Every once in a while, I come across a YouTube-Channel which has published some outstanding uploads. Then you look and their subscriber count, and it doesn’t represent the quality of the videos. Spootyskater is one of those channels that are highly enjoyable and entertaining. But who is this Spootyskater guy?
My name is Andrew Bibby, AKA Spootyskater. I was born in London, England, lived in Cardiff, Wales, until age nine, and now I live in the Greater Orlando area of Central Florida in the USA. During the day, I work in the marketing department for a law firm here in Orlando, and in the evenings and weekends, most of my free time is dedicated to creating videos for my YouTube channel.
What inspired you to do YouTube videos, and how did you get started?
I first began making and publishing YouTube videos in early 2008. A friend of mine started a channel posting flatground tricks and mini edits, and that inspired me to start creating videos of my own.
Using my mother’s small point-and-shoot camera, which only recorded 20-second clips with no audio, I started creating brief skateboarding videos of flatground tricks in the driveway. Eventually, I got a video camera of my own, and the videos evolved into more montage-style edits.
The channel actually did reasonably well, and I managed to garner a relatively decent number of subscribers, but I obviously didn’t have thick enough skin to be putting myself out onto the internet because I ended up deleting it shortly after receiving some negative comments. I often wonder what the channel would look like today if I had just ignored them and stuck with it. Hindsight is always 2020.
I’d had the itch to start making videos again for quite a while because I’ve always loved the video-making process, but I wasn’t sure what kind of content I wanted to make. At the end of 2019, I got back into skateboarding after a lengthy hiatus, so I decided to revive the Spootyskater channel almost 12 years later.
Your videos seem very structured. Take us through your video-making process, from planning to the upload.
When it comes to creating content, my strategies often vary. If I get an idea that I want to explore, I make sure to write it down straight away, and if I have time, I try and flesh it out by writing more about the topic. I’ve found it’s important to jump on the idea while still fresh because if it sits too long, I’m not usually as keen to begin working on it.
Some of my proudest videos have been the result of skateboarding and filming it with no prior concept of a video idea. Oftentimes as the day and the session progress, thoughts will start to flow, and a concrete idea will be formed. Those can be the most satisfying videos to make because they feel a lot like sculpting something out of thin air.
Sometimes I write scripts; sometimes, I don’t. The videos I’ve written scripts for always tend to feel more like speeches rather than organic, conversational skate vlogs. But if I have a clear and concise message I want to convey, I think having strong, preplanned wording to go off of is immensely helpful.
Lately, it’s rare that I skate and don’t film. It’s definitely a lot freer when I do end up skating without bringing out the camera. Still, then I always anticipate getting FOMO if I end up working on or landing a new or personally impressive trick. I enjoy filmmaking as much as I enjoy skateboarding, and the fact that I can do both at the same time is fantastic.
The editing process is probably the most consistent component in my video-making workflow. All relevant, captured footage is imported and sifted through, and then compiled into a coherent order. I try to remove anything that isn’t important or necessary to the video’s overall message or theme. Most of the time, I’ll include something random or funny that happened at the beginning of the video because those first 30 seconds are crucial to hooking and entertaining the viewer.
What’s your favorite video on your channel, and why?
It’s hard to choose a single, specific video as an absolute favorite because I work hard on each one and every video always feels like the “best one yet!” But if I had to choose one, I’d have to pick Wednesday purely due to its randomness, rawness, and silliness. I think it perfectly embodies the mantra of “skateboarding and shenanigans.”
Who do you look up to in terms of making videos?
Casey Neistat is obviously the GOAT. I’ve spent many afternoons binging his older vlogs; there’s a reason he’s considered the godfather of YouTube; in fact, a couple of reasons. When I was first starting out, I watched a lot of Gene Nagata’s channel Potato Jet. His videos helped me decide which camera I wanted to use and provided a bunch of insight into the platform and keeping videos engaging and entertaining. Peter McKinnon is also an incredible filmmaker, and Josh Yeo from the channel MAKE. ART. NOW. He absolutely blows me away with his video production.
Some weird or funny comments you remember?
Besides the occasional spam message, my comments are relatively genuine and standard. However, I did have someone comment on one of my POV skateboarding videos to tell me I have a nice voice, but that’s about as weird as they’ve gotten so far.
What do you keep coming back to when you’re not feeling it to go out and skate and record?
If I’m not skating or filming, I’m usually editing. If I’m not editing, I’m drawing, playing Xbox, or spending time with my girlfriend.
Your favorite YouTubers?
I think it’d be difficult to be a fan of the skateboarding-vlogger niche and not like John Hill’s videos. I also enjoy George Poulos, Spencer Barton, Dale Decker, and, more recently, Dan Corrigan. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, though, because I have to be extra careful that I’m not subconsciously plagiarizing ideas by watching content that is in a similar category to my own.
What’s your setup?
My setup needs updating and will most likely be different by the time this comes out. At the moment, I’m riding a CCS blank 8.25 (just because it’s what I had available) with Independent Hollows, Bones 54 mm, and Bones Reds. I have yet to become committed to a single brand or manufacturer. I often try out different products and combinations, still trying to find that perfect groove for my personal tastes.