Henry Kingsford. Photo – Sarah Graley
This is the first of two interviews about the Nike SB project NESW. We met up with Henry Kingsford to ask him some questions. He spent months juggling Grey responsibilities while out there regularly taking photos for the book which launched at the end of last week. Find out more about what went on behind the scenes here…
How did the NESW project come about?
Julien Lacor at Nike SB UK contacted me early in the year and explained the concept he and Jay Huckstep had been working on. I worked on a budget and approached the filmers and we started shooting in June, if I remember correctly.
How long did the whole thing take from conception to the book release?
I think we first started planning the project as early as February, but we didn’t start creating content until June. I’d say we shot/filmed for five months.
You obviously have to lay out Grey on a regular basis and have experience with different print formats because of projects like The Edition newspaper which came out a few years back. Did you learn a lot of new things putting the book together?
Generally speaking, the process was quite similar to making a magazine but there are few smaller things to factor in like the spine, endpapers and foiling the cover. The Edition was a much steeper learning curve, as the format was totally different to what we were used to.
The mix of paper stock gives it an original feel. Did this come with it’s own complications?
Yes, we had to plan the various sections very carefully, and always in multiples of four pages, ideally eight. This meant that if one two-page article fell through, we had to either find alternative content or lose another two pages. It doesn’t sound too bad, but it made the later stages quite challenging.
Was your vision fully realised?
I think so, yes. It would have been nice to visit the north east, shoot more in Leeds and maybe spend a bit longer in Scotland, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. It was never intended as an exhaustive portrait of skateboarding in the UK. Locations were dictated by riders to a large extent; where they live, grew up and spent time skating.
Would you be keen to make another book in the future?
Absolutely. I’d like to do something for Grey’s fifth birthday in May 2015.
What pictures that you shot were your particular favourites?
I like the photos of Joe Gavin in and around his old primary school in Withington. The photos themselves are cool, but I like the link to his past too.
Were there any funny altercations trying to get things done?
The East edit/section in particular was created in a really short space of time – a week essentially – and that got a little stressful, commuting out of London, especially with lots of rain, limited daylight and the usual problems of skaters being shall we say laid back about meet-up times.
Tom Harrison tried a crooked transfer on this bump-to-bar in Covent Garden at 3pm on a Sunday and that was pretty intense in terms of crowds stopping to watch and getting in the way. These drunk guys got involved, pretending to be security on our photo shoot, moving people out of the way, which worked to our advantage. Then a security guard showed up and they wouldn’t let him near us to throw us out, which was quite funny until he called the police.
Where of the four compass points was your favourite zone to visit?
I really like Manchester and I went to Edinburgh for the first time shooting for the project, which was a great experience. I’m also a big fan of Bristol, but I’d say on balance, North was my favourite.
Will the book be available for everyone to see?
The print run is relatively small, but I know some are going to the shops featured in the book.
The amazing hardback book which was just released accompanies the North, East, South and West edits which you can watch HERE. The book will be on hand to look at in both of our stores shortly. Shop for Nike SB HERE