I finished Part Two – The World is Watching last week.
This player automatically displays the trailer but you can rent or buy it straight away. Thanks again for all the support.
I set up a page at Vimeo On Demand where I can add new parts as they are released.
Finally, I’ve converted Part One of FST: On The Shoulders of Giants to NTSC format so that North American, Canadian, Japanese & South American viewers can watch the DVD on their TVs.
If you’re unsure what all the NTSC/PAL fuss is about, check this simple reference chart.
It’s now available to buy on the Copperhead Editions web store.
Also you can stream a HD version without bonus features.
If I’d never met Steve Byrne, I’m not sure my tattooing would look the way it does today, if I’d be tattooing at all.
Steve was my introduction to the world of tattooers who care about the way their tattoos look. The tattooers who care about the history and the future of tattooing. Steve also was responsible for introducing me to tattooers who would later work at Frith Street and become colleagues and friends. Steve put my name forward when Dante wanted a new tattooer at Frith Street in 2007.
Without Steve I wouldn’t be working at Frith Street. I owe a lot to this man. Because we are both Northern Englishmen, we’re uncomfortable with sharing emotions but he knows that I’m grateful and I’m sure he knows that I’ll always have affection for him and his tattooing.
I managed to catch a few minutes with him in his hotel room after the amazing Bay Area Tattoo Convention, at SFO in October 2013.
In this clip he shares some of his early memories of Frith Street Tattoo, talks about FST’s position in the world of tattooing, the efforts and rewards within tattooing and a message for the crew and Dante.
You can see some of Steve’s work here: rockofagestattoo.com
Naomi plays a pivotal role at Frith Street Tattoo.
Her official title would be Shop Manager but she’s so much more than that.
Naomi organises the day-to-day managerial tasks of the shop. She organises Valerie’s and my appointments, clients and schedule months into the future and makes our work lives as simple as possible so all we need to think about is doing good tattoos. She acts as personal assistant to Dante DiMassa, organising his shop and life.
I know that Naomi dislikes having cameras pointed at her so it took a while for me to secure the interview that this clip is taken from. True to form, her affection and dedication to Frith Street Tattoo overcame the desire to stay out of the limelight.
I’m really pleased she agreed to do this interview because she’s such a major part of what makes FST what it is on a day-to-day basis that not having her be part of this project would feel like I was hiding something important.
If you see Naomi at a tattoo convention or tattoo shop somewhere in the world, please don’t take her picture.
The boys I from last week’s clip are the ones who roll their sleeves up and do the dirty work but Naomi makes sure it happens on time, safely and without interfering with people getting their tattoos.
She’s a carer, facilitator, friend and confidant who has our complete trust that she’s doing things for the good of the team at the shop. If Naomi was older we’d call her Mother Goose but she’s not, so we can call her the FST Lady with the Lamp.
These guys are the front line at Frith Street Tattoo.
They’re the ones you’ll speak to if you call or visit the shop. They’re the ones who deal with all your questions, requests and complaints. They’re also the ones who run errands for the rest of the tattooers and the owner of Frith Street Tattoos.
One night, after work we shared a pizza, a couple of beers and a chat.
Here they talk about their first experience with Dante DiMassa (Danny), the glamorous nature of working at a busy, well-known tattoo shop, working with people who love tattooing and then a message for the rest of the crew at FST.
Well, it’s not really a blooper. Nothing went wrong and I’ll use this clip in the finished version of Part One: A Film for All and None. It just makes for a more interesting title than “Phone Call”
While I was working my way through the edit, I decided to share this clip. I think it highlights both Oliver and Jordan’s approaches to life, tattooing and each other. Like any comedy duo, there’s a straight man and and a banana man. Other than myself and Oliver, Mario Desa was present for the interview – you may be able to hear his voice one or twice. Enjoy.
Following my announcement last post that this project will be a series rather than a single movie, I’ve put together a trailer:
“Almost two years in the making, FST: On the Shoulders of Giants is Stewart Robson’s intimate portrait of life in a modern, highly respected, world-renowned tattoo shop.
Spread across four parts, Stewart interviews resident tattooers, guest artists, customers, and staff to offer a glimpse into what makes Frith Street Tattoo tick. With no candy-coating, the FST crew shares their views on tattoos, the people who do them, the people who get them, and the world of tattooing in general.
Entirely self-produced, directed, and edited, this film stands as an honest portrayal of Frith Street Tattoo in 2012 and 2013.”
Please share it, tell your friends about it, post it to your blogs and tumblr, watch it and wait for the Part One…
Part One: A Film for All and None is still a couple of months away. There are a few conventions coming up and I’m editing this thing in my spare time, whatever that is. Keep your peepers peeled.
I have a new member of staff to help me speed up the production:
Less exciting but I’ve also moved the site to a real domain name instead of a x.wordpress.com name.
Will and Scott have been getting tattooed at Frith Street for around 4 or 5 years.
They are part of a group of friends who all have serious work from various tattooers at or associated with, Frith Street.
Scott and Will were in town for tattoo sessions with Valerie to continue ongoing work so I took the opportunity to interview them both together.
In this clip Will & Scott talk about why they get tattooed at Frith Street, how we’ve introduced them to a wider range of tattooers and the community aspect of getting tattooed.
Then they show and talk about the tattoos they have.
I took these pictures at the London Tattoo Convention in September 2012. A few of the guys with backpieces are missing from the photo and the ones who just have sleeves are out of frame too.
L-R, Tattoos by: Valerie Vargas, Stefano C, Valerie Vargas & Stewart Robson.
One of their friends has a great “Rock of Ages” backpiece from Jordan Teear but he wasn’t at the convention that day.
I’ve known Les since before I worked at Frith Street. We both worked at a fledgling tattoo shop in the north of England.
He’s seen my progress from when I was trying to figure out how to tattoo in my house to a point where he asked me to tattoo his bodysuit.
Les tattoos at Sideshow Familia in Hove, UK. He’s been getting tattooed by me roughly every 2-3 weeks for around 3.5 years.
In this short clip he talks about the influence Frith Street Tattoo has had on his own work and one of the more memorable times at FST.
It’s difficult for me to introduce Ian Flower without embarrassing myself.
While I never apprenticed under him or worked for him, I’ve learned more from him than any other tattooer. When I first started at Frith Street I worked next to Ian every Wednesday for a year or so. If any of my tattoo work looks accomplished or interesting there’s a good chance it’s looks that way because Ian offered nuggets of advice when I was learning to draw the subject and I had the opportunity to watch him work and steal his tricks and techniques.
Ian has tattooed roughly half of my bodysuit.
One of the central themes to this project (evident in the title) is that any accomplished or successful artist, craftsman or whatever is only able to create at that level because they base their work on those who came before. For me, Ian is the most direct “giant” whose shoulders I stand on.
I interviewed him in his car between running errands and a country pub lunch.
In this clip he talks about how he got started in tattooing, I asked him what he gained from working at Frith Street and if he will return to work with us.