How do you go from filming your friends in your hometown, to working with your favorite pros and traveling the world? This is the story of DGK Team Manager and Videographer, Brad Rosado.
Where did you grow up and how did you get into skateboarding?
I grew up all over the United States, but I spent most of my early teens to early 20’s in Washington, DC. Growing up, my Uncle John had a really big influence on me and was the first to show me skateboarding. He saw me with a random Nash board and ended up hooking me up with an old school Shut board he had back in the early 90’s. My dad’s job had us move to SF when I was 10 years old. The skateboarding out there got me fully hooked and I never stopped since.
How did you start filming?
I got into filming from messing around with my parent’s camcorder while living in Kansas. I lived in a small town and there wasn’t much to do but skate. I watched tons of skate videos and wanted to make something for our crew to watch. The only catch was that there was no battery. I could only film at places that had power outlets. Eventually down the road, I got a better camera and a wide angle lens. I ended up taking it a lot more serious and kept upgrading. I would always film my friends and make edits for fun out in DC.
What is your job at DGK and what does it entail?
My job at DGK consists of being a Team Manager and Videographer. As far as being a filmer goes, I stay out in the streets everyday and stack clips for projects that we are constantly working on. When it comes to the Team Manager side of the job, the duties are endless. The basic part of the job is to make sure the riders get a box of gear at the beginning of each month, plan trips, book flights, help plan events, get dudes in contests, gather content, and whatever it takes to keep the team active. I’m the point of contact for the team, so whatever they need help with, I’m there for them to grow and make the right decisions. I also look for new talent on the daily and try to help them make it to the next step.
What skills do you need to have to be a team manager?
Patience and multitasking are definitely a couple skills you need! You got to understand what each dude wants and what the company expects from them to make an even balance. You got to be a problem solver and always be ready for the unexpected.
How did you get the job?
I first got in contact with Kayo while filming with Zach Lyons, who rode for Organika at the time and Jack Curtin. Those dudes needed footage for projects and I would send clips to Matt Daughters to see if they would be down to use them. They ended up using a lot of my footage and we kept working together. Later down the road, I was invited by Jack Curtin to film with the team in Atlanta. I started to freelance for DGK at first and charged day rates while staying in Atlanta. They had two team apartments and I would just stay there. I would stay two weeks at a time and then go back to DC. Eventually, it turned into a full time position and I fully moved in.
What are the pros and cons of being freelance or staff?
Both have their benefits. If you’re staff, you are getting a monthly check and, if you can maintain, you can keep getting that. When I was freelance, hustling a check to make ends was pretty stressful. Especially being on the East Coast. Besides the money factor, the only difference is that if you’re staff, you are supposed to film with a certain crew. If you’re freelance, you have complete freedom to film with whoever you want. Depending on your work ethic, it can be good or bad.
What did you do for money before DGK?
Before DGK I worked all sorts of jobs to make ends meet. I worked at Dominos, Data Entry facilities, Kinkos and some others. A year before working for DGK, I left my job to take the time to make it happen. I also had a side job as the Mid-Atlantic Sales rep for Traffic Skateboards. I was able to make a little money with that and got paid for other miscellaneous skate projects.
Do you have a big influence on who gets on the team? The kids will definitely want to know, how do you select new riders, from flow to getting fully on the team?
I would say that I’m definitely an influence on who gets on. I’m in the streets everyday and see what goes down. The input I give back has a big impact on what pushes some of those decisions. A kid can kill it on the Internet, but the real vibe and talent is seen in person. If you’re a dope skater on flow and we go get dope clips with good team vibes, it’s possible you can get on.
Have you ever had to pass on putting someone on and regretted it later?
I have once actually. Don’t really want to get into details, but I would of been hyped to have this person on the team. At the end of the day, that person is being taken care of by a good company, so it’s all good. I won’t let that happen again though.
What about on the videos? Who comes up with the concepts for the videos?
When it comes to the concept of videos it’s mainly a collaboration between myself, Matt Daughters & Nick Lockman. Usually I’ll have a stack of footage and suggest a project we can make happen with that footage. Other times it will be something we need to create for a season drop or a team rider reaches out saying they want to make something happen. The wheels are always turning at Kayo to make something fresh.
Is it difficult to have riders leave the team? How do you usually handle it?
Yeah, it’s difficult for sure. It comes down to more about what people say afterwards and what the team thinks. People wonder if there is something wrong with the brand or whatever problem they think it is. It rarely happens with DGK, but when it does, we always just keep it moving. There is no time to slow down because someone else isn’t down for the cause.
Have you had to kick riders off?
I’ve only kicked off a couple dudes and it’s not the best feeling. I’m friends with these guys and then having to kick them off is the worst. We work hard together and then plans change. At the end of the day, these are important changes for the brand and I respect that. It’s never anything personal.
How has social media changed the role of a skateboard filmer and team manager?
Man, social media has completely changed the game for sure. As a filmer, it’s hard to keep up and post clips all the time while working on full features. These guys work hard so we pull through. From the Team Manager perspective, it’s a good place to see new talent and get in contact with them easier.
As a filmmaker and creator, do you worry about content being too watered down today? Or do you appreciate the ease at which content can now be shared and consumed?
It goes both ways for me. Every time I go on Instagram or a skate site, I’m always seeing some insane skateboarding. It gets me hyped, but at the same time I feel dudes should save tricks for their part. Anywhere from a day to weeks can be spent on a trick. To see it go up for 15 seconds or a day and it’s forgotten the next is pretty crazy. It’s harder to remember it when you only see it once.
Good point. Do you think traditional skate media like magazines and DVD have value?
I still back the traditional skate media 100%. It’s all history and hard copies are definitely necessary. If you like it that much, it can become part of your personal library. I like that everything is on the Internet, but it can also get lost. A DVD or magazine has more appreciation attached to the hard work put into it.
What do brands need to do today to stay relevant?
You got to be ahead of the game with everything at all times. From the board graphics, to the riders and media, it all has to grow. Staying on top of the social media game and showing that we aren’t slowing down is key. You also need new riders and existing riders that will keep taking it to the next level. Without that, you stay stagnant.
As DGK gains popularity with people outside of skating, do you think having a skate team and producing content becomes more or less important for the brand?
It definitely becomes more important and will always stay that way. It’s a skateboard company and we’ve got to make sure people know that. We have a really dope team and if people don’t know that, we aren’t carrying on the culture. These dudes skate everyday and get content nonstop, so it’s not a problem.
What would you tell someone who wants to be a videographer?
I would tell them to always work hard. It’s all teamwork to make a clip go down or make a video happen. If you always try to do what you do better, the possibilities are endless.
What about a Team Manager?
This is the type of job that happens on its own, I feel. You have to really be down to hang in there during rough situations. If you can make it through the worst with positive vibes, you can probably make it as a Team Manager.