Phil Zwijsen Interview Tweak #4

I met Phil in Antwerpen back in October and talked about his Waterproof video by Element. It was presented in issue 4 and I wanted to give it again on the website for anyone who didn’t get to catch the mag.


When did you start filming « Waterproof » and how much time did it take ?

I started filming for it 2 years ago ; we didn’t start filming but we really worked at it one year ago. It was like, filming for a few days and then not for a few months after which we filmed again, so maybe in total we spent like 30 or 40 days really filming for it. So it was like one month really over a span of 2 years.

Where did you get the idea ?

Well, I already did something like that at Skatecamp in Norway, so I thought I would make a full part. I talked to Element and they really liked it, they were like yeah let’s try. Then we tried and I only did powerslides and it worked really good, so yeah we continued on that way. I was pretty stoked that it actually worked out, you know.

How was the making of the video ?

Well a few times, we built something like sprays of water or little rivers. For the filming they had to put plastics everywhere, and for the photos too. It was a really big mission, every trick needed so much work because it was in the rain so it was really wet and everything. Yeah, it was a lot of preparation for only one trick sometimes, so for a 5 minute film it was a lot of work you know. And I never did it before… I mean, it’s not that I’m used to do this kind of stuff.

What is it like skating in water ?

I mean, I just had to practice, beacause now, if I would do the exact same project again, I would be way better at it because I really learned a lot. It’s like learning again, learning slides and everything. If I’d known that beforehand, we would have saved so much time. But now we did it so it was all about learning and trying at the same time.

Was it bad for your boards, shoes,… ?

No, actually I used one normal board that was done after, but then I got a new one for which the water doesn’t go in the wood straight away. I was really surprised of that, because the first setup I used took so much water like board, trucks, shoes. But then at the end, I only skated one board and the bearings and everything… it was all fine you know.

What was your favorite moment of the video ?

Maybe there is this spot it’s like my ender, it’s like the best spot to skate, it was really fun. I went there two or three times to skate it and, I don’t know… It really worked well at that spot and was the most fun to skate.

Where did you go to film ?

We just followed the rain and checked where it was going to rain. For example that time in Bilbao, it was raining out like crazy. We looked at the forecast and everybody could go, so we were like « fuck let’s go » like two days before. But we couldn’t really plan for sure you know, you never know for certain when it’s going to rain. We also went to Switzerland a lot to film with a friend from Element and we also had some good rain there. It’s crazy when you think about it, some « good rain », haha. And Paris as well, a friend was filming for the project as well and who lives there knew a lot of spots. So we went out there and it was easy because he knew what spots we needed that really worked for this project.

Did you expect going pro ?

We kind of talked about it before because there were already graphics I had to choose and everything you know. I mean, at the premiere I was still surprised by so many people. Not that I was surprised that I got the board but I was just happy that everybody was there, my family and all my friends, you know. Everybody was there so it was just amazing.

How does it feel to be pro ?

It’s cool but yeah, it was not like a major surprise, I kind of knew but I mean it’s cool. The Element team does a lot for me, especially with this project. They put a lot of work in it  ; it’s not only me skating but there’s also a photographer, a filmer… It’s a whole team working together to make eveything. So it’s a lot of work, they don’t do it in a few days, you know… They put a lot of time in it and I think it’s pretty crazy they do that for me.

What does your family think about it ?

I don’t know, I didn’t really talk with them after it all came out because we went to a party and then I skated the contest. I’ve seen my mother but we didn’t talk that much about it. But I think they’re really happy. I don’t think they

knew it was going to happen and really realize what it’s about but i think they’re pretty happy for me.

What are your projects now ?

Well I’m filming a lot as well. I’ll make a new a video soon, I’ll probably try to finish it next year. But yeah, we need to do trips and I’m the filmer so it’s a lot of preparation and we don’t have any money… But it’s pretty sick, I’m really stoked about that too.