Interview By Max Creasy for These Video Days
There was a time, everywhere I went, I found myself in sea of young kids fanatically filming there mates on low grade cameras.
This may have been 2003. Whenever it was, it is a vision I try to forget. Josh Roberts had humble beginnings, he was amongst these kids.
Fortunately Josh honed his craft and what he is now capable of with a video camera is far from forgettable.
After producing several independent Perth videos (incl. 2009's 'No Strings Attached') Josh put together The 4 Skateboard Company's "The Perfect Amount of Lazy." What he has done is create a video with the perfect amount of shredding, rawness and fun.
Take note : this kid is on the come up. - Ben Mclachlan
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHERE YOU GREW UP SKATING AND WHAT THE SCENE WAS LIKE AT THE TIME?
Well I pretty much grew up skating in the suburbs of Perth with my brother and a few friends. After we’d been skating for a year or so we started venturing into the city which opened my eyes a lot. There was a good scene at the time with a bunch of older guys which I looked up to, most of which I ended up becoming friends with through skating one way or another which I thought was awesome.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLY INFLUENCES?
Early on it was pretty much all those older guys I would see skating the city. They all just seemed really good. I watched skate videos non stop at the time as well so countless videos. The Reason, Modus Operandi, Europa, Waiting For The World and Photosynthesis to name a few
WHAT ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY THESE DAYS?
At the moment I’m pretty much into anything that Magenta is doing. Hopps as well. Those guys are doing it right. Josh Stewart as well, dudes been killing it forever. Here in Australia The 4 Skateboard Company and Passport are doing good things. My friends are a huge influence, just skating around the city with them. More emphasis on actual skateboarding and less on tricks. Getting the whole vibe going.
WHEN DID YOU START FILMING?
I started filming not long after I started skating but just mucking around at home with my brother and a few friends who lived close by. It was this big black analog camcorder that my parents had. It was pretty cool at the time I had heaps of fun using it. You would have to rewind and tape over every trick that wasn’t made because that’s just how I thought you did it.
I NEVER REALISED HOW MANY TIMES PEOPLE WOULD TRY TRICKS TO GET THEM ON FILM, I THINK I IMAGINED MOST SKATERS COULD DO EVERY TRICK IN THEIR PART ON COMMAND. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOY CONDONE PUTTING INTO FILMING A SINGLE TRICK OR LINE?
Well usually if I’m going to get my camera out I’m willing to film the trick for long as it takes for the skater to make it. But yeah it can take hours sometimes. You have to be willing to stick it out if need be.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FILM PROJECTS YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF?
I’ve helped with homie videos over the years and made a couple of my own as well. Then eventually ended up doing the The Perfect Amount Of Lazy for the 4 Skateboard Company.
WHERE DOES THE NAME COME FROM?(The Perfect Amount of Lazy.)
I think that may have come about as a joke at first. I think it may have been Ben McLachlan that came up with it. Sounds like something he would say. It just relates to the relaxed approach that everyone kinda had. It might have been in reference to Willy Ackerman, that man lives at his own pace.
FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW: PERTH IS A LITTLE ISOLATED FROM THE REST OF AUSTRALIA, YET IT SEEMS TO HAVE ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE SCENES AROUND. WHAT GOES ON IN PERTH?
Yeah it’s all the way over on the west coast all by itself. I think It’s meant to be the most isolated city in the world. I guess there is just a lot of motivated skaters out here. The scene is really tight knit as well, everyone knows each other and gets on really well. Everyone’s down.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH FOUR SKATEBOARDS?
I’d been friends with Brett Margaritis and Ben Mclachlan for a while just through skating and filming over the years and I was already filming with and am good friends with everyone on the team. I think they were looking at doing a full length video to get things rolling and to get some exposure for the company. I ended up taking the job to get the video going which resulted in The Perfect Amount Of Lazy.
WHAT SORT OF FILMING MISSIONS WERE YOU GOING ON TO MAKE THE VIDEO?
I went on a trip over to Melbourne early on to film with the guys over there and to get things started. Generally throughout the whole thing though we just went out skating as usual and did our thing. It was really good to film a bunch with Morgan Campbell. He’s definitely one of the most motivated people I’ve worked with.
ARE MOST OF THE SPOTS IN THE VIDEO IN DOWNTOWN PERTH OR OUT IN THE SUBURBS?
I tried to film in the city and inner suburbs as much as possible. It definitely looks the best. Perth isn’t the largest city though so not every skater would be able to film a whole part just in the city. We definitely hit a bunch of spots in the suburbs though.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PUTTING TOGETHER THE MUSIC FOR THE VIDEO?
We were going for an old bluesy/soulful kinda vibe and have everything flow together as well as possible. From the super 8 and the colouring of the footage along with the dvd cover with the warn out edges which was meant to be like and old jazz record. We tried to tie that all together with the music.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THAT YOU SEE GOING ON IN THE AUSTRALIAN SKATE SCENE?
There’s a few different companies that have emerged here that are doing things proper that I mentioned before with 4 and Passport. They’re both owned by skaters for skaters which is what the industry definitely needs. The skateboarders journal is good too. Skater owned and run as well