Brian Panebianco is a skater and filmmaker from Philly who’s the main lensman for Sabotage. His filming is on point and so is his skateboarding. There are not many skaters out there who have such a noticeably strong handle on both as Brian does.
Learning lines and refining his technique at Love Park shredding its iconic ledges, whilst capturing the bangers of the Sabotage squad, his contributions in front of and behind the lens in the Sabotage videos have been irreplaceably pivotal to making the crew what it is.
Since its inception the Sabotage series has showcased some of the most standout tricks to go down in the Philly skate scene.
But we realised although we’ve watched his video footage for years, we didn’t know much about Brian and how he got into it.
So we hit him up and after a chat about skating, filming and creativity, we were stoked he was down to join The No Comply Network.
Discover how Brian got his first board and camera, became the main filmer for Sabotage, making Sabotage 1&2, Sabotage 3, 4 and 5 shooting Josh Kalis’ Tre over the can, filming Kevin Bilyeu, Jamal Smith, Mark Suciu, Jahmir Brown, Dylan Sourbeer and Ishod Wair, his memories of Love, keeping it rolling at Muni, his standout tricks, favourite skaters, filmers, photographers, spots and much more.
Read the Brian Panebianco interview below to find out for yourself
What’s your full name?
Where did you grow up and where do you live now Brian?
Horsham PA and now I’m currently living in Philadelphia PA
Okay. So when did you first see skateboarding?
I saw kids in my school doing it
Right. When did you get your first board and what was it?
I think 1999 or 2000. It was a Josh Kalis deck with Tony Hawk Tracker trucks.
Cool. Where did you learn to skate?
Just me in front of my house on the curb.
Brian, Switch Backside 180 Fakie 5-O, Love Park: @lukedarigan
Classic. What was your first video camera and the first video you made with it?
It was a Sharp Handycam. I didn’t make shit with it.
Haha. Ok, so what do you film on now?
Vx1000 or GH5
Right. What was it like going to skate Love for the first time?
First time I went to Love Park was in 2001 during the X Games. It was crazy to see in person.
What was your favourite thing about skating at Love?
I could name 100 things. But just the excitement of being right downtown with all these people walking though.
The ground, the ledges. Everything about Love was perfect. Even not being allowed to skate there just made it better for some reason.
It was iconic. Do you have a favourite trick you filmed at Love?
Maybe Switch Varial Heelflip down the 7
Sick. What was your favourite trick you filmed of someone else?
All Dylan Sourbeer‘s lines
What’s your favourite trick you filmed down the Love Gap?
Walker Ryan‘s Switch Backside Flip. The light was so perfect.
Your Switch Crook down Temple Hubba in Philly was fucked! What’s the story behind how that went down?
I went to school at Temple. I tried it a bunch during that time. The tiles up top fell apart but about 7 years later they fixed it. So I started trying again.
It was so hard especially with the fast kickout. I did one fisheye but the filmer flinched. So did another long lens. Took about another 8 times there before getting it again.
Sounds like it was a battle. How did your long BS Bluntslide on the Baldi bank to ledge go down and why did you end up doing it twice?
I did it 5 times. It took like 9 months from figuring it out to the final land.
First one I landed was perfect but it seemed so slow. I did two fisheye. One for a sequence and then the final one was the good long lens. 2 hours at least each time I tried it. Would love to do something else.
Brian, Bluntslide: Filmed by @meyer215
Sick. Have you been skating much recently?
I have! Everyone’s parts in the DC x Sabotage video were done but I had like 4 spaces to fill.
So in the last week I got a few good things like the Front 360 over the chain, Switch Crook on the yellow rail, Switch Noseblunt the tall bench, the Nollie down the gap and the Varial Heel holding the camera.
What was it like making the Sabotage x DC edit?
A lot of work. Filming a whole video and trying to skate too is so hard. The crew was perfect though.
The Sabotage x DC Lynx shoe is dope, why did you choose that model and blue colorway?
Because I skated that colorway in Sabotage 5 a bunch.
The DC x Sabotage Lynx Shoe
It looks great. So how did you and Ryan start Sabotage?
Ryan started Sabotage. I jumped on board and gave him footage for Sabotage 1. I kept filming downtown and we just combined footage and made Sabotage 2 and just kept it going from there.
Brian and Ryan filming for Sabotage at Love: Shot by @vernlaird
What does the name Sabotage come from?
I’m not sure where the name came from, Ryan thought of it.
Okay. Sabotage 3 was sick. What stood out to you from making it?
It was cool. Love Park was crackin’ again. That’s when Sourbeer moved to Philly and started killing it.
How did Ishod Wair end up filming a part for Sabotage 3?
I thought Ishod Wair was just filming for a Nike part but then he said we could use all the footage. It was pretty dope.
Right, so when did you realise Sabotage was getting attention?
After Sabo3 dropped and people saw Mark Suciu‘s part.
What was it like filming Jamal Smith for Sabotage 4?
Its always fun filming Jamal Smith. We would meet really early to film before Love got crowded.
What’s your favourite Jamal Smith trick of all-time?
Jamal’s Tornado Spin on a ledge
Do you have a favourite memory filming Mark Suciu for Sabotage 4?
He filmed like 5 lines in one night for Sabotage 3. One didn’t get used so we used it in Sabotage 4.
How did you end up filming Josh Kalis nail that second iconic Kicker Tre Flip over the can 20 years later at Love Park?
I tried to get him to do it a few times. He almost did it in 2017.
The night he did land it again it wasn’t even planned and it was getting dark so fast.
As soon as I got the lights set up he landed it a few tries later.
Sick. You film a lot with Kevin Bilyeu, what’s that like?
It’s good. We definitely have the same vision on how shit should look.
Kevin’s Kicker SW Tre the can was sick, looks like it took him a few attempts but he nailed it in the end. How’d it all go down?
It took a lot of tries because as soon as you would lift the tile the security would come out. He came so close so many times.
The day he landed it was funny. Our guy Tore Bevivino put the tile up and was trying the same trick. Almost doing it.
Someone called Kev and his mom drove him downtown. No warm up Kev ran down the stairs and started trying it with Tore.
Tore was landing on them over and over and was about to do it. Then boom Kev does it in his face. It was epic.
Jahmir kills it. What’s your favourite thing about his skating?
Its great Jah always comes through with some good shit. Style for days and crazy pop.
Brian and Jahmir: @eurojon
For sure. What’s your favourite trick you’ve filmed with Jahmir?
Switch Backside Noseblunt on the Pyramid Ledge in NYC. He did it so good
Yeah, it was sick. What was it like filming and skating in Barcelona?
Barcelona is amazing. Any excuse to go and I’ll go. Filming there is hard though but we made shit happen…
What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?
MACBA is fun
Yeah, it’s so good. I saw you also made an edit in Lyon. What was your favourite thing about skating in Lyon and filming there?
Lyon is a small city with a lot of spots. I need to get back there.
What’s been your favourite Sabotage video to make so far?
Sabotage 5. Just skating Love when it was all fucked up was such a mission. Good memories.
Cool. So in your opinion, what makes skateboarding creative?
When you see something and want to skate it. Taking your surroundings and making something out of it.
They shut down Love. So we jumped the fence and skated it till it was gone. That was what we had to work with and that’s what we wanted to work with.
Brian and Ishod, Muni: Shot by @extralargepizza
Agreed. So which skate filmmakers do you look up to?
All the people who filmed the videos I grew up watching
Where’s your favourite skate spot in America?
Art Institute in Chicago.
Perfect benches perfect ground. They grind so good and they are low.
What’s your favourite thing to skate at Muni and why?
The two benches in the back. Ground is still good around them and they are nice and round.
Brian, Fakie Crook, Muni: Shot by @nickwnorowski
Do you have a favourite skate spot in the world?
Haven’t found it yet…
Keep searching. What’s your favourite trick you’ve done on film?
Recently? Maybe the Baldi Blunt or the Nollie down the Love graveyard gap.
Who are your favourite skate photographer?
Great choices. What’s your favourite skate video of all-time?
Alien Workshop’s Photosynthesis.
I watched that video so much as a kid. It was amazing to grow up and skate the same spots in that video.
Who’s your favourite skater?
Who has your favourite style on a board and why?
Shit idk. Jamal Smith.
Any shout outs you want to make?
Shout out Sabo crew new and old
Muni Crew / ILP
And anyone who has supported us over the years.
Any last words Brian?
See ya at the next Love Park