Pushed DVD - A Film By Florian Schneider
"PUSHED" Is a documentary styled skateboarding film that details four individuals (Pontus Alv, Bobby Puleo, Stefan Marx & Adam Sello) long process through the 'Wooden Toy' pastime, from the act itself spawned ideas that when physically realised effected each person's life in areas that 'non-skateboarders' would assume are irrelevant in the necessity of the 'Sport', upon reflection this raises the question of whether skateboarding pushes through the meniscus of just! a simple 'art-form' or 'passion' and into the realm of a organically evolved subculture.
The protagonists in this densely filmed full length documentary are the photographer Adam Sello from Berlin, Artist and Designer Stefan Marx from Hamburg, concrete avant-gardist and filmmaker Pontus Alv from Malmö and the urban artifact-collector Bobby Puleo from New York. They have been followed for several days and weeks, giving insights in their everyday life, their work, their motives, their successes and failures. Although skateboarding is always connected to the people and the shown issues it stays in the back most of the time and tries to be what it was once for the protagonists: A big motivation and inspiration to do things.
Living in Hamburg, Germany Stefan nowadays is a successful artist, drawer and designer who has always been using the skateboard as a big influence and inspiration for his graphics. He was raised in the boondocks where he once saw himself confronted with huge distances to the next skate shop, skate park or even the epicenter of skateboarding, California. So he started to discover the DIY-method for himself and founded a small T-shirt label called
“THE LOUSY LIVIN’ COMPANY”. This label still exists while Stefan is starting to establish himself on the art market.
Being the father of two little children, Adam is always in a rush. Not only the kids keep him on the go, just as well do the skateboarders of Berlin and the visitors who come there to skate. Adam is a freelance skateboard photographer. Besides selling pics to magazines he publishes a non-profit, small size skateboard magazine called Anzeige Berlin Information. A view on his everyday live shows how big the effort is to produce footage – footage that turns out to be the main idea behind the skateboard industry.
Growing up in Malmö, Sweden Pontus became a talent on the skateboard early in life. At the age of fifteen this took him to the US to ride for companies such as Mad Circle or Arcade. He later rode for a big European brand before he quit and chose to concentrate on the skate scene in his home town. Because there was no real choice of spots in Malmö, Pontus and his friends started to experiment and work with concrete. Pontus himself documented this process that led to two movies (“THE STRONGEST OF THE STRANGE” / 2005 and “IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS” / 2010) which turned out to be massive influences for other skateboarders to start shaping with concrete.
Bobby Puleo lives and skates in New York City, where he once, after “TEN YEARS OF LOOKING ON THE GROUND” started to discover things that have been dumped by others. For him, these things develop a new value. After some years of collecting, Bobby arranges these “ARTIFACTS OF THE CITY” to collages and tries to establish his art. Besides that he is still out on his skateboard whenever possible. Out in the streets he discovers new spots, new possibilities and new values for wasted things out of the gutter. He sees himself confronted with that fact that he is no longer able to provide for himself only through skateboarding that makes him change his preferences.
THE FILMMAKER AND HIS MOTIVATION:
Florian Schneider actually became a filmmaker because of skateboarding. After filming and editing his friends’ skating in the late Nineties, he became interested in film making itself. Ever since, this thought has been a motivation for him to make a movie about skateboarding. Ten years later, he finally found his topic in four guys whose creative output has always been an inspiration for him.
After contacting the guys in spring 2008, Flo started to organize the logistics of the project. With the support of Carhartt and the Hessian Film Foundation, he was able to start the project in December 2008. What was planned to be a one-year project, turned out to be a three-year journey with more than fifty shooting days and almost nine months of editing.
Florian on the project: “When I was able to start the project, it was like a dream come true – I was able to portray and work with some guys whose work I always deeply respected. These guys turned out to be real characters, all of them very different, but interesting and ambivalent. These characters make the movie what it is – a view on personage, not a skatevideo, not a montage.”
By meeting Felix Zenker, Florian found the best possible Director of Photography for this project. Being a skateboarder and camera operator on his own, Felix was down for the project after the first second. It turned out, Felix internalized Florian’s visual concept and took it to an unexpected level: There is no tripod in the movie, every picture moves and breathes and the camera always stays close to the protagonists.
Both, Florian and Felix enjoyed the work and time they spent on “PUSHED” which was originally called “WELOVEYOU”. The name changed because the actual movie is not an image-movie or commercial for skateboarding but a close look on individuals who are just “pushed” by skateboarding.