girls who want to start skating but feel outnumbered by the boys at the park is to believe in yourself and just be yourself."
 
 
 
Don’t let fear hold you back from making friends or making progress at the skatepark. 


Big thanks to GianCarlo, Allie, Caroline and Rachel for taking the time to do this interview!





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