Saturday Snaps with
Who is Josh Baltazar?
A 25 year old guy from Leeds who rides bikes and attempts to make a living by pointing cameras at things.
I’ve dabbled in film making since 2003, but it's only the past two or three of years that I’ve really started taking it seriously and considering it as my job.
What got you into filming and making videos?
Long story short: I failed all my GCSEs and pretty much the only option available at the time to thickos like my 16 year old self was to go to college and do a GNVQ in a non academic subject. The choices were all bullshit courses like travel and tourism, health and beauty, I.T and a load of other rubbish. The only viable course was one in media production, so I enrolled and to my surprise actually got really into it and everything kind of took off from there.
First video related memory:
Dropping a camera off a tripod on my first day at college. Wasn't the best start...
Best videographer experience:
I went to India at the start of this year to do some shooting which was an incredible experience. The shoot itself was nothing special, just a pretty boring corporate job but it was only a couple of days long so I had a week to explore and do some extra filming for a documentary I was working on.
That country is definitely a headfuck. I always thought it was an exaggeration when you see it on TV and it looks mental, but it's actually worse! There are people everywhere, malnourished three year old kids begging on the streets, limited sanitation, post apocalyptic looking slums, the most dangerous roads in the world, bizarre and confusing toilet facilities... It's all there. Definitely a culture shock for someone who has never left Europe previously, but at the same time the culture was amazing to see. It is so different from the European way of life; all the people are so welcoming and happy to feed a complete stranger even though they have very little themselves. Going around and seeing the historical stuff including all the ancient temples was cool too.
Worst videographer experience:
On that same trip I hadn't been in the country longer than five hours before a taxi driver pretty much drove into the middle of nowhere five hours into a 300 mile journey and wouldn’t take me to where I was supposed to go until I gave him a big fucking bribe. At the time it felt like the start of something that ends five months later with a blurry video on the internet of you with a black hood over your noggin getting beheaded with a blunt machete.
A few days later I nearly got arrested for filming without a permit which was also pretty scary. Needless to say I won't be going back to India to film in a hurry...
Advice for filming and making a BMX video:
Don't just blindly copy all the other BMX videos out there. Listen to lots of music, read books and watch film's to get ideas and inspiration from outside the BMX realm. Also try making another genre of film, anything, could be a music video, documentary, short fiction, whatever just as long as it’s not BMX. It will broaden your horizons and teach you new film making techniques which you can use in your BMX films.
Also cater the shooting and editing style to the type of rider you’re filming rather than your own personal tastes. You want the viewer to be lost in the riding, not be distracted by a poor song choice or distracting camerawork.
Three favourite filmmakers:
For BMX films:
Dave Parrick, Joe Simon and Stew Johnston
And a few outside of BMX:
Clint Eastwood, Gaspar Noe, Darren Arenofsky, Vincent Gallow, Harmony Korine and Werner Herzog.
I can't pick one to be honest, the completion of every project feels like an achievement. I guess these days people giving me money to make films is an achievement in itself.
Why do you make videos?
It's my window to the world.
OK this was just a little piss take of that old Guinness advert with surfers. It was spontaneously filmed in only ten minutes but I think it came out pretty nice. This is also the only photographic record of our old trails spot which got ploughed last year by bastards.
More trails again this time from PH in Leeds. The riding is nothing amazing but the point of this was to capture the trails vibe rather than to capture a load of banger tricks.
Short but sweet one of Jono Bell, filmed a couple of years ago at The Works skatepark.
This is my showreel with bits and pieces of everything I’ve filmed for work as well as other random projects not related to riding. It's basically a video CV to send to whoever is hiring for shoots. I do a new one once a year and I really like how this one turned out.