Genuine Street Flavour

A crew of Italian skateboarders (aka CHEF) went to New York City and using an iPhone 7 + a Moondog Labs Anamorphic lens, they took to the streets capturing some great imagery along the way. 

Co-Founder & Director René Olivo took a moment to share his experience with the MDL community:


Tell us a little about yourself & Genuine Street Flavour.

My name is René Olivo and I co-founded CHEF with Andrea Ciniselli and Diego Garcia Dominguez. It's a kind of brand/project that we started in 2008. We use it for anything creative we want to do so clothing, videos, events, whatever comes up.

We wanted a name that was short, international and spoke about something that we loved Italy food. "Chef" came up while we were listening to a Raekwon the Chef song. We're all big Wu Tang fans and we kept hearing the word "chef" and just knew it was the one.

We then added "Genuine Street Flavour" as a slogan which I guess is also our mission statement. Stay genuine, keep to the streets and add some flavour.


What prompted you to do some Italian Skateboarding in NYC?

NYC is probably the most iconic and stylish city in the world and it's especially true when it comes to skateboarding. Our whole crew is very like-minded when it comes to our taste in aesthetic and we've always been fascinated by east coast street skating. NYC in particular. Everything looks, sounds and feels amazing so even just pushing through the city becomes an experience. Can't wait to do it again!


What makes your skateboarding Italian? Is there a difference between Italian Skateboarding and US Skateboarding? 

That's a tough question and I never really thought about it. With instagram and social media skill levels and style are really starting to blend between countries so maybe the real difference is the look our cities have. It's also a little bit more laid back here in Italy. We aren't as competitive here because there isn't a big industry. You can't really make a living by skateboarding in Italy so you chill more, eat more and probably enjoy yourself more. I guess that's the biggest difference.


Tell us about shooting in New York City. 

It's hard to force yourself to stop filming. Every street corner, building and spot seems like it was made to be captured. We shot so much lifestyle in the first few days that we actually had to make it a rule to not film every single ting we saw. The city has an unstoppable energy so things are constantly happening so you have to keep your eyes open and stay on your toes. It's like living in a movie.

René shooting on iPhone w/ MDL


What were your essential pieces of hardware during production?

We normally shoot all of our videos with the classic Sony VX1000 mini DV camera and use a Sony rx100 for b-roll and lifestyle shots. The problem is that it's a pretty heavy load and for our NYC trip we decided beforehand that we wanted to have a lighter kit so that we could push through the streets more easily and not ruin an awesome feeling by having back pains at the end of the day. We thought about doing it entirely on iPhone so that everyone could shoot something and feel a part of the production. I checked out some interesting lenses for the iPhone and found an HD Fisheye lens by Deathlens (which we mainly used for lines) and then I came across your anamorphic lens and just was sold!

We shot with the Filmic app mostly but it's not really intended for the start/stop recording style that skateboarding has. It doesn't have a great library mode so sifting through the clips was a real chore. Great app though, just not for a project like this one. 

So our final on-the-go production kit was a few iPhone 7's (128gb), Moondog Labs anamorphic lens, Deathlens fisheye, a life-saving Ravpower battery pack. The full kit is actually in the Youtube description of the edit if anyone is interested.


What software did you use in post production? 

When editing directly on the iPhone we bought the LumaFusion app which I highly recommend even if it's pricey. For the Mac we went with Adobe Premiere for the edit, Adobe Audition for the audio and a mix between After Effects and Cinema 4D for the graphics.


What's next for you creatively? 

Our big project is a documentary/skate video hybrid about an underground Milanese brand called Spaghettochild. Aside from that we have a bunch of short street skating clips and we're working on a new release of decks and apparel.


Anything you'd like to add?

Thanks so much for the opportunity to play with the lens and to have us share our experience.

CHEF using MDL gear on iPhone