Name: Booker Mitchell
Current Location: NYC
Years Skating: On and off since I was little
Years Filming: 4 years
For those who don’t know you, can you gives us a little bio for the people reading this interview?
Sure, I grew up in the city skating, making videos. I’m going to school now in Vermont and trying to keep busy on the side. Making work in the studio, filming, thinking of people to interview for Rumble, finding odd jobs and all that.
How did you get into traveling as much as you do and can you make a living from it?
Couldn’t tell you about making a living from it haha. My mom is a documentary filmmaker. We’d go to visit family in Brazil, all over the country, and she’d film everything. It was her way of documentation. In 2007 we took a trip to the Amazon. When we came back, she edited the footage and realized that we had something that was special, it had potential. Then in 2012 we went to Barcelona for our first trip under Booker Travels; it was a travel program about food, cultures, art, music, skating, and surfing. Everything started very well, we got good feedback. In the first year we won an award for ‘Traveler of the Year’ through National Geographic and I began writing for their online posts, which was a great experience. And that connection helped us out a lot in the long run; people were much more willing to help us out and invite us to their countries. We ended up going back to the Amazon, Nicaragua, San Francisco, Sri Lanka, North Carolina, Morocco, Barbados, Puerto Rico. I couldn’t thank my mom more for all those experiences.
I know from experience the road trip up to Weirdwood and Maine in General is fun as hell. What made you guys decide to put this trip together?
Well Booker Travels wasn’t really working as well with me away from home and growing up and everything. We needed to make a smooth transition to whatever I was going to do next. Rumble Magazine is a project of mine from high school that I decided on resurrecting, and doing a collaboration between the two projects seemed like a good idea. I wanted to do a road-trip up to Acadia, filming, taking photos, interviewing people along the way. Quim always keeps in touch and is down for anything and he brought Freddy along last minute for the trip. Setting everything up was the most stressful part of the process. I was going crazy. We had two really good camera guys cut out last minute and everything was up in the air until the final 24 hours. Ending up at Weirdwood was total chance. It was our last day and we were supposed to go back to Boston straight from Portland. We stopped by a park in Portland and met all of the Weirdwood guys. They took us around the city for the day and we ended up at the Weirdwood property at night. That place was paradise, we really ended on a high note there.
How did you end up linking with Quim Cardona and Freddy Gall? Have you guys been friends a long time?
I’ve known Quim for a while through Billy Rohan. Billy’s always been good to me. Quim loves camping and always talked to me about doing a trip so he was down for the trip from the start. My hands were already so full trying to find money for the trip along with everything else that needed to happen that I kind of left it up to Quim to bring whoever he wanted. Freddy was down last minute, which was great. We had good times.
When I was a kid at Tampa Pro, Freddy dropped a $10 bill on the ground. When I stopped him to hand it back to him he was so grateful he pulled the shirt off his back to give it to me. I knew right then he was a quality dude. You have any good stories about Freddy or Quim that didn’t make the video series?
That’s a good one hahaha. Nothing like that. Freddy was kicking it, he just got back from injury. Quim is such a character, there are so many clips of him just doing his own thing that are absolute gold. When we were in Acadia, we were getting put to work. It was cold and pouring; we were all so sore and just trying to keep everything together while tents were flooding and all that. Quim was loving it, talking about Indiana Jones, playing his melodica. Really good times.
Other than a hatchet or saw to cut logs up, was there any other camping gear you wish you had or would recommend bringing on anybody’s next skate/camping trip?
Haha yeah a machete would’ve been sick. Anything to pass the time.
Easton’s Beach Skatepark was pretty crusty…what’s the best of the worst skateparks you’ve skated and what made it fun instead of a total fail?
That park is up there probably. There have been some in Brazil and Morocco that were straight up dangerous. Done by the town by people who don’t know anything about skating. Five foot mini ramps with three feet of vert. Silly stuff like that, all they had to do was ask a skater.
When you guys are driving around, what’s blasting on the road trip soundtrack?
A lot of Group Home, Gang Starr, reggae. Instrumentals and stuff too, Quim was driving the whole time and would freestyle to pass time. Freddy got the AUX a bit to change things up, he’d put on Merle Haggard, a lot of Bad Brains off of that album ‘I Against I’.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking about doing a similar road trip?
I think it’s important to have a plan, but you can’t stick to it either. I guess you could say that about anything. It’s important to take your time with stuff and not rush anything, make everything last. Thats the nature of a trip like that, you have to stay flexible. That way there’s also an element of surprise. I guess that’s obvious.
7 episodes is a lot of footage, about how many hours of total footage do you estimate you ended up with from the entire trip?
We had three cameras rolling the whole time. I think it was somewhere around 4000 minutes total. It took a whole year to go though.
What was your personal favorite moment from the whole experience?
Ending up at Weirdwoods was too good to be true, we got there and had so much fun. Cooking next to the little bowl in front, sleeping outside. There was a crazy meteor shower that night as well, we saw so many shooting stars. That night was perfect. I have to go back there.
Now the the trip is over, what’s next for you?
Putting it out there. I have some footage from a short trip to Copenhagen that I did last winter that I could make something with. I’m going to Berlin for a job for January and February so maybe I can make something happen then. I just have to keep busy until summer then plan something big. Maybe a trip through Europe. We’ll see.