Before we start with the accompanying interview to this beautiful video we have to acknowledge and thank Luidgi Gaydu who came to us and established the connection that has lead us to this moment, presenting this video to you all. And now on to CECÍLIA a video by Esteve Femenies, a name that you will remember the moment you press play.
Film & Edit by Esteve Femenies
Interview by Carolina Gamboa
Photo by Albert Crespí
Hello Esteve, I have some questions about “Cecilia” but as a beginning, can you do a little introduction about you. What do you do? Where are you from?
I am from Mallorca, trying to become a Professor. Well, normally, I am an English Professor, teaching children, but at this moment I am unemployed. But besides that, I love skateboarding and have been filming all the time for basically as long as I can remember.
I’m curious about the title of the video. Why this name, if it is the name of a special person or something?
I saw the “Nicaragua” video by Jacob Elliot Harris, the narrative in the video was cool and it made you think so much about the importance of the people around rather than the spots. That made me think a lot and that is reflected in “Cecilia”, which took us around 2 and a half years to film. I had the idea before, but I did some other projects first. Skateboarding is like that, many things happened along the way, spontaneous stuff that you can’t control. I wanted to give some importance to the people around me and they all have their names. So, why can’t a video have its own human name?
What are your inspirations in relation to the style of your video?
I had a lot, too many to specify. When we began with all of this, I started super motivated, feeling hyped I realized you don’t need to do crazy nollie inwards heels on big stairs. I had that epiphany when I watched Yoan Taillander’s skate video “Minuit” which continued when I saw some people from Baltimore, Alex Rose & many others skate. Skateboarding has a crazy output these days, there’s a new skate video every day. For example just talking about Place, the video I’m watching on loop now is Pascal Moelaert’s part. I am amazed by how it is filmed and edited. Nowadays you can get a little inspiration from other things and a little inspiration from skate sites, that’s the thing skateboarding has going for it.
I totally agree with you. And the sound? Some of the artsy parts have a cool soundscape.
I was creating the sounds using a normal audio recorder and then editing them further until I really liked what came out. It was during a spontaneous, rainy day when we filmed the intro part on 16mm and the sounds we captured were a lot of street sounds. It was such a mess, I filmed the footage badly and after it got developed it was even worse. I spent around €200 for less than 20 seconds of video, what a bummer! So in fact, the intro part is something that doesn’t have to be in the video but I wasted so much time, money and energy on it. So, we put it in any way (laughs).
What was the process like regarding the soundtrack? It feels like the music is a way of bringing a diverse group of skaters together. Like glue almost.
I listen to a lot of music, a lot! Here in Manacor, Mallorca the number of musicians around is always high. I have lived with musicians all my life and never had to search for music. If I listen to certain music, it starts something in me and my mind wanders off to skate videos. We’re mega fans of some of the bands we used, but to be honest, there may also be some music in this video that next year we won’t be listening to anymore.
I am really pessimistic at times but I think in this project the music works really well! I’m happy with all the choices I made, I wouldn’t change a thing.
How did you pick the skaters? Is it a crew of friends or did you select them?
Mallorca is a family. Maties Adrover has been my friend for what feels like my entire life. I met him skating when I was 12 years old he also worked with me on this project so 50% of this video is him too. Sebas Sitjar is the ambassador of Palma de Mallorca. If you go skating at the Sa faxina plaza, you will see him.
Dudu Garcia is a beast, one of those skaters in my opinion will be well deserved to make a living with his skating. Charlie Armstrong is a 20-year old skater who blows my mind. There are so many good skaters here, total family vibes. Mallorca is about love for me. Everyone got involved in this project at the end.
In the video, there are different cities. Did you make any trips?
The first trip was to Barcelona when we had the premier for “Compulsio” there and we partied so much, too loco (laughs). Then we went to Madrid as well. I am lucky to have good relationships in skateboarding, I am connected with some cool people. The but in the end, the video was mostly filmed in Mallorca.
I can see special spots in your video. Are you dedicated to finding spots?
I think Maties the main boss when it comes to spots, like the water spots, that was him. Also, the tree spot, that was him, Maties was like: “Hey let’s go skate a tree and I said, are you crazy, a tree?”. That tree ended up being hard to skate, harder to skate than you can tell on video. So yeah Maties is the spot guide mostly.
Who made the stop motion animations
Here in this city, whether you want or not. We are really privileged when it comes to the arts. There are so many talented people around all the time. That is awesome! One of my friends, Alexandre Coll, is a person who has been doing collages all his life and I always wanted to work with him. He showed me his work one day, and it was amazing! So for this video, he contributed many different animations, just 20% of them made it to the video. Maties then hand made the titles for the video. As you see we are lucky.
Does your video have a special message? If it has what might that be?
Nothing special, but, I wanted to do something different, show Mallorca and not make it look like California. For instance London is beautiful and easy to sell, but I just want to show the true style and take on Mallorca. What is mallorca to me?I tried to do something visually appealing about my city. Mallorca always was super catholic, mega touristic and I want to show Mallorca without shame. There is a bit of narrative telling you our view, this is our culture and that is. We love the results, it was hard to make and present this to others but we are happy with the video.
Thank you Esteve for your time!