Video playlists from the most interesting people in the creative industries. We are the Desert Island Discs of internet video.

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Tom Kirkby

Having found his way to the agencies of London from the skateparks of Yorkshire, Tom Kirkby is the founder and pulse behind creative agency Breaks, which he runs alongside his brother. Breaks is an entirely independent ten-person agency, where Tom’s early life experiences with BMX and professional ambitions have converged to see the team creating campaigns for the likes of Nike, Converse, Doc Martens, FootPatrol and more.

We asked Tom the share some of his favourite videos on the internet:

I Am While She Sleeps 3 MINUTES

I love this one. This was actually edited in our first office. When Breaks first started we had a tiny office on Tabernacle street in Shoreditch. It was me and a guy called Sam, and we shared with another guy called Tom Welsh, who is the filmmaker who made this. They were the early days and they were very exciting. Tom’s younger brother is a singer in this band, and the video is about their previous album being released independently. It’s amazing, I love it, I love everything about it. I love the sentiment! I come from a skate and BMX background and I’m very interested in the DIY, get shit done, help your friends attitude; I guess Breaks is testament to that. There’s a line in it that I particularly love: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” I feel like I can really relate to that. I love that band, I love what they stand for and I love that little film! In retrospect, it’s really reflective of how much heart and passion and soul is needed to make something like that work in the modern era.

Always #LikeAGirl 3 MINUTES

My wife wrote this. She is a strategist, was involved in #LikeAGirl and won fourteen Cannes Lions for it (the advertising equivalent of the Oscars). I am unbelievably proud of her, in the least patronising way possible. She is much smarter and cleverer than me, she’s fantastic. I can’t watch this without welling up, because I’m so enormously proud of what she achieved with this film. The sentiment is amazing. I always show it to people.

RS Night School: Errolson Hugh 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES

I think Errolson Hugh is a very interesting man. He’s a guy who is the designer and founder of Acronym, who make very technical and expensive jackets in Berlin. He’s a really interesting designer and I’ve seen him talk at a Nike event—I follow his career with interest. This particular talk is around design and, as a small independent business, playing to your strengths as designers and exploiting gaps and opportunities that aren’t financially related, and that you can do as an independent. It’s a really interesting lecture, but I find the sentiment really encouraging and very inspiring, particularly in relation to what we do here at Breaks.

Footpatrol & Diadora presents 'il Macchiato’ 4 MINUTES

The reason this is in here is because we made this, and I look back on it with such fond memories—I was actually talking about it in the pub last night. We shoot fairly high-profile stuff now and there is so much control and sign-off, and lots of stringent guidelines. You arrive on set and every single thing is mapped out, it’s just so controlled. Every stakeholder has signed it off, the lot! For this particular project we were just given five figures to go to Italy for ten days to make the film and shoot loads of stills for it with the product. There was absolutely nobody watching over us. It was a fantastic, fantastic trip. The days and environment for a film they’ll never get again, and we’ll never get that freedom again. It represents a time in the business that was very happy for us, it was the early days and we had a lot of freedom. It’s basically the opposite of the freedom we have now, there wasn’t even a client with us.

Nigel Sylvester: GO - New York City 4 MINUTES

This is made by Nigel and a guy called Harrison Boyce, who is a BMXer, turned filmmaker, turned auteur. It’s just great. I’m from a BMX background and I’ve always thought BMX suffered from being so insular, they never wanted outsiders in they never wanted other people involved, whereas skateboarding by contrast, which is a much bigger sport in terms of profile, was always very good at leaning into wider culture and in terms of making what they do relevant to people outside skateboarding. BMX has never, ever done that. I’ve always suspected that my love of Nigel is because he’s the only BMXer in modern times, since Matt Hoffman, who has a level of awareness outside of BMX. I think these films are fantastic because anyone can watch them and enjoy them, and I wish more people in BMX would create content like that and help raise the sport’s profile. I actually sold my bike and don’t ride BMX anymore—I’m 31 years old, I can’t be doing that—but I do look back on it with fond memories. I have new interests that have replaced that, but I watch these videos and hope people like Nigel keep doing what they’re doing.

Find out more about Breaks at breaksagency.com

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