For our latest collaboration we teamed up with 8bar bikes from Kreuzberg/Berlin. The founder ‘Stefan’ is a true bicycle enthusiast and is also competing in races for over 15 years now. Together with a collective of cycle-crazy friends, he brought his vision to life to establish a bicycle company. 8bar is pre-made and never identical, each bike is a unique, co-created between 8bar and it’s owner-to-be. 8bar captures the progressive, fun and easy-going spirit of Berlin and its collaborative energy.
We at Ucon share this passion for details and that was the reason why we worked on this project together the last year to make something special happen. Like you will see in the “making of” movie we involved two more creative heads from Berlin. One of them is ‘Toons’, a Berlin famous painting artists and a true fan of the whole bike culture since he was a small boy. He handpainted the frame and brought our vision of the “feathering-design” into real life. Then there is the product-designer and illustrator ‘Stulle’ from Matzmate who did an amazing job customizing the bike saddle, foot straps and handlebar.
I spent a few weeks of summer 2013 in my hometown Dorsten in Germany. Because of the lack of a car I rode my bicycle a lot and visited a few of the places I spent a big part of my childhood in. Things didn’t change much, except everything seemed really small to me. Very small to be exact. The only thing that grew were the trees and plants, so much that it seemed out of proportion at times.
All shot in the city of Barcelona at 20mm, 24mm and 35mm, some 16mm in between. The song fits perfect in my opinion, but shouldn’t be confused with Barcelona’s golden age being over. My time there is over, Barcelona will always be golden.
Song: Woodkid – Golden Age
Equipment: Gidecam 2000 HD, Canon 5D mark III, 16-35mm, 24-70mm
I fimed for quite a few edits in the past year, but never got around to make a single one of them, mostly due to lack of time. So I gave the footage away, some of you may know how persistent people can be about receiving their clips.
I still wanted to do something with the footage in the end, so here ist is, my mini-blade-flick 2012. Some of the stuff in here has been in edits all year around, except for the Portugal footage. Thanks to everyone for the fun times.
I went back to Germany in June to visit my parents. I took the chance to check out some of the train stations we build things on. They’ re not the most special/fancy buildings I’ve ever build, but I just had the opportunity to visit two train stations nearby my hometown. It was interesting to see those things for real for the first time, all I knew to this point were the CAD Models and maybe a photo here and there. They definitely seem (and are) more complicated in the software, the real things seem rather simple, at least the smaller waiting houses.
When I went back to Barcelona in march 2012 I decided to go and skate for 100 days straight, take lots of pictures and create a book. That never happend, at least the 100 days of skating part. With that, the idea to create a book died down, too. I still took lots of pictures and in early 2013 I started to create a book anyways. It turned out to be a whole more work than I expected and in the end I didn’t even want to go and get it printed. The issue was switching color spaces for print, you have to go from RGB (in Lightroom and PS) to CMYK for print. I had never done that before and to print a single 180 page book is quite expensive, I was scared that it might turn out bad, i.e. colors completely off or not enough contrast. There was a clear difference in the pictures when switching color spaces on the computer. In the end I didn’t care and took the risk of spending a lot of money on something I wasn’t sure how it might turn out. It was well worth it, the printed pictures look great and it will be the most awesome thing to look at in a couple of years.
When I went back to Barcelona in march 2012 I decided to go and skate for 100 days straight, take lots of pictures and create a book. That never happend, at least the 100 days of skating part. With that, the idea to create a book died down, too. I still took lots of pictures and in early 2013 I started to create a book anyways. It turned out to be a whole more work than I expected and in the end I didn’t even want to go and get it printed.
The issue was switching color spaces for print, you have to go from RGB (in Lightroom and PS) to CMYK for print. I had never done that before and to print a single 180 page book is quite expensive, I was scared that it might turn out bad, i.e. colors completely off or not enough contrast. There was a clear difference in the pictures when switching color spaces on the computer. In the end I didn’t care and took the risk of spending a lot of money on something I wasn’t sure how it might turn out. It was well worth it, the printed pictures look great and it will be the most awesome thing to look at in a couple of years.
Ucon Acrobatics, Alex Schneider and I got together to produce the newest video/set of photos for the new spring/summer 2013 line. The theme for their video and photo shoot was “urban walk”. We didn’t want to go too technical and cold with a lot of concrete, but we didn’t want to follow the whole outdoor/Alaska trend in fashion videos/ photos either. So we made a compromise and created urban outdoor. Shot in Berlin.
The clip was filmed and edited in May 2012, but released in February 2013, almost one year later. Everyone wishes that this would work a lot faster, but that’s just how it works, the order process takes about a year. (The time in between the arrival of the first samples and being ready to ship it all to the customers)
I moved to Barcelona in January mainly because of good weather, cheap beers and some of the best skatespots in the world. As my normal job requires quite a lot of my time there is not too much to dedicate to the “fun” work, which still is shooting video and editing. Put in a good bit of laziness and me wanting to skate as well… I ended up not filming too much. But if you skate with the likes of Richie Eisler and Dustin Werbeski you just have to get the camera out at some point.
The things they can do are just amazing. So that’s what I did from early to mid 2012, filming a few moves by our favorite dudes. Got really motivated on the way, but then summer came along with 35° all day, everyday. No more skating really, I didn’t think that it would get that mad… Time to edit… Lots of post production, if you want to call it that on a skate edit anyways.
When I’m not shooting or editing video I work as a CAD design draftsman. Here are some examples of what I do. Mostly waiting boths at railroadstations for Deutsche Bahn. It is as complicated as it looks, especially the drafts. The renders are not the greatest, my computer doesn’t seem to be good at rendering 3d stuff. I had to use the lowest quality export settings and it still took very long. The original plan was to create an “armada” of things I’ve already made drafts for, but after far too many crashes during the rendering process I decided it would be a better idea to just render single construction projects. The next time I’ll be in Germany I’ll take some photos of finished projects.
My good friend Dirk from Berlin did a collaboration with Ucon and designed the whole new Silhouette line for summer 2012. I saw the catalog earlier last year and was immediately amazed by how nice all of the stuff looked. I’m going to buy a lot of clothes once this hits the stores. So when Dirk asked me in February to edit a little clip for the launch of the line sometime in spring, I was flattered and waited for the clips to be sent to me.
The clips themselves kind of sucked, as it was basically just the fitting for the catalog. Kwarne (the model) stood in front of a white or grey wall filmed at high iso with a Canon 7d. Not the best Material to start with. I gave it some thought and decided to go out and get some additional shots in the woods behind my house. I went three times and got all kinds of shots in the end: slider, glidecam, steady, shaky and Hi8 shots. Then I let AE Cs5 do the rotoscoping for me and Kwarne wasn’t in front of a white wall anymore, but in the woods. Added some effects, then some more effects, did some sound design and here we go. Ucon Silhouette clip!
Here is the catalog of the new line. All photos by Felix Strosetzki, catalog designed by Dirk Oelmann.
When I stayed in Barcelona to escape the harsh German winter (which worked out really well by the way) Ben Harmanus visited twice, once with his girlfriend and once on his own. During his first stay we didn’t get to film much, but when he visited for the second time, we got shit done. He was really motivated and destroyed every spot we went to. It was funny because he always took the most awkward falls, but never got seriously hurt. He always came up with tricks nobody else would. And he is 33. And he got himself a new Pro Skate from Adapt Brand.
Thank you Benni. One day I was too hungover to attend the session but thankfully Marc Moreno covered for me and filmed some more sick clips, thanks Marc.
I didn’t have much time to do a lot of filming or editing this year, but I had some spare time towards the end of the year. I came up with the idea to do something different with the Rainer Spehl footage. We talked about taking Rainer into the second issue of Astronaut Magazine, so I thought I’d do some experimenting with the footage I already got from the Ucon X Rainer Spehl shoot. I found this effect/plugin I really liked and used it in the video. When I finished the video, a friend of mine invited me over to watch Red Bull’s “Art of Flight”, one of the best Snowboard movies out to date. Sadly, they used the same effect (those weird white moving squares) a lot as well, so this kind of turned into an Art of flight effect rip off. But I thought “fuck it, if I can do (of course in a very limited way) what they can do, that’s pretty awesome right?”
So this is only an experiment as I probably won’t have time to shoot an Rainer Spehl interview for Astronaut Magazine in the next three months.
Another year just passed and it’s been a while since I edited this piece. Astronaut Magazine Issue #2 is in the making, so I thought I’d post the Alex Schneider documentary from the first issue before it gets too old. This isn’t the exact version found in the magazine, it still has the Folio Magazine branding. They changed the name to Astronaut Magazine after I finished the video.
So here it is, the Schneiderfilm, I hope you enjoy it.
Jochen Smuda, CEO at Ucon in Berlin approached and told me about this collaboration he was planning, a Ucon branded laptopcase in collaboration with Rainer Spehl. He had a short film about the creation of the case in mind. So we met up, talked it through and set the date for the shoot. Rainer managed to get us into his really authentic but shared workshop in Berlin Kreuzberg. The nice and humble person he is, he didn’t complain about repeating actions for the shoot or coming back for a 2nd day even though the owner of the workshop complained. He actually built a whole case in the process of the film. Another good thing was his ability to speak English, so no subtitles (which is awesome).
Originally we planned to make the video quite short, about two or three minutes. But I wanted Rainer to talk about the idea behind the case and its history in the video, I thought that would add to it. Unfortunately I wasn‘t able to cut the story down to two or three minutes. In the end the video turned out to be about 7 minutes, which is quite long, but the in depth making of the case was appreciated by people working in product design and crafts, as there were quite a few obstacles to overcome in the history of creating the case, i.e. Apple changing the sizes of their laptops right after the first version of the case was released.
Jochen did some really good work promoting this collaboration, as the whole thing blew up on the internet, the case and the video reached nearly 50.000 views and was featured on many of the leading blogs, i.e Hypebeast. Thanks to Erased Tapes and Codes in the Clouds for the Music as well as Felix Strosetzki for assisting and helping out with the shoot.