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Blackpool Social Club bangs the drum for skateboarding and its close relationship to creativity. With Star Wars being filmed in Cleveleys and the recent Netflix nod on The Comedy Carpet we had a look at Blackpool filmmaker Jake Powell and The ATB collective latest offering: Disorder.

While skateboarding might often get a bad rep, seen as anti-social and rebellious. Blackpool Social Club has been exploring how Blackpool and alternative creative approaches like skateboarding can benefit a traditional tourist town like Blackpool. With the town often compared to a film set, it is no surprise that Tim Burton has made a music video and film here and residents have no doubt picked up on Star Wars being filmed in oh so close to a Cleveleys skate park recently. It is no secret that Blackpool has long been a destination for street photographers snapping up stag and hen do’s and general sometimes unfavourable happenings. However, the town has many alternative offerings as well as Star Wars and Tim Burton there might be much-untapped potential in Blackpool including a hidden skateboard scene.

On Friday the 30th of April those in the know saw the release of ATB Collectives Disorder a beautifully shot skateboard film exploring hidden and known spots around Blackpool and further afield: Preston and Manchester. The full-length feature from Jake Powell of ATB Collective premiered on YouTube and features Blackpool and further afield skaters; Liam Edgerton, Sam Cropper, Joe Romano, Jack Simmonds, Adam Kay, Jay Lawton, Josh Briggs, Lloyd Mcleggon, Robert Sanderson, Mihai Vita, Danny Moore, Logan Wilkinson, Jack Collins, Tom Cottam, Gabe Durkin, a disgruntled security guard, some colourful cheering Blackpool lasses and quite a bit of bruising and blood.

The film begins with a soundtrack reminiscent of the early 90’s, as a deep bassy guitar kicks, drone footage of the comedy carpet follows an ethereal lone skateboarder allowing the viewer an alternative viewpoint of the skater as they float above the comedy carpet. There is something exciting about seeing your hometown on film with ATB  inviting us to witness the skater’s point of view, their celebrations, injuries, and interactions with the general public. Blackpool never looked better. It feels playful to note the spaces across Lancashire with Preston Bus Station, South Shore Tram Station, and Cleveleys making up a lesser-seen Lancashire aesthetic. Shot against beaches, various parts of the promenade known often for deprivation, skaters bring new energy to the town’s spaces, flat surfaces, deep curves, ledges, and sea defenses with the beach making a soft landing spot.

Logan Wilkinson - photo by Josh Sanderson

It feels like the film was shot over 12 months before and during the lockdown. Skateboarders must have felt at times like the flat surfaces and perfect places were more accessible than ever with the lack of the ever-present general public, there must have been a sense of freedom for the skaters when the rest of us were locked down and socially distanced. When we do catch sight of humans in the Disorder film they appear like audiences cheering or clapping or as one old chap exclaims “They are not that good, are they?” the words echo the feels of someone who had never stepped on that slippery piece of wood, known as a skateboard. Towards the end of the film, there is something of an altercation – the security guard in question talks to the filmmaker, asking “Who is the gaffer” – “no gaffer” confirming the very nature of the skater’s collaborative nature.

Disorder is an ATB Collective collaboration produced by Jake Powell. Featuring // Liam Edgerton, Jay Lawton, Liam Noon, Joe Romano, Gabe Durkin, Jack Collins, Robert Sanderson, Sam Cropper, Adam Kay, Josh Briggs, Logan Wilkinson, Mihai Vita, Dan Eardley, James Haran, Joe Packman, Jamie Blears, Danny Moore, Scott Cleland, Will Davis, Tom Cottam, Jack Simmonds, Matt Ballam, Lloyd Mcleggon & Andrew Heppell. Additional Filming // Robert Sanderson, Joe Packman, George Bell, Josh Sanderson, Gerald Buckfield, Adam Kay, Jamie Norcliffe & Joel Dutton.

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