Josh following Tom Grasso on a Domingo Day afternoon
Josh Roberts is one of the old school new blood. As he clocks the quarter century, Josh is already a veteren of the skate-filmic sphere. He has been executing high quality video production in WA for almost a decade now. His latest project ‘Domingo’ screened last weekend and is available in shops as of today. ‘Domingo’ stars a bundle of talented underground wiz-plankers including Ricky Watt, Ben Barretto, Glenn Palmer and James Whineray. Josh is one who has truly mastered the VX-1000: a camera that has been around nearly as long as he has. His close-up lens-wielding, mastery of composition, choice of skaters to work with and love of quality music sets him aside from the masses. His skills have already propelled him into the international sphere of top-notch underground filmers and he has had nods of resepct from some of the best in the game. Aside from his obvious talents it should not be forgotten that Josh aka 'Geldi' is also a witty and deftly-skilled skateboard samurai. His now legendary back smiths are so sweet that he was commissioned for the ‘How to’ in the Skateboarder’s Journal. ‘Domingo’ may be the latest in an already epic string of productions, but there is no way it will be the last. You see: Josh is here for the long term. If you see Geldi at a spot taking mid-session breather make sure you stop by and say 'hi'. He is one of the good ones. He may infact also teach you some new words. Josh has been fast developing a new language with Ricky Watt, a language know as Rickigeldi that will soon no doubt be understood internationally.
interview: morgan campbell
photo/flyer: garth mariano
Why are you called 'Geldi'?
When I was around the age of eighteen, I had grown my hair out to a considerable length and my dad told one of the homies that he thought I looked like Bob Geldof as a joke. I guess it must have stuck.
When did your fascination with the video camera begin?
Not sure about the fascination, but I just started filming my brother and skate posse around the neighbourhood with an analog video camera, which my parents had at the time. I guess it just kept going from there.
What are the main skate flicks you yourself have worked on to date?
I made 'The Perfect Amount Of Lazy' on behalf of The 4 Skateboard Company a couple years ago. Following that was the 'In Good Company' clip I also did for them which was basically a short video. And most recently has been my latest short video 'Domingo' which I have just completed.
How was ‘Domingo' different from the past few productions you have worked on?
I wanted 'Domingo' to be shorter, include as many of the homies as possible with an emphasis on spots, trick selection, and the just the general vibe we have going on. I’m really not interested in gnarly hammer-type skating, which has all the emphasis on the stunt and/or how difficult the trick is. Which is pretty much the majority of what is around. I just want to keep it simple, skate fast and be creative.
How long did ‘Domingo’ take to make?
A bit over six months I think, but it could have been a little more. I think it's important to keep things current and in a not too drown out time frame otherwise things can get old. It feels good to move onto the next thing.
How did you come about calling a skate flick ‘Domingo’?
My Japanese homie Liu came up with the name. He’s a pretty creative guy with a good eye and he just threw the name out there. It means 'Sunday' in Spanish and Sunday is the guaranteed skate day when everyone can meet up and hit the city.
How did you pick your main players for the video?
Well, I just wanted the people in it to be who I really enjoyed watching and whose company I enjoyed. Just like-minded people.
They are some pretty talented, yet underground heads. Did you choose to focus on the under-covered and underrated for this feature?
In a way yeah. It just happened to be guys that were pretty underground, but seriously rip nonetheless. But yeah underground skateboarding is generally what inspires me and gets me out skating. They’re my good friends and I’m glad I got to work on 'Domingo' with them. Was the most enjoyable time I’ve ever had skating to date. It is all about getting the vibe going with the homies.
The flyer from last weekend's premiere
Are there any movements in the international skate video world that are currently rocking your boat? Whose lens work have you been digging as of late?
Yes, the people that are skating in a more thought out way, with emphasis on style, skating fast, trick selection, spots, simplicity, and the like. Magenta and Tightbooth Productions (out of Japan) are doing it right. Anything they put out is amazing. Also, Pontus Alv is doing something different with Polar, which is rad as is Palace. They again are doing something different that is super sick. Hopps out of NYC as well. I dig Yoan Taillaindier’s style of filming he makes everything look exciting. Also Ryan Garshall is holding it down as well. You just have to watch anything they do and you know.
Did you hunt down any particular types of spots for ‘Domingo’?
Not particularly. I just wanted to film mainly in the city as it looks the best and has the most interesting things to skate. You can always find something different and it just has the best vibe.
Who came on the most missions during the filming?
Well generally the guys that I wanted to feature the most in it, Ricky Watt, Glenn Palmer, Ben Baretto and James Whineray but we have a steady group of homies that are always out and keen to get busy. Garth Mariano, Leigh Barlow, Tom Grasso, Steve Bailey, Morgan Beatty and Harry Clark to name a few...
It is going to be released on DVD right? Will you be doing web releases too?
Yeah it will be released on DVD. It’s always good to have something you can hold onto. The fruits of your efforts and what not. I will probably upload it to youtube at some stage so people that wouldn’t normally be able to see it can.
So it is going to come with some kind of a book right? Who was involved with the production of this?
Yeah it’s pretty much a newspaper with photos and stuff in it. It was James Whineray’s idea to do it so we made a limited amount of them for the homies and people involved.
Who shot the photography for the book?
Whoever was out and shot film. If my memory serves me right James Whineray, Garth Mariano, Leigh Barlow, Glenn Palmer, Dave Cooper, Liu Itchilo, Jack Pam and myself all contributed.
Are there limited copies? How does one get one’s mittens on a copy of ‘Domingo’?
I got a small amount of DVD’s made. If anyone is interested they can just contact me direct and we can sort it out. Apart from that, skate shops should have some.
You are a purist. A VX-1 connoisseur. How do you feel about HD footage? Any chance you are going to swap over soon?
I don’t really enjoy the look of HD footage. The sound and fisheye can’t be compared to that of the VX-1000. It is the best camera for filming skateboarding in my eyes. It has stood the test of time and if used right makes skateboarding look incredible. As for making a change to HD I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
If you were able to add three Aussie cameos to the line up of Domingo who would they be?
Three isn’t enough so here are a few… Juan Onekawa, Ryan Wilson, Glenn Wignall, Callum Paul and Jeremy Corea (even though he had a line in there somewhere).
In this day and age of internet saturation and dastardly download bandits it is increasingly difficult to make an independent skate flick. Any tips for aspiring videographers?
Probably nothing of value (laughs)... Get out and explore your city. Discover new spots. Skate fast and get creative with your surroundings. Support your local skate shop as well.
What is next for Josh Roberts?
Just to keep it moving. There will be more soon.
When you and Ricky Watt stayed in Melbourne last year you taught us many new words. Was just wondering if you could keep us up to speed with what is happening in the wonderful slang world of Rickigeldi?
The lingo is ever changing and morphing into all sorts of nonsense (laughs)... I don’t know how it happens but it keeps us all amused. Nothing I can put my finger on for you but just tell "Seet to step into my office…"
If in WA as of the day of this post (June 1st) Beyond and Momentum will have copies.
If in another state: ask for it at your local or hit Josh direct.
Stockists and overseas heads also hit up Josh direct.