There are probably only a handful of filmers who will send it down the pro jump line to get the shot they want. It's safe to say that most guys behind the lens, besides the fact that they're lugging around an expensive camera rig, are content with filming from the knuckle, or dropping in with the rider then veering over to the side. When you do see big kicker line edits, they're usually filmed by one of the other pros in the session. But Spencer Whiting, aka Gimbal God, has stepped up to the plate to deliver some of the sickest follow cam shots ever. Nobody really gets as close to the action as he does.
We've been watching Stale Sandbech's YouTube channel like hawks in anticipation of more Gimbal God madness, and every time a new Episode of 'The Out Takes' drops we're dropping everything else to watch it straight away. It's goddam exciting to see, and even though most of us will never hit jumps as well as these guys, it's sick to get a closer perspective and imagine what it feels like. Watching films like Hitch Haller's 'Glue' got us so hyped to go snowboarding because it brings a real sense of speed, expressing a close perspective to the feeling of snowboarding. Spencer has a way of making you feel that rush, which some would argue has been lacking in snowboard films of late.
What makes his edits even more enjoyable is that he's clearly hyped by what he witnesses in front of him, and his positive energy rubs off on everyone around him. He's the one helping the guys we all love to watch work out their tricks and lines, taking endless laps until they get it right. So, Spencer was the perfect candidate for the next in our series of Glass Eye interviews (maybe this one should be called long-ass pole Glass Eye) so read on to see what's been happening in his life. We can't wait to see what he does next.
Words: William Sleigh. Photos and Edits: Spencer Whiting / Gimbal God
How is it down under at the moment? It looks like you're having way too much fun!
It’s been really fun. The weather hasn’t been on our side too much the last month but we’ve been making the most of it and having fun in the rain haha.
How long will you be with Stale this winter?
Not entirely sure, but I do know until November then we’re going to figure out a plan for the season.
What's the best way to lure a kangaroo in for a selfie?
Word on the street is that they love Vegemite on toast.
Let's talk about your filming setup. What does it look like at the moment?
Wizard Stick: GoPro Hero 5. Karma Grip. ND 16 Filter. Second GoPro with an external mic attached. Long ass pole.
Second Camera: Panasonic GH5
When did you first pick up a camera? What was it? What other sides of filmmaking/ editing are you interested in?
I’ve always been into photography and videography growing up. My buddy gave me one of the first GoPro’s when he started working for them back in probably 2011 and then my friends and I would use them to film little snowboard edits in Mammoth. Recently I’ve been super into learning to colour better and do more lifestyle/destination based filming. My main goal is to get better at storytelling.
How did you get into snowboard filming?
I was a super shitty contest rider so I came up with the idea for my buddies and me to start making web videos. I remember I was thinking how we could make our stuff look different from other GoPro stuff that was coming out. At the time FeiyuTech came out with their first gimbal ever, so naturally, I convinced them to get me a deal on one. I got really into doing the follow cams and Brandon got messed up good at snowboarding. Then eventually Davey Smidt gave me an opportunity to film the GoPro team down in Australia last summer which was my first ever actual project I’ve done.
Who was the biggest influence on you when developing your filming style?
Davis Paul hands down. He got me started and taught me everything I know about filming and editing haha. I really look up to Abe Kislevtiz, Joe Carlino, Greg Weaver, John Cavan and Olav.
How many times has a rider smashed your gimbal mid-air?
If by the gimbal, you mean me. Once. It sucked. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again.
How many GoPros and gimbals have you broken by filming too close to the dudes?
Haha too many. Definitely up to 10-20 by now in my life. I think since April I’ve gone through 5.
Where do you find inspiration, apart from Instagram?
I look at surfing, skateboarding and a few different creators within the travel industry a lot. I see the way they do things and think of ways to implement that into snowboarding. At the end of the day, I just want to create something that’s unique and makes me stoked when I watch it.
What do you think will change about snowboard movies in the next few years? What will never change?
Getting the best crew of riders together to produce something that pushes snowboarding in the right direction is what’d I’d like to see never change. There’s always going to different audiences for certain videos. My content is the total opposite of Videograss and your typical core snowboard videos but I look up to those guys so much because at the end of the day after watching Videogracias you’re hyped. As far as the future goes, I have no clue. You can’t predict anything these days but as long as everyone emphasizes style over quad corks we will be good.
What are your plans for the rest of the winter?
Can we expect Gimbal God Full Movie in the near future? Please say yes haha
Who wants to put up the budget?!