Behind The Lens: BJ Wishard

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Between managing a skate shop, going to school full time, and still finding time to film for a full length video, BJ Wishard was able to find some space to pencil me into his busy schedule, and squeeze out this interview. Enjoy!

We’re gonna start this out with the typical first question. Who are you, where are you from, and how old are you?

My name’s William Wishard, but people call me BJ (Bill Jr). It got me a lot of shit in elementary school haha. I’m from Clifton, New Jersey, and I’m 21 years old.

Haha those elementary kids are ruthless. What made you want to start filming?

Yeah they were haha. I basically decided to get my first camera after the first time I rolled my ankle. I couldn’t skate much so I took over as the filmer for a few weeks, and I kinda just got more interested in that over time. Instead of breaking legs huckin’, I’m breakin’ my back filming lines haha.

Everything happens for a reason though, you know? What was your first camera?

Exactly! It worked out great cause it gave me something to go to college for – film haha. My first camera was some crappy JVC camera which I use to capture footage on now actually. It was horrible haha.

Haha see, what’d I say?! That’s what’s up. What school do you go to?

I go to William Paterson in Wayne, working on the five year plan haha.

Damn you’re in it for the long run! So with your old JVC being used as your capture cam, what’s your setup looking like now? Or did you just get another JVC that you use exclusively for the bangers?

Haha I actually still use the JVC sometimes for school projects, just to preserve the life of my current setup – the typical Sony VX1000. I actually had a Sony TRV900 for about a year after I retired the JVC. It’s a great “I’m starting to get serious about filming” camera haha.

With like 88% of the filmers going over to HD now, do you think you’ll ever make the switch over to HD?

I always told myself from the get go that I never would. I mess around with super8 film a bunch. I like that look a lot better. But if I ever had the money, I think I would invest in one of those dslr cameras that can shoot HD.. That way I’ll have a sweet video camera and photo camera.

Personally, I’d rather see VX1000 footage over HD. But who am I to talk, I film HD with a dslr haha. So I take it there won’t be too many HD shots in “Feelin Friendly” ?

Probably not.. I get really really picky when I edit. If I’m going to use HD, I’d want a lot of it so the whole video is uniform. I hate when just random HD clips are thrown into a part. It rarely looks good. I’m going to stick to the good ol’ vx and some super8.

Oh yeah I know what you mean. That looks kind of tacky in most cases. Just get the Super 8 iPhone app.. This IS 2011 after all. But since there won’t be any overplayed HD shots in Feelin Friendly, what CAN we expect to see in there?

Haha my friend actually has that app. I’m pretty impressed with how things come out on it actually. But Feelin Friendly is just going to be plain and simple and to the point. My friends have amazing skateboarding talents and I just want to showcase those talents to the world (or at least the US!) I also really want to show the skateboarding community how amazing New Jersey is to skate, because nobody really understands how much potential this state has to offer (except Fred Gall of course!)

That’s what I’m saying. Who cares if it’s not “real” super 8 haha. Who all’s going to have parts?

Haha exactly. Well there isn’t a definite line up. I’m keeping things open to keep the filming process stress free. I plan to put it out around this time next year, and I’ll probably put together a line up a few months before that so we can wrap it up. But if I had to guess right now, I’d say definite full parts from Chris Rozborski, Nico Magalhaes, Eric Dermond, Bryan Schroeder, Nick Immediato, Matt Eaton, and John Cruz.

Yeah that seems like an easier, less stressful way to approach it. What’s it like having to try to find places to skate when everything’s snowed over? Since I live in Florida, I’ve never had to do those things.

Ah lucky you! Well every January a bunch of us have made it a tradition to go to San Francisco for a week, so that’s a nice get away from the snow. Besides that, we just kinda power through the winter. We bundle up, bring shovels, and make things work sometimes. I’ve gone out skating in some harsh weather before haha, it’s a challenge. One day this winter we actually went out and tried to incorporate the snow into skating and I made a clip out if it.. I think you guys may of actually posted it up too. We carved transitions out of snow and put wood on top to make wallrides and euro gaps haha.

Oh yeah, that was you guys in that video. I completely forgot haha. You gotta do what you gotta do though! Well Bill Jr, it’s been good. Thanks for your time. I know you have some people up there you want to thank, so lets hear it

I’d like to thank my family first most for pushing me, Dave Dowd my boss, anyone who’s ever let me film them, Rozbo, Lelo, Sean, Cruz, Nick, Scordo, Romero, Dan, Freddy- all the homies, theres too many to name. Thankful for everything.