Any scene video coming from the UK is a cause for celebration at the moment because, despite a wealth of blading talent throughout Britain, there have been very few full-length releases in recent years. Alex Burston did a noble job documenting his local scene in the Manchester Video and the Jon Lee and Dirt Box collaboration Sober shone a light on the current London scene with a few notable exceptions. It now seems that the southwest of the England is set to get some exposure in the form of Mark Worner’s second full-length video Best Before. It is the follow-up to Cider Kids, which is still available, and features a nice mixture of up-and-coming younger skaters such as Niko Salaman alongside well-respected mainstays like Ollie Jones.
Worner has been keeping busy over the past couple of years, releasing a whole host of online edits, including promotional videos for both Slaptap Skate Shop and Noodle Brain Apparel. It would appear that he has also been gradually building a collection of footage for his own personal project as Best Before has apparently been in the works for approximately three years. In fact, it’s been in the works for so long that his friends have been impatiently demanding its release and there has been some confusion regarding the specifics of the project. After an exceptional amount of failed attempts, we caught up with Mr Worner and tried our best to drag as much information out of him as possible.
Wheel Scene: Right, let’s start things off simple. So the video is called Best Before. Why the name?
Mark Worner: The reason behind the name is purely from the thought of skating as timeless and it doesn’t really need a date on it as such, so I was trying to get something to go along those lines. Someone said to me once that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, skating is timeless and this is the reason for the name. I was thinking along the lines of sell by dates and best before dates. And this video didn’t have a release date, everyone was always asked me when the video was coming out, so it kinda got its name through that
Well, that’s bloody confusing. I thought it was called Best Before because you had been sitting on the footage for a while and you were worried it was going to go out of date! How long have you been working on it?
For probably three years now in total. Sorry for being confusing!
Haha! I thought you were originally working on a Slaptap team video? Was that the original plan, did it change, or was that never the original idea?
I never intentionally set out to make a Slaptap team video as I have full-time job and that would have probably taken me even longer to do. I just have a lot of friends that are on the team that are close by to go out and film with. I just wanted it associated with Slaptap as I support them and have their best interests. This is harder than I thought!
You’re doing fine! Relax!
There was bit confusion over the video, I must admit. At first people didn’t know what video it was,
like you just said – team video or my own. It’s basically mine but with Slaptap in mind and backing it.
Is the video going to have the traditional format of sections or…?
It’s more of southwest video than anything – that’s its roots. Yeah, a traditional format – sections, no mixing about.
Then lay it on me, who is going to have full sections?
Niko Salaman, Matthew Brown, Simon Coburn, Matt Smith, Matt Woods and Ollie Jones.
Why those guys?
All of these sections are very diverse, which I love. It’s got a bit of everything for everyone. Niko’s young and fresh, you never know what he’s going to do, then all of a sudden, just out of nowhere, he amazes you. Matthew Brown has a style like none other – a bit of an old school style about him.
Who has your favourite section in the video and why?
Ollie Jones. The reason for this is just the fact he’s so motivated. You couldn’t meet a nicer guy.
He always wants to skate. I had a year when I didn’t have a car and that was probably one of my most productive times – filming just with him. We would go to Bristol most weekends and just find spots, and all I’m saying is watch out for him. Is that a good enough answer?
Stop fucking asking that! I can’t wait to see an Ollie Jones section. He’s never really had a proper full- length street part, just random clips and tiny edits here and there.
Yeah, he’s put in a lot of work and even more work on Google Maps.
I have heard about his infamous spot-stalking abilities. What have been some of the highlights from filming so far?
The Cornwall trip with the lads was a lot fun. I would say one of the highlights was with the snails that we had collected around the campsite in tubs then putting on a certain someone’s car and filmed it!
That better be in the video!
It all started from putting one snail into the centre console during the day and then leading on to the idea of a massive scale party in the evening. Snail party! It was a really fun time away skating. Joe Harvey woke up to slugs in his suit the next day as well. He was eating raspberries the next day and he was like, “These taste slimy.” He looked down and they had had little munch on his fruit – I couldn’t think of anything worse! That all made us giggle.
In his suit?! As in his sleeping bag?
They got into the first bit of the tent – I think he left the raspberries outside, in the zipped up bit.
It took him while to get rid of the taste of slug – that kinda saliva-like stuff that just sticks.
Is any of this going to be in the video? Tell me you caught some of this on camera!
Sadly, I didn’t get that. But we have full footage of the snail party, so we’re fine!
Who was the toughest person to get footage with and why?
That’s a tough one actually. I’m going to call it, people will agree with me, Matt Smith.
That is a tough one. He’s basically got a very sociable life and you’re being worked into his really tight diary.
He’s a man about town, is he? Haha!
Yeah, you could say so. He’s either out on the boats or in the pub at the Kingsbridge, darts championships or eating ice cream down in Salcombe, or taking selfies, so we all have to work round this. He’s got a busy schedule
I notice Sam Cooper has been tagging along a lot taking photos. He’s got some funny habits, that one. I think you should share with the general public some of Sam Cooper’s weird and wonderful personality traits!
I don’t really know much about Cooper. He’s a tough one. I don’t see him that much at all. Sam will be helping with a pdf book for the video, with some of the shots whilst filming for the video, which will be cool. Basically, it will be a photo book to go with the video.
Dammit! I was hoping for some gossip there!
I can’t help you there!
Important stuff: when will the video be out and will it be a VOD or free?
The video will be released at the end of March and it will be VOD.
Speaking of which – which VODs in your opinion have been the best and worst since the format appeared in blading?
I did recently read an article on a VODs that one of my friends had written and he couldn’t have put it any better. At the end of the day, it’s what you’re into. I’m not going to narrow myself down. It’s personal preference. I’m not going to biased, I’m open to all kinds of skating, but sometimes you do get that feeling you have been had!
Are you thinking of any VOD in particular when you say that?
The thing is, it has big names in it and that’s what sells. I just don’t think it should have been called F.O.R. 4
I agree. It followed a very similar format to the first Bladergang Worldwide video and had none of the traits of the F.O.R. series. A more suitable name would have been Bladergang 2.
Yeah, that’s it. I totally agree with this. F.O.R. 4 should have been a really high end film and it just didn’t live up to the nostalgia of the other F.O.R. videos. It just didn’t work for me. I love character, but it didn’t give me that itch to go out skating. It felt like a mixtape almost and I find that hard to follow and remember.
I know what you mean. What have been your favourite VOD releases so far? Which ones have you watched multiple times?
I’m currently itching to watch Delfon Dio, which has just downloaded. Anything from Eugin Enin…
I have watched it a bunch of times already and it is pretty epic.
Damn, I can’t wait.
But you can’t use that because you haven’t actually seen it yet! So name a VOD you have that you love and tell me why!
The one that stands out in my mind right now is Nowhere – Face Melt – Broskow’s section.
That’s the one! It’s just got everything.
It was an incredible single skater VOD. Any others?
One of the first VODs, KCMO, I still watch that a lot.
It was pretty special. I have lost count of how many times I have watched it. Right, let’s wrap things up. Anything else you want to discuss before we finish?
Er… The premiere date is on the 18th of March, Bridgwater, Somerset. The video starts at 7:30. You should come. It’s not far for you, just few hours down the road
Hahahaha! Very fucking good! I could get to America quicker!
Yeah, but nothing beats the southwest – just ask Smith! He can be your tour guide – he sells it well!
Or shall I say sails it well with his snails?
You realise you just gave away whose car you fucked up?!
Everyone knows, it’s fine
Well, they definitely will now!
Photos: Sam Cooper
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