So there I was on a trip to Barcelona, having left my longboard behind, only to find everybody else seemed to skate along the city’s smoothly asphalted roads while I was stomping around on foot. I caught the itch and just had to buy a new longboard for myself, there and then. I wanted something small, so I opted for a beautiful, very well-made “Tiestick” board by Carver, a California company I’d never heard of. I fell in love with my board and soon found out on Carver’s website that the company had helped set up a gun exchange over in the States: bring a gun and get a brand new board in return, now questions asked.
Fascinated with the story, I wrote a newspaper article, a magazine feature and did a self-financed documentary as a passion project. In the course of this, I not only spoke to Neil Carver – the skateboard designer with a conscience – but also Harvey Hawks, a reformed gun criminal and skating legend who now campaigns to get guns off the streets.
Additionally, I spoke to “Mothers with a Message” – mothers of children who were perpetrators or victims of gun crime. And I spoke to police officers as well as former gangsters. It was a humbling experience and a privilege to carry out this project – and even though the quality is not perfect, the film really gives a great insight into America’s relationship with guns – and their impact – at a grassroots level.