Jobs In Skateboarding - Videographer / Marketing Consultant

 Jobs In Skateboarding - Videographer / Marketing Consultant.

Looking from the outside in it may seem as if jobs in skateboarding are few and far between, but once you delve deeper into the possibilities there's a plethora of careers surrounding our favourite toy. We hit up as many people as possible to investigate deeper to ask ‘What do you even do?’, so hopefully you’ll learn something new and find helpful ways to get into our so-called skateboarding industry. 

Below Kev Parrott discusses his decades long involvement with video-making for skateboarding (pre-instagram, pre-youtube) alongside some of the biggest brands in our world. 

Jobs In Skateboarding - Kev Parrot - Desk

What's your name?

Kevin Parrott

What is your current role and who do you work for?

I’m not sure I have a job title currently. I was splitting myself as a freelance Marketing consultancy and Videographer.

I did a bit of Team Management for éS, etnies and Emerica on the side while working for a whole bunch of brands out there on various video projects.

Soletech (éS, etnies & Emerica) seems to have ramped up and I seem to be working for them for most of my time so as of this year I guess the title would be Skate Marketing EMEA. That has been the title bandied about, at least. I’ll still do a bit of freelance work, though…

What is it that you actually do? / What takes up a majority of your work time?

With Soletech, it’s everything from the normal stuff like shipping shoes, filming riders, shooting photos and running trips to then hiring other filmers and photographers, pitching marketing ideas and projects and seeing them all the way from budgeting to delivery, dealing with contracts, building catalogue imagery, running the social media with the crew here….a bit of product feedback. I guess it’s all under working up the overall marketing direction with the crew, convincing everyone that my weird ideas are the right move and then making that happen.

I am kind of involved in everything which needs that European lens on the skate side - outside of sales - as most of the marketing crew is US based. And as they are primarily a skate company, that means quite a lot of work across the three companies.

And then the other video stuff – its anything from getting tricks with people for projects to working on whole pieces for them.

Did you have any roles in the skate industry before this?

I found a business card which Puzzle (Old Euro 411VM style video magazine) made me recently. They sent me tons of these cards and my title was “Senior Videographer” which is quite funny as back then, I don’t think I ever met any of those guys and definitely just was a kid sending bits and pieces of footage I filmed. I didn’t ever give out a single one of those business cards. There was nothing senior about it. Probably felt nice at the time, though.

I worked as a freelance videographer and writer back then. I wrote for a bunch of mags: UK and overseas ones, too. I filmed for anyone who had a budget. Or product to give me. And I sofa surfed a lot in other countries.

I guess all that led on to me working as Assistant Editor for a couple of years at Sidewalk and then I worked at Volcom for almost 11 years as a marketing manager. Probably should have left that one a bit sooner. Ha.

I helped set up the UKSA, too which I guess was a precursor to Skateboard GB. That was pre-Sidewalk. I was only really interested in getting park builders to work in concrete as when we started, it was just grim metal ramps. We were way behind every other country in that sense and travelling made me realise that. As soon as it got away from the concrete and expanded to advocacy and contests, etc. I kind of felt like it wasn’t what I cared about so moved on.

 What’s the best thing about your job?

Some of the people you work with are just amazing. I reckon that’s probably the best thing. Being freelance, you get to choose to work with people and you choose those who are just plain rad. And if you get to witness them skate at their best; or ask nerdy questions about some epic moment in skate history, well those memories I reckon will last forever.

And then being able to come up with an idea and having it backed…and then the fun of working towards delivering it.

What’s the worst thing about your job?

Being able to come up with an idea and having it backed…and then the pressure of working towards delivering it. Ha. Ringing someone up to tell them they’ve reached the end of the road with a brand will never be nice. Even if that person is a dick.

It can be hard managing time off, too – I mean, every weekend and most evenings, without fail I will have people hit me up needing something. It is nice when they are just sending you some sick clip they’ve filmed to see what you think, though.

Any advice for skateboarders out there who want to pursue your line of work?

Don’t wait for someone to give you a job to prove what you can do. Setup and build your own thing; be it a brand or a scene. Support the good people. Build together. Take advice but don’t take it personally when it isn’t what you want to hear. Go skateboarding yourself. A lot.

Jobs In Skateboarding - Videographer / Marketing Consultant - Kev FS Feeble