Check the Excerpts below as The Berrics' interview their latest Battle Commander, Felipe Gustavo. Click here for the full interview.
You filmed your Battle Commander in less than a month, whereas some people have spent upwards of six months filming. Were you happy with how it all came together?
In the beginning, I told myself I’d film it in two months since I turned pro and I really wanted to do a Battle Commander. So I talked to Chase and asked if I could do it. I started filming, got two clips, then I rolled my ankle. That got me off of my board for two solid months. That was the first time I ever rolled my ankle. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was just waiting for it to heal. Then I got back on my board, started rolling around, and told Chase I wanted to start filming again. He was like, “Dude, you’ve only got 3 weeks if we’re going to put it up on Christmas. But look, we can try.” I’m never going to know unless I try, so I went out everyday from like 4 to 8. I was there for 4 hours a day, just filming. I’d wake up everyday, like, “Fuck, I’ve got 20 tricks to go.” But it worked out.
So that was the first time you ever rolled your ankle. Was that the first time you’d ever been hurt as well?
Yeah, that was the first thing that’s taken me off the board. I’ve gotten a heel bruise before, but the rolled ankle was a solid two months of not skating. But that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
What ankle was it?
My left ankle. So I couldn’t nollie flip or jump for a long time. I was telling Chase, “Okay, we’re gonna film all these ledge tricks, and then the last week I’m going to try to jump.” That’s when I got my kickflip crook, my switch flip tail 270, that’s when I got all my rail tricks. I didn’t want to force my ankle to do it and get hurt again. I knew I didn’t have much time to film.
So given those limitations, you’re stoked on it all?
Yeah. I wish I had a little more time to film so I could’ve done better, but I’m stoked on the way it came out. I just came back from an injury, I only really filmed for about 3 weeks, I got clips I was hyped on. It happened so quick, but it came out dope. It had good music, it felt good. That’s what it’s all about, you know?
When you wake up and you say you have 20 tricks left to film, do you have a list of what you want to do? Or do you just go in there and try to get whatever you can get?
I had a list. Chase helped me out. He was like, “It’d be cool if you got that trick, and then you could get this trick back to back.” Some of the stuff he’d tell me to do, I was like, “Oh, hell no!” But the list I had with the tricks I really wanted to film, I didn’t have enough time. The last day, I was like, “Dude, Chase, I can’t go no more. It’s Christmas.” We filmed until December 24 at like 7:00pm, and the thing came out at midnight. Chase only had 5 hours to edit. There was no music yet. We were just in the room trying to put it together. It all happened so quick.
What was the hardest trick you filmed?
The last trick I have, the nollie backside flip switch five-O, took me 4 hours. Time would go by so fast in that park so I didn’t notice. I started trying at 4:30 and didn’t land it until 9:00. But I was so close that I could not give up. I didn’t skate for two days after that. If I didn’t land that I was going to be so bummed because I wouldn’t be able to skate after that, and then I’d have to try it again. I was like, “Chase, I can’t even walk anymore.” Chase kept motivating me to do it though, and that’s what got me hyped to do it. I told myself that no matter what that had to be my last trick, just because it took me so long to land it. I was like, “Put that as the last trick. I don’t care about anything else.”
When you film a video part, are you thinking about the audience, or are you doing it entirely for yourself? Do you think about how the part is going to watch before you film it, or is it just really spontaneous?
Yeah, you definitely think about the tricks before. I’m filming a Plan B video part and I’m trying to get all these ledge tricks done that are really hard. Then I’m waiting 'til the last second to fill the space in between with tricks I already know I can do. The harder tricks are going to take a lot more time to film, so I’d rather know that I have those out of the way first. I try to put a little program together so I can get everything done. When you jump down stairs, you’re sore for a couple days. So I’ll put the part together and then save the jumping until the last minute. That’s the way I’ve always done it.
Words by Kevin Duffel, photography by Yoon Sul Courtesy of The Berrics.