Really nice chat with Europe’s favourite film-maker about his adventures in NY and Madrid, film-making and Rembrandt.
Hey Alberto, great to speak to you. Where are you from?
Hola! I think Alberto is from Spain, and lives in Madrid, great city by the way!
You’re not sure where Alberto is from?
No one can be sure about anything these days, hehe!
Haha, bearded philosopher – Is there anything you are certain about?
I love longboarding, that’s for sure!
When did you first fall in love?
All this began around 12 years ago, but it was in 2007 when I first saw Lords of Dogtown and realised that those soft wheels were the key for what I was looking for. Since there, it all changed for me.
What was your favourite scene?
I don’t know if i have a favourite scene, but i always remember when Jay Adams is at a competition, everyone is doing the same tricks and he pulls a hand plant on the vert. No one ever saw that maneuver and because he did not land it he didn’t get a good score so he leaves the event. It shows how much he really loved skateboarding and that real passion for just pushing himself apart from everything else.
What is it about this skateboarding movie that makes people want to longboard?
I think it’s because of the style the movie spreads, what you really see is a bunch of kids surfing the concrete with some amazing movements, and that looks like so much fun to try.
Many people try to deny any difference between traditional skateboards and the longer variety, what are your thoughts on this?
I don’t really think too much about this. Longboarding and skateboarding both come from the same thing. Both have their own world and at the same time they share a lot. They are totally different things and also the same.
What is the importance of film in longboarding?
Longboard movies help to spread the stoke, they are the references for a lot of people to see what they can really do with their longboards. Also, everyone enjoys watching videos about what they do or like, and if you are not into this, videos could be the key for the beginning of a great passion. I have lots of comments in my videos of people saying they started longboarding because of a certain video.
When did you start making videos?
I’ve been interested in film-making since [I was] 14, almost at the same time I started skateboarding. But it all really started to get more serious around 2006. Making skate videos has been always very attractive to me and when I got poisoned by longboarding, it was a good way of expressing my view of it and get some practice between my short movie projects.
Is there a long term film-making plan?
Of course, it’s what I studied for and the reason why I had serious problems in my late high school days hehe. Being a filmmaker is what I enjoy the most, I could die happy if I ever have the chance of making my movie!
Do you have a movie in mind?
Not yet, I have lots of little drafts in different notebooks and a couple of stories there, but right now my mind is more focused on how I can survive with what I do. What I have is a couple of good drafts for a short movie I’m planning. It’s not a longboard movie, but the character skates. I want to make this one bigger, try to push myself a couple of steps further and make a serious product.
Do you find making longboard videos easier?
It’s hard to answer, making a good video is always hard no matter what the theme is, but making a 90 minutes movie and make it good… That must be a massive challenge. The harder thing in all this is to come along with a good idea.
What’s the hardest thing about shooting longboarders?
Trying to adapt the video to them, I have my style and rules for my videos, but they don’t work the same with different riders, it’s the hardest but at the same time, once the video is finished (if it all fits together) it feels very good. Also it’s hard when a rider gets stuck with a trick or a certain line and we have to repeat it tons of times, that really destroys my legs, hehe!
What equipment do you use?
I always film with with a Canon EOS 7D that right now is unfortunately being repaired, and the worst thing about this is that it didn’t fall while longboarding. It sucks! I also have an 11-16 wide angle lens, 50mm and a 70-200. Little by little I’ll get better gear.
How did it get damaged?
It was while shooting a heavy metal music video. The camera was attached to a rig arm and it suddenly fell. The camera still works but the body is open.
In your videos – how do you shoot yourself?
That only happened three times, when it’s someone else who shoots me with my camera we try to make less follow shots and practice the camera and focus moves before I try my line so if I land it the camera is ready. It’s fun to direct your own video!
What was the first longboard video you ever made?
It was a part of a documentary I did about a guy from texas that comes to Spain to make his living, he skates and we wanted to meet the people at the West Park in Madrid. That day I met Ra, Nacho Caribbean, Jorge Lachicadelacurva, and a lot of other people. It was the first time I ever filmed someone longboarding, doing cross steps and those things.
Aww. You still remember the day you met Ra! The beginning of bromance.
Those days I only had a mini cruiser, I never saw anyone doing what i saw that day, and when I saw Ra and his amazing style it made realise that I had to learn to skate like him on a longer board (because those days he was always riding a very old G&S fibreflex).
Which is the favourite?
I don’t have a favourite one, each one reminds me a different story, but the first ones that comes to my mind are Longboarding underwater – Psicosurf, Tasio´s Bestiary or Blood: The Price To Be, and of course all the New York series!
Bloodboarding was the first I saw. Before that, I had no idea there were longboarders in Madrid
Pablo Quiles (in the video above) is a real beast, we met that day, he woke me up at 5.30 in the morning to go downhill at the sunset. I think that video spreads pure attitude!
What board did you get after the mini cruiser?
My girlfriend gave me for my birthday; a Loaded Dervish. It drove me mad and it took me to Moyano every night, but that’s a long story that hasn’t finished yet.
Does your girlfriend skate?
No she doesn’t, she likes it and enjoy watching it and the good friends we make, but unfortunately she doesn´t.
What does she do?
She is a shoe designer plus the nicest person I have ever met.
She made THOSE shoes?
Yes! I hope we can release them soon!
Perropro shoes for the world?
Yes, but only 10 pairs, very limited edition, we don’t want to get in the shoe industry, we did this just for fun, to say in the future, “hey do you remember when we did those shoes”!
Haha ok, please I would like to pre-order one in AllAroundSkate colours; blue and black.
Haha! we only have one colour! Perropro colours, hehe.
I will make you and Eva a very tasty English breakfast with extra bacon if you reconsider.
Unfortunately we are vegetarians…
Haha ok, I’ll settle for red and black. When can I order one?
If everything goes well we will announce it the next week on facebook and perropro.com.
Where did you start skating?
In the basketball courts of my school when I was supposed to be at maths classes
How did you get involved with shooting the New York series?
It was all a Bruno’s idea I think. He is very connected to the city and when we saw plane tickets for less than 400€ we decided to go all in. The first trip helped us to connect with the scene there, and this last trip was all supported by Bustin.
Had you been to NY before?
Yes, I went with my parents when I was 11, but going with friends and longboards gave a very different point of view of the city.
Who is Bruno?
Bruno is a good friend of mine I shoot a lot with, he rides for Bustin and Orangatang. He is a very special boy and one the most talented riders I have shot.
How does a guy in Madrid end up riding for Bustin?
A lot of people here in Spain are riding for big companies, we are making noise here with all the videos, the girls and the big event “La noche en Blanco”. People are out there skating everyday and pushing the sport.
How many times have you been there to skate?
I’ve been to New York mainly to film, and even if I film on a longboard, I didn’t get the chance of really skate the city, but I’ve been there to film two times.
What’s your relationship with Bustin?
The fact that two of their riders are the guys I skate with everyday (Bruno and Toti) connected us in a very easy way. We are talking about more collaborations to get the chance of making some good videos.
Who do you ride with in Madrid?
In Madrid you ride with everybody, I just go to Moyano and skate with everyone that is there.
Do you prefer skating in New York or Madrid?
Madrid is my city, I feel very connected to it. We can’t complain about our spots and scene at all. New York is impressive, full of spots and tons of corners to discover, but a bit flat for everyday riding.
Have you skated anywhere else apart from those cities?
During 2011 I drove the whole country to skate and film with people. Outside of the country, only in New York and London, where I first rode my Alva skateboard.
When did you start riding with Bruno and Toti?
I first met Bruno one night in Moyano, the second day i saw him we did this video http://youtu.be/Ye68BOuHaB4 which gave him the chance to skate for Bustin and O’tang I think. This was almost 2 years ago. Toti was Bruno’s friend since forever and when Bruno went to NY to study he gave Toti a longboard and he introduced him to us, two days later we realised that Toti was also fucking talented with the longboard too!
Haha yeah Puto Toti is crazy!
Have you collaborated with anyone else?
I actually collaborate with Bustin and Loaded/Orangatang in E.E.U.U. Here in Spain I collaborate with Buddywood, Lachicadelacurva and other local brands. Mainly all the riders that are rocking out there, because they are the main key of my videos!
You ride for loaded?
I am a Loaded/Orangatang film and rider ambassador. It’s great because they are the only ones that are supporting so many riders around the world.
Lucky! So you can shred your board and wheels as hard as you want!
Yes, but I never burn wheels (I don’t know why) and a board lasts me for more than a year so they must be very happy too!
What do you ride right now?
I always ride a Loaded Bhangra flex 2 with Paris trucks and the new Balluts 80a. But for freeride and downhill I ride a Bombsquad Bazooka with 44º caliber trucks and Balluts too!
I didn’t know you were into downhill!
Not too much, I have a lot of fun, but I hate to take a car to skate. I always keep it very easy, I can’t break a leg or an arm because it could keep me out of working.
True. Especially with things as they are now. Is it harder for a film-maker?
It’s hard in general but I can’t complain, things are going pretty good for me and I just can’t stop moving.
How was last season for you?
It was the beginning of what is happening now not only in work but also longboarding. Being able to grow working and learning also the real value of what I do in the real world.
That is a rather mysterious answer. What do you mean?
I mean it was a good year, better opportunities and more knowledge.
What is the real value of what you do in the real world?
I think is the value of the imagination, a guy and a camera with no budget is reaching plenty of people from the desktop of his room, that sounded a bit cheesy, hehe.
Haha you’re vegetarian, you love cheese!
What was the highlight of the season for you?
Going back to New York was definitely awesome!
What’s the funniest comment you’ve seen on one of your videos?
A kid complaining about no helmet in the video of Ra skating underwater… And the 56 likes it has.
Haha. Trolls are the best. You definitely want to wear a helmet underwater in case you hit a shark or something!
Please mind the shark-dogs
You mean wolfsharks!
No I mean perrosharks!
Haha. How did you shoot that video?
It was one of the most extreme vital experiences I have ever had. It was during the night, we had a big storm over us and that pool never saw the sun so it was fucking ice. It took me one minute inside to realise that it was going to be a tough night, once I was close to losing conscience because of the cold. Amazing experience! Fucking vegetarians, hehe
What did you shoot with?
I shoot with my 7D and a plastic cover for it, it was hard because my cheap lenses did not fit well in the case. It took me 6 hours. 15 minutes in the water, 10 next to the light to get some heat and back to the water.
What is Perropro/Perroprod?
Perropro is the real name, perroprod is because the name was not available on youtube. It means dog productions, dog because I love my dog and it has been a very big influence in my life, is a tribute to him.
What’s his name?
His name is Rem, from Rembrandt, the painter. He doesn’t skate, but he loves to run next to me while I skate. The gave him to me when he was one month old and almost 4 years later we are planning big adventures together.
Congratulations on being voted as Europe’s favourite video editor!
Thanks! you can’t imagine how big is that for me! The only one from Europe, with no big products and not the big pro riders, and still there. It just feels great, not only for me but for all the riders I have filmed with, this also shows that they are going the right way!
What are your plans for this year?
I don’t think too much about the future, I actually believe there is no future in a positive way. I hope everything keeps growing, the only plan I have… I hope this year I can go to somewhere far and different to film a big longboard video! Japan would be awesome!
What do you do when you’re not skating or filming?
I watch tons of movies, try to fill my notebook, and enjoy the time with my girl, dog, friends and family.
Will you ever submit your longboard films to a festival?
I always miss the submit date for the festivals, I have never tryed it but could be a good idea!
Why do you think we don’t have more longboard videos with a narrative?
Because that is the hard part of it, what takes the creativity to an other step, and because filming it in a way that works well is hard. I do that because all my learning background and main goal are the movies and the filmmaking. People should try to make their videos different to what the main channels are doing. Trying to find your own language is a great challenge
What are your thoughts on a longboard film-festival?
That would be awesome! Imagine everyone in one big theater watching the very best films about longboarding. I’m down for this, we should start thinking about it from now!
YES! 100%, What do we need to make this happen?
We just have to start contacting people. From there everything would happen.
Have you collaborated with any other (longboard) filmmakers?
Yes, I sometimes fill with a good friend from the Spanish film school. We did together the video for the loaded tripod contest that we won and gave me the chance to contact with the loaded guys. But I’m more a kind of loner.
Do you have any advice for anyone out there who wants to invest in some equipment to start making longboarding films?
The biggest advice is get your camera and go out there and film your friends, edit anything you film no matter if it’s good or bad, this is a long journey and it all goes step by step, just like learning longboarding!
Choose 3 numbers between 1-25
Oooook…..3, 16, 21
3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life
A total impact! So much that is not about longboarding anymore, it’s just life.
16 – Do you have a blog/twitter?
Yes, I have both, perropro.com( that will be updated soon with better gnarvigation) and @PERRoPRO
21 – Would you pick the red or blue pill?
I’ve seen that movie lots of times but I don’t remember which one was the right one!
Red means – go down the rabbit hole, and blue if you want to stay in the Matrix.
With the red one you can always go back to matrix just in case you miss a good steak!
Awesome stuff. It has been a great pleasure catching up with you. I wish you all the best in this coming year in your skating and vegetarian love life! Can’t wait to skate with you tomorrow in Moyano.Sure! Nice evening we just had with this interesting chat!! Un saludo grande a ti tambien!
Haha yeah! Looking forward to working with you and the rest of the European longboard film-makers on OUR film festival!
Let’s make that real!