Common Thread Jacob Harris

Through his work with high-profile brands and his “Atlantic Drift” series, videographer Jacob Harris has created a body of work that documents skateboarding by blending his unique concepts, with signature angles and atmosphere. Based in London, England, Jacob has created his own visual language in skateboarding and amplified his friends through “Atlantic Drift,” often focusing on the defining and unseen spots of a specific city. A longtime friend of the HUF Crew, we caught up with Jacob for Common Threads to learn more about his creative process and what’s next. 

Photos by Rafal Wojnowski

Jake seen wearing HUF Summer 24

What video or film had the biggest impact on forming your artistic vision?

Fuck I hate that the answer is this pretentious but definitely Tarkosvsky films or anything by Peter Greenaway - who coincidentally went to the same secondary school as me (a few decades before).

What was the inspiration for creating Atlantic Drift as an "episodic" series? Also, where did the name come from?

There was no real idea of a format from the beginning but a really natural way to organise things is around a place, so it quite naturally became a sort of travel thing. Also I suppose the opposite of episodic would be a full length-type operation and that just hasn't made financial sense for anybody for a while now.

The name comes from the oceanic current that comes from the Americas and warms northern Europe and the UK in particular. Maybe I'll leave the rest to be imagined.

How do you approach personal projects vs. work with brands—how do you maintain an aesthetic?

It’s a tough question - I have a limited palette of tools that I try to expand, different mediums etc and then other people will sometimes creative-direct aspects of a branded video, but in the end it always eventually passes through my brain and my sensibilities and limitations. You just try to make the thing good and not overlap too much, sometimes it works better than other times.

With brands there are a lot more voices in the room and things to consider and these are the times you have to just try and pull loads of disparate, spiralling things together, and hopefully be able to stand behind it by the deadline. It can be frustrating how little is under my control at times vs. how much might appear to be.

Personal projects tend to have far less limitations (beyond music rights) and I can just try and satisfy myself as an audience - which is usually a lot easier and more rewarding.

What's your process for finding music and editing? Do you go through a lot of songs and lay them on the timeline or is it by feel etc?

God it changes a lot - the rule these days is that if you think you’ve found a good song on Spotify then it’s going to be about 5 days until you hear it in a coffee shop down the road - so avoid Spotify.

I get burnt out intentionally looking for music and then just give-in to weeks of listening to about 5 songs on repeat. After that I can get back into a more explorative way of doing things. but really you have to wait for things to grow and settle otherwise it can get really counterproductive - good things only usually come along when you’re not looking and that probably applies to a lot of things in life

Dream lineup and location for a project/Atlantic Drift (could be anyone past/present and anywhere)

Boring answer but I couldn’t ask for a better crew than what I get, the Drift is so flexible and we’re always getting new people along so I get to answer this question often and in video form.