In this study, we present a system for video event classification that generates a temporal pyramid of static visual semantics using minimum-value, maximum-value, and average-value aggregation techniques. Kernel optimization and model subspace boosting are then applied to customize the pyramid for each event. SVM models are independently trained for each level in the pyramid using kernel selection according to 3-fold cross-validation. Kernels that both enforce static temporal order and permit temporal alignment are evaluated. Model subspace boosting is used to select the best combination of pyramid levels and aggregation techniques for each event. The NIST TRECVID Multimedia Event Detection (MED) 2011 dataset was used for evaluation. Results demonstrate that kernel optimizations using both temporally static and dynamic kernels together achieves better performance than any one particular method alone. In addition, model sub-space boosting reduces the size of the model by 80%, while maintaining 96% of the performance gain. © 2012 IEEE.