Forde Brookfield’s latest skateboarding opus is finally online for your viewing pleasure, and with that I have written up my thoughts on the video. It’s most definitely one of the best videos to come out of our fair isle in recent memory, and if you missed out on one of the limited edition DVD’s you owe it to yourself to hit play on the video above right now. After that, read on for my breakdown, and as a nice addition, some thoughts from the mastermind behind the video that came up during a short conversation I had with him about the making of Satan.
A word from Forde
The following is from Baghead Crew head honcho Forde Brookfield. This came up randomly in a chat on Instagram – we got into the weeds on the making of skateboard videos and the thought and artistic effort that goes into them, as well as their relationship to more traditional films. I just felt that it offered an interesting insight into the making of this video.
“Vids are meant to start high, mellow out nicely, back up, mellow, friends part, then go up, up and up. Kinda like a sound wave. First second and third act of film type theory. Keeps the viewer interested.
Plus, cut away any and all fat. Better a 2 and a half minute banger part than a 4 minute filler. Park to a minimum. Mike Simons has one concrete bowl trick in his Satan part. And I hated it.
But yeah, I think it’d be good to work out a short write up on skateboarding videos in comparison if constructed like acts of a film. You set the tone, then bring in your hero, bring in your antagonist, third act finale etc. I think there’s something there. Kinda like opera.
I think it’s cliche to say the structure of skate videos is that there is no structure but there definitely is. I tried really hard on this video to make sure each trick was somewhat opposite the other so it was easy on the eye but quick enough that it makes you double take on what just happened.
Plus, the severity of what’s being uploaded on a day to day basis is mental. The fine line between not filling a video with too much easy shit mixed with also cutting yourself some slack and allowing a video to be fun. The parts that needed the hammers had them, and the parts that just needed to have fun things in them had them.
I didn’t try to mix a serious hammer part with too much goofing, and I didn’t try to mix a part that had too much fun with too much serious skating in it whilst maintaining the actual hardness of the tricks within the more “fun” part.“
I tend to only really review videos I actually like here on the blog, so it’s probably no surprise that the TLDR version of this is that I liked Satan a lot. I’ve always liked Forde’s videos, because whilst they are of extremely high quality and feature some of the most exciting and skilled skaters in the country, they still have that raw, underground, “we’re just a bunch of mates dicking around” vibe.
The video begins with a fucking rad short little claymation bit that really reminded me of Extremely Sorry. I know people don’t like the weird claymation stuff they did in that video but as a nice little callback to when skate videos featured these weird animated skits I appreciated Satan’s intro. After this we’re straight into the action with Myles Rushforth.
After closing the previous Baghead video Funeral, Rushforth kicks the doors down on Satan with fast paced, energetic street destruction that gave me echoes of Ed Templeton in Good & Evil. I’m not just saying that because Myles gets flowed boards by Toy Machine: There’s some genuine Templetonian floating about here, with wallie pole jams, cruisy lines hitting bank to rails, and hoisting himself over gaps that cross rails, chains and walls. All of this set to a proper death metal banger which sets the tone perfectly.
Mani Haddon is next with a short, dirgy punk rock banger of a tune accompanying some textbook ledge handling, with some beautiful flips in and out of grinds and manuals. Not that he’s afraid to get stuck into a crusty bank or two, with some eyebrow raising quick footed flips thrown in on steep street inclines. His wild backside bigspin ender is rad as hell.
Following on from this we have Sebastien Batty, who performs some lengthy, stylish lines to a country tune. By now it’s pretty clear everyone in this video is an all-terrain shredder, and Batty is no different. After taking the baton from Haddon with some proper spot on ledge lines, he gets stuck into a tasty looking steep brick bank with mindblowing Nollie 180 heelflips both frontside and backside. There’s even a slappy or two thrown into this part for good measure, and his wallie nosegrind ender is amazing. A good old chugging, street cruising part, which keeps the Satan train moving at an enjoyable pace.
This sets the stage for the legend himself, Chris Pulman. This is a great part, riffing on some of Chris’ classic skits from Day In The City and Live From Antartica. It’s very clear Forde knows Pulman’s back catalogue of parts extremely well, and once the skating kicks in we’re in for an absolute treat. Chris brings his unique, effortlessly stylish and mindblowing trick selection to the forefront here. I use the term “cruisy street lines” a lot in reviews, but that phrase is really reserved for Chris Pulman’s exact school of skateboarding. The part is so good I wish it was longer, but honestly I could watch a full 30 minute video that just consists of this dude.
Next up we have Tom Day initiating what becomes a fast-paced friends section, filled to the brim with cameo appearances from the likes of Craig Questions, Ben Broyd & Moggins. If you like skateboarding on dirt trails and shuv it’s out of fakie wallrides, you’re gonna love this montage. This montage blends a little into the next section, with a couple of mad tricks on what appears to be a monument on the Isle Of Wight?!!!
If you thought Chris Pulman was the only legend of UK skateboarding called Chris who is known for mad No Comply variations in this video, well Forde has a surprise for you. Chris Atherton aka Avi turns up, joined by a variety of similarly minded avant garde skateboarding wizards to perform tricks that can only be described as “the absolute best kind of nonsense you can perform on a skateboard”. Very much the definition of clown tricks (and as an afficionado of the “clown trick”, I mean this with the most love and respect possible).
Will Sayer is next, taking to the streets on a shaped board, getting stuck into ditches and doing mad little lines at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery. Equal parts “clown tricks” and serious, quick footed technical moves, it’s a great mix with a lot of variety. The last trick is done on a tiny skateboard, showing that size really doesn’t matter.
Sayer is followed by Andy Pike who skates a bunch of spots that would usually cause me to laugh and jokingly ask “Who Got Dis?”. He is joined by a variety of friends as they shred all manner of dirty bank spots and DIY quarters. This section is a bit of a “friends section part 2”, as the cameos come thick and fast, but Pike shuts shit down constantly throughout this section, ending things by tackling a scary pair of steep blue banks.
After a brief appearance from Leicester OG Jim Spencer, we are treated to a new full part from mate of the blog, former Ramones cosplayer and all round master of the Bigspin Heel Mike Simons. It’s nice to see that being a Dad hasn’t slowed Simons down, with this part potentially being one of his best I’ve ever seen from him. He clears gaps and rails onto grass, he hits every spot with a creative angle and he does all of his signature moves bigger, badder and better than ever before. Rad as hell. Go on Mike!
Dead Dave skates to an 80’s heavy metal classic, and does a whole bunch of 80’s style moves skating around suburbs and the weirdest street spots you can imagine. Highlights are a boosted boneless wallbash, an early grab off of an oververt wallride, and a bodysurf from one board to another over a giant round rock. Dave isn’t afraid to do tricks where one, or even both, of his feet (or even both hands) touch the ground, and he largely ignores the “rules” around what is and isn’t a trick. His part is super rad.
And this brings us to the ender. Rasheed Osman closes things off with a part filled with Mach 10 lines, the scariest hill bombs you’ve ever seen, and pure, balls to the wall, gnarly shit. It’s no surprise this guy is part of the new Heathen team, he charges at every trick with pure confidence, and pulls out some nice surprises – including the longest 50-50 on a rail I’ve seen on UK soil in years, backside 180 early grabs down gaps, rolling body varials down stairs (no ollie), and a tollie into rain soaked streets off of scaffolding.
Perhaps in the modern trend of skateboarding videos: the last trick isn’t some super shocking, “jump out of your seat” thunderclap ender (although it certainly comes close), but rather a rad, complimentary trick that makes the whole part feel like a proper, cohesive conclusion to the video. Basically you’re going to see about a minute of extremely amazing tricks leading up to this last one, all equally as good as each other, and to be honest it’s an approach I really like.
I saw a similar approach in Get Lesta’s “Darling” and it’s something I tried to do in “Ghostface” – I used to think the final trick in a video had to be something incredibly mind-blowing and stand out from the other tricks in the part, but this new trend of making the whole part really sing and close the video off with a crescendo rather than a bang is something I’m noticing more and more, and I love it. Major props to Rasheed and Forde, this part’s a gem.
To re-iterate, I only tend to review stuff I like here on the blog. Yeah, yeah, that relentlessly positive vibe and all that. However, I’m saying this because Satan might be my favourite video I’ve reviewed yet. Darling might very well be a draw with it, or at the very least a close second.
For me, it’s the pure variety of skateboarding and skateboarders – Variety of tricks, different board types, older legends, current pro’s, as well as new faces who in time will probably become future legends. A healthy dose of DIY transition coupled with plenty of your average UK street spots. It has a bit of everything.
And even within the purely gothic and metal inspired wheelhouse that Baghead Crew live in, there is a nice variety in the music. Forde knows when to mix things up, and when to bring in the heavy stuff, and the energy is fast paced throughout.
Listen, I’m not gonna say anymore. I recommend you watch this video. And if you’ve seen it already, watch it again.
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