Vienna’s Turtle Productions is back with a video called “Gehirnamputiert” and the right translation of the word would be brain-dead. We can tell you this, it is not the best time to be a turtle. Now, watch the video and understand why.
Featuring Lucas Jankoschek, Fabian Jankoschek, Sven Langkabel, Fan Federer, Simon Trummer, Thomas Fuchs, Lukas Koller, Lukas Krobath, Manuel Mayr, Henry Gibbs, Louis Marschall, Aurelio Ghirardelli and Gabriel Schmit.
Remember when it used to be sort of whack to make the music yourself in the early 2000s? We can think of multiple companies and people skating to music produced for their parts and it being a big miss. There were obvious exceptions even back then, but nowadays, with music rights and a strong DIY current running through skating “handmade soundtracks” are now better than ever.
Turtle Productions out of Vienna is at the core, something for the homies by the homies and this video shows that all the homies have their own skills that contribute to the whole. From the A-2-B, this was handcrafted with love.
An interview with Lucas Jankoschek by Roland Hoogwater.
Turtle Times is a series of videos, a project, based around three things, skateboarding, friends & turtles. Lucas is the filmer, one of the skaters & the editor of this (for now) last video in the “Turtle Times” series. We really love turtles and we really love the way Lucas documents and edits it so we dropped a line and managed to talk to the man himself.
Hey how are you, what are you up to?
I’m good, editing the video right now since the premiere is on Friday. It’s all a bit last minute because the premiere of my other video was two weeks ago and I’m kind of in the middle of an editing-marathon to get everything done before winter. It’s been a stressful week but it’s all good.
What do you still need to do until the video is ready for the premiere?
I still have to finish up two animations, the trailer and the friends part. Ziggy (Schaap), Pascal (Moelaert) and Justin (Wagener) are featured as well. They were here in Vienna last and this September and managed to get some footage.
I was actually at Ziggy’s place in Leiden when the last ‘Turtle Times’ episode premiered.
So you stayed at Ziggy’s house? It’s a cozy place right?
Yeah for sure. At the time they weren’t even sure they were going to be featured in that episode of ‘Turtle Times’ or the next one. But it was super fun hanging and skating together with Pascal and the others. This short stay in the Netherlands during the Vans Shop Riot contest allowed me to connect with people there and also get some social media coverage for Placemag. A lot of people still think of Place as a German skate mag but really it’s become half German and half Dutch.
That’s cool that you guys can do that in Germany. My friend does a mag here in Austria (ABD Magazine) and earns next to nothing, the skateboard industry just isn’t as present here as it seems to be in Germany.
Yeah, I’ve never been to Vienna but from what I’ve heard it’s a great place to skate however the rest of Austria seems to be different, right?
Definitely. Vienna isn’t Austria, it kind of stands for itself. Everything else around Vienna isn’t really worth our while, which is why we don’t travel much within Austria. It’s so different from the Netherlands in that regard. There you can just skate all these cities by hopping on a train. It feels like one big spread-out city.
It kind of is. The next city is always just a 20-minute train ride away, the same goes for where Ziggy lives.
That’s what I really enjoyed about the Netherlands. You can just meet up with people in different cities, regardless of borders even. It’ so sick.
I agree, but I’ve heard that the sidewalks and streets in Vienna are better for skating.
Yeah, everything here is super smooth. Sure there are a few rough spots here and there but technically you could push anywhere, it’s great.
Are you originally from Vienna?
Nah. I’m from Eisenstadt a small town near the border of Hungary. I was born in Vienna though and have been back in the city since 2013.
I see. So how did Turtle Times actually start?
So basically I put out a full-length video in 2015 with all my close friends and homies in it, the OG-turtle-crew so to speak. Two years later I put out another full-length video this time however with a bunch of different people in it. Everybody in Vienna kind of heard I was filming for a second video and started hitting me up. I was super hyped on that on the one hand but on the other hand, the OG crew was kind of neglected and I felt like the whole project was getting a bit too big for comfort. It almost felt like a burden at the time although I’m very happy with the results. So after I put that video out I thought to myself I wouldn’t do that kind of video format again. I also wanted to focus more on my close friends again and only film with people I enjoy skating with. This lead me to choose an episode format that works so much better on a lot of levels. Around that time I also received a call from Dallas (Rockvam) asking me if we wanted to film a part, so it all sort of came together organically. What’s important to me when it comes to the episodes is that they should highlight the different personalities and individual people we have in our crew. Every episode is centered around two or three people which allows me to choose the music and structure my project much more freely than if it were a full-length. It’s just easier to integrate ideas into an episode format. With a full-length, I have to stuff in a lot of different people, styles, music, etc. into one video which just has a mixed-up mess as a result. With episodes, I can just plan each one as a portrait of an individual.
So the episodes are tailored to specific people.
Which means you don’t have to mix n’ match all these different people anymore.
What about Budapest though?
We went there once last year.
Dallas had a few tricks in that one as well right?
Yeah, he joined us later on the Budapest-trip. Originally the idea was to go to Budapest just to film for Dallas’ part, but somehow it turned into an entire tour edit in ‘Turtle Times’ episode 2. Yeah, so Dallas arrived a bit after us, stacked four clips in two hours and then chilled out the entire rest of the trip drinking beers. It was sick! He definitely delivered.
I really enjoyed his part. It might be his last one though.
Yeah, he did just have a second child. Do you know Dallas personally?
A little bit.
He’s a cool dude for sure. We visited him at his house in the woods for his part. It was important for me to incorporate his personality or at least his personal background into his part. A sort of skate portrait if you will.
Cool. And do you make the animations for the videos yourself?
Yes, I do those myself, actually, I pretty much do everything myself (laughs). I’m not really the type of person to watch endless tutorials or acquire and then familiarize myself with some sort of new software. I don’t have the patience for all that. So a few years back I just started drawing on paper then filmed that with my VX, then captured that and finally retouched everything in photoshop… basically it was super tedious and complicated. I’ve learned a lot over the years though and now I just draw on a digital notepad and then animate that with photoshop. Mostly it’s a frame-by-frame animation so basically a lot of drawings put after each other.
Yeah, I’ve noticed your animations have gotten a lot better over time.
Thanks, I’m really happy with how they are turning out now too.
They’ve also become much more involved in the episodes. During the transitions and stuff, especially the last episode it seemed like you reached a new level of animation.
Thanks, man. I’m glad to hear that. I’m going to the art university in Vienna and took an animation class, so I’ve been animating a lot lately, which really improved my animations overall.
What do you do at the art university?
I’m studying art for teaching: I’m going to be an art professor in schools (laughs).
I’m currently writing my diploma thesis which is why the two ‘Turtle Times’ premieres are set so close to each other so I can finish my thesis after I’m done with the videos. I’ll have to hurry up a little bit.
So why is it called ‘Turtle Times’? Why not ‘Cat Times’ for example?
That all started way back when I was maybe ten or twelve. People started saying I looked like a turtle or that I ate like a turtle. Even back then I had always wanted a VX and when I finally got one, I put out my first clip and ironically called it ‘Turtle Productions’. The name stuck and that’s also how the turtle animations came to be.
Ah okay, that makes sense. I think the turtle figure and name have a strong brand recognition, the turtle kind of ties everything together.
Yeah, that’s something really important to me. It shouldn’t be just about skating, it needs something in-between to ease it up.
I also have some questions from Ziggy for you.
Oh really? (laughs)
I’m supposed to ask you about a tinder story about a local legend called Sven (Friend from Kassel) which involves lighting a car on fire?
(laughs) I don’t even know if I’m allowed to tell this story but if Ziggy asked for it, it should be fine. So basically Sven really got into tinder when he moved to Vienna and naturally has a lot of stories. One of them is that he and his date took ecstasy and broke into a car in a parking lot we sometimes skate in the winter. Which seemed to start kind of romantic at first turned out to be a total disaster. His date apparently was an outspoken feminist and got triggered by something in that car, which promptly led her to light it on fire. Being super high that whole scenario was obviously a bit much for Sven and I remember him telling me he listened to all the news reports the next day to make sure nothing serious had happened. After they ran off the fire should have gone out by itself anyways. I don’t think the car exploded or anything nor I‘m not sure how the date kept on going after the car-fire-action (laughs).
(laughs) He also has another question for you: why do you clean your kitchen ten times a day?
This fucking Ziggy guy, haha. I can just focus better in a clean environment. My kitchen is my kingdom you know? If I make my oatmeal in the morning it has to be clean.
I get that. Another question was: Who would win in a fight, Pascal or Ziggy?
Huh. That’s a tough one. Pascal’s pretty tall but Ziggy might be stronger. I think Ziggy would win though, he has more life experience. Pascal still needs to learn a thing or two. Go Ziggy!
Another question, or maybe it’s more of a demand, is: when will the iPhone-holiday-road-trip-video drop?
Ah fuck, sorry boys! It’s definitely coming. I promise. I’m just in the middle of an editing-marathon as I said. No time for anything else right now.
And how many more ‘Turtle Times’ episodes are planned for the future?
This is the last episode as far as I planned it out for now.
So no more ‘Turtle Times’?
Yeah, the ‘Turtle Times’ series has come to an end. Time for something new. For now, I have to finish my diploma thesis and then we’ll see what projects might come my way next year. What I can say is that I definitely won’t stop filming, however, I would like to try out some new things, maybe approach a project with a specific concept already in mind. Maybe shift the focus more towards filming or animation. I think the coolest thing would be to make an entire animated film. That would be a dream come true!
Yeah, that makes sense.
We kind of reinvigorated the whole crew vibe because we were all skating and filming a lot together this year and I think we will carry that vibe into the new year. So the next project will probably happen naturally because of that I guess.
So what will the last ‘Turtle Times’ episode look like?
This episode contains of three parts and some friends sections. My twin brother Fabi, Gabs and I will have full parts and of course, all the OG crew members are in there too. This ‘Turtle Times’ episode is the one I cherish the most I think. I started filming with Gabs two years ago. So finally releasing that footage is special to me. Plus my twin brother who hadn’t really been skating last year was overcome by skate fever this spring and filmed a whole part. That was really nice to see, not to mention that the level of skating and that of the animations have greatly improved.
So this is definitely your piece de resistance!
(Laughs) Yeah, sort of my final showdown. I had actually thought about naming it that but in the end, it felt like that was a bit over the top.
I think so too because then the next project will ruin the whole final showdown thing.
Yeah pretty much.
But does it have a name yet?
Nah. I still have to make my mind up about that. I talked to Ziggy and came to the conclusion that numbers just tend to confuse people so I’ll definitely give the video a name and not just call it ‘Turtle Times – episode 4’.
Alright. Is there anything else you want to share or let me know about?
I think that pretty much wraps it up. I don’t think I have anything left to add. Thanks for the opportunity to have this interview, cheers!
When travelling to Israel even the most apolitical person gets confronted with the fact that the birthplace of most of our major religions makes even the most menial tasks political. One can go through the airport security check in many other countries without having political thoughts but this land forces you to confront your thoughts and beliefs. As a fellow Dutch person I can imagine it is like going from 0 to a 100 real quick. In Israel, religion, conflict and class function in a way that can feel truly foreign, so skating is in a sense a safe haven.
Intro By Roland Hoogwater.
Text by Sebastiaan Vijverberg.
Photos by Ziggy Schaap.
“Such a blessing was given to the Land of Israel” – Johnny Cash.
No skateboarder would disagree on Johnny. Although tensions in Israel are high, the people we’ve met in the holy land we’re so welcoming and accommodating we immediately forgot about the travel warnings and security checks at the airport. If this isn’t convincing enough, consider the distinctive mix of religions and therefore culture you will experience in the promised land.
Get there while you can and don’t forget to bring hummus home!
Text to go with the images:
1 – Dutchie Justin Wagenerskating the first spot Ofer showed us in Tel Aviv.
2 – Louis Marshall flew more than 3000 kilometres to skate this sidewalk.
3 – Kinky at the Tel Aviv beach.
4 – Fabian Jankoschek did graffiti, fidget spinning and a little bit of skating on the side.
5 – Fuck you all, Lucas Jankoschek goes down with the wrong foot forward.
6 – Low impact spots are the best, and they get better when high impact skaters like Sebastiaan Vijverberg skate them.
7 – We skipped the club and fancy bars to get crusty in the streets of Tel Aviv.
8 – The old city of Tel Aviv gives a feeling of what Israel used to be, Louis front blunting just before it went from twilight into night.
9 – Sven Langkabel has the highest Wallride Nollie’s and the lowest amount of tricks documented, unfortunately!
10 – There’s alot of spots around the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the most famous one being the meetup spot around the corner of Louis’ wallride called Golda.
11 – Ashdod is a little more south of Tel Aviv and has a whole different level of archtecture like this Dubai like marble ledge spot. Ofer owned this spot after guiding us around the whole week, thanks Ofer <3
12 – He might be small but Turtle CEO Lucas Jankoschek did the biggest switch wallride to regs.
13 – This spot seemed to be the holiest of the holiest places we visited in Jerusalem, we were listening to Ofer’s crazy hip-hop playlist on the boombox while Fabi ollie’ed in the bank.
14 – Only one day of rain during our 10-day trip through Israel and even then the Ofer legend came through with spots to skate. Sebastiaan Vijverberg – Fs ollie
15 – Hopping fences in Palestine territory
16 – Lucas Jankoschek rides the abandoned pool park on our way to the dead sea
17 – People pay a shitload of money for this holy mud which is good for the skin. Sebastiaan bathing in European money