Friday, January 6, 2017

Filmer Spotlight: Mike Rapaich

From his work in Charisma, Charismatic, ISM, Male Talent... The list goes on!
Mike Rapaich has been the man looking through the lens of Duluth skateboarding.
We caught up with him for a few words.
Photo by: Dane Gagnon

Name: Mike Rapaich

Birthday: December 11, 1991

How'd you get started?

I was always aware of and interested in the cinematography of skateboarding videos whenever I would watch them. After trying filming a few times with some friends using my family camera, I knew this was something I wanted to keep doing and progress at. It was so much fun! I wasn't really progressing with my skating as quickly as my friends were and being a filmer sounded more appealing to me. So in 2008, I bought a cheap Sony Handycam and a crappy fisheye off Ebay to get myself started. Filming has stuck with me ever since and it brings me more and more joy every time I do it. There's nothing like bringing home a batch of footage that you've filmed that you can put music to and experiment with. Filming can be more fun for me than skating itself sometimes.

What's your thought process when thinking about how to film a shot?

When filming a shot I always try to film each one different than the last. Looking at the environment is the most important part when figuring out a shot, in my opinion. After that, you can consider applying zoom, framing, panning, and movement to the environment.

Photo by: Lloyd Fisher

You've made several videos, any inspiration behind that?

I don't have any particular inspiration really.
Everything the skateboarding world has to offer inspires me!

vx or hvx?


Photo by: Lloyd Fisher

What's your most memorable kick-outs?

I've had too many to have a favorite, but the St. Luke's lady was a pretty good one. Stephen got his trick right as she was screaming at the top of her lungs for us to get out ha ha. I've been ID'ed by officers downtown for skating countless times. They've all been pretty cool about it. Parking enforcers and Clean and Safe people have freaked out on us a few times. I've also had a few times where the person kicking us out is stoked on skating. That's always nice to encounter!

Blondes or Brunettes?


Dome or handies?


Photo by: Dane Gagnon

Have you ever taken a trip to film skateboarding outside of MN?

    I've flown to Los Angeles twice to film and both times were amazing. Filming at Venice beach on my first trip in 2013 was one of the most memorable moments I've ever had. I can't even describe the feeling of going to all of the famous skate spots I saw in videos growing up and getting to skate/film at them. It was a dream come true. Oh yeah, and the burritos in LA are phenomenal. When it's summer in Minnesota, I'll take an occasional trip down to Minneapolis to film. There's nothing like watching a Minneapolis video by Chris Burt or Pete Spooner to get ya psyched on the Twin Cities spots!

Video you'd watch again and again?

Globe Opinion

What's your favorite edit you've made?

Probably the Spring Sprung edit from 2014

Who has the most on camera freak-outs?

Kyle Walczak

What else besides skateboarding and filming?

running, fishing, food, work, house

Some advice to the younger generation or any aspiring filmer..

Have fun and make friends! Come up with your own ideas and stick to em'.

Any projects you're working on or future planned projects??



Everyone at and associated with Damage Boardshop and The Encounter. Taylor Kline at Prove Gallery and anyone that I've ever filmed/skated with. I cherish every relationship and there's just too many people to mention. You guys know who you are!


Give Mike a follow via Instagram @mikerapaich and also be sure to subscribe 
to his YouTube channel where you can dig back in the 
archives to watch some of his first edits as well as keep up on the latest.

Here's the latest edit from Mike featuring The Carter Building, 
The Encounter, and a whole lot your favorite Duluth rippers.