Today we have a return guest in Frederick Andersen a.k.a. Fredwart. The last time he dropped something it was a huge success and this time he has garnered such support that his former head teacher John Dahlquist wrote an hommage to him and Nervous Breakdance and sent it to us without asking anyone. So let me shut up, so John can take over.
Intro & Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Extended Intro by John Dahlquist.
Film & Edit by Frederick Andersen a.k.a. Fredwart.
“Frederik Andersen is not only a film maker. More than anything he is a leader. When Frederik was a student at Bryggeriets gymnasium he sometimes came to the teacher´s lounge to let me know whether or not I could teach according to plan or if he had something planned for the class. He was key to organizing filming, skate session, flea markets and everything else his amazing group of classmates did. Asger, Roegve and Thomas in “Nervous Breakdance” were all part of the class.
With many balls in the air Frederik always kept his camera tight making videos of everything ha saw. He was first shown in Rick McCranks documentary PostRadical and later took work for both Cph Open and Thrasher. Always done before deadline and always with everything in minutious order. But never authoritarian. Always friendly and kind. Nervous Breakdancing holds one of the best enders in a skate video ever. Only a great leader can get a whole crew to dress up for their peer to land the last trick to finnish the whole project.
Because Frederik is not only a film maker. More than anything he is a leader.
Like King Midos, who´s fingers turned everything into gold King Frederik turns everything he touches into love.
When it comes down to it this is what a passion project looks like. And it shows.”John Dahlquist, Vice-Principal at Bryggeriet Gymnasium.
Hi Fred, tell us how you got into filmmaking.
Well… John Dahlquist is a huge part of where I am in my film career at the moment because I picked up most of my skate filming skills when I was going to Bryggeriet. That was the first time that I got the right camera gear. Back then a guy came by to film an interview with John and that guy turned out to be one of the co-creators of Copenhagen Open who was doing a job for someone else…
Ah, that was Simon Weyhe then, right?
Exactly, and John was like “Oh yeah, by the way, If you ever need a secondhand, a b-camera, or anything. We have this kid who films a bunch, his name is Fred. You should definitely get in touch with him. Here is his number if you ever need help”. He never told me about that and half a year later I got this text from the guys who do Copenhagen Open and they were like: “Hey, we heard you are sick at filming skateboarding videos. We need someone to film three Trasher recap videos for every city in Copenhagen Open…”. That was the summer when we did the Euro tour. “…and it’s all-inclusive with a tour bus, hotels and you get a fat paycheck”. I just turned 18 and I was like “What the fuck!? Where did this come from?” Then I went on this tour. It was so fun and on one of the last days I met John, I was like “It’s been crazy. I’ve been so stoked and I’m working so hard” and he responded “Yeah, it’s nice that it turned out great after I talked to Simon”. I was like “What? What are you talking about?” And he said “Oh yeah, I spoke to Simon half a year ago and told him he should contact you if he ever needed someone helping out with the videos”. I was like “What the fuck!? Why did you say that?”. I was so grateful. I have kept working with the CPH Open guys ever since. It’s so much fun.
So you are still getting those fat paychecks?
Every now and then (laughs). The events over the summer are nice pay.
I guess you already had a benefit since you knew many people in Copenhagen, such as Ville and others who are important to film at these events.
Yeah, exactly that helped out quite a lot, and Simon taught me a bunch about documentary filming, and now that has led to me applying to the Danish film school! Which is the second hardest school in Denmark to get into. Right after the fighter pilot academy for the military. The film school accepts six students every two years and I made it to the last round. I am going there soon for the final round of the entry process and I’m already super nervous.
“It’s all-inclusive with a tour bus, hotels and you get a fat paycheck”Fredwart.
Damn Fred, that is cool! Somebody told me that you already doing documentary stuff and some other work. I saw some non-skating things as well. Is that true?
Yeah, I’ve been working on something. It’s funny because, in the last year at Bryggeriet, you have an assignment where you have a whole year to create something. You have to come up with a product and afterward, you have to write a report about it. I came up with this idea because I wanted to experiment with documentaries. I had never tried it before. So I came up with this idea following two or three different artists who are doing creative stuff in their own ways. I wanted to follow them for a period of time and document their evolution and creativity. I knew whom I wanted to do it about but I got worried that it might become too big of a project for a school assignment. So I wrote down the whole idea and kept it on my computer for a year. So I did a whole other video for my school appointment and at the end of the school year Simon told me what camera gear to get. So I got most of it and texted those two guys who are both doing painting and one of them is also doing music. I was like “Hey, I want to do a documentary portrait over the summer and I want to do it with you two guys”. One guy I knew because we kind of grew up skating together. He was part of the whole group of people I got involved with like Thomas, Asger, and all of those guys but he kind of stopped skating when we started to go to Bryggeriet because he was doing his own thing. I hadn’t been in touch with him for a while but I found out that he was doing a lot of crazy paintings. We were 19 at that time I was like “Dude, it’s crazy that you are sitting in your childhood room and doing those insane oil paintings” Very figurative.
The other guy I just followed him on Instagram because he is one of Ville’s (Wester) best friends. People always think they are twins because they look soo much like each other. They used to have the same hair and they both have tattoos from the same guy. They are kind of best friends. I didn’t know him before but through Instagram, I saw that he was doing some nice paintings and music as well. So I was like “Dude, I want to follow you” and he was like “Let’s just hang out and see what happens”. When the summer was over I felt like it was not done yet so I kept following the guys and in the end, I decided to split it and make a film for each person. The one with Ville’s friend was published last summer. We ended up filming for four years which was crazy. We became really close friends. With the other guy, I’m still filming. We have now been filming for five years or something.
When do you plan on finishing that doc?
I don’t have any clue because every time I’m thinking maybe we should try to end it now something new comes up and I’m like “Dude, I can’t stop it now”. Everyone I talk about it with says “You can’t stop” (laughs).
If you can’t stop you will be like the guy who made the documentary about Kanye West. Filming for over ten years.
Exactly (laughs). It’s such a fun process because we are such close friends. There is just such a natural connection.
I totally understand that. Let’s go back to the skate videos: How does it compare editing a skate video to editing a documentary like that?
Well, that’s a fun question. Actually, I went to a small school for five months last year where the focus was mostly on dramatic buildups in movies. You basically learn how to make a movie dramatic and which scenes can build up a dramatic vibe. I took a bunch of that with me and even to the skate video editing.
When I edit skate videos I really think a lot about how this affects a person who is not into skating at all. How do they look at it besides just seeing the tricks? I try to focus a lot on that.
When you edit a documentary, for example, I made this small film about my dad which had a lot of stories that were very personal to me and I knew the places and situations he was talking about but for someone who doesn’t know him and our connection and then watching parts of the film it wouldn’t be understood because you don’t know the whole backstory. For me, it’s the same with the skate videos because you can sit there and watch a clip you filmed and you know it took you four hours, you had to go there three times and you got kicked out. So basically one of the whackest hours of your life and then you end up sitting at home editing and you are like “Fuck, this clip turned out so whack” because of hand touch or whatever. For me, that has to be in the video still because it took so much work to get it. I want to show what effort and emotions went into the video so I always try to edit for a person watching it with no backstory in their mind.
I feel making a skate video is way more about the viewer than most people think. When you make a homie video it’s more for the people who are in the video. But if you make a video that is not a homie video how do you tell the stories and show the emotions? The whole thing is about the emotions a video gives to you. Sometimes it’s better to use the sketchy make instead of the clean one.
Exactly. Sometimes just use clips of you slamming while trying tricks that never made it into the video because the slams also tell so much. That’s something I try to remember.
Can you tell me about the clip you struggled with the longest taking it out of the video? The most important clip that didn’t make it into the video. I think it would be interesting for people to see what that might be.
There is one clip of Oliver at the same rail where Asger did the line with the tailslide down the rail.
It’s insane because he does it like a tailslide on a flat ledge. With pop out and everything. He and Oliver have been talking about skating this rail for half a year or something. Those are one of the last clips we actually filmed. We went there and Oliver tried to *……* the rail and he was insanely close. He hasn’t done this trick in quite some time but he was so close and took really gnarly slams. Those clips alone are already insane but he wanted to get this trick for another video so I couldn’t use them in my video. We spend two or three hours there and everyone had bleeding hands and whatnot (laughs).
How long did the tailslide take?
It took like one and a half hours. Actually, the thing he was struggling with was the nollie flip before the tailslide (laughs). He almost landed the tail side like ten times but he bailed the nollie flip like fifty times. He took some gnarly slams on the nollie flip. There is one where he slams, splits, and drops his glasses. There are so many clips like that. Primo-ing and whatnot. He was so exhausted after and he was supposed to go to his own birthday dinner at six o’clock when we were out filming. He was constantly watching the clock and when it was six he said “Oh shit, I have to be there now”. His family started calling him and he put his phone in his backpack and he was like “I’m going to call them afterward”. We had one friend with us just hanging out and he picked up the phone and told them: “Oh, Asger is busy but he will call you back”. The whole family was waiting for him. So funny (laughs). He ended up doing it but he was a bit bummed about the nollie flip because it was a sloppy one. When he did the tailslide he just straight after grabbed his backpack, hopped on his bike, and was like “See you guys! Thank you for filming”. So funny (laughs). If I would have gotten a dollar for every time he had to push back dinner with his family being out skating I would be rich. I remember so many times when he left for a family dinner soaked in sweat and blood on his hands and his family would be like “What the fuck are you doing?”. So many times (laughs).
“Sebastian Switch Heel at Jamers, Suit Up”Asger Thomsen.
Can we talk about the last scene? Let’s start with talking about dressing up. Can you explain what happened there?
Ah yes, the switch heel. That’s quite a fun story (laughs). Actually, that’s the first clip we filmed for the video and it happened two years ago. The guy who does the trick is called Sebastian and for two years up until the switch heelflip he hasn’t really been skating too much. He would skate a bit and then chill for half a year, go out for one session again, kill it, and then stop skating again for half a year. We had this one session at the red plaza and he out of nowhere did a switch heelflip over the ledge and we were like “What the fuck!?”. I think some of the guys started a discussion about whether or not he could do it over the Jamers Plads ledge. They all started betting on how many tries it would take him but the thing was after every time he would come out skating he would disappear for around half a year.
One and a half years after we made the bets, Asger just made a private Facebook event with the name “Sebastian Switch Heel at Jamers, Suit Up” and just invited him and the whole crew (laughs). Sebastian didn’t know that he would make the Facebook event so he was like “Oh fuck” (laughs). So when the day came, we all together had been out through the week buying suits and dress shoes in thrift shops. Asger and I showed up with a soundbox, a bbq grill, and a red carpet. Around fifteen or twenty homies pulled up in suits. It was so much fun (laughs) because we knew the whole story behind it but for random people, it was like “What the fuck are you guys doing?”. Even my parents were wondering and I was like “You wouldn’t understand” (laughs). Asger and I were like “Oh, there better be no Jamers locals at the spot when we pull up otherwise it will be so weird” (laughs). And then we pulled up to the spot two guys who are super OG were just having a session there by themselves. Out of nowhere, these kids are pulling up in suits and with red carpets and whatnot. They were like “What the fuck are you guys doing?”. We are kind of friends so we told them that one of our friends promised to do a switch heelflip over the ledge and we had to suit up. He was stoked and took a photo of us all lining up in our suits. We were just waiting for Sebastian to pull up and it was about to rain and we thought “What happens if he’s not going to make it? Are we going to stand here for two hours and wait for him to do it?”
And what happened? How many tries did it take him?
He came up to me and said “ Ok, Fred. I’m pretty nervous so I’m just going up and start trying. Don’t tell the others, and have your camera ready”. I had a slow-motion second angle and an HVX angle and I said “Ok”. So the first he does he almost lands it. Stomps the switch heel, and shoots out the board and everyone was like “What the fuck!? Where did this come from?” (Laughs). And then it took him like five tries or something and everyone was so shocked because we thought it was going to rain any minute. He did it out of nowhere and everyone was so stoked.
How much money did he get in the end?
Yeah, actually when you see the end of the clip where everyone is throwing him in the air you see a few hands with money ready to hand it out to him (laughs). It’s funny.
Has he skated since?
(Laughs) Good question. I think I’ve seen him skate twice since and that was two years ago (laughs).
Is the switch heelflip clip your favorite moment in the video?
Yeah, I think so. I keep watching the slow-motion clip with different music and I just watch the full scene unfold, I almost started crying because it was so much fun. It was so dramatic and intense (laughs). Besides that clip, I think the clip I love the most is the nollie flip Asger does where Ville is like “That’s perfect”. That whole spot is just so pretty, it is an insane church in the center of the city. It’s super busy and you can see people walking in and out of the church because it’s a tourist attraction. People usually skate the spot in a different way and I have never seen anyone skate it like Asger. I have actually never seen Asger nollie flip something that big before either. So then doing it with the curve was pretty insane. It was so perfect with the catch and roll away over the curb. One of the prettiest clips I have ever filmed.
It was definitely a fucking amazing clip, for sure! Well, Fred, I think that is it for today, thank you so much and I hope you will finish that doc soon!
Thank you too, was super hyped to do this again after the last one! Soo much has happened.