Phil Evans VFF 2013 interview

Interview by M. Zubak

I know Sergej Vutuc since the 90-ties, when we started to skate in Zagreb. Phil Evans made a documentary about six photographers and one of them was Sergej Vutuc. In 2011 the film was released and in the same year friends of mine came to an idea to start a skate film festival in a small town in Istria, called Fažana. Of course that Format Perspective was first on our wish list! I contacted Sergej, he gave me Phil’s mail and we got our first video for the  festival. The rest is history, until somebody erase it from the internet…

Although it’s quite a small event, we came to the third year! We also started a blog, as you may see! Looking back a little bit, one of the logical steps was to make an interview with Phil. Enjoy it!

Your Format Perspective was one of three movies featured on our first Vladimir Film Festival in Fažana, in 2011. Sergej Vutuc gave us your contact and I remember how happy we were when you accepted our invitation to participate. At the time, you have just released the video and were doing the screenings around the world. What were your first thoughts when you received a mail asking for your latest film for some small skate film festival in some small town in Croatia you never heard of?

  • Emmm..I think my fist thoughts were “Sure, cool”? Although my visit to Croatia was short, I still really enjoyed it and met a bunch of rad individuals so why would I not get involved..

The list of screenings of Format Perspective is quite impressive, awards, nominations, official selections… Did all this opened some new paths for you , also outside the skate world, and which?

  • To be honest I got slightly lazy when I was touring because, well, it was a lot of fun! Skating, travelling, I was not being too productive and trying to film that much, I think I felt like a little break..but yeah, it was cool to get the film into some festivals as it makes it a little easier to get new projects off the ground if people see you have somewhat proven yourself.  Apart from the business side of things I think the best part of all of it is making some really good friends along the way, why bother otherwise?

You also made a stop-motion music video for the band called Blind Yackety.   I’m a big lover of stop-motion, it’s totally different working process and the way of thinking. What came first in your life, photo or video? How did you decided to make the video in that way?

  • I’ve almost exclusively being doing video for years, I never really considered myself a photographer.  However, with the Blind Yackety project, the idea came first, then I had to work out how best to execute the idea – that happened to be stop motion.  Man, that video was a lot of work! However, its good to use the prospect of creating something new to learn some new technical skills.  Stop motion is a very tedious time consuming process though, and quite a lonely one so its best doing it with someone and during the winter!

Blind Yackety – Foundations Music Video

What’s the taste of stop-motion after all the videos you’ve made? Was it a flirt or can we expect some new love to come out?

  • Let see what happens this winter – I’d like to do something with my friend Mike O Shea, but we’ll see what we feel like when the weather gets colder.

What’s the difference between your approach to commercial and personal work? Can you imagine yourself being a filmmaker without being a skateboarder?

  • I want to keep making skate videos, but only as long as I am stoked to make them and can keep coming up with new ideas to keep myself interested.. However, so much of my life is completely consumed by skateboarding that its quite nice to work on other projects to give myself a break and keep the stoke up for the skate stuff – its good to get out of the skate bubble and experience and learn new things.  I’ve been making some music videos lately that were a lot of fun to do so that’s definitely something I’d like to expand on – who knows what ever else? It depends on what I’m inspired by I suppose.
    As far a difference between commercial and personal work, I don’t really see one – generally with my commercial projects its usually something I’ve started myself and then a brand/financier becomes involved – its the same for the so called personal stuff, only I don’t get paid for that.

Panoramic Series – Stockholm with Daniel Gronwall from Philip Evans.

Have you got any “dream” project and how would it look like?

  • If I’m not making the stuff I want to make then I would not have the energy to make it, so I suppose I am working on what I want to work on which is something I don’t want to take for granted.

This year, in September, will be the third edition of Vladimir Film Festival and it’s still a small event organised by a bunch of skate enthusiasts. You’re currently bringing to an end your work on new documentary about Malmö skate scene. Would you like to come to Fažana and screen it on one of our future VFF?

  • If I can make it happen I will make it happen! I just need to finish the documentary first, haha! Cheers dude!

Links of interests:

Formatperspective Buy video
Phil Evans on Vimeo and Tumblr