In his latest short film, photographer and filmmaker Ian Durkin takes us on a skateboarding adventure through the Vermont woods. Filmed around the beautiful Green Mountains, Durkin’s movie explores the true core of the sport's popularity — it's plain old fun.
In the interview below, Durkin talks about skateboarding, the effects of video on memory, and whether you can stay behind the camera but still take part in the adventure.
The Atlantic: Your video does a great job of capturing a moment and perhaps even evoking a sense of nostalgia before the moment has even passed. How do you think video affects our memory?
Ian Durkin: I think that video can both form and alter our memory of events. A type of memory bias is misattributing stories and imagery as one’s own memory. Similarly with video, especially after one edits footage to create a narrative that he or she thinks is cool, a lot gets left out and footage is often used to convey something that it wasn’t at the time. Consequently, when one thinks back upon the event, the memory is often skewed by the narrative or feel of the video that came from it.
Similarly, a lot has been made recently about people recording everything for the future and as a result not really being present in the actual moment. How do you maintain the distance necessary to film the project and yet still take part in the adventure?
I have always liked documenting stuff with photos and video partly so that I could re-live the fun times and also just because I get a kick out of playing with cameras. So for me, documenting a trip and working to make something cool from it is all part of the adventure.
Historically skateboarding has often been considered a rebellious act of youth, but over the years its popularity has driven the “sport” out from the underground and into the mainstream. Does this matter?
I’m not really sure. Probably for some people, but not so much for me. It’s just a fun activity to do with friends.
When you shoot, do you ever seek permission to skate and film in urban environments? And for that matter, when you chopped down the tree?
Nope, but the tree was in my friend's woods and he was all for it.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I’m working on a video from a road trip I just went on in California, and I'm putting together a zine from photographs I’ve shot recently.
To see more videos and photographs from Ian Durkin visit iandurkin.com