Steven Caple, Jr.’s Sundance premiere, “The Land,” follows a group of tightknit Ohio skateboarders who dedicate one last perfect summer to finally achieving their dreams of becoming professional skaters. But when they tangle with the wrong kind of people, both their passions and their loyalties are tested. IndieWire is pleased to present an exclusive clip from the film, which shows off some breathtaking skating and more than one hint of imminent violence.
Caple recently spoke to IndieWire about the creation of this particular scene. He told us, “The skate sequences in the film are some of my favorite scenes. The four boys, our main characters, have a complicated relationship with the streets of Cleveland. They face hard situations at home and when winter hits the city it makes it harder to skate. They end up spending their time practicing in basements and dreaming about the moments they will be able to skate carefree.”
He continued, “Steven Holleran and I wanted the cinematography to combine the freedom of skating the streets and with the tough realities that those same streets impose on the boys. Using pacing, composition and lens choices as tools, we focused on keeping our dialogue scenes ‘raw’ by shooting everything handheld with long roving takes.”
The team behind “The Land” really dug into their story, including spending time with skaters in Cleveland.
Caple explained, “We saw how they operated and tried to mimic that experience onscreen. It’s amazing how street skaters find objects, buildings, curves, holes and turn them into an obstacle course or playground. It’s a sport, but if feels like art when you watch them turn nothing into something.”
Check out the clip below.
“The Land” opens in limited release on Friday, July 29.