living life in limbo: a skate film on the in-between
17-year-old filmmaker Daniel Jules explores the struggles of growing up in his skate film Limbo.
When you're 17 life is a series of crossroads. It's a state of change, the in-between time before adulthood... you're in Limbo. Talented young filmmaker Daniel Jules, aka Julesweat, explores this period of time in his short film, documenting a group of creatives who met and bonded over their love of skateboarding.
"To cope with this change our creative mediums must flourish no matter what," explains Daniel, who is well ahead of the game already having developed a six part series of short films. Filmed over two months, Limbo features upcoming skate talent Kyle Wilson and Frank Lenz and was premiered as part of a wider project, Getting By, which was put together by the Young and Laced collective. We had a chat with Daniel to find out more about skate culture and what life's like in Limbo.
Can you tell us about the idea behind Limbo…
The film is a study into change and this stage of limbo that a section of young people, including myself, are going through. It ties into a deeper, on-going narrative, which runs through six videos featuring the same people. At this age, we're in a state where we don't know what we're going to do next, but we help each other through those times. Aside from skating some of my friends draw and make music, we're hanging out and coping with it together using our creative practices. The poem that you see in the opening title is what the deeper narrative is based on.
How did you get involved with Young and Laced?
A friend dropped the flyer on my table, I applied and got onto the team which is pretty sick. The Young and Laced collective brought people together who had similar ideas and that's where I met illustrator Mark Dear and photographer Ellis Doig and then James Massiah who helped us out as a mentor. Together we came up with Getting By, a project exploring the struggle of creatives in London that we documented through film, photography and illustration. Limbo was shown as part of the Getting By exhibition which we put on at the Bussey Building in Peckham.
What are the struggles living and growing up as young creative in London?
Growing up you think if you want to do something creative with your life education is the only pathway to it, but nowadays I don't think that's always the right way to go about it. The way I got an opportunity to make a film like this in the first place wasn't through something fuelled by education. I'm also doing a creative media production course and I feel like all of the creativity is sucked out of what we're making because it's just so linear. You can't do anything that means something to you and that's why I've been making videos by myself for while. It's more personal uploading my own videos and people can interact with it but at the same time it's figuring out a way to make money out of that.
Why is skateboarding so important to you and your friends?
We do it because we love it. When people in the streets see us skating at Southbank or Mile End, they can see that we're enjoying ourselves and doing it for what we want to do it for - just to skate and have fun. I met my mates when I started skating, we've all grown to know each other, they're friends I know I can have for a very long time - it's tight.
Do you think skateboarding culture has changed over time?
I think it's adapted. For example with style, you have older clothing styles that come back with a new twist. I think 90s rave culture is a big influence on skating at the moment, you've got a lot of people skating wearing trackies and Reeboks. Also with social media now, someone can send me a video on Instagram and tag me in it and I'll be like, oh this guy's sick, then I'll check him out and it opens a whole new spectrum of people you didn't know existed.
Something I found really interesting in the film was about how you can express your emotions through skateboarding. What's your take on that?
I think when you skate, it comes off as an aura, a vibe. If someone's angry or pissed off you can see it when they skate, but if you're chilling and doing tricks in a comfortable environment with mates, you can tell people are having fun with it because there's much more of a subtle approach to it in terms of body language. It goes for any emotion, if you're sad and want to segregate yourself from everyone, you just put your headphones in and cruise around the park. Sometimes you just need to sit down and take in the environment and before you know it you're back in your element.