Exposed: ‘LIKE’

Throughout 2012, Ed Hubert‘s main goal was to complete and release his second scene video on the South Coast. Following his previous production ‘LA’, his latest work ended with a new twist. Looking to add some humour to the project, Ed emailed his childhood legend and children’s TV bod Dave Benson Phillips, to Ed’s surprise he replied saying he would love to be involved. The result was another fantastic scene video from Brighton’s finest, stuffed full of skating and of course, facebook orientated. What’s not to ‘LIKE’?

Enjoy the full film here:

Ed, you have been filming for a while now on the South Coast. Could you enlighten our readers with your history of filming skateboarding?

I was born in Brighton 22 years ago and I’ve spent half of that time at a dodgy little skate park known as The Level. I started out filming my mates (as most people probably do) and luckily they were pretty good at skating, so the edits started to get a little bit noticed. I bought a VX 5’ish years ago and have never looked back. It did me well over the years until a week before the LIKE premiere when it packed in. That camera had been on its last legs for a while, held together with some blu-tac and a sponge!

Did you study film at school, college or Uni or did you learn from watching skate videos?

I was lucky enough to have a really sound teacher at college who let me do my own thing and mess about with cameras and equipment. I’m now at the Arts Uni in Bournemouth studying film production, but mostly I learnt from being out skating and filming everyday, sitting at the bottom of some stairs or crouching in dogshit in a gutter, testing out what worked and what looked wack.

The Bournemouth scene has its characters, do you mingle with such delinquents down there too?

I honestly play no part in the Bournemouth scene; the locals probably just think I’m some chav.

Patch takes the stairs for Hubert’s lens.

The Brighton scene has always been strong, which particular reprobates inspired you to get stuck into representing the locals in film?

Just anyone and everyone that’s ever passed though the Level. So many stories, characters and dodgy situations that mostly go undocumented. Obviously Slim Jim set the standard with ‘Cheese on Tape’ and ‘Brighten’ leaving everyone to play catch up since.

With The Level in transition right now, how are the locals dealing with no central point?

The Level got ripped down the other day so there’s nothing there at the moment. The hardcore locals are a bit lost without it. The good news is a brand new shiny concrete park is set to be built in the summer. It only took the council 15’ish years to sort it out! Obviously this is rad, but personally from a cinematic point of view I would always prefer to see The Level’s knackered old wooden ramps with rats scuttling around than footage of another generic concrete park like all the others in the country.

All hail the old Level. Amir Williams is shot here at home

How does ‘LIKE’ differ from ‘LA’?

‘LA’ was a bit of blur. I don’t really know how that ever got made. It was more a case of film everything and make sure everyone had a trick in it. Those were the job centre years. It was all a lot more raw and unpolished than ‘LIKE’. With ‘LIKE’ I said from the start I wanted to do something a bit different. I kept seeing these scene videos and (even company videos) that try to imitate the same style and production values as say ‘Fully Flared’ or ‘Mindfield’ but can’t, because at the end of the day it’s just Joe Bloggs skating an NCP in the freezing cold somewhere in England mid-January! Why try and glamourise that with slow motion cutaways and overly epic music? I chose the least cool theme I could think of basically. Facebook is the one thing that everyone uses, talks about all the time, and yet still seem to hate. I thought it would be funny to stick in a cheesy soundtrack worthy of any karaoke bar and get DBP (Dave Benson Phillips) involved. For me, that’s a great video!

How long did it take to put ‘LIKE’ together?

A year and a half. I was editing solidly until literally hours before the premiere, I didn’t even have a chance to test playback on the DVD. It was so sketch, thank god it worked fine or I’d have had to deal with 300 pissed up skaters tearing down England’s oldest cinema!

Who took the longest to film their part?

Everyone took ages. And technically there is only 3 full parts in it. I think I could make another full length using footage of just nearly made tricks and attempts.

Dan Emmerson nose the score.

Who had their footage wrapped up instantly?

Dave Benson Phillips. He smashed everything in one day!

What was the worst slam?

Chris’ (Push skate shops owner) ‘stunt’ at Bercy. Hands down. I’ll let Matt Ransom tell you about that one.

Watch Ollie Smith’s full section:

Who do you think managed to film the hardest trick?

There were a few tricks that we ended up going back to several days in a row for. Ollie Smith’s ender in Berlin took at least 3 days but looking back I remember it still being fun times. In reality it was probably both of us sweating out hangovers and getting sunstroke. It’s funny how ‘skate’ holidays are so much different to normal holidays.

Dan takes a tre over the infamous Brighton gap.

Who had the most NBD’s?

I’d like to say every trick is but that’s probably not the case. Especially when you go to the big European cities where you will have to do something really special in order to make it worthwhile. For this reason we avoided the architecturally amazing but rinsed out city that is Barcelona.

How many packets of fags were smoked during the making of ‘LIKE’?

None, everyone smoked rollies because we’re poor.

Ed gets down with the DBP.

MATT RANSOM

“When Ed told me to recall a funny story about filming for the ‘Like’ video it was hard to choose just one. The last day of filming was pretty funny. Ed was getting a bit stressed about the prospect of editing the majority of the video the night before the premiere, nobody was getting any of their last tricks, and then a bird shat all over his shiny new hat! That was funny, but Ed actually made it easy for me and suggested that I should tell you all the story of Chris vs. the grass bank at Bercy, so here it is:

We drove to Paris to spend a few days there and try to get some footage. Most of us wanted to film tricks on our skateboards, but Chris, being the rebel that he is, decided that footage of bum-slides down grass banks is way better, so he set out to do just that. In fact, on the first day of the trip we ended up at Bercy and Chris slid down one of the banks there (a la Flip Sorry) right onto his arse. Everybody found it hilarious and that was that – Chris’ first trick of the trip in the bag. Then as the holiday continued Chris figured that simply sliding down the bank isn’t enough, saying he ‘dragged his hands to slow down’ too much so he wanted to do it better. Plus being an ABD and all that, he wanted to be ‘that dude’ that jumped into the bank off this massive blue rail, about 15ft above, pretty much to certain death. He was claiming it so much, everyday of the trip he was saying things like “I’ve soooo got it”, so on the last day we end up back at Bercy so Chris can be a hero.

Me and Chris are at the top of the grass bank, looking at this blue rail discussing how many ways he could die by doing this. He looks at me and says that he’s just gonna slide down again, as a warm-up for the ‘drop-off-the-rail-in’, but this time he’s not gonna put his hands down. Then, seeing the worried look on my face he says “Matt, how do you feel about the way I live my life?” to which I reply “I think it’s a bit excessive. Please don’t do this mate.” Everyone else at the bottom is saying things like “this will be the best thing I’ve ever seen” and generally egging him on to do it. Then next thing I know Chris has jumped into the bank, fag in one hand, giving the finger to Danny with the other and going so fucking fast on his arse that when he hits the bottom it’s no surprise to me that he breaks his coccyx and two of the vertebrae in his spine. Great. Well done! Bearing in mind we’ve got to catch our ferry back from Calais in about 5 hours time this situation stresses everyone out a bit. Chris screaming in agony doesn’t really help much either! Then in the confusion, 2 ambulances managed to get called instead of just the one. I felt bad for him because obviously he was in a lot of pain, but equally I thought it was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen anybody do and felt really embarrassed and annoyed that the ambulance crew have yet again been called to Bercy, where some retarded English kids have fucked themselves up being idiots abroad.

Cue an additional 2 days in Paris for me and Chris in St Antoine Hospital, me bringing him food, helping him go to the toilet, sleeping in a plastic chair next to his bed and generally listening to him moan about how much pain he is in. Chris, if you’re reading this, chill out mate. Take care of your body because it doesn’t matter how hard your dog is, if you’ve got no spine you’re fucked.”

DAN EMMERSON

SUBWAY.

DAY 1: “It was supposed to be summer but it was windy as fuck. I dragged Ed along to a ‘spot’, a subway tunnel which starts at a car park and spits you out on the seafront. It has a handrail against the wall which levels out at the top of the tunnel. We arrive at the spot and are greeted by a stench of piss and general filth. As Ed is setting up his camera, a man who looked like he had just wandered off a pirate ship walks past and chucks his guts onto the floor, right in the middle of the run up. It was fucking disgusting and looked red. We skate around it for a bit, and after a couple of crap slams I’d had enough. We went somewhere else that day.

DAY 2: For some reason (probably due to the weather again), a few days later we decide to go back. Yippee! This time on arrival we see that some one had been nice enough to leave a turd right next to the pile of red vomit, which by now had dried out but was still very visible. The run up had now become a minefield of human waste.

Local Brighton man Nick Tensh was helping us prize the rail away from the wall a little bit, when he managed to wack himself straight in the mush full pelt with an iron bar! It was so gnarly! He insisted he was fine and then spat blood all over the wall right where I was hitting the rail. All of a sudden we were surrounded by every type of bodily fluid.

After having slammed a couple more times I was starting to look like a chimney sweep. It was so shitty that it was starting to get funny until we heard some dude (who had been sleeping on a mattress by the entrance to the car park) shouting at us, slurring “NO PHO..TOS… OF ME,, NO FLASH!”, he was walking towards us trying to look hard repeating the same shit. Eventually he calms down after a few “fuck off’s” and “who are yous?”. Everything about the spot was fucked at this point so we got the fuck out of there.

I felt like I needed to burn the clothes I had on, be put through a car wash and have a tetanus jab after that ‘session’. Can’t wait to go back and make it one day!”

Level memories will live forever.

PATCH SULLIVAN

For me, getting pied in the face by Dave Benson Phillips as the video’s ender has got to be the funniest part of my participation in the making of the video. I never would have imagined that happening in my life. How many people can say they’ve taken a pie to the noggin from the legendary DBP?!

ANDY EVANS

Ed has really put in some seriously hard work on this video and should be virtual high fived for bringing together a cocktail of DBP, some amazing skating and Ollie Smith wearing more pink and shorter shorts than anyone would ever dare! It’s cutting edge!

Get your copy of ‘LIKE’ on DVD now for £6 from PUSH Skate Store, Brighton, Consortium in Bournemouth, or online at www.likevideo.yokaboo.com

Brighten – James Cheetham interview

Special thanks to Chris Johnson for the images.

Brighton in Sussex has always had some of the best history in the UK as far as youth culture goes, whether it be Mods and Rockers kicking the crap out of each other on the beaches, the vibrant music scene, gay & lesbian rallies or indeed the wonderful world of skateboarding.

The centre piece for skaters that held it all this energy together over the years is called The Level and its fame has been derived from the mish mash of bullish attitudes, amazing skateboarders and general seaside town mental cases.

This month the Brighton skate scene celebrated the release of the follow up to Cheese on Tape, called Brighten, a local scene video filmed and edited by the work horse that is James ‘Slim Jim’ Cheetham. Knowing that Brighton is just down the road from here, we decided to knock on his door to find out why he decided to do it all over again.

Brighton has always been a tough place to skate over the years, generally the attitude down there used to be pretty gnarly. How different would you say it is now compared to the golden days of Pig City?

I’ve heard a lot of the stories about how back in the Pig City days there was an attitude, I guess if you weren’t ripping the vert then you weren’t aloud on it haha!! Now it is a nice place to be, the scene is proper tight, everyone is sound but it’s the usual thing, any newcomers seem to have to prove themselves if they’re skating The Level.

Many of southern skaters have always believed that The Level should be a world class park, where are people at down there these days to regenerate the area for skateboarders?

The park seems long overdue but I think the project is moving along. I’m not to sure who is in charge of it all but Jack Forester is always working towards something, I think he has a lot to do with it. Kevin Eason has done some designs and stuff, Darren Dartnell and the people up at Brighton youth club are always trying to raise funds and push things foward. Not sure when it will get going but hopefully in time for this generation. If not there are still a bunch of little ones who are already killing it.

With the sun, sea and tight units on offer in Brighton you would imagine that an annual jam down there would work well for visitors, what’s the score with bringing the local scene together and who is responsible?

The last Level Jam was amazing, massive turnout. Pasty on the mic, Horceface killah on the drums! I think doing it every summer would be a good idea, It manages to get everyone down and skate together, always brings the older Levelarmy generation back down for the day to. The man behind the last one was Jack Forester, hopefully he has something in the pipeline for this summer too.

What is the funniest story from the level that did the rounds over the last few years?

Theres way way to many to pinpoint one! Recently a skaghead walked through the level to jack up in the toilets and some one went in and set his hair on fire! See a lot of crazy people pass through there. If you want to see what its like to spend everyday there then just wait for Ed Hubert’s new video ‘LA*’ He has endless amounts of footage of all the crazy things that go down there.


We see that our buddy Stevie Thompson has a new shop there, has that brought more people together?

Yeh, Stevie recently opened up ‘Another Skateboard Shop‘. It’s what Brighton has been needing for a while now. You know it’s a true skateboard shop when you can go chill on the sofa and have a brew. ‘Another skateboard shop’ is sponsoring Isaac Miller and Ollie Smith at the moment and Stevie has some big plans for go skateboarding day, Sure a lot of good things are yet to come. You can find his shop downstairs from Cool Hand Luke, 29 Gloucester Road. Brighton.

So, in a sentence for people who don’t know, tell us what Brighten is all about…

Not sure if I can fit it all in a sentence. I love everything about Brighton, you can’t beat an ice cold beer down the beach in the sunshine!

So when did you start putting this footage together for Brighten?

It pretty much started straight after my previous video ‘Cheese on Tape‘ was finished. I kind of new that I was making another video but it took a while to work out who is in it and stuff. I’m stoked that it managed to differ from the line up in Cheese on Tape. Tried to get as many people as possible in the video this time. As the video progressed it started to make a bit more sense and was a lot clearer who was getting full parts and stuff.

How long did it take from start to finish?

Think it took between 2 and 3 years over all. I was working 9-5 for a year which made it quite difficult to film during the week.

Who was involved in the filming process?

I got a lot of contributions from other filmers. Really thankful for all the donations from Ryan Gray, Ben Powell, Andy Evans, Ed Hubert, Liam Teague and many more. I really couldn’t of done it without their help!

How long is the DVD and who is in it?

The DVD is about an hour long and features everyone from Brighton and a lot of uk heads too. Full parts from Louis Cooper, Stevie Thompson, Tom Felix, Joss Heierli, Niall Birnie, James Kilpatrick, Amir Williams, Wojtek Smith and Tom Grantham. Also a fair bit of footage from Sam Blewett, Mike Niccolls, Matt Ransom, Joe Lewis-Collins and many, many more!

Whose part was hardest to film?

Probably Tom felix simply because he hurt his knee and had to have an operation so it kind of cut it short. Just about managed to scrape enough though for a full part. A lot of people pushed it so hard though! Louis Cooper was on point from start to finish which is why he has ended up with an 8 minute killer part. Joss Heierli made the mission from worthing to Brighton every weekend without fail, He put a hell of a lot of effort in and sure it won’t go un noticed. Niall Birnie would wake me up every morning and force me out of bed to come and film him haha, He’s already on the case filming for a new part in Ed Hubert’s video. Basically every part had its difficulties but it is clear who pushed it when you watch the video.

How many times did you get busted filming it?

Non stop, most the spots in town are a complete bust. We would end up just walking all day not being able to settle down and skate anywhere!

What DVD was on the TV screen to inspire you to finish it?

I’m not actually to sure, I think it was a variety of videos. Static videos are amazing and have that unique style to them which seemed to fit in with Brighton a lot. Fully Flared steps up the production of any skate video and that is obviously a big influence as it just makes you realise how far skate videos can be pushed production wise. Also Mindfield is incredible, I have only seen it once but I am a fan of all Alien’s older stuff.

Was it a relief to finally get to the video premiere?!

Such a relief! I finished the video at about 5am the day of the premier. The theatre didn’t know it was actually a skate video until about 3 days before, I just told them it’s a film. So i was quite worried they were going to cancel it, the woman’s face when she saw the mob outside the theatre was priceless! Don’t think they knew what they were letting themselves in for. Was such a good feeling watching back on the last 3 years of Brighton skateboarding, never seen so many skateboarders from Brighton together! Really stoked on the turnout, You can peep Ed Hubert’s coverage of the premier here.

Who was most shameful that night after the consumption of too much juice?

Haha, everyone was pretty shameful! That night got extremely messy a limousine tried to run someone over outside the theatre and got a board through the windscreen, then we moved onto a rave at the Level where the predictable bitch-fight kicked off and some girl ended up getting a bottle to the face. I think everyone has there own stories to tell from that night, some people got lost by themselves. I think James Kilpatrick managed to end up with a broken nose or something. Quite an eventful night haha!!

What is the future of Brighton’s skate scene?

I think it’s going to carry on kicking off, there seems to be a non stop supply of little sick kids that appear out of nowhere. Expect more videos to come in the future, hopefully Brighton will be able to get the coverage that it well deserves!

Well done to all involved. Pick up a copy of ‘Brighten’ from www.levelarmy.com