Visitor: Phil Evans – Format Perspective part 2

Phil filming, photo Stuart Robinson

Philip Evans (1982) is a filmmaker and artist currently residing in Bray, just south of Dublin, Ireland. This small town is where Phil discovered the magic of skateboarding and developed an inexplicable compulsion to produce a near-endless stream of skate- boarding videos and silly images. His last video, The Scrum Tilly Lush (2009) documented the everyday skating habits of pro skate- boarders in 11 different locations around Europe. Phil’s work has been exhibited all over the world and has been inducted into the Municipal Art Collection of Waterford City. He is part of the Human Pyramids Artist Collective.

- What inspired you to make a movie about skateboard photographers? 

At the time the inspiration came to me I was asking myself why I was shooting skating as I was not having a lot of fun with it.  I was filming a guy who stressed a lot, flaked a lot and basically just acted like a prima donna.  As a joke one day I started filming my photographer friend Stu Robinson as I was sick of wasting film on this guy.  Then I thought “wait, Stu is way more interesting that this dude” I knew I had some footage of tricks that Stu also had photos of, so I made a test edit and Stu was into it.  After that Stu showed me some very powerful landscape photos he was doing of some of Belfast’s gnarliest ghettos and that really put a strong story behind the whole thing.  It was nice to get motivation to shoot again and really feel a drive to film again. 

- How did you slip in to making movies and why did you choose the super 8 format? 

I started making scene videos in Ireland with my mates.  I used to use a VX 1000 until my girlfriend at the time got me a super 8 camera, I didn’t think too much about it until I got the results back and ran them through the projector – it was the first time something had come out the way I pictured it, plus just seeing the projection on the wall all grainy and weird, it just got me hooked on the format that instant!

After that I made a small video called “No Use”, mainly in Ireland but it actually had Malmo section.  I was basically tired of the new HD craze and wasn’t watching much that was getting me amped so I decided to make something that I wanted to see, I’d a lot of fun making that little video, it was great feeling out the new territory. 

On the back of No Use I convinced some people in some cities over seas to get involved in my next video which was “The Scrum Tilly Lush”, which again, I  just wanted to show how people skate on a regular basis (as opposed to 4 years filming for a 4 minute part), and I also wanted to show the cities that these guys lived in and not just the skating. I was lucky to get some really good dudes involved in that one so I was quite stoked. 

With format perspective I thought about different formats, but if I had shot it in HD with a digital SLR then the footage would have looked too similar to the photos.  With the dirty gritty nature of super 8, the photos become the showcase of the film, which was the idea from the start. 

More info about screenings, how to buy the movie and more previews, check out the link below.

The interview continues in part 3.