Two Years In The Making, This Film Shows The Skill And Scale Of Skateboarding In Belgium

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Belgian videographer and film director, Willy Crank, spent two years filming footage of his friend, Timo Deconynck, skateboarding. Venturing out into the bustle of the city from the idyllic farmhouse where he usually resides, when not travelling around the world, the pair found time in their busy schedule to capture the thrill and theatre of street skateboarding.

The clips where not intended necessarily for a video compilation rather a love of the sport. However, when the two friends finally navigated their hectic schedules, they sat down and edited the film in one night – Willy at the helm and Timo helping to steer.

The result is a poetic portrayal of a city playground, a merging between person and board so that they slide and slip over pathways and parks as one. A close-up of Belgium neighbourhoods and city aspects somehow left out of the guidebooks or glossy promo material we are used too – we see the streets from a totally different angle.

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We like to believe the film shows that anything and everything can be a game. A playground, if only we had the courage to see it that way. We spoke to Willy about the PARTICLES project and the creative process behind this particular film.

The Plus: What inspired you to create the video?
Willy Crank:
My friend Timo is a legend and he skates really well. We had saved some footage over time until he called me one day and said “Willy, it’s time. We need to put it out…” And so we did.

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TP: How long did it take to film and then edit?
WC:
We filmed all clips over the larger part of the past two years. On and off in between work and our busy lives. The edit came about in one night. We got
some beers and went for it. I usually edit my videos alone and send them to
one or two people for feedback before I put them out there. But this time it
felt right for Timo and myself to have a sit in type of session. So that he could
share his thoughts on what I was doing in real time. It’s a different method but
it sure works.

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TP: What was the most challenging aspect of filming?
WC:
Getting our agenda’s together and dealing with the usual hassle of filming street skateboarding. Drunks, crazy people, junkies and narrow minded individuals all passed by at some point in those two years…

TP: Why did you decide to keep the film in black and white?
WC:
Because we took our time to film and technology evolves so fast, I had bought a new camera in between the filming. That progression in equipment and the need for balance between the new and older footage made us go for black and white. It blends more this way.

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TP: What is PARTICLES? are you going to produce more films under the same series title?
WC:
PARTICLES is an independent skateboard video platform that I created. It stands for all the little pieces and particles that accumulate into one big whole. It’s basically a reflection of what skateboarding is all about. You spend time skating with your crew, helping each other get the trick, clip or photo. Savouring great memories and exploring the world at the same time.
Particle Life is the bridge between those two: Particles and the world they exist in. So “Particle Life” acts as the platform for my videos and who knows what else will come in the future. There’s certainly more videos coming. I feel like what is up there now is only the beginning…

TP: What’s next for you?
WC:
Next up are some film projects outside of skateboarding and the next trip will be Berlin bound for the annual Bright and SFML trade shows at the beginning of July. After that I hope Asia or wherever projects take me…

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Photography by Daniil Lavrovski