A harrowing, intimate and touching portrait of up and promising young skateboarder Paul Alexander’s battle with mental health, told by his friend Tim Crawley. —– Vice.com
My first commission as Director for Vice is about as heartfelt and close to home as you can get, in terms of the film-making experience. Firstly it’s skateboarding, which is my lifelong pursuit and initial gateway into film-making. Secondly the main subject Paul Alexander is a friend, a key part of the UK’s skate history and a hero figure in Bristol. The film reached well over a million views in its first 3 months of release, with thousands of comments relating to personal experience of mental health issues.
From my Jenkem Magazine Interview – Tim: “The subject matter couldn’t be more important either, not only did we want to examine the difficulties that come with mental health issues during adolescence and coming of age, but it was also important to look at how mental health is dealt with in young men, particularly in groups of young men and to open the subject up within skateboarding. We’ve all grown up watching Vice films, Epicly later’d, All This Mayhem, so to spend over 6 months in production on location and at the Vice UK headquarters in London with their production team was an exciting kind of ‘pinch myself’ moment, and a great learning experience that I hope to bring to every project in the future.”
Rhys James, Senior Producer at Vice and on the film referred to “GONE” as one of his proudest uploads of 2015 which is great feedback for us considering the caliber of work that Vice put out – and in particular Rhys’ work.
You can read Director Tim Crawley and Paul Alexander’s follow up interview with Jenkem Magazine here.
Here’s the blurb from Vice:
Paul Alexander was a young British skateboarder full of charisma and drive. He discovered the opportunities of sponsorship, travelling and recognition during a move from Leicester to Bristol in his late teens. Living with professional skateboarder Danny Wainwright he became engulfed in the fun, responsibility free lifestyle that came with his chosen pursuit of becoming a pro skateboarder. Paul seemed destined for success then something came to get him, something he’d never experienced before that would take his personal goals and freedom far away from his grasp in a seemingly never ending battle. This is his story, directed by friend and skateboarding companion Tim Crawley.