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Greg Hunt

Q&A on the making of Mind Field, unseen behind-the-scenes photos
from Greg, and a chance to win one of four Mind Field DVDs!

By Mark Whiteley, all photos Greg Hunt (portrait of Greg by Brook)

Who did Greg Hunt turn pro for, and what was his first graphic?

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with the subject “Hunt Trivia.”

Winner from the Cole Trivia:
James Higgins

How did you get involved with Mind Field, and how long did you work on it?
I got to know Castrucci and Carter through working with the DC team. I'd told Carter that I'd love to do a Workshop video long before Mind Field started, so when the time came I was kind of already there. Plus, I knew so many of the guys on the team already through other projects, so it was just kind of a natural move. We filmed for around three-and-a-half years and I edited for about three months.
Talk about the editing process. It sounded pretty intense.
I started editing it in LA during the summer because the video was initially to be released in the fall. Then it was pushed back, and we decided that I should go out to Ohio to do the final edit. I was there for nearly 14 weeks, and it was intense the whole time. I had to clear all the music as well as edit, which is a ton of work, so between that and editing I was working 18-hour days from the start. Then starting in November I switched to 20-hour days. I'd never drank a Red Bull in my life, but soon I was on three a day, then four. By January I was doing two- or three-day shifts and I felt super unhealthy. My chest constantly hurt and at one point my arms went numb. With all the bonus features and everything else, that's what it took, I guess. The funny thing is I still wish I had more time.
How much effort was put into capturing the random footage for the video? Was it happenstance for the most part, or was there a certain quota of birds-flying footage that had to be met?
A lot of the random stuff was shot just because something looked rad, or it was a cool moment with the team guys. I tried to keep it as natural as possible and made a point to never set anything or anyone up. I tried to just capture things and people as they were. But there was a lot of effort put into it. If there was a day that nobody was filming, I'd usually go out and film something that I'd noticed earlier but hadn't had the time to shoot. I was pretty much always shooting something.
Now that it's done and out, how do you feel about the final result?
I feel pretty good about the final product. The team guys seem stoked on it and they’re all getting a really good response to their parts, and to be honest, that's all that matters to me. I'm sure some people don't like certain things about the video, and that's fine because it isn't a normal video—so you have to expect that some people won't enjoy it as much as others. There are some things I'd definitely like to change still, but I just have to remind myself that I did the best that I could with the time and resources that I had. It feels good to be done.
How many miles do you think you drove making this video?
Enough to drive around the world five times or something. We didn't fly much.

There's a 60-page book of behind-the-scenes type photos that comes with the DVD, many of which are yours. Did you carry a camera constantly and shoot when you weren't filming? What would make you shoot a still photo of something instead of filming it?
I always like to carry a camera. At first I was shooting a lot of stills, but eventually I had to put the still camera down because I felt that I was missing a lot of moments that would be better in the video. The lighting dictated what I'd shoot—a lot of the 16mm and 8mm footage was shot in daylight, and a lot of the stills I shot were indoors or at the end of the day. Also, some things just felt like they'd be a good still, and others felt like they’d be cool in the video.
You're a film guy, as opposed to digital. How dedicated are you, and why? Any favorite cameras and film?
I'm not really dedicated to film versus digital. I'd be stoked to shoot digital nowadays because it's gotten so much better. I'd love to have a new Nikon or Canon digital camera, but until that happens I'll still shoot film. There definitely is something about the black and white grain and texture. As for cameras, a Leica M6 has been my main camera for years. I bought it off Lance Dawes. I also use a converted 4x5 camera occasionally.
With both your video and still photos, do you feel like you're documenting more, or making art?
I'm just documenting. But there are always those moments that you're trying to capture—whether it's a trick or a portrait or whatever—that have something special about them. And sometimes when everything comes together you end up with an image or a clip that has lots of feeling. People can read it as art or documentation, or whatever they want.

Do you have a next project lined up yet?
Yeah, I'm heading out to Australia in three weeks to start the Analog video. The goal is to release it in the summer of 2010, so we have about a year to film.
Any stance on long-term video projects versus the recent quicker, web-based releases?
I hope long-term videos never die. A lot of companies seem to have lost faith in spending a lot of time on a video, mostly because they don't sell as well. But could you imagine if skating only had short web videos and no full-length videos? It wouldn't be the same at all. There's something special about the full-length video. They fuel skateboarding in so many ways, and I'm not saying that because I make them. I'm a fan of them and I hope they never fade.