Monday, September 5th, 2016 | T: lamono
No one but Sergi Castellà could have undertaken, focused and developed the arduous challenge MAKEYOUROWN was, a project conceived by lamono with the support of NIKE SB. His mission was but one: to surpass the limits established by skateboarding so that we could get to know five NIKE SB riders and the passions, besides riding a board, that drive their lives and fill their veins. MAKEYOUROWN is about creating and following your own path, that which is unique and unrepeatable and is conformed by all those things that identify us. Alongside Castellà we got the chance to discovered José Manuel Roura, Erik J.Pettersson, Andrew Verde, Juan Algora and Adrián del Campo; multidimensional beings who presented us with the reasons and inspiration behind the design of their Janoski iD shoes. The result of this thorough profiling, despite being recorded in just one day, can already be enjoyed at lamono’s channel on Vimeo, just in case you didn’t have the chance of being present at the premiere we held at the CCCB. Though, before doing so, read what Sergi has to say, its rough honestly.
When we presented you with the idea of doing the MAKEYOUROWN project with us, what motivated you the most? I have always had a special relationship with skateboarding. During my teenage years I practiced it a lot, and though I estranged from it in pursuit of other passions, I have never let it go completely. Sometimes I have doubted if stop skateboarding “seriously” was a good decision, so for me it was interesting to spend a few days with guys that have decided the opposite and have become professionals, and direct a project about that.
Which basic aspects have you followed thoroughly while doing this project? I’m more drawn into human stories beyond sports milestones, that’s why the “only-sport” videos might bore me, though I have always found seeing a good skateboarder something very esthetical and almost magnetic. So in this project I strived to find a format that balances the documentary and sports genre, mixing personal stories with action sequences.
The riders participating in this project have talked about golf, custom motorcycles, nature, art, American culture and Real Madrid. How was the challenge of delving into each one of these passions? This has been the biggest challenge within the format. Having to portray in the videos such a variety of passions that are so different -in form- to skateboarding without straying away too much from it. Also only having one day to shoot pushed us to find a commitment between the image and the message. Usually, most riders carry on lives that are very coherent with what they enjoy doing, so achieving the final result wasn’t something awkwardly forced nor difficult to translate onto screen.
Did you develop a special empathy with any of the riders you had to work with? Honestly, what’s cool about working in a project that portrays different riders of the NikeSB Spanish team, is that all of them have very different personalities and styles, with one common denominator, their love and commitment towards skateboarding. That’s why we did the intro with different color backgrounds and one same trick carrying the connective thread. It’s similar to what happens to me with my profession colleagues and the way we all love audiovisuals. We all chose to live for it and our lives are very consequent with that decision. The same thing happens with artists, you can like better one skateboarder’s style or the way one rider thinks, but at the end, after spending a whole day with each one of them, it’s impossible to not be empathic with someone that is fully committed to his or her passion.
Which has been the biggest challenge throughout the production of the videos? Doing them, as in any other audiovisual project, which is something you never get to see in the videos. I’ve been directing videos for many years, for internet, television, etc. and still today I keep on finding something magic on a piece of mine –for better or worse- when finished. I think the same thing might apply to a surgeon with a cured patient or to a skater with a trick landed. It’s probably this magic what keeps us hooked up to what we do, and I hope to never lose it.
With this project I learned that professional skateboarders eat and shit, that the red button is to record and, above all, that there are many road that lead to a goal, many others to live them and that goals really doesn’t exist
Which format did you use? It was important for me to do these videos in film format, so I could walk away from the classic “skate videos” or “one day with…” videos, and endowing them with a more intimate a personal tinge. Despite talking about the passion that inspired them to design the sneakers they customized for the project, the format is pretty much the same of a “video profile”, with an interview that helps as a narration and base upon which the images can run along. The images are plainly a follow up of the riders along their every day environment, across some of the spots where they usually skate at, showing us how and where they hang out, which gives us a more complete portrait.
Riders are used to record action videos, this one, as it is a video profile about their passions beyond skateboarding, is pretty different and has pushed them to open and exposing themselves in another way. How did they react to this? It’s tough to open the doors of your house to someone that comes with a microphone and a camera to spend a day with you, and who expects you to show not only what you know to do but as well who wants to know who you are and why you do what you do. The same thing happened to me one and it was a strange sensation, with an even more strange result. As well, another one of the common attributes amongst all of these riders is their authenticity. Nowadays we all are pretty aware of how the cameras can distort reality, so an initial concern the riders had was that the videos about them could portray a detracted version of their reality or present them as they are not, but at the end they all were pretty relaxed and gave the best of them so that we could, in one day, have an idea of how their relationship with skateboarding is and in practically one session and one spot record some tricks that could talk for themselves.
Are you happy with the final result? Is it how you imagined it? I think what most of us look for in the screen of our devices is beauty and honesty, specially that honesty which we usually cannot access to in our own lives. That’s why when you offered me this project, for me it was as important as for the riders, that each video portrayed their essence in an authentic way, beautiful but real, without much artifice. A video that completed the image you can have of them after seeing any of their parts in other skate videos, and I think we have achieved that.
The videos were showcased on the big screen of the CCCB hall, how did you feel to see them in such quality? Beyond the quality, with such warmth. The CCCB hall was filled with people. A lot of acquaintances but, even more, unknown faces. The riders were there and almost everyone that participated in the production of the videos… it was amazing to see the audience in silence throughout the whole presentation –that, in Barcelona at an event with free beer is quite an accomplishment- and having the music band Boïra doing a live soundtrack was spectacular. It was wonderful to enjoy the premiere in such circumstances, as Andrew Verde would say: “delicia”.
In every project, regardless of our experience, we always learn something new, what did you learn on this one? That professional skateboarders eat and shit, that the red button is to record and, above all, that there are many road that lead to a goal, many others to live it and that goals doesn’t really exist.
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