4Down/S&M’s Jim Newrick has been working on his new video project, ‘Haven’ for some time now, so we decided to get in touch and quiz him on the time he’s been spending behind the lens. Read on to find out more about Jim’s filming background, how the project is coming along, and for an insight into his views on BMX videography.
So Jim, I know you’ve been making videos a long time now…At what age did you start, and what was your first video?
I must have been around 18 when i first started messing around with a camcorder at my trails. First real video was NSF1 which was filmed and edited by both me and my mate Chris.
Newrick in NSF3, 2006
What videos have you made since then?
I made Various super 8 shorts documenting bmx orientated bits and bobs…Mostly in Sheffield.
Short films made whilst at University, covering various subject matter.
The NSF Trilogy (North East Street Foundation)
Charlie Don’t Surf, a Newcastle BMX scene video, shot and edited over one month.
Numerous web edits
As you touched upon in your last answer, you studied Video Production at University…Tell us some more about that.
I obtained a degree in photography, digital imaging and video production. Not seperate qualifications, they were all taught as part of one course. I’d love to go back and do it over again at the age I am now – I would appreciate it a lot more.
Have you experimented with a wide range of video cameras over the course of filming BMX?
DV900 , XM2 (R.I.P), various different Super 8 and VHS cameras.
Always a subject of heavy debate, what’s your setup and camera of choice right now and why?
I’m currently filming on a Sony VX2100. It’s a reliable happy medium. Still has a classic bmx feel to the footage.
Do you have any BMX Video ‘Pet Hates’?
I dunno. It just seems like a lot of people at the moment are in the mindset that sharper and smoother polished footage makes for better viewing experience. I think there is a place for all different formats. Hi 8, VHS, Super 8, 16mm all have their own great distinguishing qualities. There is no such thing as out-dated equipment within film making in my eyes. Its all about content/ substance at the end of the day. A lot of web videos i see these days are super crisp and sharp but lack hugely in thought and creativity. It’s annoying when kids go out and buy a Canon 5D MkII and film a few static close ups or panning shots dipping in and out of focus.They automatically think that what they are doing is of a high standard. A monkey given a 5D could produce an equal standard of footage. The monkey’s footage would probably be far more interesting. I’m not saying that there is no place for this quality of footage, there is definitely a place for it. People just need to start concentrating on the core and substance rather than the superficial elements. That skate company Palace produce some good stuff on VHS. They did a promo recently all filmed on VHS. It had a lot of raw cuts and editing and flowed really nicely. There was an uninterrupted realness to it. Kind of like when you see unedited VHS home videos from when you were young. It’s refreshing to see something different going against the grain and turning out brilliant. There was obviously a lot of thought and experimentation that went into that. It paid off.
Right now I know you’re working on a new video called Haven. What inspired you to make it and is it going to be in the same vein as your previous videos?
A close friend gave me the drive to start it . I had no intention of making another full length BMX video before that. Hopefully it will project a similar style to some of my more recent stuff.
Screen grab from ‘Haven’ : Some of the NSF crew at The Wasteland, Newcastle
Who’s it going to feature? Are you going to be having a part in it as well as filming and editing it? I know that it’s not easy to do both…
It mostly features NSF heads and affiliates.It has sections but none of them are dedicated to one rider. It’s more of a jumble to keep it interesting. A good way of eliminating any fast forward sections I suppose. It can be difficult getting clips of yourself when your mostly busy filming other people. I’ve got some clips I’m happy with though.
Has it evolved since its inception or have you had a solid idea of how it will look and stuck to it since the outset?
I had a solid idea for about 9 month from start to finish. Then Grey Skateboard Magazine came out with that web video called ‘Grey Nights’. The format of that web video was pretty much exactly what I had in mind for mine, it even had a similar sounding name. I had to go back to the drawing board after seeing that. I shortened the name of my video down to ‘Haven’ rather than ‘Grey Haven’. I’m still running with the idea of all the sound taken direct from vinyl and will still be producing a limited run on VHS. An ode to the old formats was my orignal idea.
It’s clear from your work that you love Newcastle and the surrounding areas, and you always manage to get that Newcastle ‘feel’ into all your videos. What is it about Newcastle that you look for as far as inspiration goes?
I think its important to portray and reflect your area or scene within its people/ history/ character. The places people live and grew up in have major rolls within the development of us as people and and how we act . No scene is the same because of this. It would be silly not to delve into that. In the long run it can make the difference between a very regimented trick based bmx video and a very wholesome production which ouzes character and a bit of cultural heritage. Clarky’s ‘Attention Stalybridge’ is a good example of this.
As well as BMX videos, I know that you are also passionate about movies. Do you take any inspiration from films for your bmx projects? If so, which ones?
Lynch, Hertzog, Mike Leigh, Carpenter, Hitchcock, Orson Wells are all people that inspire me in some way. Not the inspiration to recreate or copy what they do, more the inspiration to carry on and battle through what i’m doing until it is done.
What was the last BMX edit you saw that you really liked?
I really liked Bob Scerbo’s ‘Skape Goat’ series. The most recent A Bike Co. advert was good. They seem to have the winning formula. Keeping production simple can work wonders with the right riders and backdrop. Anthem 2 was cool.
How far along is Haven now? Nearing completion? Have you got a target release date pencilled in yet?
It’s coming along good. I’m going to visit Cleggy in the next couple of weeks to do some filming with him and Fat head. I’m looking forward to that. All the lads have been putting in work for it. I’m really grateful for that and proud of them. Cheers lads. It will be released when I have atleast 4 clips of James Cox. Hopefully I will get them before the end of September?
Where can we find out more about Haven? I believe you have a blog set up to track its progress?
Just check out greyhaven on Tumblr. Hopefully I’ll get some video related posts up there soon.
Haven Trailer 1