A few months ago I started digitising all my old VHS Tapes. I came across some hilarious stuff including some interviews that I shot at Fitzroy Skateboard Bowl one day back in 1997. In my early 20’s, Fitzroy Bowl was my local skate park. I totally loved that place. I thought it was a really special place and on this day in 1997, I had asked everyone who was skating, what the Bowl meant to them.
I thought other people would love to see this old footage too. The push to edit it and make it into this short documentary came in the way of a video competition. My husband was trawling on skateboard.com.au one day and called out, “Have I got the competition for you”.
At first I was just going to make a documentary with the old footage and leave it at that but then the idea creeped in to re-interview some of the original people I had interviewed. Once the idea got stuck in mind I could not not do it.
Thanks to Facebook, I was able to re-connect with many of those dudes. So I organised to meet them back at Fitzroy Bowl one Sunday in August to ask them the same questions as I had in 1997. That Sunday was a sunny winters day, like so many I remember. There was a great vibe at the park with plenty of ‘new’ locals hanging out. The day ended up being a bit of a re-union for many of the skaters who hadn’t seen each other in a while.
I wanted music that represented the mid 90’s era and in particular, Fitzroy grunge. My first choice in music was Spiderbait but I thought I would have Buckly’s chance of getting permission to use it. Nonetheless, I gave it try and got a positive response. Part of their email read;
“So many of our early band meetings were held under the trees watching the skaters and so many nights were spent drinking vodka inside the bowl. It’s a big part of the Spiderbait history!”
The last bit I needed to pull the story was some footage of the very early days, when the bowl was brand new. I called on skateboard filmmaker Tom Flaherty for this. He happened to have a Snake Pit skateboard contest he filmed in 1992. Filmed not very well (by his admission) but who cares? It shows some amazing skaters and I got to see Australian Skate legend Mat Davis skate.
You cannot make a documentary about Fitzroy Bowl without mentioning the bowl parties. Once again, I contacted Tom Flaherty and once again he came through with the goods.
Hope you like it.