Even though the line-up of guys flowed together nicely there were still important parameters where that all the guys had different photographic styles and contrasting stories & opinions, so that was a concious decision from the start.
Rich came from a very professional background with his commercial photography and he also used a lot of formats. Bertrand had a really nice selection for the photo edit through the sheer volume of photos he shot, but it was not just skating, there was a bunch of really nice documentary style photos that enriched and gave extra context to his skating stuff. Stu's story of how it got the sketchy grimey Belfast photos was a documentary on its own, he really took some proper risks! It was rad to get Alex involved as he is the one that works most in 'the industry' which was an important side to show as there can be a lot of pros and cons, you have to be aware of the pit-falls. Nils' section came together the quickest, I really like that Nils just shoots his mates but his mates happen to really shred and have this whole story behind their scene in Malmo of how they literally built it up with their hands using their combined efforts, that was a lot of fun to shoot. Sergej, who was the last to get involved has a photographic style that is just so different from all the other guys, no flashes, just a 35mm SLR with black and white film, all processed and printed by hand, it certainly provided a contrast which I was stoked on as its boring when everyone shoots to similarly.
How does the photographer's environment influence their work?
Greatly! I think most of the guys involved really put an emphasis on the context of the skating instead of just shooting 'a trick' that could be anywhere. I think Bertrand displayed this best as the skater can be quite small in his composition so you really get an idea of the surroundings. He also mentioned that he doesn't feel that he doesn't feel that inspired to shoot at home in Barcelona as he's too used to seeing his environment so there's not a lot of inspiration there for him, but as we shot his part in Japan he could rarely be seen without a camera in his hands. On a contrasting note Nils finds a lot more inspiration in his home town as he's so ingrained in the scene in Malmo and he's been instrumental in helping it grow so he's constantly been inspired to shoot the changing face of the Malmo skate scene.
Tokyo Photo: Bertrand Trichet
What is important about trying to capture moments and surrounding elements that go beyond a trick?
I guess the importance of it is that it gives a little story behind the trick, there's tons of edits that just so trick, trick, trick, all fisheye, all up-close, but they have their place too. I just prefer to show what's going on around the trick as it helps give a richer context to the whole experience...I hope!
DIY in MalmÃ¶ Photo: Nils Svensson
Your film captures DIY mindset behind skateboarding. Why is that important to share with the viewer?
The DIY theme came about accidentally, but I guess I must have been drawn to it somehow, it ended up in every section somehow! I love DIY skate spots, they really display a resourceful side to certain groups of skaters. DIY spots are always a combined effort so it takes some consolidation between friends that can really strengthen a scene, its a very satisfying feeling when you and your mates work together to build something!
Craig "Questions" Scott SqueezeboxPhoto: Alex Irvine
The photographers seem to have very close relationships to their subjects and the desire to become involved in the process. Why do you think that is important in photography and videography?
I think its always important to have a genuine interest in your subject matter. If you are just some cheeseball who doesn't skate and you try to shoot skating to look cool it will really show in your work! With any type of subject it takes a real curiosity and affinity for that subject to get the motivation to show your representation of it, that type of work never comes from something you don't care about.
Craig "Questions" Scott HandoutPhoto: Alex Irvine
Do you think the experience of a photograph changes when it is viewed in a film rather than through print in real life?
I suppose it does as the photos are only panning on screen for a very limited period of time, but this was always going to be a restriction with this film. I tried to give as much context with the narration and the behind-the-scenes footage as possible, but at the end of the day its just nice to have the photo in print where you can hold it and look at it for as long as you like. Fortunately we had the opportunity to do some photo exhibitions and a book with this project so we got to display the photos in both the running time of the film and in their natural print format.
Gabi Ollie in Postojna, SloveniaPhoto: Sergej Vutuc
Many of the photographers stress the importance to discover your own unique style and to also have influences outside of skateboarding. Why?
I guess everybody wants to show their view-point? No two interpretations are exactly the same and when all the guys are coming from a different direction over many years you get to see completely different styles that perhaps come from some very similar influences.
Ferit in Postojna, SloveniaPhoto: Sergej Vutuc
Where can everyone who is reading this buy up a copy of the film on DVD?
Pontus Alv Frontside NosebluntPhoto: Nils Svensson
Who do you want to thank for making the Format Perspective a reality?
Each photographer, all the guys at Carhartt, every skater and a goldfish I was baby-sitting during the filming process that sadly passed away, I forget its name but RIP anyway. Cheers for the interview!
Marcus Olson Backside Smith Grind in MalmÃ¶Photo: Nils Svensson
Watch each photographers "Format Perspective" promo on Gnartifact:
Also check out:
Interview: Nick Wnorowski