In former times, there were maybe three full lengths a year and that’s all you got. They were released by renowned skateboard companies and the guys who made them, the filmers, hardly got more attention than their name in the credits. By now, times have massively changed. New videos are popping up every minute, mostly just uploaded on YouTube or Instagram by the filmers themselves, whereby they come to the fore more and more. And that’s well deserved. Cause let’s be frank – they’re the ones with the spot lists, the ones that get the crew together for the session, that have the best ideas for tricks, and know how to stage spots and skaters in order to skyrocket views. That’s why filmers nowadays are their own brands. One of this new breed is the New York based Johnny Wilson, leader of the “most productive crew”. When he releases a clip, it’s not about the brand he filmed it for, but instead you’ll ask your friends: “Did you see that new Johnny Wilson clip?” It was a no-brainer that a passionate filmmaker like Pontus had to talk to Johnny for this issue and got him on the phone while he came to Paris with Vincent Touzery to skate with the Bloby’s.
I still like it to put footage out. I mean it sucks that it’s just for such a short time frame, but I feel like that’s just the way it is now. Everyone puts everything online. You see so many clips on Instagram and you’re just like, “That’s for Instagram?!”
I skate every single day. That’s pretty much all I do. Recently I was talking with Vincent about this. Sometimes it’s scary because you ask yourself how much longer you can skate. My whole life is just skating. Sometimes it’s too much skating for sure, but I do love it at the same time.
That happened only a couple of times, but I’m not gonna name the two.
That’s the classic way. When you are skating with your friends and you start filming with a fisheye, so people know if you’re filming or not filming. And then the friend of a friend goes up to the rail and you just have the camera. That’s definitely a bad situation. At the same time, I feel like anything can happen when I’ve got the camera in my hand. So I feel like it’s always good to hit record.
I never straight up said that. If this guy has been trying this for so long and he’s putting this much work in it, then I should at least keep filming him. I guess sometimes I’ll make it known, but I won’t say it. I just say something like, “Ah I’m so hungry,” and usually they can sense the vibe. Luckily, most of the time the guy is like, “This isn’t working,” and then I say something like, “Yeah, don’t let this trick wear you out for the day.” But I’d never be like, “I’m over this.”
"My whole life is just skating."
In New York we are skating around everywhere and at most places you get kicked out really quickly. So it’s always pretty spontaneous. I think this is just the way it differs between New York footage and any other city footage like the L.A. type of footage, where you can see them driving there in a car.
No, never. For example, you see that spot where there’s always a car parking and this day there isn’t and someone’s like, “I’m gonna try it!” You just never know.
For sure. Rather fisheye than long lens, though. I used to film fisheye all the time and I never used the screen. When I got the HD camera, I started using the screen more often and it really helps me, but now it’s broken and I can’t use it anymore. The other day I filmed something and I cut this kid’s head off. And one time Cyrus [Bennett] did this trick and I watched it on the computer, but I never uploaded it onto my hard drive. So I accidently deleted the clip. That happened twice. I understand when skaters get mad about it, but I just sat there for three hours. Sometimes I pay for cabs to go to the spot and the skater doesn’t get the trick, but I’m not gonna get mad at him. I feel like the skater always knows only one side of the story, whereas the filmer sometimes knows both sides.
I got my camera stolen in Venice at the sand gaps, but it was in a van and I wasn’t even there. My whole bag got stolen including my laptop and all my clothes. It was so shit.
There are a bunch of us living there and we all are pretty connected with the New York scene, so for the most part we know about ABDs. But if you watch all the old New York stuff, like Pat Smith and the guys from Zoo York, you see that they’ve done a lot of shit on the spots that we go to now. There are a lot of ABDs in New York, but there’s still so much to be done. There are so many spots.
"I feel like anything can happen when I’ve got the camera in my hand."
I’d probably still use it just because I like Alex’s footage and I think everything he does is pretty cool. But in general, something similar happened recently. There’s this half cab crooked grind of Jake Johnson on this rockaway rail. I believe it was in the GX video. Even though I saw the video, I didn’t remember that clip and then I put out a clip where Cyrus does a half cab crooks at the same spot. It was crazy because both of it was filmed fisheye from the top.
Bill is also really into old skate videos. He’s really influenced by these old videos and shit. Even non-skate movies.
I just noticed this recently, if they’re filming a line in these old videos with this fisheye-long lens, there is no skate audio and then once the trick starts, the audio goes up and when they’re landing it, the audio goes back down to nothing until the next trick. I thought about doing it once in my clips and see what it would be like, but I feel like it wouldn’t look good nowadays.
"I always wonder if it’s just cool to our group of friends and other guys don’t really care to watch."
I liked Jerry Hsu’s part in the Emerica video and his B-Sides. It might sound mean or rude, but normally if it’s not my friends, I don’t really care to click on it.
I also like the Bru-Ray clips from P-Stone. I don’t know him at all, but me and a lot of my friends like those clips. But some of them only like the ones where friends of them are in and I think most guys who are in the industry think the same.
Yeah, I feel the same.
Another reason those full length videos take so long. There’s a long list of guys you don’t really care for, then the budget’s so big, it’s a big corporation and you have the music rights – all these factors can’t make it really cool, they make it wack. So it’s hard to enjoy the whole thing. These adidas, Vans videos… it’s nothing people gonna go back to watch that shit. I don’t wanna talk shit, but it’s a bummer that you spend a lot of time and money to something that could have been done way easier and cheaper.
I don’t wanna see any China footage ever.
This part with Bobby [Worrest] and Hjalte [Halberg], that was sick for Nike. It was relatively low budget, in the sense of Nike. There were a couple of trips, there wasn’t a crazy production, Ben [Chadourne] filmed it with one camera. And then that Karsten [Kleppan] and Janno [Jan Henrik Kongstein] part, that was sick too. I think those two relatively low-budget things were good for Nike.
Yeah, it’s crazy! I was talking with Kevin Rodrigues about this last night. It has always been like, who’s the filmer? Where’s the filmer? We need a filmer. The term filmer… it’s hard to explain. I guess I’m a filmer, but at times the term filmer is hard to think of it like that. And now Bill or Ben or Logan [Lara] or Tao [Tor Ström], these filmers that have this new thing and they’re attached to a group of guys. I guess it’s the same thing with us, like you said earlier: “Johnny’s crew”. A crew attached to the filmer’s name…
But I always wonder if it’s just cool to our group of friends and other guys don’t really care to watch.
Ishod [Wair] will watch an LRG demo tour to Brazil, something I never ever would watch, but at the same time he’ll watch a Bloby’s instagram clip. He’ll watch everything.
I first met Alex Olson and we were skating around New York and then we met Bill through him once or twice. Then I became friends with Sean Pablo, Aidan [Mackey] and Sage [Elsesser] and met him through them a couple times and we became friends. We started hanging out more and the first time Supreme did a Paris trip, Alex was also on a 917 trip and a couple of ours just came along with him. Then the 917 guys left and Todd Jordan, the Supreme team manager, said: “You wanna stay maybe and help?” So I stayed in Paris and helped them for two weeks, went back to New York and came back again in February to film again. That’s how it started. Bill is crazy, he’s really sick. For Supreme as a whole he did a lot with Cherry. Supreme’s always been a big deal, but recently it has been next level and Bill has a lot to do with that.
Yeah for sure, Bill and Dill definitely had a lot to do with what Supreme is now and how it’s a part of skating with the videos, team, and stuff.
Yeah he does, Bill likes all his footage to look the same.