You shoot stills and video. Is there a challenge in skipping between the two? How do you think working in both mediums equates to a personal style?
The challenge occurs when you want to shoot both, people think because a camera might shoot both you can do both, but you need to really focus on one you the other. As far as style I don't know, the subjects that interest have similarities and my focus on people doesn't change between mediums
These books have allowed for some extensive travel. What are some of the most notable things you've learned about graffiti? Where are the most surprising local twists?
Yes the books have let me travel extensively which is the great about the project. The writers that we involve in C&S are usually ones that interest for a specific reason and are all active illegally , writers are interesting characters and there many stories. Twice and gear from Amsterdam are two real characters they are bombing partners through and through and I'm unsure if there drinking or bombing is more impressive. Paris is a city were the more obvious and confident you look the more likely you'll get away with it
Also, you've come into contact with a great many personalities. Any particularly memorable anecdotes?
Horfe's dancing is pretty good
I've been robbed , seen fights, been hit by a girl, seen people smoking crack etc, and this usually occurs on the top deck.
Your personal work also proves an interest in character. The short film on the rapper who tattooed his eye is quite memorable. How did you link with that, and what attracts you to those types of documentary experiences?
I shot a project on the grime scene in London , and Popek frequents the scene. I was actually approached by him to do the video and the procedure baffled me so much, it's pretty horrific thing to do and there is no going back
What about working with Ricky Powell? Do you admire his work? Has he influenced you?
Ricky is a character , and from the first second I met him I wanted to shoot a video on him. He is a proper new yorker , and to me sums up all the eccentricities of what a new yorker is. His work is timeless due to it's content , as far a influence Ricky doesn't care what people think which can be admirable or be very irritating , I think it's pretty admirable
We've discussed your Top Deck project before. Did the process of that project change how you looked at a city? And, if so, did it refine how you approached the Crack & Shine work?
I grew up getting buses in London: I've been robbed , seen fights, been hit by a girl, seen people smoking crack etc, and this usually occurs on the top deck. The process of shooting Top Deck was strange, there are a lot of constraints you basically wait for something to happen beneath you . Travelling on the top deck give you a great perspective of London, you can get a bus that goes through the financial district and end up in the hood. It did not change my perspective in regards to C&S though.
What else do you have lined up for 2012?
I'm spending the rest of 2012 in the states, then who knows 2013
Head to the next page to view Crack and Shine International Season 2 Episode 2, Paris.