Friday, 2 June 2017

Interview with Hooked's David Ford

Hooked’s latest DVD, Acid Drop, has recently hit the shelves and we love it! We decided to catch up with Hooked founder, David Ford, to get a bit more of an insight into how it all started and what’s involved in the making of their awesome edits.

David Ford has been skating since 1999… when big names were Koston, Muska, Rowley, Cardiel, Sanchez, Creager and so on! “Seems like a long time now… weird how the skill level doesn’t increase in line with the years”, says David.

Hooked was set up in 2005 as a community project… with the idea to help skateboarding and skateboarders in some way.

First of all we just want to say how much we enjoyed your latest video, Acid Drop. How has the response been in general? 
The response has been amazing, and we’re super thankful to everyone who has a trick on the video, people buying the film, people who have supported it. It’s the best thing we’ve ever filmed and people seem to be enjoying it. We’re putting up the b-roll clips online right now so people can see those, but they are also bonus on the DVD so it’s worth getting a hard copy too. The b-roll clips are hilarious.

How was the premiere?
The premiere was a right laugh - We weren’t expecting so many people to turn up… it felt like a wedding! It’s so rad to be surrounded by all of your friends, and everyone hyped on everyone’s footage! A few drinks happened after… some people were haggard.

You’ve been spearheading the Hooked Skate brand for a long time now, how have the locals taken to it? Have you seen its popularity increase over time? 
I’m so stoked and thankful every time I see someone wearing a tee or telling me they saw a video. The locals are so rad and we try to make sure everyone gets some filming time in our Monthly Edits… basically wherever we are filming, if someone’s doing something good, we film it and then pop it in the monthly edit. 
It’s cool for seeing lots of different people’s gnarliness from as many places as we can be at.
The Monthly Edit helps to grow our friends and family for sure!

How did the idea of Hooked come about to begin with?
Myself and a couple of other people started it because we love skateboarding and wanted to do something with it that was more than just going out and skating. 
Of course we still love it and want to go more than Hooked sometimes allows ha, but it’s always been something that we could use as a platform for doing things which furthered skateboarding and the community, rather than making money.
It’s still super small, but we have a team that we’re able to hook up with garms and help them get picked up by bigger dogs!

Acid Drop is your third Hooked video, we believe. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind each one, including the styling of the videos and how you’ve seen the team evolve and progress along the way.
My favourite topic! Yeah it’s such a wild ride filming a video. First… we start filming. Capturing as much as possible… then after a few months I start to think of a name and a vibe, based on the people that are on the team, people filming with us, type of spots etc. 
I keep it under wraps to keep the guys guessing… I don’t tell the dudes on the film anything. They can send me ideas for music, but really it needs to sit with my creative Frankenstein mastermind vibe for the film… so if the vibe is raw and rock n roll, their favourite Michael Bolton track won’t be used. Fast forward to 4 months before the release and premiere date - start getting worried and spend next 4 months chained to a computer editing.
The team has evolved as people have wanted to move on from Hooked, which is totally cool. Some people have moved to other sponsors and wanted to do other stuff… They count as success stories! But the legendary guys who have filmed and been with us through 2 or 3 of our films have upped their game each time, which is amazing to see. It’s like punishment… a 2 year sentence for each film.

Enuff skateboards support two riders, Jacob Bettinson and Phil Long, from the Nottingham area, and both have sections in the new video. Obviously we are super stoked to see them have rad sections and are quite partial towards them. Which is your favourite section in the video and why? If you can answer that without being biased haha.
Phil and Jacob both smashed it in the video, as everyone busted their nuts to get the best clips possible. Phil’s got the last section because of the pure hammers he put down and the way he destroys himself (and seems to have no fear). Because I love all of the guys so much… I have to say my favourite section is the intro! Plus I love the way the whole thing came together… I’m a designer in my day job so I was super OCD on creating a film that I was hyped on, ha!

The new video is brilliantly put together, with a great choice of songs, awesome trick selection from the riders and rad intros with the colour coming off the guys to reveal their faces. Obviously you are an experienced hand at filming and editing so what tips would you give to young or up and coming skate filmers? Are there any tricks of the trade you can divulge?
*Blushing* Thanks! The name came from not only being a skate trick, but also the psychosis that skateboarding can send you into when working hard for a trick. Your brain goes a bit like when it’s on LSD with the slightest thing becoming a massive obstacle to your mindset etc… (Disclaimer: Information from LSD desk research only)
I work as a designer so I think that’s why I like to layer over footage and try to make it interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I love raw edits, but for me I want it to be visually interesting and tie in to some theme. 
The Spirit Quest video by Mandible Claw (Colin Read’s work) is magical and if our work was close to that we would be stoked. Also, Alien Workshop is a huge inspiration as they have amazing visual style. 
3 tips would be:
1. Think of an idea, then work to it, see if it feeds into what you do with the footage… could be a name, a colour, a theme?
2. Experiment… there’s so many clips out there, maybe yours can stand out for some reason as well as the amazing clips you’ve filmed!
3. Get your footage in order… file it as soon as you’ve filmed it, as if you come to a massive mess after a year or two of filming - you might want to cry.

Is there any must-have equipment you couldn’t live without whilst filming, and are you a classic VX kind of guy or have you embraced the new era of HD skate videos? 
I’m not cool enough to have a VX. I’ve never had one… I had a SD handicam once with a cool death lens… but the lens got smashed off when filming. That was a tear jerker. My lady bought me a HD cam and it’s been amazing for me… plus 50fps looks so smooth and slows down nice too!
I can’t live without batteries, I always have as many batteries as I can fit into my bag! 

We have seen a lot of talented skateboarders come out of the Nottinghamshire / Leicestershire area in recent years. What’s your take on the skate scene there? 
The Midlands seems insane as you can get around to all the cities and scenes relatively quickly… so everyone knows loads of people from other cities and scenes and it’s awesome. There’s some ripping talent coming up at the mo, and I’m stoked to capture the odd bit of magic on film. It’s around an hour’s drive in any direction to get to loads of good people and spots. Like being in the matrix. One phone call and you’re there!

There seems to be a general sense of togetherness in the area between all the shops, the indoor skate parks and the skaters, do you see that reflected in the progression of the skaters and how they all push each other?  
I think the best place to spot it is skate events. Skateboarders from everywhere come together and some guys don’t see each other for a long time and get on where they left off. All the hype of a comp in friendly competition is the best at pushing people to really show their potential and push themselves. Shops come together to sponsor them, people win and it’s a rad day. Shops just need to make sure they continue to do these events as they add so much and feed the skate community, thus bringing the circle of life back to full 360!

Well it’s been a pleasure talking to you David and getting your insight. Is there anyone you would like to thank or to give a shout out to before we sign off?
Thanks to all of Hooked’s friends and family! All of the rad shops that stock our DVD, anyone who’s ever watched our footage, wore a t-shirt or took a slam for the cam!
The squad who smashed it for Acid Drop - Jacob Bettinson is a beautiful man, Phil Long is 100% legit, Josh Price is a magical creature and Callum Moore is like a cat… that only does what it wants to. Fraser Doughty is the best skate nerd there is. Legendary guys. Keep ripping! 
Also my wife Becca who loves skateboarding and playing ‘guess that trick’ whilst we watch the latest skate flick. 
Thanks to Enuff for the interest in a small organisation like Hooked! Respect!

You can purchase your copy of Acid Drop from

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