On some Simply Red shit “If you don’t know me by now” we have the full Drummer Boy video for you together with an exclusive interview with Ben Davies the creator of said video. So get to know the young Bristolian who filmed and edited this fine piece of video entertainment. Press play first but get ready to read right after it is a fun one!
Intro & Interview By Roland Hoogwater.
Tell us a bit about yourself for the people that don’t know you.
My name is Ben Davies and I am 20 years old from Bristol.
When did you start filming?
I started filming 8 years ago on a shitty camcorder until I eventually upgraded to a vx1000 which I have been using for the past 4 years.
Was that transition easy some people have a hard time stopping skating and start filming.
At first, I would often want to skate way more than film. But for the past 2 years or so I have had a reoccurring ankle injury meaning I can’t really skate properly so filming has been my main priority.
Although it sucks a lot to have an ankle injury it has also definitely had its positive effects with filming. I have found I am filming lots of stuff that I wouldn’t normally be bothered to film and filming is way more
enjoyable because I’m not feeling like I’m missing out on skating (laughs).
You recently moved to London from Bristol can you tell us how the skate scenes differ?
Bristol is way more relaxed, you can just head into town and you know you will see people to hang out with because it is so small and everyone knows everyone and it is very friendly.
Whereas London is way more intense and unwelcoming until you get to know people then everyone is very nice. It is probably like this because in London there are so many tourist skaters coming through that the locals get fed up with it. So they are a bit less friendly until they have seen you a few times.
In terms of filming I think London is way better and lots easier to get clips. My friends Ryan and Pete and I went on some filming missions here and getting clips is a lot easier because of the quality of spots. I like going filming with a group of people and that was hard at first because I only knew my friend Pete Gronau in London so we would just go on duo filming missions which varied in success. Next year we will have a solid crew though as Sam Nobbs and a few other Bristol people are moving into town.
Filming is something you want to develop further outside of the skateboard context. What have you been doing and how does your skate experience play into those types of things?
I have been trying to develop my filming in a way where I can actually make some money. So I’ve been trying to do some music videos which is quite fun until the rapper doesn’t want to do anything apart from sitting in an expensive car and asking you to make him look cool and doesn’t want to give you any creative control (laughs).
Apart from that, it is good to earn some money and I know which type of artists not to work with now. It is also nice to work on something more widely appreciated because showing your skate video to your Auntie isn’t ideal and something like a music video they might understand more.
And that is a good thing.
Southbank or Lloyds as the main spot?
Lloyds for sure. I find it hard to enjoy Southbank as its so hectic. Also, everyone is too good at skating so it is hard to have a fun chill skate. Lloyds is way more relaxed and a nice open space to chill at.
Drummer Boy took three years to make tell us why and did you struggle with saving footage for that long? People seem to want to put stuff out quickly today.
It took 3 years because our crew isn’t the most productive (laughs). We also intended to film the video purely in Bristol but we couldn’t quite do it because we got fed up with the shitty spots. During this time of filming we just filmed everywhere like London and around Europe. We did an interrail trip last summer and got good clips.
At the same time, saving clips was a struggle as well, people’s clothing styles and ability changed a lot during this time so I have had to cut lots of old clips from 2017 as they just looked too out of place in the video. But, some of the clips still surprisingly manage to hold up in the video which is good.
All my friends have been wanting me to release the video for a while now and I had to call it a day eventually (laughs). Also now, because we are no longer allowed to go skating in groups due to coronavirus I thought it would be the best time to release the video. It has also been a really good time to edit as I have had nothing else to do.
Tell us a bit about the creative process graphic and music-wise is that something you do alone or do you have help?
My friend Sam Nobbs helped me lots with choosing songs for the video. For the graphics, we both have our input but during quarantine, he hasn’t been able to come over to edit. I have just been uploading sections of the video to youtube on private and trying different songs and graphics and he has been telling me what he likes and what he thinks I should change.
You also started a brand called Interceptor what led you to make that choice?
Interceptor is run by myself and Sam Nobbs. We wanted for a while now to release some clothing together with the Drummer Boy video. We decided to make the brand because we felt that we had lots of ideas for graphics and it would be a fun project to work on together.
Obviously, every project needs at least someone to pull the wagon for a bit Sam seems to do that or does he just get stuff that quickly that you put him all over the video?
Sam always manages to get lots of clips for my videos which I am very happy about and it doesn’t always come easy but he commits and if he says he will do something then he will definitely do it (or at least give it a good try). He also films lots with Rich Smith from Skateboard Cafe so it is crazy that he always manages to get clips for both.
Finally, give us your 5 favorite clips from the video.
This is a very hard question I like all the clips but:
1. Dylan Wilks back fifty-fifty shove it at 1:35
2. Lucas Castellano hippy jump at 9:00
3. Cosmo Conway’s fs flip at 25:26
4. Ryan Viens nose slide at 29:08
5. Sam Nobbs fs nose to fakie manny at 13:05