Forde Brookfield Interview

The man behind Baghead Crew is perhaps my favourite living skateboard filmer. Forde Brookfield not only knows his shit when it comes to making skate videos, he is also a rad human being, and has helped me out with advice and favours around filming in the past. I’m always stoked to see what he puts out, so I was a little bit sad when the self-proclaimed “final Baghead Crew video”, Funeral, dropped at the beginning of this year. Turns out this was a huge wind-up, because he has another video, Satan, in the works. I caught up with him and asked him questions about Sweepers, stalking Barrier Kult and a hypothetical Chad Muska part.

Right, we need to clear the air about something first… I thought Funeral was your final video?

At first, I was being completely serious with the decision of this being the last video that I’d make. As time progressed, I started to give up on the idea of FUNERAL being the last video that I’d make. I thought I’d focus on a few more web edits, maybe a short online video and so forth: but how many times can you watch an edit online before you forget about it?

I sent off for the DVD duplication of FUNERAL around the start of January and expected the duplication process to take much longer than it did. I think I got the DVD’s back around 3 or 4 days later, and since I could no longer contribute to FUNERAL because it was officially finished and on DVD, the only natural thing to do was to continue filming. I think by the time FUNERAL came out, Myles Rushforth and I had been filming every single day and accumulated around 1 minute of footage for a project that hadn’t been officially begun. FUNERAL premiered in Sheffield on January 24th, 2020.

How did you settle on the name “Satan”?

Well, I was looking for a name to put the Baghead Kills video series to bed and was struggling a fair bit. One evening I was on a phone call discussing the deadline for FUNERAL (which was unnamed at this point), and I remember saying “I might as well just call the fucking video ‘Funeral’ since figuring out a name is gonna be the death of me”. Then the joke arose “I wonder who I’m visiting after I die? Probably Satan.”, so it all seemed very fitting and almost followed suit.

Tom Day pulling a BS Noseblunt slide for Forde’s lense

You’re currently based up in Sheffield – how’s the scene up there?

The Sheffield scene is very vast and has a tonne of skateboarders in every corner – even out in the sticks! I moved to Sheffield on the 1st of February 2019, and by December 2019, I had a full video ready to go. I have a lot of the Sheffield dudes to thank for that.

After being a Boardroom local for so many years – Do you still have any connection with the current Leicester scene?

I don’t get to visit Leicester all that much, but I love those guys deeply. Mike Simons & Jim Spencer kept the connection between Leicester/Sheffield for FUNERAL, and Samuel North hails from the home of pork pies (Melton Mowbray), so thanks to those guys, I was always welcomed back home with open arms.

Which skateboarder influenced you early on in life, and had the biggest impact on who you would become?

I have no idea, but I’ll give a fucking huge shoutout to Chris “AVI” Atherton. I love that guy! Go and find his “Avit” video and watch his part over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. It’s my favourite video part of all time. I love you, Avi.

What’s the story behind Baghead Crew? Where did the name come from?

It’s an old story of drug addicts in an alleyway: I’ll let you work the rest out.

Baghead Crew and Get Lesta kinda grew out of the Boardroom – was it awkward having these two very prominent, well-known crews documenting skateboarding in the same city, or did you guys all get on?

We always got along; we were essentially the same crew. Callun is a brilliant videographer, and I have a lot of respect for him. He’s certainly helped me out over the years.

Other than Joxa I remember you were the other person busting out sweepers when I first learnt them – who introduced you to those kinds of tricks?

I think I started learning Sweepers after I watched Zaroshs’ part in Death Skateboards “Better Than Life”. I quite literally remember buying the Zarosh 9″ pool deck, and rode that religiously for years. I had them back to back and still have an original on my wall.

What’s your favourite sweeper variation?

Sweeper to Disasters are amazing, especially when you catch your back truck and nearly die. I’ve been getting into Fakie Sweepers, they always feel like an accomplishment.

Is there a sweeper variant you can’t do that you want to learn?

I’ve always wanted to do BS Sweepers but I just can’t seem to make them work properly. Jozef (Puke Wizard) and Dead Dave do them exceptionally well.

You’ve gradually been assembling a crew of some of the world’s most awesome skaters, including Deer Man Of Dark Woods! How did you meet him?

I followed (but let’s say stalked) DMODW & Barrier Kult for years. I think I first established contact when I was 16. I always stayed in contact with BA.KU via email until one day I got an email stating that DMODW was visiting the U.K. for reasons I’m still not too sure of, other than to just film for FUNERAL. I guess he’d heard of it through word of mouth and became interested in the project. I met DMODW in person at a train station in Leicester mid 2018. 

Deer Man Of Dark Woods / Pivot Fakie in Bedworth / Photo by Forde

What did he think of Jersey Barriers in the UK?

He didn’t really speak all that much, but from what I gathered, he enjoyed them – and for what we lacked Barrier wise, we had some really good tour guides that took us to some very good abrupt transitions. Thank you Joxa & Shred Roe.

Chris Pulman is a very lovely human being: How’s it been filming him?

You know what? It’s been fucking brilliant. Pulman is an all-time favourite of mine. I absolutely fucking love him and when he messaged me about filming, I was honestly star struck. I almost didn’t believe it would happen. I facetimed him a few days before we planned to meet up and I wasn’t even expecting him to answer, but he did. It’s been nothing but a ball of positivity since then. 

Not only have I formed a strong filming bond with Chris, but I’ve filmed a friendship that’ll last an absolute lifetime. Every time I go skating with Chris, I end up learning something new, and I’ll cherish him for that. It’s such a positive feeling when we skate with each other. Chris, if you’re reading this, call me so I can tell you just how much I love and cherish your friendship.

You filmed a decent amount of footage for Heroin’s Earth Goblin, how did you get involved with the video?

I’d say I officially got involved with Heroin after I met Dead Dave and began filming in Sheffield. Not long after I moved here, I got the word from Fos that he wanted a Dead Dave part for a new video that he hadn’t named yet. Obviously, I jumped straight at the opportunity. 

As we started filming Dave’s part, the connection with Craig “Questions” Scott was made, and then followed the rest of the amazing team; Stephen Malet, Tom Day, Rogie, Pulman and so on. Deer Man was a huge help, too, as I filmed him for FUNERAL whilst I live in Leicester before I moved to Sheffield. From what I was told; Fos really enjoyed the Deer Man part (and the video overall) so it was great to get that approval from someone as well respected as Fos himself.

How did you feel when Dead Dave’s Earth Goblin part got a shoutout on the Nine Club?

I was incredibly stoked. Dead Dave deserves all the recognition he gets. He’s a true pioneer of originality and makes skateboarding fun.

Forde & Pulman

I mentioned you’ve aligned yourself with some awesome skateboarders: as mentioned Deer Man, Dead Dave, and Chris Pulman. But you even managed to get Tom Penny and Chad Muska in your last video?! What’s the story behind meeting Penny and Muska?

Meeting Tom Penny and Chad Muska was all down to the legend that is Sir Ben Grove. Grove rode for Supra footwear and had tight connections with Supra and the Deathwish guys. Thanks to Grove, I got to also meet Spencer Hamilton, Lizard King, Sascha Daley, Cameron Holland and the rest of the team that made Supra Footwear so brilliant.

Does Muska still skate with a boombox on his shoulder?

I don’t think he does. Maybe he just carries a portable speaker now?

When I think of the aesthetic of your videos, and the aesthetic of Chad Muska, I see very different styles: If you were to do a Chad Muska part in the next Baghead video, what music would you use and how would you edit it?

He’d obviously have to produce some Mu$ka Beats specially for his part; I couldn’t have it any other way.

Who can we expect to see full parts from in Satan?

So far, we’ve got Chris Pulman, Sebastian Batty, Myles Rushforth, Mani Haddon, Dead Dave, Denver Adams and Rasheed Osman along with a cracking bunch of friends from all over. From what I’ve learned whilst filming is that you never know who you’ll cross paths with. Before COVID-19 happened, I was supposed to meet Nick Murray from Fancy Lad Skateboards in Manchester for a few days, but sadly it never happened for obvious reasons. But, from what I know, it’s still going ahead, just further down the line.

Any ideas when the video will be done?

I recently laid down all the footage onto a timeline, and if I wasn’t currently tied into upcoming projects, I could release a video within the next couple of months. I can’t believe just how much all the guys have filmed in such a short time, but I guess COVID made it much easier for everyone to skate more, due to not working or having to be at university, education and so on.

Anyone you want to give a shoutout to?

It’s a very long list, but I’m super grateful for Chris Pulman, Sebastian Batty, Myles Rushforth, Mani Haddon, Dead Dave, Denver Adams, Rasheed Osman, Martin Kennelly, Louis Slater, Timmy Garbett, Christopher Price, Ben Broyd, Neil Worthington, Tom Day, Fos, Questions, DMODW, Jazz Wade, Jiri Bulin, Lewis Threadgold, Liam Kay, Max Rotton, Tylar Mccaffrey, Rikki Fields, Sam Mason, Izaac Cruickshank, Chaps, Mike Simons, Jim Spencer, Ryan Wright, Squirt Master Funk and all of the Leicester boys.

Samuel North will always get a huge, huge HUGE thank you. He single-handedly helped me out more times than I can bear to think. Thank you, Sam, for always being there when I needed you.

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