Tag: dennis scholz

Probably most people reading this have seen something by Dennis Scholz. His work has been featured in all the relevant skateboard magazines for many years. It is highly possible that some of your favorite people have been in front of his lens. In recent years he has also grown into a new role at adidas Skateboarding. Helping the Berlin part of the operation stay on track, being the ears and eyes that a company like that needs. Our working relationship with Dennis has been great, most of the Berlin scene has reaped the rewards of those seeds. It was during one of those pre-planning meetings in his Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg office that he first told me he wanted to release a video part. I am not going to lie after seeing it, I wanted to have it be part of our “Place Presents” series. The reasoning being 1. because the footage was good and 2. it is so important to show that the people working to make skateboarding what it is, also get shown. Low-key Dennis worked hard on this part and he humbly wants you to press play.

All photos by Dennis Scholz.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

Hey Dennis, thank you for welcoming me into your apartment. Are you ready for your close-up? 

(Laughs) Yes.

Great! So being that you are a traveling skateboard photographer, how much of this part was you sneaking in and asking the filmer to quickly film you and how much was filmed at home in Berlin?

It is not as much tour footage as I thought. When it came down to editing the part there was more Berlin footage than expected. Because of Corona and my drive to finish the part I did a lot of tricks during the Berlin winter. I felt like Berlin opened itself to me. For example on some Skatedeluxe Berlin missions I would see certain spots and take a quick iPhone pic to remember, later I would then come back and skate them myself. 

Funny, you didn’t skate it with them. I remember before I had ever seen you skate. We were at the Skatehalle Berlin and Kim Wibbelt was Kickflipping this pyramid. You were shooting it and I asked you if you could Kickflip it – I wasn’t quite sure I could do it – and you said quite confidently: “Yeah, I think I might be able to do it first try.”. 

(Laughs) Really? I don’t think I could do it today, I used to do way more flip tricks. 

It is not that bad! You have a couple of really cool flips in your part. The Fakie Big Spin Flip stands out.

I think that line took me 5 trips to make. Not because of the line, that took me about 7 tries. But that spot is made out of wood and in winter even if it has been dry for 2 days that spot is still wet. Berlin was entirely dry, except for that spot! But I wanted it in there, I saw Malte Spitz & Koni Rutschmann skate it and I knew it would look great on video. Valle Rosomako is the king of that spot! 

Alex Elfving, Kickflip

I like that line, it is a standout. But what are your personal standout moments? A part can be like a photo album, it is not always about what you see, it is also about the moment before or after.

The line in Athens where I Ollie up the bench, Ollie to the next bench, and then Frontside 5-0 this metal box. The box is actually a grill and this guy was grilling corn on there the whole day. After work in the evenings, he would lock the grill and I saw that. We went by 2-3 separate times until the moment was right. We put the grill in the right place and I did it quickly. I like that clip especially because we went vintage shopping before, so, I had fresh pants and a fresh red shirt. That got me a little extra stoked to do the trick. 

When it comes to filming, I like things to be a little mission. My ender happened on a crazy day. I had seen Tom Karangelov do a Backside 50-50 to Frontside Boardslide to Fakie there. I felt I could do it the other way around. But, on that day I had my first car accident. I went to my office to grab the camera, I had one of these carshare things. And I backed out and rammed a DHL truck. It completely fucked up the hood. While my friend was waiting for me at Pappeplatz skatepark, I arrived still shook, we skated for a bit, calmed down and, went down to the spot. It was a pretty bad start to the day but I kinda wanted to do the trick, even more, to flip the mood. In the end, it all worked out.

My personal favorite is the line where you Smith Grind this bench and you Ollie this weird pyramid. And this guy is bothering you?

That guy wasn’t bothering me. That is Nassim Lachhab’s brother, he is a magician and he is amazing! That was on a Titus trip to Morocco, he was so stoked that we came to Rabat to skate, so he came to hang out and perform his magic all the time. When I tried the line he had just come from his day job in his work outfit straight up. That line was done partially because of Dennis Ludwig. I was shooting Alex Elfving do a Kickflip over that same spot and after we got the photo Ludi said: “Come on, give it a few tries, I am gonna film it!”. Fun-fact was that I found that spot, so, it was cool to get a clip there myself. A bit basic but I like it.

Are you critical of your own skating?

Yes!

Was it hard to make a part with the knowledge that people were going to see it?

Yes!

But are you happy with the way your part turned out?

Yes! (Laughs)

Great, I think you did well!

Thank you. You are never completely happy, but I feel like this shows me having fun and at the same time this is how I want my skating to look. Growing older, I feel myself becoming more critical of the way I want to put things out. I was very involved in the editing and the music selection. In the end, I enjoyed the process, and that is the most important thing.

You work in skateboarding, and because you see so much good skating do you feel like you have to show your best as well?

Yes, for sure. I feel that in the response when I upload a skate clip on my IG. I could post a VOGUE cover that I shot but it would get less feedback than I would get by posting a line at Dogshit (skatepark). That fact is super cool because it shows my heritage, where I came from and I think that is important. When it comes to the part, I think I wanted to prove to myself that I still had a good part in me – not like I’m old and it’s the final one or something. But I just feel like it’s so important to be eager and focused and know what you’re capable of – and know how you want things to look.

I feel ya’ I have the same kind of thoughts.

I feel like we both skate better than like 10 years ago. Skateboarding is a mental game as much as it is physical. You have to feel confident and with so many good skaters around you, that becomes easier. 

I also feel like skateboarding has become friendlier to more types of skating. you don’t have to get on the big rails. You can skate curbs and do fun tricks and it just looks good, as long as your trick selection is on point.

You can see that in this part. Combining that in the line where you do 50-50 up, 5-0 up, and kickflip backside tailslide down.

That was me fucking with Yannick Schall! I used to always do those tricks in a game of skate situation and he always hated it. “That’s not a trick! Doing a wheelie out of it!”. But in reality, that line was a struggle, because there is no pushing involved, so, going full speed was a really big part of getting the line to work. I didn’t want to do the last trick going 1 km/h. 

If you are going on tour, do you often try to get tricks?

I don’t try to when I’m the photographer, it’s important to focus on doing the job first. But sometimes it can be really helpful for the whole group to skate all together. Skatetrips live and die by the vibe of the sessions and by me trying stuff from time to time I can lift their spirits a bit and even motivate people. Skaters have egos and if even “the photographer” is getting tricks there are no excuses. 

Yannick Schall, Nollie Frontside Kickflip

Why do you think I always skate with people on tour? I am trying to get the session going, which can at times be understandably hard during a 2-week tour.

True! I only do it if I know I can do the trick within 10-15 minutes. I don’t want to hold up the crew. 

Still, many of the tricks went down on trips, like the 5-0 on the grill in Athens.

That was actually a homie tour, straight up skating with the boys, not a job. I think those are so important to keep the flame alive. I remember talking to Leo Preisinger in a bar once about skating yourself and keeping the motivation up. While he’s skating on a less regular level he said that shooting a sick photo just gives him more fulfillment. I was thinking about that, but learning and trying new things on a skateboard is still more fun to me than shooting photos. Of course when everything works out, you’re at a once in a lifetime spot and nail the photo that’s an equal type of hype. But doing a trick yourself is still the best feeling. Does that sound weird?

No! You need to remember that you started skating and everything else came from that. So it is actually really important to keep that perspective. I also think it is important to tell people that you don’t only shoot skating. You also shoot running or other things. 

True, it is important to shoot multiple sorts of things. I remember when I just finished university and I was just shooting skating. Meeting people at the Bänke and trying to get tricks together with Dan Schulz (filmer). I think I lasted for about a month, after that I realized I need multiple types of jobs to keep me balanced. I really lost my will to skate, dragging a backpack with flashes around. It just didn’t make me feel like skating. I just don’t like the thought of having to shoot a good photo to pay rent. That is not a nice way to hang with your friends. It was still fun but I needed something more to keep doing it all.

So I was looking around and I had a good connection to adidas and I managed to do some cool running shoots for them. After that came many other commercial projects for multiple companies. And in turn, that all lead me to learn more as a photographer. It showed me that there is more to it than carrying a heavy backpack with flashes (laughs). I think for me it is healthy to do things outside of the skateboard world.

So going away from skating has actually lit a fire again. 

Yes, I also tried different things and took smaller cameras out, or only shot with natural light. It really brought the fun back into it, being more flexible, skating around, having fun. So, if something happens in front of the camera, that’s cool but it is not the end all be all. That’s the thing with skateboarding, you can’t force it.

In that sense, skateboarding changed as well. Nowadays, a point-and-shoot photo can have as much of a chance of landing in a skate mag as a generator and lights type of photo does.

True, but back in the day, if you didn’t have 4 flashes with you, you couldn’t shoot. It is all part of growing up, which goes for both my own mindset and skateboarding as a culture. 

You did say before we started the interview, that you felt Berlin wasn’t the last stop on your journey, where do you feel will be the last stop?

I don’t know, not the US, I like the east-coast but I don’t like the west-coast at all. Maybe Copenhagen or Amsterdam. CPH is sick! But my girlfriend loves Amsterdam so we will see, the pandemic has shown us that you can do your work from almost anywhere and those places are not much more than a 1-hour flight away from Berlin. People from the US talk about Europe like it is one country, which doesn’t seem very educated at first but size- and travel-wise it can be. 

Coming from a different country and living in a foreign land I can only say that you should give it a go. Interestingly you will never feel more German than you would outside of Germany. I don’t mean that in a nationalistic way but you will notice all the microscopic differences that each country in Europe has to one another. Dennis, that was my last question. Thank you for this interview.

You mean differences like that we don’t deep-fry Snickers bars? Joking, thank you! I am excited & even a bit nervous for this to come out. 

Dennis put 2 & 2 together with this one

For us here at Place Magazine it is important to keep our connection to our city alive and kicking. Berlin has multiple hubs, places where our culture lives and from time to time those hubs change, get updated, or in the worst cases disappear. 2020 has been a tumultuous year with a lot of changes a lot of bad ones but also some good ones. One of the ones that are most relevant to us as a skate scene is the change of hands when it comes to our beloved indoor park, The Skatehalle Berlin. Yesterday we had an interview with Roberto Cuellar, who worked on the art in the park. Today we have Sara Plagemann one of the fixtures in the Berlin and one of the people now helping run the park talk about what these changes mean both long and short term. So, put on your reading glasses and inform yourself about one of the most important pieces of the Berlin skate scene.

Intro by Roland Hoogwater.
Text by Sara Plagemann, Marketing, Skatehalle Berlin.
Photos by Dennis Scholz.

New beginnings

2020 has been a year of many changes. We had to say farewell to life as we once knew it. But since endings also make room for new beginnings- what better time is there to take over the Skatehalle in Germany’s capital and change it into a non-profit company run by the skateboarding scene itself? Democratic structures through the association of Drop In e.V., the 1. Berliner Skateboardverein, the Cassiopeia Club, and, for a limited transition phase, the previous owner, paved the way for a sustainable concept for many decades to come.

“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life”, says Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW GmbH. “Despite the challenging circumstances of the reset at Skatehalle Berlin we have started necessary repairs and improvements, managed the bureaucratic challenges, found new partners and sponsors, and gave the building a new look. First and foremost, we already succeeded in quickly reopening the park for all skaters and made it safe to use during the COVID-crisis. It is very reassuring that the skateboard community in Berlin seems to take us up on the offer to get actively involved. Their requests, comments, advice, and constructive criticism genuinely helped us plan the next steps.” But in order to fully explain what we stand for at the new Skatehalle Berlin, it is essential to first take a look at the cultural meaning of skateboarding itself.

“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life.“

Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW gGmbH
Kalle Wiehn Frontside Flip.

Most people are aware of the fact that skateboarding is a sport. But, as you guys all know, there is more to the story. Traditionally, certain cultural aspects have had strong ties to the skate world. For instance graffiti art, punk rock and later rap music. Recent years have shown that subculture is no longer constrained by fixed signifiers but diversified to such an extent that it is no longer valid to paint a one-sided picture of a male pot-smoking -skater, who doesn’t shower and listens to trap music. This imagery is outdated as exemplified by a rapidly growing number of female skaters, who are taking their rightful place within the skateboarding scene in a very liberating way.

At the Skatehalle Berlin, located within the capital’s most progressive district, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, it does not matter what country you are from or what social class you were born into. Your gender does not define who you are, nor does your age. All of these things do nothing but add value to the great melting pot that is skateboarding. None of it matters when you hit the streets or, in particular during the long cold Berlin winter, the Skatehalle. We are all unified in diverse difference and we live by this notion. Everyday.

Patrick Rogalski Switch Backside Noseblunt.

A metaphor of unity resonates vastly in a world exceedingly divided by invisible borders between humans. Our power comes through our unity and creates a potent political component revealing the inherent subversive nature of the skateboard community around the globe.

So for a Skatehalle that brings all those astonishing groups of people together under one roof, it is important to make all of those feel at home.

Hence, our mission is to create a space for all things significant within the realm of skateboarding. Music and art form a bond with youth and community work and frequent exchange is accompanied by an ever growing range of food and drinks at the SHB-Café. Whilst naturally providing the best possible skate experience for every single one of our visitors from around the globe.

Being the only central indoor skatepark in Berlin, expectations are high. So in all of our attempts, we are being fully aware of the fact that, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to make everyone happy (only Tony Hawk can do that). However, we will continue to think outside the box and value our history without ever feeling restricted by it. We will face logistic and financial challenges during a worldwide pandemic “head-on” with the help of our sponsors VANS and Blue Tomato, our partners, and the community. And we will include and protect groups that need a little more of a “safe space” as long as we possibly can.

Roland Hirsch, Jump Off A Building.

We offer regular slots for skaters on boards and in wheelchairs, a vast variety of kids classes, an adult “After-Work-Session” for those, who no longer want to compete with the youngsters and not one but, due to popular demand, two “Girls Nights” a week, alongside a lot of educational projects for local and refugee kids topped by numerous events for the local skate scene.

It is important to us to provide artists, such as, very recently in the cooperation with Roberto Cuellar, a one of a kind “canvas” and give them the opportunity to create their own habitat within their Skatehalle. Replacing dominant corporate vibes with a more artistic one seems appealing to guests and skate-coaches alike. Thus, we aim to manufacture this change continuously throughout the whole area, which entails a huge yard, home of the open-air cinema “Freiluftkino Insel” and the SHB-bar, which will soon come back to life. One thing is certain, things are moving fast around here and you guys can be sure that we will host a hell of a lot of fun skate video premieres, contests, and music acts of any genre in these upgraded surroundings.

However, times are tough and entry fees, in particular during Corona, don’t come close to covering the costs of running and renovating the big area. Previously, a lot of the Hall’s profit was made through subleases, which since July 2020, are no longer possible. So as idealistic as we might be, we depend on other sources of income. Renting out the Skatehalle for movie shoots is one way to generate those.

Kalle Wiehn, Kickflip.

We will proceed to grow and progress and develop new concepts that do not exclude but fully involve everyone. In a city that has been hit hard by gentrification we are not scared to be one of the last subcultural bastions if you will.

Rapidly, our thoughts have become words, and now is the time to turn those words into action. For years, certain parts of the Skatehalle, such as the Bowl and Miniramp area, have been neglected. Rain has been pouring through holes in the wall and has rendered the indoor park unskateable in certain weather conditions. So we are using the vacuum caused by the government lockdown for intense renovation work and simultaneously enable our staff to keep their jobs. Like all sport & cultural sites, we are heavily affected by the current restrictions and the partial shutdown. All the more reason to unite our power and let the Skatehalle Berlin “feels like a home” for everyone.

Does Drop In e.v. sound familiar? They feature pretty heavily in our Mobina & Melika mini-doc that you can check out below.

Bang, Bang, Bänke Berlin is what dominates one’s mind when you press play and start watching the friends part in Dan Schulz’s Oh Snap video.

Dennis Scholz ist ein junger, talentierter Skateboard-Fotograf aus Berlin mit einer ausreichenden Portion Motivation sich unter freiem Himmel zu beschäftigen, produktiv zu werden und sich die Welt anzuschauen. In den letzten Monaten konnte man eine ordentliche Entwicklung bemerken, was uns Signal genug ist, der Sache auf den Grund zu gehen. Dennis, erzähl uns doch mal etwas zu deinen Bildern:

onlyapissofwood-1

Dallas Rockvam
Das Foto von Dallas entstand an einem der letzten Sommertage letzten Jahres in Berlin. Wir waren eine ordentliche Gang von Skatern die durch die Stadt geradelt sind um zu schauen, was passiert. Am Frankfurter Tor hielten wir an, um die bekannten 5er-Stufen zu skaten. Louis (Taubert) und Simo (Mäkelä) filmten mit Lucas (Fiederling), während viele der Anderen einfach abhingen. Ich hatte mich an diesem Tag dafür entschieden, den schweren Kamerarucksack zu Hause zu lassen und mir lediglich meine analoge Spiegelreflexkamera umzuhängen und einen Film in der Tasche zu haben.

Ich ärgerte mich, als ich sah, was bei der Session für Tricks passiert sind und dachte mir nur: „Du Trottel, bist mit Leuten unterwegs, die übertrieben rippen und lässt dein richtiges Fotosetup zu Hause… Klasse!“
 Im Nachhinein denke ich mir jedoch, dass ich alles richtig gemacht habe. Der Flair, den ein analoges Foto rüber bringt, ist unschlagbar. So bereue ich es kein Stück, mich mehr auf die Atmosphäre der Session konzentriert zu haben, anstatt „nur“ auf dessen Tricks. 


Dallas hatte scheinbar keinen Bock die 5er-Stufen hochzuhüpfen, sondern dorkte etwas herum und gab den anderen Props und Motivation. Er trug ein weißes Shirt, welches er selbst mit einem Edding bemalt hatte – „It’s only a PISS of wood“ lautete der Schriftzug darauf. Ich musste schmunzeln und schoss dieses Foto von ihm – Das spiegelte die Atmosphäre der Session bestens. Ich mag die Fotos der Session und bin froh, den Tag ohne 20kg Equipment verbracht zu haben. Seitdem gehe ich öfter nur mit einer Kamera raus – ich habe gemerkt, dass man sich so viel mehr auf das Finden schöner Perspektiven und das Transportieren von Atmosphäre konzentriert sein kann, anstatt Blitze aufzubauen.

Marco_Kada_Kickflip-2

Marco Kada, Kickflip
Vorletztes Jahr war ich das erste Mal mit den Titus Lites Trucks Jungs auf Tour. Im Van sollte es durch Österreich gehen. Es war die erste große Tour des Teams und alle lernten sich endlich besser kennen, nicht nur untereinander, auch kulturell sollten wir auf Neues stoßen. So wie ich Österreich kennen lernen durfte, gehört Bier definitiv zum guten Lebensstil. 
Wir fuhren gerade durch Innsbruck und fanden zufällig diesen Spot. Es war um die Mittagszeit herum und Marco Kada, der einzige Österreicher im Team, hatte bereits ordentlich gefrühstückt.

Nach einem gefühlten Sixpack Gerstensaft hatte er Bock, einen Kickflip aus dem Kicker über die zwei Stufen zu machen. Er wärmte sich mit ein paar Ollies auf, während ich mein Equipment aufbaute. In der analogen Kamera befand sich gerade ein Schwarz-Weiß Film, welcher bei diesem leuchtenden Spot völlig fehl am Platz gewesen wäre. Also blieb ich bei der digitalen, welche es mir erlaubte, während Marcos warm-up-Ollies ein paar Perspektiven zu probieren. Ich bemerkte die Spiegelung in der Tür, auf der sich auch noch dieser wundervolle durchgestrichene Inlineskate-Sticker befand. Ich war ready, Marco machte ein paar Trys, und nach 15 Minuten fuhr er diesen stilsicheren Kickflip aus. Die Ösis… Prost!

Tom_Bail

Tom, Bail
Vergangenen August setzte ich mich mit den Homies von BEYOND, einer frischen Klamotten-Firma aus Leipzig, ins Auto, um sie per Fotoapparat auf ihrer Benefrance-Tour zu begleiten. Nach Amsterdam und Rotterdam hieß die nächste Station Brüssel. Dass die belgische Hauptstadt viele gute Spots zu bieten hat, wussten wir alle, dementsprechend waren alle recht heiß drauf, diese endlich zu skaten. Zufällig fanden wir die bekannte lange Hubba mit dem Kink am Ende, nicht gerade der beste Warm-Up-Spot, aber nun waren wir ja sowieso da… Also wurde das Ding auch geskatet! Ein paar der Jungs tasteten sich mit Noseslides und 50-50s an das zornige Biest heran, ich lief etwas am Spot herum und suchte nach Perspektiven für ein Foto an der Hubba.

Mir viel auf, dass Tom (Thiele) sich etwas abseits des eigentlichen Spots beschäftigte, woraufhin ich direkt mal nachschauen musste, was der da so treibt. Er fuhr auf dieses etwas versteckte Stufenset an und hatte Bock zu moshen. Mir hat gefallen, dass der Spot so schön dirty aussieht und dachte direkt an ein Schwarz-Weiß-Foto. Tom war allerdings schon im Modus und meinte „Ich mach mal einen!“, was mir keine Zeit ließ, mich für eine Kamera zu entscheiden oder Blitze aufzubauen.

Nun gut, also verließ ich mich aufs natürliche Licht und meine Digitale Spiegelreflexkamera, die ich gerade in der Hand hatte. Plötzlich fing es leicht an zu nieseln und uns war klar, dass Tom nur noch wenige Versuche hatte. Am Ende klappte der Trick leider nicht und Tom musste sogar ziemlich einstecken. Dieses Foto von ihm, wie er sich nach einem ordentlichen Bail auf dem Boden wälzt und gen Himmel in den Regen schaut, sollte alles sein, was wir von dem Spot mitnehmen konnten. 
Für mich drückt das Foto genau diese Atmosphäre aber schön aus: Wir verbringen viel Zeit in ekligen, dreckigen Gassen, haben Schmerzen und dann kann’s auch noch regnen.

Bei der Session lief leider vieles schief, das Foto jedoch nicht: Für mich zeigt es, dass Skateboarding nicht immer nur aus perfekt gestandenen Tricks in wunderschönem Sonnenlicht besteht, ein Großteil der Zeit ist für den Skater eben anstrengend, schmerzhaft und undankbar.

Mehr Fotos auf www.dennisscholzphoto.com

Es gibt zwei Adjektive, die Konrad sehr passend beschreiben: kreativ und vielfältig. So lässt sich einerseits sein Skaten charakterisieren – er ist einer dieser Leute, die wirklich jeden Spot skaten können, wobei Konrad immer stilsicher unterwegs ist und für offene Münder sorgt. Man merkt sofort, dass eine positive, fröhliche Einstellung zur Szene und superviel Motivation hinter seiner individuellen Art zu Skaten stecken – und das, ohne zwangsweise mit dem neusten Trend auf den Zug nach Hipsterhausen aufzuspringen. Kreativität äußert sich bei Konrad auch durch die Fähigkeit, Skateboarding abzubilden: Er hat ein großes Talent für analoge Fotografie und gehört zu den besten Skateboard-Filmern im Raum Berlin. Dabei die Balance zu halten, in allen Bereichen aktiv zu sein und nebenbei sein Abi zu machen, ist keine einfache Mission, aber Konrad gelingt das durch seine Vielfältigkeit offensichtlich sehr gut. Zusammenfassend kann man sagen: Konrad lässt Skateboarding einfach schön aussehen – in jeder Hinsicht.

by Dennis Scholz

Am vergangenen Wochenende fand im Märkischen Viertel an Berlins Stadtrand die Eröffnung des neuen Anker-Plazas statt. In dessen Zuge gab es den ersten Contest im Spring Team Battle Format zu dem sich eine Menge bekannter Skateboarder der Hauptstadt eingefunden haben. Dennis Scholz hat den Event für uns mit seiner Kamera eingefangen, hier ein paar Impressionen aus dem Block.


Colin McLean – BS Smithgrind


Justin Sommer – Treflip


Michel Funke – Hardflip


Hirschi – FS Feeble


Hirschi – Ollie aus´m Park


Locals


Locals 2


Denny Pham – Switch FS Bigspin


Farid Ulrich – FS Transfer


Stevie und Lukas


Pascal Reif – Switch Heelflip


Sami Harithi – FS 180 Transfer


Yannick Schall – Switch BS 360


Tjark Thielker – FS Bluntslide


Best Line – Hirschi


Best Trick – Nepomuk Herok


Best Team – Saltyboys feat. Yannick Schall, Denny Pham und Diskotoni

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