Sunday, July 21, 2024
From The MagPro RidersRyan Goloversic

Ryan Goloversic

In this new series for 2020, Kitesurfing Magazine explores the world of kitesurfing video blogs. What makes for a successful video? How can we all make better videos? Kitesurfing Magazine tracks down the personalities behind kitesurfing’s most popular video blogs, and finds out their secrets for success. For this issue Michigan videographer and editor Ryan Goloversic shares his story.

How did you get into kite vlogging?

Ryan Goloversic: The short version of the story starts in 2016. Five years prior, I had left my career to pursue freelance videography in the kite industry. It turned out to be a wild ride because the industry and videography were changing fast! What was once a unique and high-demand skill was becoming something everyone had access to. Luckily for me, I stepped into a content creation role for MACkite, and Steve Negen, the founder, was open to trying new things and giving people a shot. I was given the opportunity to create videos.

MACkite’s marketing director, Jake Vanderzee, asked me to start doing vlogs for the shop. I thought about it and decided to build a team of vloggers, each sharing their lifestyle and helping people within their areas of expertise.

I teamed up with Blake Olsen, Crystal Veness and Tucker Vantol. The rest is history. We had Blake on trick tips, Crystal doing a travel guide,\ and Tucker was the hydrofoil guru. I would function as a producer, planning content, filming and editing. I would also handle reviews and behind-the-scenes vlogs to share the adventure with everyone.

What have been your most popular videos or topics that you covered?

In a word, kiteloops! Beyond that, tutorials always do well, as does content that sheds new light on a subject. It seems that as long as we give the topic at hand the attention it deserves and genuinely aim to help people, there is always someone who will appreciate it.

Are you ever surprised by what goes viral? 

I wouldn’t say we’ve ever had a viral video, but I have been caught off guard. Sometimes a completely random topic will blow up. Blake did a video on how to trim your kite and people came out of the woodwork in droves. I did a comparison of board shapes, sizing and construction. That also received a surprising amount of views.

More often than not, I know a video will do well before we even film it. Blake and I wrote up a video titled 5 Steps to Better Kite Control and that has been a top performer for years. 

Do you have a love or a hate relationship with the YouTube algorithm?

I’m 100 per cent neutral on this topic. At the end of the day, you have to cater to the machine and to the humans using the machine. It’s like driving a car. You don’t have to be an expert on the science. You have to stay current and work with the machine but, in the end, creating content focused on people will win out in the long run in spite of the occasional burn from changing algorithms.

Tell us about your filming setup. How often does it change?

I like to try out new toys every year or so, paired with my standard gear. For consistency, I shoot with a 35 millimeter. I try to get clean riding shots with a shallow depth of field. Most important for me is keeping my gear compact! I prefer a professional camera for action shots, a drone for storytelling, and a GoPro for vlogging.

I’m on the road about every eight weeks, traveling to film and kite. Between the kite and camera gear, I feel like a backpacker always trying to reduce the weight of my pack. Some airlines are now weighing carry-ons. I’ll never forget the half-confused, half-annoyed look on an airline employee’s face as she flatly stated, “sir, you have 15 kilos in your bag.”

What is your ratio of minutes filmed to minutes in the final project?

This varies greatly from project to project. I’m always working on improving my workflow and staying organized. Three years ago, I would spend days filming and days editing a single video.

For perspective, my first project was with Chris Bobyrk in Brazil back in 2012. It took us thirty days of filming and three weeks of editing. Last November, we linked up for 45-minutes of filming and edited for about four hours to produce the same amount of work.

For our staple video series, most videos average roughly 6-to-8 hours of editing, motion graphic work and photoshopping the thumbnails. I can film about eight videos in three-to-six hours of time on the water. Vlogs are filmed sporadically during a trip. For shorter videos, sometimes filming takes an hour and editing takes an hour. It just depends! 

I’m not sure how to quantify the rest of the time spent on these projects. Strangely, there is no separation from my everyday life and this gig. We’re just sharing our lives and passions with people. YouTube is as much a part of my life now as brushing my teeth or getting a session.

Do you have things planned out with a storyboard in advance, or is it more organic, chaos, or a bit of both?

Let’s call it planned chaos. Everything starts with a plan. I draft up a mission statement for every trip with a list of goals. From there, it’s about ebbing and flowing with the circumstances. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate; it might be storming or not windy. I’ve had shoots where we planned on filming twintip tricks that were scripted out and, due to light wind, we made up hydrofoil tricks on the spot as it’s all we could do.

Sometimes these creative moments are the most fun! When you’re having fun and simply enjoying the process in spite of it not going your way, that will show through on a project. People appreciate authenticity and a huge part of our sport is that wind can be fickle.

How do you manage your workflow? Get it edited right away, or file it and work on it later?

I keep all my projects organized by date and label everything. I’m fortunate that my professional editing background trained me to be systematic. I like to label footage right away and lay out each video on a timeline.

From there I’ll edit anywhere from a week to a few months later. At this point, most everything is habitual. I don’t need to think much while editing unless I’m starting a fresh series.

What was the best advice you heard that helped make your videos better?

The best tip I ever got is the most timeless: help people and make it all about them. We live in a time where tech changes daily. No matter what changes in the next 10-to-100 years in content, I imagine this rule will still be paramount.

When it comes to advice based on trends, in my experience knowing when to break the rules has worked best. Usually, by the time someone has written about it, things have changed. For example, a common rule for content was that you needed to keep videos short. In truth, as long as they are entertaining, you can make them as long as they need to be. You have to respect people’s time.

Any big projects in the works for 2020?

Yes, I’ve been working on a progressive trick tip series focused on unhooked riding, cleverly called Unhooked. The past few years, I’ve noticed that fewer people on the beach are unhooking. It seems that it’s exclusively pros and a handful of people on local breaches practicing. My theory is that shops and riders, myself included, have deterred new riders from trying because it comes off as intense. While that’s true for first-season riders, no one is telling second-year riders it’s a good time to try. It’s a shame as this is one of many fun disciplines in our sport!

On top of that, the amazing athletes competing have pushed the level so high it seems unapproachable to the average rider on the beach. Often, those who are interested don’t know where to start or what to practice. Big air is easy to understand! Wakestyle, not so much. In truth, all these advanced moves are simply combinations of fundamental moves.

This next project is going to give riders a starting point. I’ll break down each fundamental move with drills and goals to practice in order to progress faster and safer. It’s something I’m passionate about and I would love to see more people who previously thought, “I can’t,” to give it a try! Of course, at the end of the day, viewer response will dictate the future of this series. I’m curious to see what happens.

All and all, I’m stoked to have the opportunity to contribute to the the kitesurfing community the only way I know how. YouTube, like kiteboarding, has changed my life in ways I never imagined possible. It has taken me around the globe and allowed me to meet like-minded kiteboarders everywhere. I never would have guessed that one day my full time job would be traveling and making kite videos with my friends. I’m grateful for the past three years and look forward to many more adventures with the MACkite team. 

My Setup

Camera:

Sony FS 700, Mavic Pro, GoPro Hero 8 

Mic:

Rode Videomicro Compact 

Lens:

Sony 18-200mm F/3.5 5-6.3

Hard drives:

A huge pile of powered two terabyte drives.

Editing software:

Adobe Creative Suite 

Computer hardware:

Mac and Macbook Pro 

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