Hilda Quick’s second volume of her ‘Drafts’ series is now online for your viewing pleasure! We were lucky enough to host the premiere of this one alongside Al Hodgson’s ‘Villagers #2’ video at our Issue 27 Magazine launch with Welcome Skate Store and Hyde Park Book Club.’Drafts: Vol. 2′ runs for 8 minutes and showcases shredding mainly in Leeds, a sprinkle of Barcelona and various parts of the UK. Witness the likes of Jay Bex, Peter Redmond, Hilda Quick, Erin Cooper-Jones, Joe Maskill, Joe Allen, Minnie Mearns, James Kelly, Luke Humphreys, Izzy Almond, Maddy Andrews, Lauren Mudge, Jasmine Lowe, Kizzy Yuill, Connie Gascoyne and Dale Starkie. To coincide with this video release we have published an interview with Hilda Quick by Joe Allen for you to get stuck into below! Thanks for the hype Hilda! We highly anticipate the next volume!
The prospect of interviewing someone I’ve lived with for the past two years, through Covid lockdowns, video projects and late-night spot hunting missions, is a strange one. Writing an introduction without rambling on for pages and pages about how brilliant she is seems nearly impossible. In any case, the ever-humble Hilda Quick would likely detest such an intro, so for all our sakes I’ll try my best to keep it concise. Over the last couple of years Hilda has become a staple of the local skate scene; she’s the latest addition to the long list of Leeds-based skateboard videographers, as well as being one of the many friendly faces you’ll find working in Welcome Skate Store. Budding with creativity and drive, her infectiously upbeat attitude brings the perfect energy to any skate session, whether she’s wielding her camera or not. All of this is abundantly clear upon watching her latest skate film, Drafts Vol 2. Hilda completed the first instalment of her Drafts video series at the beginning of this year, and already by the second edition she is creating masterful skate videos that provide as much hype as anything in the established skate media (in my extremely un-biased opinion). To coincide with the online release of Drafts Vol 2, Hilda and I grabbed an orange juice in the new Welcome pop-up shop at Hyde Park Book Club, where her video premiered to an impressed crowd last week, and we discussed everything from Pixar to jean shorts.
Hi Hilda! First things first, where are you from and how did you end up here in lovely Leeds? Did you pick up skating here or at home?
Hi! I’m from the middle of nowhere in Northumberland but I first stepped on a board during my final year of uni in Leeds. I then moved back to my parents’ house for a bit after uni and met Holly (Blythman) and Alethea (Mountford) at a girls’ night in Newcastle. Us three were inseparable for a while and I think that’s when I really got the bug for skating. Being part of the skate scene definitely made the decision to move back to Leeds much easier. There were people I knew I could hit up to go skate, even if I hadn’t actually met them before, so I wasn’t worried about finding friends.
So, the clue is in the name, but would you please enlighten us as to the idea behind your Drafts video series?
I basically just wanted to learn how to film but I’m an impatient learner, so I thought I may as well figure it out on the job. It’s gained more attention than I intended but the plan was to do a few short edits learning the basics and trying out different things with no pressure for it to be good. If I call it ‘Drafts’ people can’t tell me it’s crap, right? (laughs)
You have a background in photography which I feel is particularly evident in this instalment of Drafts, with some lush B-roll of spots and their surroundings that echoes your photography work.
Tell us about your photographic background and how it has informed your recent foray into video making.
I studied photography at uni and I always liked the more ‘arty’ side of it. I like quite minimal urban stuff, so I always end up taking photos of pavements and lamp posts and random stuff like that.
It’s interesting that you then got into skating, which has very much a similar sort of fascination with architecture.
It is, isn’t it! I hadn’t really thought about that before, but now you’ve mentioned it I’ve got loads of pictures of benches from before I started skating – maybe I should look back on them and see if there’s any good spots!
With your background in photography, you’d maybe assume that you’d get into shooting skate photos rather than filming. What drew you into filming as opposed to photography when it came to skating?
I guess I’ve never really been that into taking portraits, I’m just always looking for simple shapes and lines in my photography. Jay (Bex) initially got me into filming because he wanted a camera to mess about with whilst out skating and I was keen to try it, so we bought a camera together and he started teaching me the basics. I think I get more hyped watching skate videos than I do looking at photos, although I’d be keen to try some skate photography – I think I’d do more ‘spot the skater’ type photos.
Your latest video reminded me of Romain Batard’s Giddy series, especially the earlier shorter episodes with their emphasis on fun, quirky skating and videography. Who do you watch to get inspired, be it skaters, filmers or both?
To be honest I just watch what you put on (laughs). I do really enjoy those Giddy videos; I rate that they have a theme for each episode and they aren’t taking it too seriously. You know that I like the Sour videos too! We had to hit the instant replay when we watched Sour Solution 3 for the first time. Whenever it’s playing in the shop I make sure I’m folding t-shirts within eyeline of the TV so I can watch it again. The local videos get me really hyped too, your stuff as well as videos by Will (Smith) and Josh (Hallett) have inspired me just as much as anything else.
I’m definitely keeping that bit in the article! With the release of Drafts: Vol. 2 came your very first skate video premiere here at Hyde Park Book Club, coinciding with the Vague Issue launch and Welcome’s new pop up shop! You recently started working in Welcome and even had a clip in their new full length feature Welcome 2: Hell. How’d you end up working there and how are you finding working in a skate shop?
They say you lurk till you work and I think I did that to be honest. I basically kept badgering Fraser (Doughty) to give me a job as my previous one was starting to turn a bit sour. Finally, one day they pulled me in for a mysterious meeting and Fraser was just like, “Do you want a job?” and I was like, “Yep!”. I’m really enjoying working there. It’s nice to be able to talk to the people I work with about filming and they understand what I’m on about.
I guess you couldn’t talk to the people at The Body Shop about filming skateboarding?
Yeah, the Body Shop crew, as lovely as they are, were not the best advisors for skate filming (laughs).
Unfortunately, we have just come to the end of two years living together in a house filled with mostly fellow skateboarders, all five of whom feature in this volume of Drafts. We moved into that house at the start of the global pandemic, so along with every other household at the time, we ended up having to self-isolate together. Can you tell us about that?
Three of us got Covid so we all had to isolate for two weeks, but I couldn’t have asked for a better house to be in. We really made the most of it, the highlight being building a skatepark in our back garden. There was a skip just round the back of our house with loads of wood and old tables and stuff, so we just grabbed loads of things from that to see what we could make. We had a manual pad, we had ledges; one of them was an old ‘marble’ kitchen counter that was really good for slides and grinds. We had a table with two broken legs as a kind of flat quarter that we also managed to make into a spine – at least until me and you both broke it! We also had some old doors as a big flat bank, but every time you landed it made new holes in the wood, so that wasn’t the best. I’m going to miss that garden!
Best isolation I’ve had to do so far.
Honestly that’s one of my fondest memories!
Funnily enough, it wasn’t even the first skatepark to be built in that back garden! You remember Reece (Leung) showed us a photo of the gnarliest looking mini ramp some skaters had built there years ago? I think the landlords made them tear it down, they really didn’t like it.
Oh yeah! We were lucky with that, as it was lockdown the landlords couldn’t really come in to take it down. Our neighbours were super sound about it too!
Two skateparks in the same back garden years apart, that’s pretty sick!
I rewatched Drafts: Vol. 2 on my lunch break today and I’d like to go out on a limb and say that using that song from Ratatouille is the best piece of music supervision I’ve seen in a skate video this year! Aside from watching classic Pixar movies, how do you go about finding the music for your videos? Did anyone have any input on what they ended up skating to?
I honestly find looking for music pretty stressful, I’m still new to it and you’ve really got to have an ear for what will work. If I hear anything I think might be good, I add it to a big playlist that I go through when I’m looking for a song. Jay found his song a while ago and thought it’d work well for an edit, so when I started editing this video I hit him up and asked if I could use it for his footage. For Connie (Gascoyne) I wanted some country vibes because she’s a cowgirl at heart (laughs).
Can’t go wrong with a bit of Dolly Parton. Connie and Kizzy (Yuill)’s footage in particular really stood out to me, have you got any good stories from filming with them two?
That 5-0 varial flip session was kind of intense! I was filming you, Connie and Minnie all trying tricks at Henry Moore for about four hours straight without hardly ever putting my arms down. You were all really going for it and I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s momentum so I just powered through. Whenever anyone fell or took a minute to get out of the way I was like, “Thank god!”. I didn’t have time to put the camera down but I’d be able to have a quick stretch. My arms were pretty sore the next day!
Connie was originally trying 5-0 shuv out but it kept flipping by accident, so at some point, unknown to me as I was too far away to hear, she decided to go for a varial flip out instead. You can imagine my surprise when she started sending it!
I’m not sure if I’ve actually seen this in person, but Connie was saying you’ve got a pretty detailed spot map with loads of sub-categories.
Do you want to see my map? I can’t believe you’ve never seen it! It’s on this app called Pin Drop. I went through so many map apps but I just wanted one where you could categorise pins, so on this one you can look at just the bank spots for example. It also puts the closest spots at the top of the page and then you can look at the map as well. It’s really useful but you do have to manually put all the spots in, which is very time consuming, so I haven’t actually updated it in a while.
Every filmer’s biggest fear is accidentally losing or botching someone’s hard earned clip and having to kindly ask them if they’d like to try to do it again (sorry Jasper!). You recently managed to delete one of your own clips, tell us about that. Did you go back and get it?
(laughs) I was way more hyped on the clips I got of Connie that day so I just forgot I’d even got a clip and wiped my memory card before I’d copied it over. I did feel bad because Connie was filming me for a while, I taught her how to use the fisheye and she did really well. But it was alright, we went back the next day and she filmed it even better!
That wasn’t the worst one though, I filmed Minnie’s switch 5-0 at Henry Moore with no sound. I accidentally flipped a switch on my camera that made it think there was an external mic attached when there wasn’t. I felt really bad about that, but she took the bad news well and said, “Right, let’s just go do it again”. The plan was to try it again and if she didn’t get it we could hopefully stitch some sound together from the attempts, but she just went and did it better, so there you go.
According to Connie, almost every time she’s gone out filming with you, regardless of weather conditions, you’ve been wearing jean shorts. Do you know something we don’t know about the optimal skating/filming attire?
I think I do, it’s jorts!
You’re wearing jorts right now!
I am! (laughs) I wore jeans the other day when Connie and I went to re-film that clip and I had the worst time, I was so hot and bothered. There’s even a clip of me saying “I wish I was wearing my shorts”. So yeah, shorts all the way.
Wrapping it up then, do you have any plans for Drafts: Vol. 3 or any other future projects?
I will get started on Drafts: Vol. 3 at some point but there’s no schedule, it’ll just be whenever I end up with enough clips to make a video. I think I need to spend more time practising filming anyway, because it can be stressful when someone’s trying something really hard if I’m not sure how best to film it. I’m going to do more skatepark type edits to practice.
It doesn’t seem like you’re still learning how to film in this latest video!
Thanks! I feel like I am, but hopefully after Drafts 3 I’ll feel more confident. I don’t know what’s coming after that yet – we’ll see.
Any final words or thanks?
I should thank Sam (Charlesworth), he helped me a fair bit. He’s really critical which I need. I have Jay to thank for teaching me how to film, and Josh (Hallett) and Dale (Starkie) helped a lot too. Also, thanks to Fraser (Doughty) who hooked me up with the Vague launch/premiere, and Vague and Welcome for supporting me. Oh, and my housemates for putting up with me!
It’s been a pleasure; we’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
I’m going to have to come round to yours to show you my unfinished videos (laughs).
Drafts: Vol. 1 by Hilda Quick
Drafts: Vol. 2 by Hilda Quick