Eleventh Hour (full video)
If you’ve come to hear Jake retell the tales of his award winning indy vid then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. It’s not that we aren’t honoured to be hosting Eleventh Hour in its entirety; it’s just that it’s been a hot topic of conversation for almost two years now. Plus Jake has moved on to even more exciting things, notably the production of Isle Skateboards’ first ever full-length: Vase.
Yep, times may be changing but we still believe videos like these are defining moments in a brand’s history. No amount of Instagram posts will ever cement a brand’s credibility like Fully Flared did for Lakai or cherry recently did for Supreme. And I certainly can’t see a stand-alone Thrasher part ever strengthening a brand’s aesthetic in the way Mosaic did for Habitat. So here’s how Jake (with all this in mind I’m sure) approached this blank canvas. -Arthur Derrien
Towards the end of Eleventh Hour I remember you saying it was the last time you were going to make a full-length skate video. What made you change your mind? Did you get “tricked” into starting on a new one by your friends or was it a conscious decision?
Well I set about doing Eleventh Hour (originally the Grey video) as a way of putting a full stop on skateboard videos for me, in a way that I could be proud of and felt represented the things I liked. First off I didn’t expect such a positive reaction from 11th Hour, so I think a large part of starting on a new project came from the energy and flattery of being reassured that people actually want to see the stuff I make.
If I was tricked into this it was only by myself. You definitely forget the pains of child-birth when you become excited by an idea. I have to say that I don’t really enjoy filming skateboarding that much, but I enjoy filming my friends and the situations working on a longish project can put you in. People on Isle are the people I’d naturally want to film anyway and I back the company hard, so it was the obvious vessel for the energy I had at the time it started.
Do you think this one will be the last one?
All signs point to yes.
So what do you think the next part of your life is going to consist of?
Hopefully moving into shooting narrative fiction.
How was filming and editing this video different to working on an independent project like Eleventh Hour? Was it harder to stay true to your vision?
Sorry I wish I could answer this more fully but I haven’t edited it yet! Me and Nick have a strong working relationship and understand one another quite well when it comes to giving the video its direction. There’ve been no disagreements yet and I would always defer to his vision for the brand ahead of my own aesthetic ideas if we were to end up disagreeing on anything.
Are you ever worried that that vision might be too personal?
I think there’s always a tension between maintaining a broad appeal and taking your ideas too far. At the beginning of this video me and Nick definitely came up with ideas and an aesthetic that I feel might not have had their proper place in a skateboard video. By this I don’t mean that it would go over anybody’s heads or that it would be too complex, you just have to sometimes ask yourself the question ‘who am I actually making this for?’ That said it’s definitely a good time in skateboarding to want to express something less obvious than just tricks.
Who came up with the name Vase? What’s the idea behind it?
It materialised somewhere between mine and Nick’s collective brain.
Just this – ‘The vase is often decorated and thus used to extend the beauty of its contents.’
Did any of the riders have more input than others? If so who, what kind of input and was it always welcomed?
We all talk, people suggest music and of course have control over the way in which they skate. Other than that, we all share a similar point of view about a lot of things so I think a lot of chatter trickles its into mine and Nick’s ideas. It’s always welcomed though, if not acted on.
What’s the hardest part of working on a project of this scale with your friends?
Tensions can obviously arise when you’re working in a way without clearly defined roles; nobody owes anything to anybody and you can rub yourself up the wrong way if you take peoples’ varying levels of commitment too personally. But actually it’s mostly just good.
Can you tell us a little bit about the filming trips you went on for this video? Does the team work well as a group when you are on filming missions?
I think most of the skaters in the video don’t work that well on trips. The time period of a week or so can put a lot of pressure on when you want to film things of a certain standard or uniqueness, or just clips that transmit some less definable energy. What draws me to these skaters is that they don’t want to just be filmed skating, they’re trying to capture something distinct. This can take time and is often a lot easier to come by in your own city when your mind has the freedom to wander a bit more minus the pressure of justifying the price of a plane ticket.
Was picking destinations like Barcelona or LA done to stray away from the crusty/grey London aesthetic people might be expecting?
Partly, this isn’t supposed to be a London video though obviously the majority of it has been filmed in London. But really trips are often planned on a practical basis; Barcelona is an easy place to skate in January and you don’t need a van. As for LA we just wanted to go out and all be together and visit Shier and be in America for a bit. I feel now that within skateboarding it’s good not to be too controlling over the way you want things to appear – treading the old line between authenticity and artifice. It feels to me that people who take an idea too seriously often end up creating something a bit 2 dimensional or polemical, which of course have their places too.
Has your new life as a “sponsored” skateboarder (Huf/Slam City Skates) interfered with your work on the video?
No I land my tricks pretty much first go so it doesn’t take up much time.
Can you tell us about Jon Nguyen’s drunken callout incident on the last day of the trip in LA?
Haha I wouldn’t go as far as to call it an incident. We don’t see Jon that much because he’s in SF, but in LA we all got steaming on the last night and he told us we’re all really dry. I couldn’t agree more, we might be the driest, most neurotic crew in skateboarding. We all try hard on trips and go to sleep early and do our homework. Except for Casper who’s an absolute animal and life of any party or streetbeer or bong of course.
Do you think Tom Knox’s Vase part is his best part so far? Will he have last part?
It definitely shows a grown-up Tom skating, I don’t have too much critical distance but I think it’s his best part by a country mile. He might have last part I haven’t made any decision like that yet, I can switch it all around 10 minutes before the premiere so it might depend how I feel on the night.
Who else has full parts in the video?
I’m not sure, everybody I think.
How are you guys planning on releasing it? Do you think you will be making any money on it?
There will be physical copies. I really have no idea about money though
If you could have filmed a part with a non-Isle rider for the video who would it have been?
Daniel Clarke. Especially now he skates with a Sondico shin-pad on.