BTS - Yodobashi Delivery Xtreme | Skate

July 15, 2022

Verena: Hi Nikolay! Are you excited to talk about Yodobashi Xtreme today?

Nikolay: If the internet connection remains stable, yes. (laughs)

Verena: Hopefully it does! How did the collaboration come about?

Nikolay: That's a long story! (laughs)

Verena: You're making me curious.

Nikolay: Zooom Productions were looking for a downhill skateboarder for their new campaign. While searching, they came across Felix Rupitsch. Felix is the head of BigMountain Skate, an organizer of downhill skateboarding events. They called Felix and went like, "Hey Felix, do you know someone who skates down in a very stylish way and looks good for a commercial?". Yeah, they actually said it like that. (laughs) After that Felix called me and the rest is history.

Verena: How did you prepare for the job?

Nikolay: The first step was preparing the equipment. My Rayne Genesis skateboard was adapted to the branding of Yodobashi Xtreme, which is all black with red X. The plan was to cover the skateboard with foil. I worked in two layers. Black foil served as a base and then I put the red X as a sticker on top of it. Zooom Productions provided me with all the necessary materials. They even bought me a complete outfit for the shoot and a new custom-painted helmet. Finally, I made sure the board was technically up to date and, of course, I did a few training sessions.

Verena: Sounds like everything worked out well. Where did you film the commercial?

Nikolay: Initially, Loser was planned as the location for the shoot. Loser is a super technical track, fast-paced, and always in perfect shape. In autumn you have a fantastic view from there. The valley is all covered up with clouds. However, the location was changed last minute. (laughs) We went to Kaunertal instead, because the prairie is even more beautiful up there.

Verena: What did I miss? You were filming in the Wild West? (laughs)

Nikolay: Yes, exactly. (laughs) The landscape in Kaunertal is very different from Loser. It looks much more like you're high up in the mountains, far away from civilization.

Verena: How is skating in Kaunertal different from Loser?

Nikolay: There are quite a few differences. The harsh asphalt in Kaunertal is difficult to skate on, especially when you're going fast. Imagine riding down with 80-90 km/h in speed, or 60-70 km/h in curves, and then the whole board starts shaking. It was funky. (laughs)

Verena: Also, Kaunertal is high in altitude.

Nikolay: So the road, as I remember, goes up to 2409 meters. Most of the time we were shooting at 2200 meters. If you live at 800 meters or 900 meters in altitude, then go up so high and do sports throughout the whole day...

Verena: The air is getting thin up there.

Nikolay: The air is getting thin and I really noticed how my muscles got tired earlier than usual.

Verena: But Nikolay, what exactly was your job at this production?

Nikolay: I was the person in front of the camera. I was the main actor. The... protagonist. (laughs)

Verena: You've expressed it beautifully now.

Nikolay: I think so too. I really enjoyed being in front of the camera. As you know, I'm usually behind it filming others.

Verena: One question remains. If Keller Creatives didn't do the filming, who else did it?

Nikolay: Zooom Productions! Lukas did the filming. Then there was Heike, the project manager. Ulrich was the chief mechanic. Such a great guy. Felix was there to secure the road and Pablo took close-ups of me standing on the skateboard. He rode next to me as the second skateboarder and he also drove the Follow-Car.

Verena: What's a Follow-Car?

Nikolay: A Follow-Car films the skateboarder riding down the road from behind. Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera mount for the car.

Verena: How did you solve this issue?

Nikolay: Ulrich, Pablo and I got creative. We took a t-shirt and a lot of tape and used it to stick the camera to the front of the car. We should definitely show the pictures here. They are awesome.

Verena: Looking back, what was your personal highlight?

Nikolay: The cows. (laughs) We always had to make sure that there were no cows on the road before riding down. On the first day, I even skated over a cow patty. You should know that it was planned to do close-up shots of me holding the skateboard afterwards. There are even pictures of me and Pablo cleaning the board. (laughs)

Verena: You really put some effort into it.

Nikolay: Yes. Everyone did. Another highlight was the food. There's a hut about halfway down the Kaunertal glacier road, right above the lake. Extremely beautifully situated with delicious Austrian food. Afterwards, we were completely stuffed with ice cream, schnitzel and french fries. (laughs)

Verena: Overall impression of the project?

Nikolay: Oh, it was such a great experience! The whole production was so warm and welcoming, with such cool people. I'm glad I got to be part of it.

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