- Text by D'Arcy Doran
We began the year travelling across America trying to understand the immigration debate and closed it in Brussels looking at the multicultural city as it emerged from a lockdown following the Paris terrorist attacks. In between our travels took us to Spain, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Finland and further as we met people on the frontiers of different subcultures to see what was inspiring them in 2015.
Here are our favourite short films produced by the Huck team this year.
1. Teenage Utopia: Skating Through the Lockdown
As Brussels reeled from raids on terror suspects, headlines screamed that the city was a poster child for the failure of integration. We found something more interesting, young people from all over the world bonding over what they love making art, playing punk music and skateboarding.
2. Painting with Skittles
Chris Wilson found art in San Quentin Pennitentary after a life of petty crime. Denied his freedom and art supplies, he learned to make paints from anything he could find, as he demonstrates in the film above. This is a film about ingenuity and the human spirit and a theme we’ll continue to explore in 2016, as we continue our series Prison DaVinci.
3. Into the Deep with Finland’s Greatest Freediver
We sought out people with unique relationships to water for this series sponsored by Finlandia in support of 1% For The Planet. The first up was Antero Joki, a Finnish champion known to some as ‘Kraken’, who gave us an introduction to the mysterious science behind freediving. (For the second episode, we followed Jason Beakes one of the world’s top extreme kayakers as he braved some terrifying whitewater in the Potomac River, near Washington, DC, after a hurricane.)
4. The Secret of the Blue Plaques
Anyone’s who’s been to London has come across the iconic Blue Plaques that map where our everyday lives cross paths with the likes of legends like John Lennon, Virginia Wolff and Karl Marx. But who makes them? We found the answer in Cornwall, where the family that has used a secret recipe to make all the clay plaques since 1984 — just as the family business is in the process of being passed from parents to son.
5. Chef’s Boat
In this food-inspired series for Destination Canada featuring British YouTubers, we travelled to both of Canada’s west coasts. We made several films, but one of our favourites is from the day we spent with Jeremy Charles, Canada’s best chef, whose inspiration comes from the sea and foraged ingredients. The film features John Quilter, aka YouTube’s Food Busker.
6. Michelle Pezel: Antisocial
We stepped into the world of Michelle Pezel, who founded the Vancouver skate institution Antisocial with pro-skater Rick McCrank. They started the shop when others were floundering and their belief in building community has helped them flourish. This film was made possible by Levi’s Skateboarding.
7. Marius Syvanen: Going Slow Sucks
The Finnish-born pro-skater Marius Syvanen guided us through his adopted home by bombing the hills of San Diego and stopping at his favourite spots. This was another collaboration with Levi’s.
8. Barcelona: From The Street Up
For a unique mini-travel doc, Huck tagged along with pro-skater Caper Brooker as he competed in tournaments across Europe. In between events, we got to glimpse some of Europe’s greatest cities through his point of view as he glided through them. Barcelona was the start of the journey that continued to London, Berlin and Copenhagen. The series was made with support from Nike SB.
9. The World’s Smallest Museum
If you know where to look, at the end of an alley in Lower Manhattan, inside a converted elevator shaft, you’ll find Mmuseum, possibly the world’s smallest museum. The space is dedicated to helping visitors make sense of the madness of modern society through a curated selection of cultural ephemera.
10. The U.S. Immigration Debate
The U.S. debate over immigration will only to heat up over the next year. We started the year by stepping into the lives of people from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to find out what kind of American Dream they had found after they crossed the border into the States. One of our discoveries was the ankle monitor that immigrants like Julie are forced to wear. We shot this while travelling across the U.S. with our friends from the BBC’s innovative Pop-Up Bureau.
We have more journeys planned for 2016 and if you’d like to see our future films, you can subscribe to Huck’s YouTube channel.