Ice, driftwood, foamy waves and … skateboards? In this poetic short film, four skaters head north to the cold Norwegian coast, applying their urban skills to a wild canvas of beach flotsam, frozen sand and pastel skies. The result is a beautiful mashup — biting winds and short days, ollies and one epic miniramp.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
I got the idea four years before it was set in motion. I was out surfing in northern Norway on one of the coldest days of the year — when I came back up on shore, I noticed that the cold weather had turned the sand rock solid and the idea was born. After some years, the idea had been in the back of my head, and it grew bigger and bigger each time I thought about it. After a while, the idea had evolved from just skating directly on the sand to also trying to build a full scale miniramp. In the beginning people were really skeptical about the whole idea. Everyone thought it was a cool idea, but they were unsure if it was going to work in real life. But when I showed a small test I had done the winter before, everyone got really stoked. I think skateboarders are used to going out of their comfort zone and they’re always eager to try new things. That´s why they are so good at skateboarding, and why they love to be a part of these kinds of projects.
CHALLENGES AND REWARDS
The cold and sand made it very challenging for the skaters. Tricks they could normally stomp with their eyes closed took them 10-20 tries with the different conditions. The griptape was covered with ice and sand, the trucks got really stiff from the cold so the skaters basically didn’t have any board feel. But then again, it made it so much cooler to stick a basic trick. I think this project was a very special experience for all of us. The amazing thing about traveling north is that the light is so different there. In summer the sun never sets and in winter the sun never rises. The last days we were shooting, we could see the sun for a few minutes before it went under the horizon again. It felt so good to have the warm sunlight hit your face after so many weeks without it. I think we had light from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.. So we did not have too many hours every day to film. We had 10 days of filming. Some days we got a lot of skating, but some days were stormy and too warm.
Four people built the ramp and we spent two days working on it before the whole crew and skaters arrived. To build it, we made a framework out of wood and filled that with sand and freshwater. The weather was changing constantly, which made filming the miniramp scene a struggle. The original plan was to make the ramp with perfectly straight lines, but the temperature never got low enough to freeze it solid, so the edges collapsed a bit. In retrospect, it looked so much cooler than a perfect build would have, because it actually looks like sand and not like a concrete bloc. We were lucky and managed to film on the miniramp the last day. A few days later, a big storm came in and washed the whole ramp away so we were really lucky! - And we got the perfect ending. It’s a surprisingly perfect surface to skate — proving once again how skateboarders change our interpretation of everyday surroundings.
Jørn Nyseth Ranum, Director of Northbound
Director: Jørn Nyseth Ranum
Screenplay: Jørn Nyseth Ranum
DoP: Łukasz Zamaro
Camera: Jørn Nyseth Ranum, Knut Joner & Edvart Falch Alsos
Editor: Marta Sæverud
Composer: Erlend Elvesveen
Sound Designer: Ole Richard Korsan Stuwe
Sound Engineer: Håkon Lammetun
Sound Recording: Ole Richard Korsan Stuwe