Words and Photos by April Whitlow
Last week we popped down to the Regent Street Cinema to view the premier of LEVEL, a documentary on the search for a level playing field for women in action sports by Board of Media, written and directed by Emma Shoesmith.
The crazy thing was, this time I was one of the ‘stars’ chatting on screen! I was talking about Shove It Mag and my views on women in action sports and in our publications alongside some awesome people from all over the industry. Each individual had their own takes and perspectives in a beautifully woven narrative that lay side by side with Emma’s personal journey from childhood.
At least in the dark of the theatre, I thought, no one can see me blush!
To introduce just how I got involved I’ll tell you guys the story of how this all started for me. A while back I was contacted by Emma Shoesmith of Board of Media to see if we might be interested in collaborating on their documentary. We sat down for coffee in Holborn and laid out our hopes and dreams for our projects and I had to say her vision for a ‘level playing field’ for women in action sports was one that I could fully get behind! Emma proposed filming me at work as editor of Shove It Mag and so it began…
After much emailing and faceboook messaging to pin down dates we got down to filming (and I got down to tidying my home office…the world hub for shove it mag you could say).
The thing is, I’m not a pro skater and i’ve still got a lot to learn about blogging…I’m always learning!… so there’s always the thought in the back of my mind that whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough or isn’t big enough, but working with Emma I was reminded that we can be ‘learners’ and still have something positive to share about the stuff we’re stoked on! The crew was amazingly supportive of my little bag of tricks and their wide-eyed enthusiasm for the whole process fueled me for an amazingly fun session both skating and sharing a few tips with Emma in Crystal Palace Park.
As much fun as I had in the process I was even more humbled and honoured to have my story interlaced with some amazing professionals from all over the industry. Some of which were: Squash Falconer- action sports presenter and adventurer, Zoe Hart- Patagonia ambassador and mountain guide, Thom Callan- Woodward Camp skate coach, Holly Bendal- professional surfer and bmxer, Jade Persaud-Walters- action sports journalist, Michael Brooke- Founder of Concrete Wave Magazine, and King Adz- brand activist and author. Pretty awesome company, ey!?
I saw their stories and my own footage for the very first time in this Regent Street Theatre with some old friends and new whom I had met in the process!
In all the evening was really lovely! The theatre was one of the nicest ones I’ve been in…complete with theatrical curtains for the screen, ornate plaster-work on the walls and the most perfectly sized cup-holders for the bar glasses. The bar itself was open before, after and at intermission with a great selection and the most amazing popcorn I’ve ever had in London…Irish Cheddar ey!?
They showed Board of Media’s film first which really set the bar for all the films that followed. There were a variety all the way from documentaries like LEVEL to soundscapes and animations. Aside from being in the film I can definitely say that BOM’s film was one of the most complete in terms of story-telling and had great quality in terms of the cinematography and sound.
We finished the night off with another round of drinks and a whole lot of networking. It was clear to see that Emma’s parents were the proudest parents and her crew-members looked relieved that their baby was finally on screen and the course was over!
This isn’t the end for LEVEL, I spoke to Emma who assured me that there would be more showings to come soon and you can keep up to date with all the latest on the film’s Facebook page, BOM Facebook page or the BOM site as well. We can’t wait where this film goes next and are so humbled and pleased to be a part!
We’ve told you all about it, but take a look at the trailer to see what we’re all stoked on and hopefully get stoked on it yourself!
Many thanks to all of the crew: Andrea Dack, Jed Welland, Connor Hawkins, Cian Mac Suibhne, Aravint Sundar and Elliot Round!!! Without these talented folks, the documentary couldn’t have come together! Congratulations on completing the project and your course!
And for me, many thanks to everyone who has supported Shove It Mag over the years from it’s birth as a university project to a personal passion and endeavour that I’ll never give up on! Thank you to my friends, family, subscribers, likes, dedicated contributors and readers! There are too many names to list but know that I know who each and every one of you are and will never forget you! Let’s stay stoked and keep this alive for many more years to come!
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