William Strobeck, cinematographer

William Strobeck, once upon a time better known as Fat Bill, a time dedicated to film the glory days of Love Park in Philly, is not afraid of telling it how it is, or looking at what is there.
Never scared to brush some feathers, he stills is one of the few that documents a skateboarding as “real” as possible. Here we get back on the 3’39 minutes with the less skateboard tricks in the whole catalog of TWS videos.

William Strobeck, self-portrait with mom.

Self-portrait with his mom.

So, "Fat Bill" is dead, uh?Obviously I didn't die, but when I was filming Mark Gonzales for the TWS part, we went under an 18-wheeler, and I almost did. My bag latched onto the bottom of the truck and my arms were stuck in the air, and my ass on the ground. I was also by the back wheels. So, really, all the driver had to do was press the gas, and I would have been run over. I feel like I had the adrenalin rush of someone that was about to die. Also, the nickname is getting old, you guys are starting to give me a complex…
How can you state you don't like skateboarding to look pretty when your line-up for the TWS video is mainly Team Handsome!?
I'm into men that are handsome. I surround myself with handsome guys to make beautiful women notice me more. Team Handsome is basically a boy band anyway, but their only instrument is a skateboard. Plus all the girls turn their heads when they hear a skateboard going down the street. Pretty can be ugly too, to answer your question.
I feel like you almost went "against" the skateboard video rules voluntarily with that one. Or am I looking too much into it?
Nah, I didn't break any rules. The fact that people think there are some sorts of rules in skateboarding is bad. It’s a form of expression… Some do it goofy. Some do it tech and some do kickflips on surfboards in 411 videos… It's all about style, I think… In everything you do.
Well, you do have Mark Gonzales roller-skating in there!
So? Those are his roller-skates… He likes to do all types of shit, I guess. Painting, skateboarding, smoking cigars, buying expensive meals and clothes… And roller-skating. I just document it, sometimes.
How did that part happen, actually?
I saw someone had updated a website with him on roller-skates. I didn't even know he was in NYC at the time. I hit him up and asked to film him on roller-skates. He hit me back and we met the next day at 11am.
Where were you when the original Cinematographer's video came out?
I was living in Philadelphia with my girlfriend at the time. I got my money by getting free CDs from a friend that worked at this music store called The Wall, and then selling them at used CD stores. I was pretty much a Daryl Lick.
Can people really retire from skateboarding?
Yeah of course, if anything skaters should retire sooner than later, and try other passions. You can’t do it forever and there is nothing worse then watching someone skate in their 40s, or start working at McDonalds in their 40's. People should retire from anything that becomes too popular as well.
State one thing that inspired you today…
I sold my digital camera, because I never used it. So I'm going to use the money to buy a film camera and a book I like.
Sounds like a plan… Any idea of what book, yet?
There is a photo I'm obsessed with, in Corinne Day's book Diary. For some reason, I had never bought the book. I want to stare at the photo for a little while, so I just ordered it.

You will find more on William Strobeck's recente work here, and on The Cinematographer Project here.

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