Zach McAdam is a skater and filmmaker from Lancashire who runs the Panasonic Youth brand. His skate crew, based in Sheffield and the North of England, has an eclectic bag of styles and mix of personal tastes but share an undeniable ability for absolutely ripping the street spots that they find in their cities and towns.
By watching the Panasonic Youth edits and looking at their unique product releases you can see Zach and his crew are all heavily obsessed with films, music and art. But it wasn’t by chance they all met. Zach’s passion for filming and recognition of how good the tricks his mates were reeling off, motivated him to capture their clips and bring them together to make a video.
But his drive for putting things together does not end there. Alongside making products and filming, Zach runs a camera mechanic service, called VX1000 Medic, where he helps to preserve the film format that is a staple in skate filmmaking.
So after meeting him and discovering more about his interests and talents we had to make Zach a No Comply Network Member.
Read his interview to find out how he became a skateboarder and filmmaker and put the Panasonic Youth crew on the map, skating in The North of England, creating his crew’s first videos, Sheffield, Louis Slater and Slugger, inspirations from Mark Pritchard, shooting clips with Shaun Currie, Tom O’Driscoll, Dead Dave, Gary McNaughton, Ben Broyd and Rasheed Osman, going on a skate trip to Gran Canaria by accident with Rich West, stories behind tricks from his edits, soundtrack cassette tape collaborations, upcoming releases and his favourite skaters, filmmakers, photographers and artists of all-time and much more.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Morecambe, Lancashire. I now live in a village called Austerfield, near Doncaster with my girlfriend and our cat.
When did you first see skateboarding?
When I was in year 7 at secondary school I got a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game for the Playstation One.
I unlocked one of those video clips and saw Chad Muska do a Kickflip Backside Tailslide on a bench. It blew my mind!
After playing THPS a bunch I convinced my Mum to get me a board from Sports Soccer in Meadowhall haha.
After that it was the good old Christmas complete from Sumo Skate Shop in Sheffield.
Where did you skate and who did you skate with at first?
I used to cruise around our neighborhood in Rotherham. The library spot was still there so I would go there from time to time. There were not that many skaters my age in the area at that time. No one else at school really. When we moved to Worksop I skated with my mate Bax most days.
Okay.Why did you get a video camera in the first place?
I first got a camera when I was 16. It was because I watched a lot of skate videos and stuff like CKY. That was a big influence hahaha
What was you first camera setup?
A Canon XM1 with a really terrible fisheye.
You’re a video camera mechanic. What models do you fix?
I fix DV camcorders, mainly Sony VX models.
I do all of that through my other Instagram account @VX1000MEDIC.
I started working at it a few years back and it keeps me pretty busy.
Cool. So, what motivated you to start filming skateboarding?
I used to live in a house with Mark Pritchard, Christian Morgan, who is the ‘A Tribe Called Sheff’ filmer. and Tom Fisher.
We were always out skating together. Christian was making these dope edits with all the Sheffield lot.Mark also used to make hilarious phone edits. Just watching those guys work on their projects and having fun with it made me want to do the same!
Where do you skate nowadays and who with?
I film a lot with Tom O’ Driscoll, Gary McNaughton and Ben Broyd and the rest of the crew.
But most of the time when I actually want to skate I’ll go to Worksop skatepark with my mate Oli.
I have to keep a set of hard wheels in my car as I hate trying to skate on softies.
When did you start the Panasonic Youth?
I think the first Panasonic Youth edit was in 2016. It was just a name for the video at the time.
I wasn’t really thinking about who was in it or whatever. I was just keen to shoot with whoever!
What does the name of the brand mean?
I had a Panasonic handycam at the time and was trying to think of a name for the edit. Just kinda ripped off Sonic Youth haha
Your heart logo was made by Louis Slater right?
Louis Slater, who runs Sex Skateboards, did a logo for us yeah!
But the one we use all the time is just something I did on Final Cut. I love Helvetica
What’s your favourite trick by Louis Slater?
Tough one! I really enjoyed watching him skate the warehouse spot in Dinnington.
Some mates of mine found that place and put some of the ledges and stuff in there.
Louis runs Slugger Skate Shop. When did you first go there?
I first went to Slugger when it had just come to Sheffield and was in a tiny unit in the Forum.
My mate Tom Fisher was working there at the time. It had such a memorable aura…
To be honest with how weird this year has been I’ve hardly actually been in the shop.
I usually pop my head in the warehouse when I go to Dev Green though. Martin Kenelley and Louis Slater are top blokes.
For sure. What was the first trick you filmed for your video?
We started filming for the full length in 2017 and I’m pretty sure the first thing filmed will have been with Tom. I have no idea what that was haha.
No worries. So how did you meet Tom O’Driscoll?
I met Tom at Dev Green when he started at University in Sheffield. I think he’d literally been there a week when we started going out skating.
He had a banging section. How’d that long lipslide go down?
That one was actually pretty quick! Rasheed had 50-50’d it and Denver had done the Backside Boardslide recently before that.
We had been talking about what else would work on it. I don’t remember being there that long anyway.
He also 50’d the fence at Dev Green, what was that like to film ?
Ah yeah! Dan Beall filmed that on my VX.
I was sat drinking next to him haha. It definitely wouldn’t have been filmed if not for Danny Beall!
Tom had literally tried that for 3 hours. Was dope to witness!
What has been your favourite Ben Broyd trick to film?
Ah man anything with Ben, he’s so sick. If I had to pick though I’d probably go with the channel gap at the house comp. DO-THE-GAP!!!!
Jokes. So how did you end up going on a trip to Gran Canaria?
We were all really desperate for a holiday. Broyd and Dave were at that Laax event in Switzerland.
We were with Rich West and Broyd and we were talking about going away somewhere.
How did you decide to go on a skate trip to Gran Canaria?
Tom sent over a clip with a bank to wall spot from a Max Geronzi, Gronze edit which we (mistakenly) identified as being in Gran Canaria.
Turns out it was actually on Las Ramblas in Barcelona. But yeah basically we went because of that Gronze edit!
Amazing. Do you have a favourite trick by Gary McNaughton?
There’s this line in Paris that Gary does just next to Leon Cladel Skatepark where he Backside Flips over a bin.
I don’t know…I’ve seen him do way more impressive stuff than that but I just love that line.
Rad. So how did you start filming clips with Shaun Currie?
I’ve known Shaun Currie for a long time but I guess we got to know each other well when I was living in the house with Mark, Christian and the others I mentioned.
Shaun can say two words and absolutely crack me up. I guess it’s always funny watching him talk to security.
We’ve had people come out at a spot and be so nice like…‘scuse me sorry we’re trying to do a church service in here’ and two minutes later Shaun is screaming FUCK at the top of his lungs and they come out looking so bummed haha.
Rasheed Osman’s Coffin Grind is super laidback. How did he come up with the idea to do that and what was it like to film?
Rasheed was just 5050’ing it, grabbing the tail and kind of kicking his leg out for a bit.
It was hilarious to watch him try. Really hard to keep the camera steady.
What’s your favourite trick that you’ve filmed of Dead Dave?
Probably a clip we got a while back in Wolverhampton. It should be out in something soon.
Dead Dave’s sick. He’s so rad to watch. He’s got that spot knowledge when you’re out of town too.
Are you working on any new videos at the moment?
I’m working on a short video for World Peace which is a new skate company by Ronny Calow and Justin Jones.
I’m really stoked on how it’s coming together.
Also, there is a new Panasonic Youth edit that’s coming out in the next month or so and something new in the works with Ben Broyd…
You’ve released some sick t-shirts. What inspired them?
Thank you! I was looking for ideas in old magazines from the 90’s and wanted to do something a bit different from the same logo tee we’ve done a bunch. Hyped on how it came out!
Cool. So why did you decide to make soundtrack casette tapes?
Tom did a great job with the music for the Gran Canaria video. I thought it would be cool to have something physical to release alongside the edit.
Neither of us had a clue how to release a tape but we had help from an independent label in Glasgow called Gold Mold Records.
Big up Gary at Gold Mold for hooking it up.
Do you have any more upcoming releases?
There are some VX related bits coming out through @VX1000MEDIC real soon.
There’s also some new designs for Panasonic Youth in the works. I just don’t want to over do it.
Where’s the best place to purchase Panasonic Youth clothing?
We have a Big Cartel store and the link is in our IG bio.
Pretty much everything is sold out right now but there will be new stuff coming around the same time as the new edit.
What’s your favourite skate video of all-time?
My all-time favourite skate video is Blueprint – Waiting for the World. I had the VHS when I was at school and it’ll always be a special one.
Who’s your favourite skate filmmaker?
Jacob Harris. He just constantly puts out amazing videos and has a real talent for filmmaking in general.
Do you have a favourite artist?
They are three local artists who I really like.
Cool. So, who’s your favourite photographer?
I’m gonna go with the homie Reece Leung. He shot some of my favourite skate photos of recent years. Plus he’s a bloody legend.
Agreed. Who’s your favourite skater and why?
Tough one. There are loads but you definitely caught me at the right time to say Tom Knox.
What’s your favourite spot to skate in Sheffield?
Any of the hills.
Mecca Curb is pretty fun.
RIP Jumbo Ledge and the Slidey Sausage spot.
Where is your favourite skate spot in the world?
The Lyon 25 Stair
Haha okay. So what’s your future plans with Panasonic Youth?
Make more videos, do more travelling and avoid responsibility for as long as possible!