Real Street 2016: Chaz Ortiz

Watch Chaz Ortiz's entry into X Games Real Street 2016, the all-video, all-street skateboarding contest, then tune in for the full behind-the-scenes snow on the making of Real Street, Saturday, May 14, on ABC.

Zoo York pro and Chicago native, Chaz Ortiz, is a man of few words. In the past he's been known more for his his contest accolades then his traditional street parts, but in the last year and a half he's flipped the script and focused more on filming. The result is a minute of Real Street footage that might be some of his best work yet. We caught up with Ortiz and his videographer teammate, RB Umali, as they were boarding a plane to their next filming mission to discuss the finer points of Ortiz' Real Street part. This is some of my favorite street footage of Chaz that I've seen yet. It seems like over the past two years you two have put in a lot of work to step up your street clips. How do you feel about shaking that label of being purely a contest guy?
Chaz Ortiz:
I'm pretty hyped on what I filmed. We traveled a bunch for it, so that was fun. And yeah ... the contest thing I don't get. Just because I was young they put that label on me.

RB Umali: I am really happy with how much Chaz's skating has progressed and matured over the years of working with him. Seeing him grow up from being the little contest kid he was into a well-rounded skater who can hold it down in the streets, and also on the transitions, has made me proud to represent him as his personal filmer. 

What made you want be involved in Real Street? How does it differ to you from other contests? 
I think it's cool. It's pure street skating, which makes it better! 

RB: Being a veteran skateboard videographer and a big fan of the individual video part I am a huge fan of the Real Street competition. This is my fourth time entering -- I've got previous Fan Favorite winners under my belt. (Brandon Westgate, 2011) This is the only contest that really lets the skater and filmmaker perfect their crafts and take their time to show creativity and a diverse set of locations, instead of being held on a street course where every skater has to skate the same obstacles. This is the only contest where you can really make it what you want.


What was your approach to filming this Real Street part and how has your approach to filming changed over the years?
I just have a tricks in mind that I want to film. It's just about trying to find the right spot.

RB: Chaz and I have been working on video parts together for years. We have a lot of footage stacked right now for a few parts. Chaz is that type of skater who can get something wherever he goes. So our approach to this is really just our everyday routine of hitting the streets, dodging security guards and stacking clips in the streets of our hometowns and on skate trips. 

How long did it take you to film this Real Street part?
A couple months, I think. I was sitting on footage too. 

RB: The footage from this part is a compilation of clips stacked over the last year and a half in his hometown of Chicago and the streets of Los Angeles. There's also a trick from our trip to China last year. 

What trick was the hardest/took the longest for you to get?
The last trick (feeble backside 180 out) was shot on our last tour in China. We thought we were on a skate trip to film tricks, but were scheduled to do an autograph signing at this mall which was more important to the bosses than playing on our skateboard toys. Chaz and I snuck out of the signing early, hoping to skate the rail and avoid having a large crowd of kids watching us. It didn't work. After skating for 10 minutes Black Dave showed up with the entire crowd of kids, turning our private session into a surprise demo.

BD tried to boardslide the rail and broke a section off of it mid bail. Our Chinese distributor, who didn't skate and was there to look after us, got mad at me, saying she would have to pay for the damage to the rail and tried to make us stop skating. I told her we didn't care -- we are stubborn Americans, we were getting this trick no matter what, and to bill us for the damage. 

Who do you think is going to win this year?
Justin Bieber. 

RB: Of course I think Daewon will win. He is in a league of his own and nobody skates like him. Daewon is so damn good I think he shouldn't be allowed to enter a contest like this against regular pros. His Instagram footage and throwaways are better than 99-percent of the stuff out there. It isn't fair because the stuff he does on a skateboard and the amount of video parts he put out before Chaz was even born is both mind boggling and magical. 

If you could see a new one-minute-long part from anyone past/present/future who would it be?
I would want to see another minute of Keenan Milton footage because a minute of Keenan is never enough. RIP. Keenan Forever. 

What's coming up next for you? What are you working on?
Chaz and I have another full-length part coming out later this year. 

Lastly, if you win the 20 grand, what are you going to do with it?
You are going to have to ask Chaz that question. In the past the skater is the only one who gets the prize money. Speaking from previous experience I can say that the filmers do get a nice flat rate that is guaranteed, win or lose, so I am happy and honored to be in this competition regardless of the outcome. My money is going to help pay for my wedding in October. 

CO: Buy a motorcycle.

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