Today we are back with our Place Presents series with a new face to the Berlin scene Noam Or is his name and when looking at this part we feel like cruising is his game. That should not be taken as a diss, his tricks are solid but the feeling we are left with is a smooth and soothing feeling, it is like the ground helps him skate. We talked to the person behind the lens, Gustaf Johansson, who didn’t only film this part but in fact, made a whole video of which Noam’s section is the opening part. So, if you wanna know about Gustaf, Noam, and the whole ASSIST video please scroll down and read.
Intro & Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Film & Edit by Gustaf Johansson.
Hey Gustaf, tell us a bit about who you are and what ASSIST is. How did this video project start and will there be more coming?
I first started filming skateboarding in 2011 and have released about 5 or 6 videos shot in my hometown Karlstad growing up.
In 2020, I and Noam moved to Stockholm after a few years in Barcelona. We had just finished our video “Perdedor” and we both felt like taking a small break from filming. I think he only has one clip from 2020 in this part! During this period, I got really into photography which has taken up more and more of my time. I still had my HPX170 but didn’t have the motivation to be out-capturing skateboarding to the same extent that I’ve had for the last 10 years or so.
In 2021 when Mattias Ingerstedt and Johan Niemi (who’s also part of the video) moved to Stockholm we started getting more and more footage. Johan brought what felt like half a part shot by Robert Lindfors in Luleå where he lived before moving. I ended up handing over the camera to Noam and he and Johan took over the larger part of filming for the video. During 2022, I basically shot very little. I really have them to thank for this project coming to a close! Just before I started editing the video, Johan talked to Jonathan and Alexander Carelle, who told him that they had some unused footage that they had filmed of each other and were down to be a part of our project. By now, we had clips for a whole video! All of them assisted me in completing it hence the name “ASSIST”.
I’m super thankful for all the hard work the guys put in, both in front and behind the camera and this wouldn’t have happened without them. Also big thanks to Noam who mixed the sound for the whole video making sure it sounded crisp, Ari Bald for the music in Jonathan and Alexander’s part and to Alexander Djuvfeldt who made the artwork.
In 2023, Johan is going to take over the filming. He actually already has some clips filmed. I’m going to focus on getting more into skate photography but I will still be involved in the video making some way or another. Hopefully, we have something to show in the near future!
How have you been and what have you been up to since you finished this video
We premiered the video at the beginning of February here in Stockholm and since then I’ve just been looking forward to when spring hits. Winter’s still “real” up here and we just got about 10 cm of snow!
Me, Johan, and, our girlfriends went to visit his hometown up north a few weeks back. It was basically food and beers, sauna, and riding snowmobiles for a couple of days. That was a lot of fun! A nice contrast to slushy Stockholm.
Who is in the full video and what is it like filming with the main people?
Johan, Noam, and Mattias! They are all very close friends of mine so things really come naturally. If we end up getting a clip that’s great but if not, we just hang out and do whatever. Usually, we end up in a bar where Johan complains about the fit of his pants and Mattias holding a monologue containing cheap jokes and bitcoin talk. Jonathan and Alexander, I did not know that well up until the point they got on board for this project. I’ve met them earlier at contests growing up and at spots here in Stockholm. But they’re a lot of fun and always down to skate and film so it’s going to be sick to hang out with them more in the future.
What can we expect from you in the future in a broader way?
I plan on releasing a photography zine in the near future. I’ve been working on the layout for the last month or so and I would say that it’s about 90% done. Just need to find a good place to print it which doesn’t cost a small fortune.
I’m also starting a new photo project documenting “Obsan”, which is the ledge spot located in a concrete pond. It’s pretty much the only spot in Stockholm where skaters meet up and hang out. Kinda like our MACBA or Milano Centrale. It sucks that they fill it up with water every summer though. We have spring and autumn so you really have to appreciate it while you’re able to be there.
Other than that I also have some other projects that I’m working on. Check out my website gustafjohansson.se and @gustafjohansson on Instagram if you’re interested.
How did you stumble upon PLACE and why did you feel it would be a good fit for you?
I feel like you guys are one of the few places that are really good at noticing skaters that many maybe aren’t that familiar with. Many other skate sites and media tend to focus a lot on big names with big brands backing them. I understand that this is needed financially to be able to operate but it’s cool to see you doing both. The majority of skaters are unsponsored and skate simply because that’s what they love to do. It’s nice to see their work getting the attention I feel it deserves.
Who’s work inspires you inside or outside of skateboarding currently and in the past?
I have always been a big fan of what Grant Yansura makes, both now and in the past. All the way back from “Weekendtage” to all of his work on WKND. He never seems to stop and every video he makes is better than the last. I think it’s really impressive to be able to do it for so long and every time he makes a video it has something new to it. The filming and music choices are constantly great and there’s always some comedic sense to them which I really enjoy. Also, the skits he makes are sick. “Alan Gelfand High” felt like watching a proper movie.
There are a lot of great skate photographers out there. But to name a few I really like the work of Kris Burkhardt, Zander Taketomo, and Nils Svensson. The photo by Nils of Jerome Campbell doing a melon grab of a small jump ramp with his tongue hanging out is probably one of my favorite skate photos ever. The classic Bs Smith photo of Mike Carroll by Blabac is also sick.
Noam recently moved to Berlin how has that impacted your friendship?
Noam and I grew up together. When I meet him now it’s like we saw each other yesterday. So not at all to be honest. Of Course, I miss having him around and being able to hang out with him on a weekly basis but I’m really happy for him that he has moved there to pursue his passion for music. It’s cool to see him being able to do what he loves. It also gives me a reason to go to Berlin more often. I’m actually going there twice in April so that’s going to be sick.
What is your favorite trick in Noam’s part and why?
I would say the Fs Smith flip out on the up-ledge. Noam did that really easily. I remember it as one of the first really hot days of 2021 and we were stoked about it. Later that day after we were done skating, a kid, 10 years old or so, asked me for a cigarette and then called me disgusting for saying no and because he found out we were rooting for different football teams. That was pretty funny.
Well, those were my questions, thank you for this interview Gustaf!
Thank you too, I can’t wait to show people the full ASSIST video soon.