I met Lewis Farley years ago filming an event at The Grand Theatre, it’s interesting how many filmmakers are also skateboarders. In a further instalment of “Blackpool Skate Stories”, we talk about a new skate park, making films, mental health and what skating means to him
Can you tell me what came first film making or skating?
Skateboarding came first for sure, I started skateboarding when I was around 11, one of my childhood friends brought his board out one day after school, and from that point on I was set on learning how to skate. My older brother was also into skateboarding at the time so that helped.
Filmmaking naturally just became something I wanted to do when I was 17-ish. I feel that filmmaking has always had its own place within skateboarding and through the years of being a skater, you’re influenced by a lot of the skate DVDs that are released and for the most part, there’s some really crazy, experimental stuff that you don’t really see within other genres of filmmaking. That’s where I think film & skateboarding go hand in hand, for me anyway.
Did you study in Blackpool – ever wanted to move away? It is well documented that many young creatives leave the town as soon as they can – what has kept you here and how do you feel about Blackpool?
I didn’t study in Blackpool after college, as soon as I was able to go to Uni I moved to Manchester and then shortly after moved to London to finish my final year of film school. I always wanted to move away from here when I was younger, and I fell in love with the idea of moving to a big city in the US. I did move back to Blackpool once University was finished but I still wasn’t happy, eventually, I moved to Los Angeles when I was offered a full-time job at a film production company which I think really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Once I moved back to Blackpool from LA it kinda just clicked for me and I’ve been super happy here ever since.
I think it’s incredibly valuable for creatives to at least experience living in different places, even if just for a small space of time. Speaking from my experience, I don’t think I’d have progressed or had the opportunities I’ve had if I didn’t move around, but at the same time – I think Blackpool really is a special place, there’s a lot of simple things here which are amazing if you’re looking for inspiration as a creative. I often go to Stanley Park or the promenade and end up coming back with ideas for film projects.
How did Plant Skate Co. come about and where are you based?
It was a weird one. As we were getting to the end of 2020, I had the idea of renting out an industrial unit for the duration of lockdown, purely so we had a space to skate during the winter months. I also wanted to carry on filming skateboarding YouTube videos for my channel. As time went on, it sort of just naturally evolved into creating a skatepark, teaching skate lessons, and hosting skate events. I think myself, Gerald, and Shaun just kept throwing ideas at each other and this is where we’ve landed.
“It really did start out as a purely ‘for us’ project but now we’re incredibly determined to make positive moves for the Blackpool skateboarding scene and hopefully introduce more people to it.”
I can see that you are offering free access to the park – why do you think it is important to offer this?
Free access is needed in Blackpool because there’s definitely a lot of kids out there whose parents cannot afford to pay skatepark entry costs. When I was a kid, I use to skate ramp city twice a week, which came to £40+ per month back then which luckily wasn’t a big deal to my parents, but I had friends who I would ask if they wanted to come along and their parents simply couldn’t afford it meaning they were left out and it really sucks that there’s a barrier that stops kids from learning to skate or even just testing it out.
How has skating helped you through lockdown?
Show Comments (0)