PREMIERE / Jamie Manning "IT'S A SONY" / Jude Harrison / INTERVIEW

Now this update really should fall under the "D.J.'s tip" designation, as it's originally James "D.J." Davidson (whose works we've heavily featured before) who got us in touch with Jude Harrison, a young filmer from Kent, England, bringing to our attention the imminent completion of Jude's new full-length VX-1000 video: "IT'S A SONY". The first glimpses we got to catch immediately caught our interest as a high-quality piece of the author's local labor of love; although it does feature some London clips, in general, neither Jude nor his friends needed particularly fancy urban surroundings to achieve motivational greatness, instead making optimal use of their natural environment and putting in love that can be sensed as far as in Jude's meticulous camera settings and on-point maneuvring. And if that's not surprising enough levels of maturity for a sixteen-year-old to you, well, his answers to the few questions we went to ask him should do it, below! For a first LIVE feature, Jude's pick of a section from "IT'S A SONY" is the last segment, signed by local ripper and Globe shoes rider Jamie Manning - who also happens to be Jude's age and demonstrate a similar devouring passion for his own craft, on the other side of the lens. Welcome to year twenty twenty-one, "IT'S A SONY" and the Tunbridge Wells scene - all at once!

LIVE Skateboard Media: Hey Jude (sorry, had to), what’s up? First things first - may you introduce yourself to our readers, tell us where you’re from and when and how you first took up skating? Also, can you describe what Tunbridge Wells is like and how skating there happens - what would you say about your local scene?

Jude Harrison: Hey Aymeric and readers, I'm a sixteen-year-old Sony VX-1000 filmer from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. I first took up skating when I was about eleven - I had a Penny board for ages that was originally my older brothers', and I just wanted to give it a go so managed to get a board for my birthday.

Tunbridge Wells is a small town in Kent, the skate scene goes way back I think but from what I know, skating became more popular around here in 2009 when "SKATEFACE" by Richard Pullinger and "FRESHLY BAKED" by Santiago Pilgrim came out. There have been many local skate videos since, and they really help the local skate scene grow, despite the crusty spots we have.

It is by no means a town full of good spots, you have to be creative to skate the streets here, I think. There's not even any skate shops here anymore. The heart of the scene lies at 'garden' which is our local skatepark - which is so bad it's actually fun to skate. My favourite local video is called "TRUST THY CRUST" by Harry Gerrard.

"Just doing my bit here
until the next crew
comes along"

LSM: So your new video "IT’S A SONY" is filmed predominantly in Tunbridge Wells; how long did you spend working on it and how would you describe the general filming process? Was it easy to skate there or would you say people react differently to skateboarders, say, in London? Was it a conscious choice to highlight your hometown, or did it instead sometimes feel like you had to make do?
JH: The filming process started in February 2020, up until the 24 December which was when the last clip was filmed. Some clips are from earlier than February that never made it into other videos, and some footage Al Hodgson sent me to use was from a while back, but can't be sure exactly when from.

"It became a
T-Boys-and-friends video
rather than just a
T-Boys video"

The filming process was very tough [laughs] - not only did I film loads of skatepark footage during summer when I should have been filming street, but my VX-1000 has been the most unreliable camera ever; it got to the point when I was actually losing footage: the footage would record onto the tape, then delete when I put it back in the camera... I can't even tell you how hard it is telling someone that I've just lost his clip he tried for an hour or so.
It's definitely tough to get good clips around here, so that's why there is quite a bit of London footage in the video, but it definitely was a conscious choice to highlight my hometown: I grew up here, I started skating here, the first skate video I ever watched was from here - just doing my bit here until the next crew comes along...

"The Red Brick Rascals
YouTube got hacked,
so there's a bunch
of Fortnite videos
on there"

LSM: Can you introduce us to the skaters featured in the video? How did you meet most of them and how did you organize who was going to have parts; did you just stack footage of everyone and things just happened organically as you went or did you plan things out consciously? Can you tell us about Jamie in particular, whose part we are featuring today?
JH: I met most people featured in "IT'S A SONY" at 'garden' just by going there more regularly. Originally, this was going to be another T-Boys-only skate video which would just feature our friendship group, which is what we had done in the past; but during lockdown, I became very keen on filming as much of the scene as possible instead, and one day I messaged Luke Pont to see if he would be down to film some clips. From then on, I filmed as much of the scene as possible. It became a T-Boys-and-friends video rather than just a T-Boys video.

"I've finally gone
tapeless, so I don't
have to worry
about the glitches"

It's kinda crazy to me because I grew up watching these guys skate Tunbridge Wells, and now I filmed them for my own video - which is why this video is so special to me.
I first met Jamie in Tonbridge at the skatepark to go film some skatepark clips, and after that one session we kept on filming together and going out skating more and became good mates. He's such a talented skater so I had to get him in the video, but I didn't know how good he really was until recently. To be honest, every time we go skating, it amazes me how good he is at such a young age as sixteen. I think I can confidently say he has a bright future of skating ahead of him. We only filmed his part from August to December, so it's been hard getting the clips we want, we managed to get most of what he wanted but we definitely had plans for another ender trick...

"I film him better
than I film some
other people, because
I know his skating
very well"

LSM: Any other filmers, publications, shops or creatives in your area you would like to bring up? Any video legacy or important names locally past and present you could think of mentioning?
JH: Yeah man, as I mentioned before all the Red Brick Rascals videos by Harry Gerrard are great - "TRUST THY CRUST" is my favourite along with the full-length that got taken down for copyright issues but there are DVD copies still about, message @___harryg___ on Instagram for one. The Red Brick Rascals YouTube got hacked, so there's a bunch of Fortnite videos on there so you gotta scroll down a bit to get to the skating ones. "PEAR-SHAPED" is another great local video by Harry.
Another filmer who is now doing big things for the Sheffield skate scene, but still including Tunbridge Wells in his videos, is Frank O'Donnell. His new full-length is coming out today, so I'm sure that will be added to my list of favourite skate videos that feature local spots and skaters. You can watch Cass Doig's part here!
The scene is growing bigger constantly so more skate groups are popping up here and there; I'm sure a banging video will be made soon.

"A lot of clips are
filmed in the wet,
but that's what we
had to do"

LSM: Did any video(s) in particular inspire you to take up the Sony VX-1000 out of all cameras? What was the first skate video that ever left a mark on you, and what is it that keeps fueling the VX love to this day? That camera is older than you, right? I heard that gets your dad tripping?
JH: [laughs] I think this shows how much I love local videos, but definitely "TRUST THY CRUST" again left a mark on me which got me interested in the VX, but other great stuff such as the Baker videos and the Magenta videos. I think the "GIDDY" series by Romain Batard left my mate Toby and I amazed at just how creative you can be with a VX, so I think those videos played a role in me finally investing in one because I had a Canon XM-1 for a while before that.
My favourite video that has come out recently that's filmed on a VX is Tom Knox's Atlantic Drift part, Jacob Harris is a magician with the VX.
I just love the footage that the VX produces overall, not to mention how lightweight it is, how good the mic is, and so on. I've finally gone tapeless so I don't have to worry about the glitches; all I need now is a MK1. My dad just doesn't get it [laughs] - I don't think he ever will, he's convinced that he can make H.D. footage look like VX in post...
LSM: Jamie and you were still trying to film an ender to his part basically just a few hours before this premiere went up, despite the currently horrible weather and general conditions - that’s some dedication. How well do you work with him and how used are you to filming so hard? Also, was it important to you to finish the video on a certain date as opposed to keeping it free flowing or is opening the new year with it coincidental?
JH: Yeah, Jamie and I have been stressing out over his part recently, and we planned to go filming on Christmas eve and maybe boxing day but, due to personal reasons, the sessions had to be called off.
Most of this video is footage filmed this winter; a lot of clips are filmed in the wet but that's what we had to do to get the video done on time, because January first had to be the date I released the video: my last full-length was released on January first, 2020, so I thought it would be cool to do the same for this one.
Jamie and I work well together, we rarely disagree on anything major, it's always just which clips to use in his part. I feel like I film him better than I film some other people, because I know his skating very well. I can predict certain things and just know what angles are going to look good for his tricks, if that makes sense.

LSM: Alright Jude, time to wrap this up, shout outs time if you like! Also, what’s next in the cards, are you considering any future project, or maybe already working on something else? Any links we should check out? Cheers and thanks for doing this!

JH: I'm literally going filming tomorrow for my next video... That's all I can say about that, I guess you will just have to wait and see!
Check out T-boys on YouTubeInstagram and my personal account is @judeharr8.
Shoutout to Al Hodgson for sending me footage of Ash Humprey and Ben Woodhouse and James 'D.J.' Davidson for sending me footage of Jamie to help wrap up the video on time.
Thank you for the opportunity mate - merry Christmas and a happy new year!


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