June 20 2014
We can't remember exactly how we stumbled upon DRC but after watching that first video we haven't missed a single one since. If you scour the English coastline long enough and shuck enough oysters eventually you'll find a pearl, DRC are that pearl. We were keen to know more about the lads behind some of our favourite edits of recent years so we sent a canary down the mine in the form of a Vimeo message and ended up in a month long WhatsApp group chat with them all which has done nothing but solidify our admiration. We could probably publish a whole separate post watershed version of this interview with the contents of that WhatsApp group but for now please enjoy the edited version.
How old are you all and where are you living at the moment?
Connaire Skerritt: 22 and living in Weymouth.
Harry Abel: 26, Bournemouth.
Scott Blackmore: Twentyfuckingseven and live in Bournemouth. Ugh I'm not even 27 yet actually haha was just on my mind 26.
Benjamin Woodcock: 25, 26 soon. Male, Bournemouth town centre.
Colm Sealy: 25 living in High Wycombe most stylish of the group will do a private interview if you want?
Scott Blackmore: Loled.
Louis Packham: 24 living In High Wycombe will take a poo anywhere.
I saw that on Instagram, what's the story behind that hammer of a public shit?
Louis Packham: Long story but no toilets open in the city on a Saturday , I have Crohns so don't care if I need to shit I need to shit . That seemed like a good place , so went for it. Overall a 10/10 shit!!!
Scott Blackmore: Fuckin hero!
Benjamin Woodcock: Haha was the best.
Are most of you art school casualties?
Benjamin Woodcock: Haha, Yes. Some of us.
Scott Blackmore: A few of us haha. Got a pretty good mix tho, sound art, design, illustration and media.
What did you study?
Scott Blackmore: Graphic design/information design for me.
Harry Abel: Sound art.
Connaire Skerritt: Electronics and computer technology for me.
Benjamin Woodcock: Illustration at Camberwell.
Scott Palmer: Carpenter.
How did you all meet?
Harry Abel: I think i met everyone individually at different points at the front sk8park between the ages of 15-21.
Scott Blackmore: From my point of view there was the Weymouth bladers, a few of us left. And there was the Bournemouth lads who we skated with every so often. A month long Barcelona visit sort of helped.
Benjamin Woodcock: I met mike at college then I moved to Bournemouth and met Palmer, then like Scott said we met Weymouth. But I met Scotty B when I was like 14 at The Front park.
Scott Palmer: Met mike through skating and Ben, then Scott B and Harry from going on trips to Weymouth to skate The Front.
Louis Packham: Colm started uni in Bournemouth in about 2008 and met the Bournemouth bladers, then I slowly met everyone over the years then wasn't till 2012 when there was the Barca trip where I properly met the whole of the DRC. There is no blade scene in High Wycombe , me and Colm are pretty much it. so we try and go Bournemouth as much as possible.
So you all met through skating? Videos have a vibe that made me think some of you grew up together.
Scott Blackmore: Well I can only speak for me but yeah some of us kinda have I suppose, I've known Harry since we were like 15 working at Weymouth skatepark.. But we've all known each other a while. Watched Connaire as a yute throwing 9 corks out
of the bowl.
Sounds like you've got a really well rounded set of production skills between you (sound art, design, illustration and media) who does what when it comes to putting the videos together?
Scott Blackmore: We all do everything really to be honest. DRC video was a complete collaboration of everyone filming. Editing our own sections and compiling it all together at HQ. The newer ones are similar still, 001 is mostly Mikey and beans creation where 003 was mine and Harry's editing half each. No one really has a role. I think we all see Mikey as head video man as he has the video degree and very good at it.
So you film separate most the time then collate everything?
Scott Blackmore: We skate all together pretty often, but some is filmed with just 2/3 of us.
I’ve seen some pretty interesting Handycam setups on your Instagrams. What are you guys filming with at the moment?
Scott Blackmore: Oh god! We have a fleet right now.
Benjamin Woodcock: There's a lot of Handycams! Like a lot. I just got a VX2100 too and Scott has his little mini dv beast, the colours are actually sick on that I saw one of Connaires tricks and yeh so sick.
Can't go wrong with a 2100. Come on Scott, give us a run down of the fleet for the analogue junkies reading this.
Scott Blackmore: Sat in front of me now I have a sony digital 8, a sony hi8 which is my fave camera, best for long, but good for fisheye too and a Panasonic mini dv camera which I newly acquired from my sister which just so happened to be the camera I made my first video with probably 12 years ago or something to a Papa Roach tune. We have a few different century fisheyes but modded with the patented DRC double fisheye © Mike Simpson. We have another hi8 and another digital 8 also.
The DRC video was filmed in part on DSLR right? What did you do in post because it worked really well.
Scott Blackmore: The video was filmed a bit on a DSLR. We didn't really do much post but we did put the whole video together in Premiere and then filmed the screen from my iMac on a DSLR… It's a long story but in the end it fit pretty well with the video.
The sound is always really good in your videos, do you play around with it a lot when editing?
Scott Blackmore: That's deff Harry and Mike, obviously Harry being sound artist has always wanted us to be more conscious of the sound and Mike too, which is the main reason I think we use actual video cameras, but they have external zoom mic’s that we try to use but haven't as much lately.
What are you working on at the moment?
Benjamin Woodcock: There's a London edit an VP004 and then Summerclash but no DRC 2 this year unless we all go ham after clash. Reckon there will be a few more VP’s.
How many of you are heading out to Summerclash?
Scott Blackmore: I think I'm the only straggler.
Benjamin Woodcock: Me, con air and Mike are driving there doing a mini tour then Louis, Colm, Palmer and Harry are flying out.
How's tourist season for those of you living on the coast, does it rule out a lot of spots?
Harry Abel: Tourist season is good and bad. It kinda does rule out some spots on the sea front but to be honest there isn't really any actual spots in Bournemouth, haha.
Girls instead of spots on the sea front isn't so bad I guess.
Harry Abel: It's not! Its all good skating though if you don't mind people watching - if you're trying to concentrate feeling like you're putting on a show can be off putting, groups of lads drinking on their way to clubs are classic. They can fuck off.
Scott Blackmore: Yeah agree with Harry, if you don't mind idiots, it's fine.
Louis Packham: Stag do's ery day!
So what year was the Barca trip? Is that the Barca footage in the first DRC video?
Connaire Skerritt: The very first Barca trip of which we all basically met, bar a few people was this one http://vimeo.com/m/25202985 which was 2010-2011 I think. Then we went again in 2012? (The one Louis was talking about) that was an eventful trip! The 2012 trip was this one http://www.be-mag.com/video/bite-your-knee-bcn-edit
Scott Blackmore: Very eventful.
Eventful..let's have a good Barca story to put in there..
Scott Blackmore: Louis...
Louis Packham: This might take a while, but I will try and keep it short.
Colm Sealy: Haha I know what's coming and I'm still excited.
Louis Packham: So we got to Barca on a Thursday we sessioned had beers and then had an early night as we wanted to get up early and blade on the Friday which we did and had a good skate it was now Friday night we was all excited going out drinking beers, been to some random bars and we ended up in a club called catwalk on the beach front we was there till about 4am it got a bit shit so we decided to leave we was outside the club with loads of people. A local taxi driver tried parking in a space where I was standing I didn’t move and he got out and started going crazy at me in Spanish , I didn't have a clue what he was saying but our friend Ernie who is Colombian understood and stepped in to try and calm the situation down but it was about to break out In to a fight so I stepped in pushed the guy away and said just allow it, then the cops turned up. I didn't leave as I hadn't done anything wrong (I wish I had run). The cops spoke with the Spanish taxi dude then they spoke to me asked me to come to the car so I was like yeah no worries, next thing I know I'm in the back of the police car they put the sirens on and tell me to be quiet, they drive through Barca at what felt like 100mph with the loudest sirens. I got strip searched put in to a cell and was told nothing. I then got moved around Barca for the next 2 days, I went in 4 cells in 3 different police stations. The cells had Romanian drug dealers, thief’s and crack heads. There was 5 of us in a cell at some points and there is no day light which fucks with your head. Over the 2 days I only got tap water which you’re not meant to drink in Spain and 2 bread rolls. Whilst all this was going on DRC was trying to find me but the police were being arseholes and not telling them anything and threatening them if they don't leave the police station they will be arrested. Whilst I was in The cells there was fights, people pissing next to your head and constant shouting of Agua, AGUA AGUUUUAAAAA!!! In the last cell on Sunday we got 4 apples between 5 of us lol I did not share mine which I did feel bad for the dude that didn't get one but an apple has never tasted so good.
It wasn't till Sunday evening I got released with a piece of paper saying I had to go to court in 6 months time. I walked out the doors up some stairs and didn't have a clue where I was. I had 2 Euros on me so I bought a Fanta Limon which was the best taste ever after all that and luckily I had a T-10 on me so I could get the metro back to our house which turned out to only be like 3 stops away. When I finally got back it was such a relief to see the boys, they got me beer and pizza I could hardly talk, I felt so dirty but had a shower and a couple of beers then we went out and skated that night which felt so good. I never went to my court date and they sent me a letter saying as I didn't turn up I have a fine of 700 Euros, I did not pay this and they sent me a letter saying as I haven’t paid the fine it will increase by 5 Euros a day until I do. It was September 2012 so I will let you do the maths on how much my fine is now. Overall it was a terrible experience but I didn't let it ruin my holiday, I done worse things after I got arrested that holiday than what I got arrested for. If anyone gets in an incident with the Catalan police RUN.
Colm Sealy: Haha I've not even read it, but props for epic dedication in writing that on a phone!
Louis Packham: I'm in the apple store, on call for work so I got paid for that shit ahahaha. Was long though.
Fuckin hell!! So I take it you haven’t been back to Spain then?
Louis Packham: No I haven't. I would love to go back to barca but not going to.
Colm Sealy: Pizza was my idea. Good mate or what? I also may have slightly contributed to the reaction from said taxi driver as I pulled his read wiper up and he was not happy about that at all. In all seriousness, Louis was genuinely innocent and the whole ordeal was super shit.
Scott Blackmore: It was the worst! Trying to find him and find out what he was actually getting arrested for.
What are you all doing to pay the bills?
Scott Blackmore: I'm a technician at the arts uni, don't confuse it with BU. Sorry Colm.
What’s it like being on the other side, seeing all the students getting all stressed about degree show and stuff?
Scott Blackmore: Yeah it's pretty funny being on the other side knowing how the staff see the students and after finishing uni realising how easy it actually is when they're panicking about deadline when they have had 4 weeks or something to design a magazine spread. Had a crier just yesterday actually.
Harry Abel: I do the 9-5 thing too. I work in HR for a NHS Trust that specialises in Mental Health and Community Health. A job I fell into when I moved to Bournemouth for the DRC video.
Is that heavy going?
Harry Abel: Yeah man, real heavy. The policies and procedures are extensive and most of them are pretty bland. Luckily, I’m leaving and travelling Europe this summer!
After Europe you got anything in mind or just seeing what comes your way?
Harry Abel: The plan is to work more towards a career within sound. Whether that means studying more or doing placements wherever I can to build a network, I’m not sure yet. The problem is skating - it's all I think about these days.
You’re probably best off doing placements for networking, educations getting expensive these days…
Harry Abel: Yes… I’ve never been sure about an MA. A good friend of mine is sure I should do one though.
It's because degrees are so common now. I can see how it's a benefit for more academic subjects but with creative stuff you're just buying more time to make stuff. You're always going to be judged on the quality of what you produce not if you have a MA or PHD or some other fancy piece of paper. My opinion at least, you know what they say about opinions and arseholes.
Scott Blackmore: Haha I agree, if your work, knowledge and passion is good they won't even be asking for that stuff.
Harry Abel: I guess it's tricky when you're not looking for an employer and want to go solo. I can see the value in both sides of building a career for yourself. Ultimately, the money of studying is what will shut me out of that route...which incidentally I wrote a piece about when the government increased university fees and reduced funding for the arts. My work isn't usually political though.
How long you planning on traveling around Europe for? You never know who you'll meet doing that, can be more beneficial than studying nowadays. Chances are the opportunity to do what you want isn't gonna be in your town. I'm with you on the skate brain though, been ruining my life for years.
Harry Abel: Haha, I’m sure it will ruin our lives for years more. I'm planning on 3 months and hope to meet some bladers too. It’s true, I guess my main reason to travel is because I want something new to happen.
What do you guys think of the paid digital download that is now catching on in skate media?
Harry Abel: Bean had some good thoughts on this the other day so I won't regurgitate what he said but ultimately I feel fine about it. I'm happy to support the bladers that I like to watch. For the DRC, in my opinion, charging for our edits wouldn't work. Everyone has listened to the SK podcast now - friends and money is tricky.
Scott Blackmore: I am happy to pay as long as there is quality, same as DVD’s were, and VHS, there would be a chance of regret.. My digital regret was Bladergang haha thought there might be a diamond in the rough. Franky is a goat tho.
Harry Abel: Such a goat.
Scott Blackmore: Like when you pay for online content you expect it to be better than their other free online content, not worse DSLR footage.
Benjamin Woodcock: Basically paying for content online from companies is not right. I have bought online content because I have genuinely wanted to see it but I don't think I should have to. Skate Videos are a tool for selling you that companies products. A company charging you to see their marketing is wrong. If it's an independent individual for instance KCMO then fine. No company has asked Sean Kelso to do that so he's right to ask you to pay for it. But SSM and Valo charging for videos is them just making extra change to give the skaters money. If their business was right they wouldn't have to do that. They can't blame that on the rollerblading community not buying their products. I hate the word support used by everyone, it's like begging and it's the excuse that SSM use. Here buy this section of video footage of your favourite skaters skating our skates so we can give the skater money. Straight away you’re telling me you don't have the money to pay your team to promote your skates so us the consumer have to pay the way because your business model is wrong. If Shima was really dedicated to his company and the growth that so many people are after for skating, he would pocket the least amount of profit and give the rest to the skaters so they can do their job. It's not just SSM it's Valo and more. We are paying for advertising when the fuck did this become right. For one thing no company in blading has a current and modern image. The best I've seen is The Pull Shop in Chicago and that's still on the brink of not quite there. It's sad to see people who have the passion not do it the whole way. There's so much but it would involve whining about everything and coming across like a Rollernews troll. I just typed that real quick so don't jump the gun and call Me out I might of missed some points and references.
Scott Palmer: Good point Benji!
Problem is most companies are struggling to survive so they have to do a lot of things that they wouldn’t in a bigger market. Sam and I constantly joke that owning a skate company is pretty much charity work...
Benjamin Woodcock: Haha it's so true. But if they are so broke why don't they just go for it and be out there! Just do the newest and craziest graphics or make the cleanest site and actually use forward thinking designers instead of dated tattoo artists! I have nothing against people's work it's just what these companies need is a total revamp and not copies of everything else. It's fine to be influenced everyone in the world is influenced by someone just fucking change it up and put thought into it! Things will change soon, not in a matrix way but there is positivity coming from certain people and this needs to be celebrated more instead of badly made half assed flow and am edits!
Harry Abel: That's the tricky bit I guess...I’m in full agreeance. Seems like there are a few people who are doing it to build a financial base to do something different or bigger later. I thought that Vibralux interview was a good read for that reason. I use the word support for lack of a better word to describe it. If we want something to change somethings got to give right?
Benjamin Woodcock: Yeah Vibralux interview was good Broskow said what needed to be said. Cool sells that's it.
How do you feel about paying for SD?
Harry Abel: SD or HD or any other format is a stylistic choice. It's what the creator is doing with it that counts. It's like saying oil paintings are not worth any money only watercolour paintings are. I think because it's rollerblading the two styles are automatically linked with a type or style of skating which you either like or not. Which is pretty distorted.
Scott Blackmore: I don't mind paying for either, as long as it's good skating captured well.
Jonny and Bowers newun is a real gem, especially if you like trailer park boys.
Connaire Skerritt: Yeap, that was a real gem!
Talking of gems that one you had go up is one of my favourite this year Harry, that's had a lot of replays.
Harry Abel: Thanks man, and thanks for the share. I really like what Mark did with it so I owe the props to him. I am surprised with the feedback. It's got me excited to do more so I am grateful for all the comments I've received both openly and privately. Connaire also filmed a couple of those clips, thanks con con. I'm definitely going to do more with Mark.
Benjamin Woodcock: The line on the Weymouth bridge is best of show for me.
Harry Abel: Thanks man!
Honourable mention for most stylish straight air too.
Harry Abel: Haha, most stylish straight air, amazing. Inspired by Ben's in VP003.
So let’s wrap this up by talking a bit about the edit you made for this article. We've been doing this interview for about two weeks. Did you film that whole four and a half minutes of footage in that time?
Colm Sealy: Haha for the most part, a few clips were filmed at an earlier date. I'd take a guess that 75% was from like 1 weekend?
Harry Abel: haha. 75% of it...plan was to get two new clips each and take a third one each from the clip bank.
That's a productive weekend! Where did you go?
Louis Packham: Just Bournemouth.
Scott Blackmore: We actually have more from that weekend unused from some people because they had too many.
You got some good post session pubs on the front in Bournemouth? Recommendations for anyone going that way this summer.
Harry Abel: Can of Tyskie on the beach with a football.
Colm Sealy: Haha.
Scott Blackmore: ^^
Do you lot session together and then whip the camera out when someone has an idea / camera straight out soon as you arrive / the dreaded do something in the session then try re-film? I want to know the secret to this productivity...
Scott Blackmore: It's a mixture of all of them depending on how we feel. I find the most productive though is parking the car up somewhere you've never been before, even if thats in your home town and put the skates on and have the camera in hand and then anything you find/think of is done straight away. Otherwise we have ideas of where to go with a lot of us and the camera comes out once someone either says something or does something.
Harry Abel: I can vouch for Scott here, as he can pretty much do what he wants on whatever he wants... and has subsequently been named clipmore.
Scott Blackmore: Oh stop that!
Harry Abel: I'm actually quite bad to film with I think. For a majority of the time I don't like it and can sometimes end up getting angry with everything around me. I much prefer being behind the camera and trying to get the best result for the trick.
What is it that winds you up? Do you do that thing where you worry too much about the filmer, put too much pressure on yourself to do it quick..
Harry Abel: There is elements of both of those things for sure but every time is different and sometimes I go out and get a load of clips no probs and have loads of fun. For the record, I love rollerblading. I think what winds me up most is when I start to think "what's the point" or worry about what other people will think about it, even my peers. Kind of goes back to the cool thing again. I like things to be authentic and when I believe I’m just trying to be cool to be cool it's like I’ve let myself down. I’m also pretty paranoid and never know if I’m just overthinking, haha.
Scott Palmer: I panic that I'm going to film it bad! but I give it a go, and have fun doing it when it goes right.
Scott Blackmore: I think every blader gets that feeling of feeling awful for the filmer when a trick is taking way too long, but that thought just makes it take longer eh.
That gap Scott..was it one of those ones where you can't see the bit you're trying to land on until lift off?
Scott Blackmore: Yeah, classic had a stone as a marker, was just so scenic tho, was a must.
Louis Packham: Goat.
Where about is it?
Scott Blackmore: Portland, the weirdest/coolest/most interesting/inbread place.
Did you get a crowd of tourists for the clipmore show? Ice cream’s in hand.
Scott Blackmore: Haha nah quite the opposite, a few people on the beach and on the promenade not taking the slightest bit of notice. Had to wait like 15 mins mid way through for some old boy to drag his canoe down it.
Harry Abel: haha he was such a kiln.
Colm Sealy: Haha that's a hilarious image.
Scott Blackmore: He was definitely taking his time, must of walked up and down it 10 times at least.
Coastal towns seem to be a breeding ground for some of societies favourite cast off’s. Do us a run down of best nutters to look out for on holiday that way, the local heroes.
Scott Blackmore: I can't think of any right now. Butte and Connaire got the pleasure to see a drunk lad toss off another drunk lad stood on a bench in the middle of Weymouth town before. Never laughed so much in my life was so funny.
Louis Packham: hahaha, how have I not heard this story.
Scott Blackmore: Lad being a lad dancing on a bench being loud so his mate behind him pulls his shorts and boxers down.. Guy is still dancing not giving a shit cuz he's so lad, even more of a lad mate comes and starts tossing him off cuz he's so lad.
Louis Packham: Hahahhaha hahahhaha, so many lulz in my room right now.
Scott Blackmore: We go away to get cash out.. On the way back to the club.. It's still going on.
Right then boys, thanks so much for doing this, going to start putting it all together tomorrow so if you've got any last words or anything you want to add get it in here tonight.
Scott Palmer: Cheers.
Harry Abel: Not too much to say other than thanks for asking us to do this and love to all my homies.
Louis Packham: Me and Colm woke up late, our flight gate closed at 5:55 an we woke up at 4:30. Some how we made it. You don't understand the rush. Cheers for taking the time to do this dirt box. I'm going to sink many beers in Berlin now.
Text by Anthony Zinonos & Sam Currie
Photos by DRC