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Skate Cinema is... Poetic

By Paula Osorio.
Osorio is a skate culture lover and a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.

 

This London-based director born in the early 90s has strong and powerful influences from the works of Dan Magee, Chris Massey, Pontus Alv, Josh Stewart, and Bill Strobeck, whose aesthetics can be seen in some of his own videos. Establishing subtle moods to guide his audience through a more realistic approach to the skaters’ environment, the movies that Jacob Harris shoots and edits are beyond regular skate movies. His films are imprinted with this millennium’s poetry and are enhanced with narratives provided by the locations themselves. With his career on the rise, we wanted to take a look at some of his best and popular movies and, maybe, learning a thing or two from him before he becomes the new big favorite.

 

 

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Blooming Steps

As Jacob has mentioned in several interviews, he started filming with his friends using a Handycam when he was just 12 years old. The novelty of the camera pushed him to copy everything he saw in movies. When Blueprint Skateboards’ “Lost and Found” was launched in 2005, something inside Jacob’s mind clicked and he knew that there were tons of possibilities for skate movies beyond the plain old style of just filming cool tricks. After a lot of self-made and self-distributed DVDs, he released a film called “Square One” (2009) featuring his best friend Tom Knox. This movie hit larger audiences, becoming the first step in greatness for both of them.

This British auteur kept his focus behind the lens. Chris Massey’s nostalgia in “Portraits” and the narrative experience from Henry Edwards-Wood’s and Dane Crook’s “Hold Tight London” web series made a big impact on his style. Jacob managed to integrate tat atmosphere into his movies and in 2013 he released another huge hit. This time, it was for the worldwide praised “Eleventh Hour”, a movie sponsored by Lakai Footwear, Isle Skateboards, Slam City Skates, and Fourstar Clothing. This movie was basically a 37-minutes ode to the full-length film, based on the original novel “La Grisaille Londonienne” (The Grayness of London) by Henri Roi de Ruisseau. In the following year (2014), Eleventh Hour won “Video of the year” at the Bright European Skateboarding Awards in Berlin, proving that Jacob had real talent.

 

Open Up the Gates

Isle Skateboards was founded by Nick Jensen and Paul Shier after leaving Blueprint. In 2015 it launched its first skate movie called “Vase”, directed by Nick Jensen. This piece of art was shot and edited by Jacob and it satisfied all the tastes and flavors in both the European and American audiences. With lots of conceptual frames and incredible talent from the skaters. The meaning behind its title was meant to remain open for interpretation by the audience.  However, when Jacob was asked about the meaning he stated: “Jensen and myself would talk a lot in quite a vague way about the way the gaze of a camera invests anything with significance, even objects, a vase is similar in such a way that it decorates its contents and a fullness grows out from it. The camera is of course a vase in this case”. His answer showed the great artwork and ‘experimental’ sense that formed part of Jacob’s films. Through this, you can see how the movies would go beyond what other directors have done thus far.

The making of “Vase” caught the attention of Thrasher’s Tony Vitello, who invited Jacob to work on a series for the mag. The result was “Atlantic Drift”, an episodic series where Sylvain Tognelli, Nick Jensen, Mike Arnold, Chris Jones, Remy Taveira, Casper Brooker, and the ever-present Tom Knox. They would perform tricks in front of Jacob’s lens in different locations around the globe. So far, with 11 episodes officially launched, they have already toured skate locations in Las Vegas, Moscow, Athens, Hawaii, San Francisco, New York, and of course their hometown London, among others. To this day, they keep on wrecking the streets wherever they go, and we’re glad they do it.

All of Jacob Harris’ movies are regularly accompanied by exquisite soundtracks that include classic and beautiful songs from Roy Orbison, Nina Simone, Neil Young, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, The Beatles, The The, Gene Krupa, and many others. The presence or absence of music in every scene in the movies he makes shows his desire to create an atmosphere that complements the viewers’ experience while watching the skaters perform.

So, tell us, what do you think of this director’s style? Check out his films and let us know in the comment section below!

 

Skate regards. Peace Out!

 

Read also: Skate Cinema is… Supreme

Read also: Skate Movie Review: The Creature Video

 

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