My fellow readers, what do you know about Manchester, England? If you follow soccer (“football” for the fancy boys across the pond), you might know they’ve got a couple of pretty good teams, if you like Arto Saari or Supreme you might know that the Smiths are from there, or that they have one of the most inventive skate scenes around. And if you didn’t know that before, consider yourself schooled now, because we’ve got proof in the form of a new video we’re proud to premiere: Seven, by Jim Craven.
Jim, who’s filmed for the Heroin Skateboards videos, gives us a great full-length to start off our spring with. Kind of like a European Fancy Lad with more heavy skating and cool animated segways, Seven is a real treat. It’s soundtrack is even as eclectic as it’s skaters’ tricks – Moondog, John Maus, Yamasuke Singers to go along with inconceivable wallrides and tag team combos on seemingly unskateable spots. Enjoy the fun while it lasts, and then go out and make some of your own.
Is SEVEN your first full length feature?
Yeah, this is my first ever full video. It’s been the goal since picking up a camera, but I always struggled to find the confidence to go through with it. When I moved to Manchester in 2009, there were 4 different full videos being filmed at once. I was always filming, but I never knew what for, I ended up contributing quite a lot of my footage to those videos instead of trying to make something of my own.
What finally gave you the confidence to produce something that was purely your own?
After I finished university, I was working as an editor at a corporate production company making training videos for salesmen. It was fucking horrible. Long days, tight deadlines and awful pay. It was in the depths of the English winter and the days get really short, so you would go to work when it was dark, and leave work when it was dark. I started going skating in the city after work – I would head to NOTE skateshop for closing time and then head out with whoever was keen pretty much every evening to film. I filmed solid for about a month and then put out an edit filmed entirely at night called “SOLSTICE” on YouTube. It was the first time I’d ever made something completely independently; not for a brand or with somebody else’s direction, just by myself for myself. The response was so much better than anything I had done previously, which gave me a lot more confidence in my own decisions. It was pretty much the day that edit went online out that I started taking the prospect of a full video seriously, based around the main guys in that edit.
You filmed this video with a Panasonic DVX1000b, giving it a very distinct look. Why this camera and what are some differences from using a VX1000?
I think it was the last MiniDV camera any of these companies made before they started with HD. There’s no good reason why I bought one, other than that I liked the way Tom Day’s mate Andy Rayner filmed with one, and he knew somebody else who was selling one. I’m not sure about benefits as opposed to the VX1000 – the main disadvantage is that it’s about twice the weight of one and the fisheyes are very hard to find for a reasonable price. I’m always stoked on the way stuff looks with it though.
If you’d like to pick up a physical copy of Seven and support the skaters and Jim Craven, check out these shops: