Footy check, London 2018, photo: Richard Hart
In light of the fact that the excellent new UK video Cover Version is now out, here is the little interview with co-creator Dan Magee that appeared in PP12’s London article…
PP: It seems to me the London scene is bigger/healthier than ever. Why did you and Kevin Parrott feel the urge to document the current scene with this new video you’re working on?
Dan Magee: The only skating I was filming were paid jobs to produce content that had to be shot in a very small time span. Kev was filming a couple of guys and we were hanging out and skating Jazz Square for a summer, when the project naturally took shape. As soon as we started getting footage, we realised that the skating was looking great and we should focus on more than just a quick edit as most things seem to be currently. I like it when the skaters and the filmers are working on a cohesive part, where you have to think about how each clip will sit within a video part... but also how that part sits alongside the other skaters in the video. I think that’s been lost a bit.
How serious have the clothing disputes got?
We identify the potential problems before we get started and give them the heads up.
How would you say skating in London differs to other cities?
I think it's got to be up there with one of the hardest cities to film in, along with New York, Hong Kong, to name a couple; due to a combination of security, imperfect spots and crowded streets. I'd say the best London filmers, Jake Harris for instance, have their own ways of dealing with it; his being great spots and filming his crew how no one else can film them. For this project, Kev and I are using that thinking a bit. Also the new cameras are great in low light, so now we don't need a generator. That's been good recently.
London is huge but like everywhere, people tend to skate the same 'spot-spots'. How much time do you spend exploring? Are the boys good about finding spots?
The skaters we are working with on this project are not that hot at finding their own spots for the most part. Korahn and a few others are ok, but Kev is the OG spot guru. Admittedly I was never really a spot seeker, I'm better at pairing skaters to tricks to spots. However, since Kev has started showing me the way, I've finally got the spot seeking/ fixing bug.
Do you approach filming differently to the Blueprint days?
This is a zero budget project. Also it's 95% filmed exclusively in London. Very different to Lost & Found onwards. These are mostly flow guys- guys that are growing up in an Instagram generation where everyone gets free stuff for putting out a clip here and there or for doing a few wallies in a distributor edit. It's like... come on- let's try and make something you're gonna be stoked on when you’re older. Kev and I are here to film you, none of us are getting paid; let's just get it.
Sometimes I ask myself why we still do this. Why do we still do this, Dan?
I used to ask myself that too, but when I didn't do it I missed it. Pretty sure I'll be over it again, but the lesson I've learnt this time is to switch it up each project and make it fun.