Libertyville teenager Max Kollman holds his video camera low as he flies on his skateboard around a dilapidated, outdoor basketball court.
He's trying to capture his friend Scotty Brooke as he nosegrinds on a metal bench, heelflips his board, lands a nollie 360, hits a 5-0 and ends with a hard flipback 50/50.
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If that last sentence didn't make any sense to you, don't feel bad. You're just probably not familiar with lingo used to refer to skateboard tricks.
Kollman is starting his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota, but he started skateboarding as young kid. It was in the eighth grade that he got serious and took up filming his friends.
"Eventually, skateboarding took a hold of me where I wanted to do it every day, and felt the need to do it everyday," explained Kollman. "I also felt the need to share it with other people, and that's when I started filming."
He began his new hobby, like most young filmmakers, by borrowing his parents handicam and buying a fisheye lens to capture the effects that he wanted.
Eventually, he purchased a nice high-definition video camera by working as a bagger at Mariano's food store and as a janitor at the Libertyville school district, where he saved up $3,000 for new equipment.
Kollman and his friends like to meet up at the popular Harmony Skateshop in McHenry and find places to skate around town that aren't usually designated skating areas.
"You can go guerrilla style, carry a backpack with you and you go find a spot," explains Kollman, who says the locations where skating is frowned upon are often the most fun.
He has developed a shooting style that requires him to skateboard alongside the skater he is shooting, a skill unto itself. It also means he has taken a few spills and scratched a lens or two.
He also likes to shoot from different angles that are outside the norm, sometimes laying on the ground as a skateboarder flies over a rock or shooting through a fence to capture the grittiness of the sport.
"Skateboarding is amazing because people suffer through the pain, because it gives them pleasure to ride this piece of wood down the street," Kollman says.
After getting the footage, then it's back to his bedroom where he edits his work on a computer and creates his video pieces using video editing software. The editing process can often take much longer than the shooting itself, but his results speak for themselves.
His work can be found on YouTube, including one called "Chicago Fun" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJSpM5ISuCM.