THE BLACK BMX VIDEO: The Midlands Scene At Its Finest - Ride UK BMX

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THE BLACK BMX VIDEO: The Midlands Scene At Its Finest

16 Years In The Making

Filmed and edited by Charlie Jobling
Photos by Charlie Jobling, David Paling, Sam Marden, David Stivens
Intro by Robin Pearson


Blackbmx is a name I had heard for many, many years. The name was on my radar after seeing some early mixtapes and hearing about some legendary gap to rail Joe Gould had done in 2008, but it’s more than just that. Blackbmx is a name associated with the midlands BMX scene at its best, it’s Broadmarsh Banks, Derby Storm, Radcliffe skatepark, Niki Croft, the Forster brothers and of course Charlie Jobling – the man behind the whole video.

Filmed since the late 90s, The Blackbmx video is a proper feature-length DVD (with plenty of extras.) For the whole video, see the YouTube playlist above. For some insight into those 16 years with Charlie Jobling, Niki Croft, Tom Forster, Isaac North and Joe Gould, see below. Reading their words and watching this video makes you wish you were a part of it!

This is raw, honest UK BMX at its best. A golden era for the scene, celebrating all the good things that most of us are in it for. Magic.

CHARLIE JOBLING

– This is a huge project. Can you run us through the process of putting it together? How long did it take to capture and edit?

“To start it was all about finding footage, tapes, digital files and anything I could from friends which worked out to be more than 100 hours of video, not including rolls of film, which I sorted through and got down to 27 hours then edited down to about 12. I think all that including editing took about a year and half on and off. Rendering the video for the Blu Ray and DVD took about 20 days too.”

– Which was your favourite section to edit and why?

“Probably the intro and outro were my favourite but also the hardest, going through all the footage and figuring out what brought back the most memories and summed up what it’s all been about. They were the last parts to be put together too.”


– When you started filming, did you know that one day you’d be making a full length video like this?

“I had no idea, I was just filming because I enjoyed it. I made a bunch of small edits along the way but never knew it would turn in to a massive project.

I suppose also it was in the back of my mind, that the Blu Ray version of the video with all the extras would be a perfect way to preserve all the footage I got over the years. I know that if I lost all the tapes and files somehow, that pretty much all of it exists in 50 other peoples’ homes as a back up.”

– What equipment did you use to film it? Did your set up change much over the years?

“The earliest camera we was using at the time was a Hi8 one that my friend Stiv’s dad had, then it moved on to little digital point and shoots that weren’t the best but did the trick, then DV cameras. When I got a bit more serious about filming I used Super 8, and the VX cameras which I still use today. Other than than I’ve used VHS, camera phones, Hi8 again, and more recently 16mm. I’ll give any video recorder a go, but I’ve never really been fond of HD 16:9 stuff… I have a Canon 60D to mess around with now, but mainly for photos.”

– Got any trivia / things we wouldn’t know / crazy stories while filming?

“Originally the video was going to be just on DVD, but I didn’t want to waste anything, all the footage meant something to me or people that were in the video, so I decided to go down the Blu Ray route, it turned out to be a 3 disc set which I had to make custom packaging for. I also did 5 copies of the video on VHS, only really because I grew up watching BMX on video and thought it would be rad to have mine on tape too.

I was going to start from scratch and film with people I’ve got to know over the years through Seventies and whatnot, but then I realised I had so much footage collected already just sitting there waiting for attention. I think it’s been a bigger and better project doing this.

The video wasn’t aimed for anyone other than the people involved in it, as a keepsake to look back on in years to come, which is why I only made 50 copies each of Blu Ray and DVD. I think I’ve shifted all of them now.

I had a pre-premiere at Mark Lehair’s house with a bunch of people to watch it for the first time all mic’d up for DVD commentary, I think that shit me up more than the actual premiere actually, keeping it tight and hearing peoples’ reactions properly.

“Joe Gould did that gap to second stage rail in Barcelona well before Dennis Enarson did it in the Demolition video, and with a broken wrist!”

Joe Gould did that gap to second stage rail in Barcelona well before Dennis Enarson did it in the Demolition video, with a broken wrist! With the same broken wrist he did that huge ledge ride at the stadium.”

– Did you have a premiere?

“Yeah, in January 2015 we organised a shindig in Grantham. It was a really good turn out and a bunch of people who haven’t shown their faces much recently came along which was rad. I made sure I had all the copies of the video to give people that night too which kind of capped it all off for me.”

 

– Give us some stats…

Years filming: Around 16 years on and off.
Countries visited: The only other country we filmed in for this was Barcelona in 2008 I think.
Number of DV tapes: I’m not sure, it felt like a million capturing them though!
Number of parks / spots now gone: Derby Storm is certainly one that I miss, it’s more local street spots that have gone that we grew up riding. I’ve watched so many of my favourite places to ride get torn down and turned in to car parks.

– Five highlights…?

“Just getting it finished and seeing everyone sat around watching it was so good.

Seeing Joe Gould hammer that Barcelona gap to second stage first try was the business!

Crids’ last clip where he overshoots the ledge on the inflatable slide in Skeg.

The start of Stiv’s section where he smashes in to that kid at Radcliffe skatepark is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever filmed. I was just chilling with Orlando and Stiv rolls up, and I just so happened to have my Super 8 camera on the go, so I filmed him and that happened. The camera does’t record sound but right after he hit that kid he said ‘whoops’ and carries on over to us.

Getting the discs back from the duplicators and being able to hold the physical thing was the best feeling, but scary at the time because it was final… no more going back and tweaking anything!”

– Five low points…?

“Missing out Ben Basford’s name on the credits, even after checking it a million times. Sorry Ben!!

Not everyone being able to make it to the premiere sucked. Tom Sears and Orlando had reasonable excuses though.

Losing footage or when tapes had glitched so bad it wasn’t usable, also when I’ve found more footage after the video was completed… I may yet make something out of that stuff though.

When my hard drive died mid way through editing. You can never back something up to many times!

It would have been rad to have even MORE footage to make it even longer.”

– Do you have any future plans for Black BMX?

“I’m filming another edit right now, but it’s more about documenting what goes on while we’re out riding. We ride every Tuesday pretty much without fail, so it’s based around that really. Nothing to heavy but it’s a good reason to make another video. I’m always working on other stuff like hoodies, patches and t shirts with the Black name on them too.”

Niki, one handed table, 2003.
Niki, 2007.
Niki, 10ft table air, 2010.
Niki, tailwhip at Broady Banks.

NIKI CROFT

– What was it like growing up with this crew?

“To be honest, I didn’t really grow up with the Blackbmx crew. I met Charlie at a young age and we became goods friends – he then introduced me to the rest of the Grantham lot. For me it all originates from the sunny weekends and sunny evenings down at Radcliffe back in the day. Grantham is 30 miles away from Stabbo where I’m from, and Radcliffe was kinda in the middle. Not only that, you ask anyone from Nottingham way and they would all agree that Radcliffe was like the hub for meeting up and having a kick about on bikes. All of this was before the days of iPhones and Facebook, so it was good having a solid place to meet up and ride and organise little jams and that. Charlie would always have a camera with him, documenting everything, and to this day I think he’s the same.

“All of this was before the days of iPhones and Facebook, so it was good having a solid place to meet up and ride and organise little jams.”

I met the Burton boys at a young age also, this was through the days of Derby Storm (RIP). I’m not sure how or why, but I managed to spend a fair bit of time with the Burton crew, going on trips and that. Went to Dusseldorf and Barcelona, amazing trips they were – stopping in hostels, riding everything in sight and cruising the streets at night, there’s probably a few online videos of these trips somewhere. Tom F was a machine, doing everything first time like a little Roey! and Joe G! Riding with Joe G was mint, the only things he tried and did were gnarly, never seen him do something that’s just little. Shout out to all the Burton lads, Jordan F, Ben W, Keiran W, Tretty and anyone I forgot for the good times and being rad!

As I got more into BMX I ended up moving down to Hastings, which then initiated another journey between me and Charlie, as I had him sleeping on my floor and we was both working for Seventies – him the filmer and me the rider, kinda dream come true eh? We spoke about that stuff when we were younger and it happened, couldn’t believe it, ya know? With him filming all the time and me riding we got so many photos and video clips and so many haven’t been seen, most of the time we were just having fun and enjoying what we had, it was great.”

– How good was it to finally see all the footage edited together from those years?

“It’s funny you say that, for years when I bumped into Charlie I’d always ask him how the video was coming along and he’d always reply with ‘ah, alright…’ Imagine asking that in 2004 and in 2015 you get a DVD through the post, ha!

I think for the people involved this video is amazing, pure nostalgia, but if you’re looking for some heavy hitting new wave bollocks then ya better off looking elsewhere, you won’t get it. Each one of us in it could probably say ‘oh I remember that…’ but what’s even better is that Charlie has put modern footage of us all in as well. To see yourself riding in one clip knowing then you could barely bunnyhop and then the next doing a manual to whip in the same section is mint.”

“To see one clip knowing then you could barely bunnyhop and then the next doing a manual to whip in the same section is mint.”

– Do you have a favourite clip or favourite section?

“Definitely no favourite section, all of it from start to finish is good to me, although there is a clip in my section thats got a funny story behind it. I do a manual to downwhip under a bridge, if you look closely you can see half my face is smashed in. The day before I was riding with the Burton boys doing a train trip video for Seventies, doing a tree ride and went straight into the ground, then woke up in hospital. I would love for Charlie to post that crash in this feature… I know he’s got it somewhere!”

– Good times? Bad times?

“No bad times, all good. Got to share one of the best days with Charlie, meeting Hoffman and Voelker, thanks for the photo mate!”

– What does this video mean / what does it represent?

“I think it means something different to everyone, and I reckon it’s supposed to. I think Charlie is the only one that knows what it represents…? What it represents to me is a glimpse of BMX and the people I shared my time with, from the days of having a 44 tooth chain ring to riding my own frame.”

“What it represents to me is a glimpse of BMX and the people I shared my time with, from the days of having a 44 tooth chain ring to riding my own frame.”

The majority of this video was well before the days of BMX being over saturated with social media, half baked photos and 30 second riding clips. It’s one of them that brings me back to the days when one of ya mates would get the new Ride/DIG mag or BMX video and you would all go round his house to watch it.

Charlie ya hit the nail on the head here! Thanks for this and sharing my journey with me!”

 

TOM FORSTER

– What was it like growing up with this crew?

“All of the riders in the DVD are people I’ve looked up to since I started riding, for their stuntmanship but also their states of mind and outlooks on life. Having passion for anything is a fragile thing and even more so when it means throwing out self preservation, so if you’ve got it that day/month/year, infect people as much as you can manage, if nothing else as a way of storing it for a rainy day which will inevitably come around.

Blackbmx is essentially a few different scenes from around the UK that feed off each other like that and have been doing for a solid 10 years or so.”

– How good was it to finally see all the footage edited together from those years?

“Just so stoked to be associated with all those guys and to help Charlie bring his hard work to reality, It’s like a bank of motivation for us now.”

– Do you have a favourite clip or favourite section?

“Gotta be Joe’s gap to rail, one of those moments where the rider’s about to put himself in some life threatening bother, and everyone knows that whatever happens next is going to be some of the gnarliest shit they’ve ever seen.”

“One of those moments when everyone knows that whatever happens next is going to be some of the gnarliest shit they’ve ever seen…”

– Good times?

The Barca ’08 trip was timeless but the whole filming period was nothing but fun.”

– Bad times?

“Just people getting hurt I guess, and my bro having to leave the Barca trip 3 weeks before the end particularly bummed us out.”

 

David Stivens.
Mark Lehair, photo by David Paling
Martin Lamyman.

ISAAC NORTH

– What was it like growing up with this crew?

“I only really started riding 3 years ago, about the time Charlie started putting footage together, so I’m new to the crew but everyone has been well cool and helped me fluke my way into the O.G. section.”

– How good was it to finally see all the footage edited together from those years?

“It was awesome to see the completed film, like a dope documentary and history lesson. Really cool to see legendary set ups, tricks and stories for real. To have been involved was a real honour.”

– Do you have a favourite clip or favourite section?

“The O.G. mix for Jon and Charlie, Stiv’s section and Mark.”

Isaac North, photo by Sam Marden.

– Good times?

“Basically every Tuesday night for the last 3 years that it didn’t rain. The Skeggy trip and the drive jam.”

– Bad times?

“When it rained.”

– How wild was the premiere?

“I hadn’t seen any of the video before the premiere so was well into watching it but shit got poppin at Panders section!”

– What does this video mean / what does it represent?

“The video represents 16 years of a scene progression with lots of history and legend.”

“The video represents 16 years of a scene progression with lots of history and legend.”

– What’s next?

“Next? Charlie’s working on something, the pdsii DVD’s looking sick, RHK bodega\die cut media promo and this Tuesday night’s lookin’ good…”

JOE GOULD

– What was it like growing up with this crew?

“I grew up in a small town 50 miles away, we met at Derby Storm way back when, so it was difficult but it helped get me out and about riding new places and meeting new people. We always had a blast!”

– How good was it to finally see all the footage edited together from those years?

“Loved it! Was great to see all the cool shit everyone had done over the years all in one video – brought back great memories and helped me want to get back on my bike.”

– Do you have a favourite clip or favourite section?

“There’s so many! Probably a clip of Charlie because there so rare, or Panda getting naked, hahaha.”

– Good times?

“To many good times! There was never a dull moment. Seeing Jack wear a pillow case was pretty funny…”

– Bad times?

“Breaking myself one week into a 4 week trip, and still feeling it 8 years later.”

– How wild was the premiere?

“Pretty wild with a hint of nudity”

– What does this video mean / what does it represent?

“Being able to relive some of the best years of my life with some awesome people, seeing the world while doing some cool shit! But none of it would have been possible without Charles! So big thanks to him and everything he’s done!”

It doesn't get much wilder than this! Joe Gould, gap to pegs, Barcelona, 2008. With a broken wrist. Photos by David Paling.

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