Phil Evans' Films

Hard at it as usual.

Coping Mechansim is my latest documentary film that is currently at early distribution stage, put simply its about the Swedish city of Malmö and the relationship between its skaters and the city and how it has transformed itself to become one of the most prolific scenes in the world when it comes to concrete parks and spots. 

The film stars John Magnusson, Emma Lindgren, Pontus Alv, Mattias Hallén, Will Taylor, John Dahlquist, Dave Toms, Daniel Grönwall, Daniel Hakansson, Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg, Fernando Bramsmark, Gustav Eden, Jacke Ovgren and many more. 


Keep your eyes on for more details on upcoming screenings and releases. 

The Panoramic Series - London

I was pretty stoked to get another one of these together and shooting in a city of such character as London was always going to be a nice prospect – despite my camera bag with a bunch of camera gear getting stolen on the last day of filming Nick still came through like a champ! 
We did a little interview about the project over at the Isle site if you would like to learn more.

While I am getting a new site together I am using this blog to host a collection of some of my favourite videos that I have worked on in an effort to display my competency at assembling motion pictures.  Once the site is done it will pretty much do the exact same thing, except it will look fancier and do superficial extra things while presenting the exact same features, mutton dressed as lamb. 

If you came here after viewing the showreel you can check a selection of the work from it below.  I will continue to update the blog over the coming weeks with other projects I have worked on and some new pieces I have in the timeline, I mean pipeline. (editor joke)

Any queries are best directed to the contact page, cheers!

The Panoramic Series - Stockholm with Daniel Gronwall (web series - ongoing)

In term of bringing a few different ideas to fruition at once, this was one of my favourite projects to work on (and still is as its still going).

Top Tip: If you are ever planning on shooting a street skating section, try not to do it in a Nordic country with impending winter breathing down your neck.  One weapon I had against the damp and cold was Daniel Gronwall - he was very motivated, possibly the most motivated I’ve seen, he really put the work in which only went to inspire me to put more effort in, not to mention he’s a dreamboat..and he can cook!

Apart from the obvious panoramic format and Dan’s chiselled features, another visual concept I wanted to put in this edit was the use of coloured filters to manipulate sections of pictures or whole compositions. Stockholm remained quite overcast for the duration of our filming so this was a perfect opportunity to inject some colour and atmosphere into some shots. 

I used a series of variable contrast photo filters that were originally made for Black & White photo printing. Each filter was cut to size then a special mount was made for each lens so the filter could sit close to the lens and be moved to the top/bottom/sides of each frame. Sometimes its barley in them, sometimes its full on, but I didn’t want to go too overkill or else it may loose effect.

Another idea I wanted to squeeze into this edit were illustrated transitions. I really like in-camera effects, its something I have done before, but with this one I wanted to try do something a little more elaborate this time round. 
So after the first day of filming I had some images of Daniel and some landscapes of Stockholm I could work with – I did some simple line drawings onto clear uncoloured acetate so I could stick the images onto windows of trams/buildings and then shoot through them. 
I wanted the transitions to be as “in-camera” as possible so some were placed in front of the lens during a time-lapse and others were put onto tram doors.
One tram moved a bit too fast so if anyone on the Stockholm underground found a picture of a skateboarder stuck to their tram I hope it has a good new home now..

Blind Yackety - Foundations (music video)

When the radical individuals from the band Blind Yackety asked me to do a music video and told me I could do whatever I wanted, I thought “dream brief”. Then I thought “wait, what do I do now??”

So after a few weeks of tea-fuelled stress filled procrastination I settled on an idea that would take me on a 3 month journey of solitary confinement stop motion photography, well, I had my camera and a few containers full of sticks and taxidermied bugs for company, so I guess I was never truly alone.

Really though, I was and am very grateful that the guys put full faith in me and let me do my thing. 11,229 still photographs later (5000+ of which had to be individually manipulated!) and you have the video you see here. This is easily the most technical thing I’ve worked on, but I won’t bore you with the technical details, yet.

Thanks for being a good sport and letting me turn you into a wooded imp creature Mackey!

Format Perspective (Carhartt)

"What the hell am I doing with my life?" my inner monologue said to me as I sat, camera in hand on a cerb in Belfast watching a man have a fight with his skateboard.  The man was angry, almost to the point where steam was coming out of his ears, but the skateboard seemed indifferent, no matter how many chips and chunks were taken out of it.  The man only got more angry and at one stage the skateboard even ended up in a skip, but it still somehow retained its cool, unlike the man, he was visibly upset after his experience upon this rolling piece of wood. 

I love skateboarding, but the skateboard was not getting to me, so by default it must have been the angry man. Hence I questioned my reasons for documenting this wonderful activity, then, as a joke, I began to film my friend and photographer Stu Robinson.  Then, just like in manys the shit 80’s action film I thought to myself “Hey, this is so crazy it just might work!”, and apparently it did!  I live for those moments that send you on an unstoppable inspired journey and this was one of those moments.

Format Perspective went on to cover 6 fine European skate photographers and become a both a documentary film and (to my astonishment) a book thanks to the fantastic support received by the fine people at Carhartt.  The film has had and is still having a fine run at a long list of film, design and art festivals around the world and it even picked up an award for “Best Editing” at the ISFF in Los Angeles as well as a gong for “Best Photography” at MIMPI in Porto Alegra, Brazil. 

The film is currently being prepared for digital release, but if you still live in the tangible world there are a limited amount of books and DVDs available for now. 

The Scrum Tilly Lush (Nike and Wesc)

This was the first large scale skate project I had ever attempted, and given that it has just undergone a re-vamp for an outing on the Telly I thought it would be worth sticking up here. 

Super 8! I can’t get enough of that grainy old crap, its easily my favourite format to play with, and not just because of the gritty images.  The actual cameras were a great tool to shoot with when it came to getting more candid shots in the midst of a session.  As most people are used to digital technology they tend to react when they know they are being recorded, however, as the super 8 cameras I used on this had no microphones (and looked like space age lunch boxes) it seemed to somehow let the subjects let their guards down and allow me to capture more of the special elements of a session without intruding on it too much.

So it came to be that I was privileged to point my cameras in the direction of some of Europe’s finest skaters stretched across 11 of the continent’s finest cities.  Once I got Nick Jensen on board with the first section in London other skaters seemed to fall into place as the process of shooting and travelling went on, and as luck would have it I also incidentally ran into marketing managers from both Nike and Wesc on my travels and they felt fit to support the project. Radical! 

I’ve heard this video being described as “not a skate video”, which I agree with, I’ve also heard it being referred to as a “skate travelogue” and I think that’s also right, whatever way you cut it here is the fantastic ginger Dutchman Wieger Van Wageningen’s section taken from The Scrum Tilly Lush. 

Bowl Jazz (personal project)

This was a project of passion in the true sense of the word.  No, no, we didn’t get passionate off camera, we just took that pent up frustration and aimed it at bags of concrete until it took the formation of a bowl.

None of us had ever worked with concrete before, let alone built a bowl, so when we found an abandoned room and decided to turn it into a bowl we may have underestimated the level of work that was ahead. 

All of the cement was mixed by hand with shovels, but as I was in the thick of it I didn’t really get the chance to document it too well.

The best part of this whole thing was seeing the results of the collective will of a small bunch of lads who wanted to make their skate scene better and were prepared to work their holes off to make it happen..and after 3 months of toil it did happen!

As luck would have it our friend and accomplished Jazz musician Max Zaska visited the bowl and noticed the structure’s acoustics were quite sound (zing!).  Max proposed that he would both drum AND play guitar in our tiny little special place..HOW? I thought - press play and find out! 

Lois Pendlebury - Material Girl (personal project)

I may have mentioned that I quite like lofi effects, but if I have not now you know.  I actually prefer when you can see how crap an effect is rather than some over-the-top 3D rendering madness, there’s a lot more charm to it when you can see someone has tried to achieve a certain visual trick, often just using some paper mache and glitter.

Well, in an effort to completely just contradict what I just wrote in the last paragraph let me warn you that your mind is at an actual risk of being blown by the high-end digital effects extravaganza that is “Lois Pendlebury - Material Girl”  Fun fact: Most of the budget on this one went on scoring it.  

Innocent Mini Movie (competition entry)

I was told innocent smoothies were running a competition to make a 30 second ad for their smoothies where all the effects had to be done in-camera. 

I like smoothies, I like in-camera effects and 30 seconds is a time frame I can get my dome around so I thought I’d give it a go.  

It was actually quite a lot of fun, I used a 40mm prime to shoot most of the “flying” shots as the shallow depth of field meant that you couldn’t see that I was actually shooting from a bus/skateboard/train window (while Gibbo the guy in it swished a news paper to make the cape flap).  I’m a fan of lo-fi effects so yeah, this was a bunch of fun! It didn’t win though, what a loser!