It’s becoming less and less common to hear about crews working on full lengths in BMX DVD, especially for a period like 4 years! We caught up with Jerome Shaw, James Lappin and David Jones from the technical difficulties crew to hear why they wanted to do a full length in it’s classic form…with a physical premier and a hard copy DVD.
First off, What is Technical Difficulties?
Technical Difficulties is our first full length BMX video capturing our street missions as good friends travelling across the UK and parts of Europe for the last four years. With this video we’ve tried to film at dream spots alongside more local classics, and all the good times along the way consisting of street beers, heckling each other, spot hunting, hopping fences and capturing the moments we see in the wild. We’ve been on countless trips around the UK, as well as recent trips to Copenhagen and Barcelona to finish off the video. It’s predominantly made up of ten riders from Southport in the North West of England (Home of the legendary Northern John), and includes various other riders we’ve met along the way from and around the UK and Europe.
I think John Gav, the head man of WN bikes (the rivals) summed up what Technical Difficulties is with one line.
“Hard work, tonnes of fun and real life experiences”
Where did the name come from?
Originally Dave Jones (Davey) wanted to carry on the legacy of Deviant as he was one of the next generation of riders that featured in ‘D3’ and ‘Four life’. You can find these classic full-length bangers by searching “Deviant four life” on Vimeo or CLICK HERE . After speaking to Neil Maher who created Deviant, Neil told Davey he intended the next video to be called “I plead the fif” (a take on the Chappelle show). We wanted to follow on from the hard work and hours Neil Maher and Formby Jay put into filming ‘Deviant it’s brill’, ‘Deviant knows’, ‘D3’ and ‘Four Life’.
We decided it was best to start our own video as the crew of riders had changed quite bit.
The name came from when Jerome was struggling to film a line, “he’s having technical difficulties” it kind of just stuck from there.
Who is part of the crew? Who has parts?
We have Davey Jones the photographer, Jerome Shaw the filmer, Formby Jay the heckler, Simon Wilson the stylish transition specialist, Paul Forbes the guy who barely rides and still pulls ridiculous tricks out the bag, James Lappin with the one ups, Tyler Wainwrights the moody park rat, Harry Glinker with the soil, Leon Shepherd with the clutch moves and Kie Douglas coming though with the most casual attitude to heavy, heavy set ups I’ve ever seen and the hesh!
We also have John Gav, Ham Bam, Umberto and Tariq in our Barcelona section. Ham Bam really wrote himself off filming a clip he had already pulled off camera on that trip.
Who does the artwork?
The artwork has been done by myself (Jerome) with mostly Davey’s photos. Davey edits his photos and puts them into a dropbox folder which he shares with me and its at this point I throw some stuff together and fire it across to Davey to ask his thoughts on what I have done. We have both spent countless nights discussing drafts, ideas and coming up with something we’re both happy with.
Any other creative heads involved?
We have had plenty of inspiration from edits, videos, photos etc, but the main inspiration comes from the homie feels Neil and Formby Jay gave us in each of the deviant videos. Involving other riders from other parts of the uk and even other countries, filming anyone and everyone who was up for riding bikes and having a good time. Other than that it’s just been me and Dave.
Physical dvd’s and full lengths seems to be becoming less and less common. What prompted the dvd? Was it important to be in physical form?
Dave was the one who first got us to start filming for the dvd, he bought his camera first and heckled us to get out filming in the first place. In the first year of filming Dave snapped his ACL and that’s when I carried the torch on, I bought another camera for second angles and we just went from there.
Dave and I think it’s key to keep full length videos and physical dvd’s alive as this is what we grew up with, watching bmx dvd’s and getting stoked to ride. It’s what we’d put on in the morning on trips whilst everyone was getting ready to go out and shred. Personally, it’s just really cool to hold something in your hand, like seeing your photos in print or hearing live music over streaming music!
Also, growing up watching local heros like Northern John and Will Jackson in the Hard Dad videos, as well as our friends, Neil Maher, Formby Jay and the rest of the Deviant boys having fun filming a full-length dvd and hosting some wild premieres, just fueled our drive to one day make our own full length dvd. There is no better feeling than having a physical dvd, the internet is great for edits etc. but nothing beats a dvd.
Four years is a long time! How’s the process been?
There has been a lot of ups and a couple downs over the past 4 years, some injuries (ACL, ligaments, broken fingers, bruised heels, etc) and then covid also being thrown into the mix. It has been hard from time to time to keep people motivated as me and Davey have been gate keeping clips and photos for a long time. We have also had our fare share of bloopers, myself loosing a couple of clips, Davey missing a heavy clip due to a full memory card, and miss timing multiple photos (why cant everyone barspin the same?).
Myself, Lappin and Formby jay also had a trip to BCN booked in 2020 and lone behold due to covid messing everything up we were unable to go, instead we ended up booking Copenhagen, Denmark (which is somewhere none of us have ever been). To our luck the Airbnb fell through due to our host catching covid with a week or two’s notice before we were due to fly. Thanks to this we ended up just off the red-light district in a hostel which itself wasn’t too bad and we had fun, but we came close to some sketchy situations between dealers, ladies of the night and general night time weirdo’s. So instead of the nice apartment with balcony views on the water we had booked, all three of us ended up staying in a single room with three beds squeezed into it. We made the best of it, with views of the debauchery on the street below, a duty free bottle of Captain Morgan’s and a TV to entertain us!
Apart from this little hiccup, Copenhagen is a BMX haven, the spots are plentiful and the locals were amazing and very welcoming. We were lucky enough to find out about a @gadebmx 2-day street jam being held the weekend we landed and got to see the pick of Copenhagen’s street spots. All in all, I think Copenhagen should be thought of as the Barcelona of the north and would definitely recommend a trip, just make sure you double your spends as it’s generally not as cheap as BCN.
Filming in the UK also has the quirkiness we’re all too familiar with, from dealing with heavy rain during a trip to London and numerous other places, to rolling up to a spot you’ve been dreaming of hitting only to see the local council have ruined a set-up with skate-stoppers or aggy security guards kicking you off after just one attempt at what you’re trying to film. Obviously, we all work so most of what we’re doing is weekend missions on a Saturday or Sunday and we try to make use of the bank holidays where it works for everyone.
The process over the past 4 years has been a lot of fun, we’ve made great memories, it’s been hard-work, and there has obviously been a few injuries along the way. My advice to anyone who rides bikes with your mates, go and travel. Even if you can’t afford to get out of the country, rent the shadiest apartment you can find on AirBnb in any city you want to go to and just go, you will come away with great memories and stories you couldn’t make up.
Anything else in the works? What does 2023 hold?
A well earned Winter of indoor skateparks (boooooo), followed by filming for Technical Difficulties vol 1.5 in the spring and summer as well as hopefully going on some more trips to places we havent yet explored in the uk. You never know another trip to another country may be on the cards, all I can say is keep your eyes peeled.
Also Davey is going to be making a book with loads of photos from the last four years, this is more of a memento for the boys but if this is something enough people want we might sell some?
You guys are throwing a physical premiere, was that an important thing? What was it like setting that up?
YES! As I said earlier growing up with Deviant and attending their premieres we knew we had to host a premiere and pay homage to the deviant boys who taught us everything we know as well as host it in the exact same club (although its under a different name) they hosted all their premieres in. We also thought it would just be fun to host a premiere and bring together the BMX community around us and anyone who is just curious to what technical difficulties is.
One of the other reasons for having the premiere is that our good friend Kie Douglas is leaving us for the land of Oz once again! So this is also doubled up as a leaving party. He has been a key part of the crew and is an absolute shredder! We are having the premiere on Friday 6th January and he leaves us on Sunday 8th January. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing what he gets up to over there. The setting up wasn’t really that hard, once Jerome had pretty much finalised the video and we sorted out what date best suited the boys, it was just a few instagram messages to the club (Banff) and the owner and we had a venue.
Anything else to add? Any shout outs?
Neil Maher, Formby jay, Deviant, Northern John, Hard Dad Products (HDP), John Gav, Hamish and the WN boys, the clip crew, the boneyard boys, all the riders representing the North West, Umberto and @Gadebmx for the hospitality in Copenhagen.
Obviously follow us on the Instagram for all the boys if you’re interested in seeing some of the stuff we get up to outside of what we filmed for this video.
@_technical.difficulties – Group Page
@_jeromeshaw – Jerome Shaw
@thelappening – James Lappin
@simonwilsonbmx – Simon Wilson
@kiebmx – Kieran Douglas
@formbyjay – Jamie Richardson
@paulforbes – Pauline Forbes
@tylerwainwright__ – Tyler Wainwright
@_harryglinks – Harry Gliniker
@leonsheperd123 – Leon Shepherd
Lastly thanks to RideUK for the feature! We can’t wait to drop the video!
Technical Difficulties is premiering at 8pm, Friday 6th January 2023 at 8pm in Banff, Southport
Address: 32 West St, Southport PR8 1QN