Using Roller Derby Skaters in Film: A Look at C-Block.

Skating and death.mp4_000003077

It’s been some fun filming… what will be the first three episodes of C-Block (stressful for me, but what can you do?). It’s been in an interesting experience to say the least. But I’ve said that about a million times. But it remains true. But I’m actually going to talk about something. Derby skaters as actors.

First of all, Derby skaters aren’t actors these days. We’re not talking the old school WWE-like derby here (though how awesome would that be these days?). They’re normal folks with a pretty difficult to master skill set… wrecking the shit out of people on skates in a semi-controlled manner. You have to ask to yourself when you’re making a series like this, how will they fare right out of the gate? Well I can tell you that things are mixed.

First off. You have to remember, they’re human (duh) and 9 times out of ten haven’t really done the type of thing they’re asking you to do and never been in this sort of long term situation that is filmmaking. You have to keep that in mind always you’re dealing with non-actors. They’re going to be all pins and needles that first day or two and patience is key.

However, when you get to that point when they’re all settled in, that whole mindset from derby can come right over and incorporate itself into your film… and it doesn’t really matter if there’s skating or not.

This really hit me on the last day when I was working with Lindsey and Kelly when I started writing this. When you’re filming those skating scenes, it’s important to know your marks. It is ALWAYS important to know your marks, but in this case it was imperative. Because you have to remember in derby, if you go out of bounds, you have to come back at the same spot you went out. That crosses right over into the filmmaking. That’s pretty cool.

Then there’s the idea of practice makes perfect. For both, you need to know what the hell you’re doing. It isn’t going to ALWAYS be perfect of course but you have to have a general gameplan… or things are just gonna go nuts. If you’ve ever seen a derby team that hasn’t practiced or 48 Hour Film… you know the drill.

Lastly, there’s a sense of loyalty. When you’re on a team. You know that no one person in more important than the other. And you all step up for one another. United you stand, divided you fall. With the derby players, it takes a lot to be at practice once or twice (or more) a week and get beat up. Then actually skate your bout and get beat up twice as hard.

Same goes for making these films. You have to listen to some jerk and get sucked into his make believe land. It requires the same levels of dedication because everything can’t happen without everyone being where they need to be. Everyone needs to be on same page as everyone else to create a wonderful experience that will exist pretty much forever. Or until the earth isn’t habitable anymore. That means everyone working as a

So basically, if someone wants to act for you, and they do roller derby… it’s a really safe bet they’ll work well with you. But on the other hand. They’re still happen and things could happen that are unpleasant. But it’s worth the risk. I wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, I lied. Maybe a few things. But it’s all good.

Stay tuned. There’s going to be more C-Block coming. It’s gonna be great. And it’s all here.

And like it on facebook and stuff. I talk a little there sometimes. Share it with your friends, people you hate, etc. We’re going to do fun and amazing things.

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