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Over Ply Wood Premiere

6 Nov

It’s taken a couple of years but I have finally finished the film. There will always be tweaks and things I can do to make it smoother and more polished but as far as content it is done. Sunday was the first screening in front of an audience and it was a special audience as it was made up of many of the subjects of the film….this made it all the more nerve wracking in the run up to the premiere. Tomsk, Jason, Greg, Howard, Evs, Dan, Ric, Kate, Ty, Simon….all in the film and all in the room. I had been worried all week about the technicalities; will the projector work? will the sound work? will anyone show up? No need to worry….it was awesome, the room was full, the film showed pretty much smoothly, the sound worked fine thanks to Greg Fabb who raced home to get his p.a. when it turned out my cable didn’t reach the amp in the cafe.

Poster for Kitchen Table screening

Poster for Kitchen Table screening

There was an amazing response to the film and everyone got into it with plenty of cheering for the skating.
So there were representatives from all the decades of Swansea skating in the audience…couldn’t have been a better night! Thanks everyone for turning up on a soaking wet night, thanks for everyone who travelled and I hope this coming Sunday at Exist will be half as good which will make it amazing too!
Thanks to Adam and Anna and everyone at The Kitchen Table cafe who gave up their cafe and their time for the evening, the perfect venue for the premiere.

The audience is building for the premiere. #overplywood

On to the next screening which is at Exist Skatepark in Swansea on Sunday 10th November at 5.30pm….it’s a benefit for the skatepark so all money from the £2 entry price goes to the current skatepark refurb. The skatepark is currently closed for renovation and doesn’t open until mid November but the miniramp will be open on the night of the screening and it will be a good chance to checkout the new layout of the park and contribute to the woodfund. See you there and thanks for all the support!!!

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Huck magazine article

4 Oct

Huck magazine article

Some great coverage in Huck magazine ahead of Over Ply Wood’s first showing which is being arranged right now….full details very soon.
http://www.huckmagazine.com/

Over Ply Wood….Swansea’s skate history.

28 Jan

I have been working on my documentary for almost 2 years now and it is finally taking shape. I started interviewing well over a year ago and the early interviewees must have either forgotten or given up on seeing a finished film any time soon.

As time has passed and a steady flow of interviews have been recorded the story has almost told itself. My knowledge of the history of skateboarding here began at Morfa and even there it only stretched to a few half remembered articles and photographs in R.a.d. and Skateboard!

My interest was fired up by a pile of video tapes I borrowed from Tomsk which showed sessions on the Morfa vert ramp but others had contests and big days on earlier ramps; ramps the locals built in the corner of parks, on waste ground and even on cliff tops.

The first few interviews were with the people who built and skated these ramps; Tomsk, Jason, Greg and Arwyn. Skaters who strove to build better and better ramps and created a scene against the odds which as far as vert went culminated in one of the largest, well constructed and iconic ramps in Europe. This of course wasn’t either the beginning or the end of the story and each interview opened up a multitude of other contacts and stories which i have been following up for the last 2 years.

The later history of skateboarding has been well documented which is great and the more recent times have been fertile with Exist and their indoor skatepark. Over Ply Wood follows the story from it’s beginnings up to the present day. I continue to meet more characters from all decades since the mid 60’s when skating first arrived in Swansea, literally crawling out of the sea with the surfers of Langland. A good number of these people span the decades with their contribution to the story and many continue to skate today.

The story has matured over the 2 years I have been working on it and a constant flow of material has enriched the initial interviews both visually and in revealing the finer details. More photographs, video and stories appear weekly and it has almost become impossible to draw a line and say enough is enough.

I have been running a couple of facebook pages as i have been working through the project which have been super helpful in finding material and letting people know my progress. This blog is in part to continue that process but also as an archive for some of the contributions as it can’t all fit into the film. This stuff needs to be seen and will give some background to the film when it is finally completed.

Alongside the stack of video tapes i have received I also got sent a pile of cine film which documents skating and sufing in the 70’s in the U.K. through the travelling lens of Ron ‘Milk’ Williams. I have also contacted several of the Langland diaspora scattered far and wide and interviewed them by various means….skaters and surfers who have left the area but still maintain a close link through their shared history with Swansea; Paul Conibear, Skin Phillips, Twiss Boneless. All this and much more is making the completion of Over Ply Wood a very exciting prospect….stick with me, it will be worth the wait.Image