Dino Coce / "Tabula Rasa" / PREMIERE / Raul Žgomba / INTERVIEW

A handful of years after Nikola Racan's "SOLSTICIJ" and a couple since Simple Skateboards' "BROTHERS", it is the turn of Raul Žgomba's "TABULA RASA" to emerge as one more remarkable independent full-length video production out of fertile Croatia. Some weeks earlier, the homies over at Free Skate Mag already shared Antonio Peković's section; as of today, the full piece on DVD is available straight from the filmmaker itself here, comprising more skateboarding from Nino Jurlina, Filip Tenšek, Karlo Gluhačić, Elvis Butković, Mark Pogačar Nikolić, Miloš Ačanski, Zvonimir Mikić and, last but not least, Dino Coce, whose part LIVE is showcasing to you today. Like most great projects, this one wasn't without raising many a question so naturally, we caught up with Raul and Dino to get as many as possible out of the way, y'know, just in case!


LIVE Skateboard Media: Yo Raul, thanks for doing this! May you please introduce yourself to our readers - what is your background in skateboarding and skate filmmaking, respectively? Where and when did you start skating, and what were your inspirations to take up camera duties as well?

Raul Žgomba: I started skateboarding in 2011. We used to film each other with bad cameras and fish-eyes designed for mobile phones, and I just wasn't interested in filming at the time. But then - I think - in 2014, my friend who's a BMX rider bought a Sony VX-1000; I didn't even know what a VX was until then.

Ph.: Mark Pogačar Nikolič

Anyway, dude was a good boy and always letting us borrow that camera because he, himself, wasn't using it too much. At one point I wanted to buy it, but Mihael Šandro purchased it before me; all the Simple Skateboards clips and the "BROTHERS" full-length video were filmed on that camera, and the guys are still using it.

"[Dino] filmed that part on three decks;
he gets stuff done quick!"

After that, Patrik Prhat bought a HD camera, I kind of forgot about filming, a year or two passed and then I watched the Threads Idea Vacuum video "HEADCLEANER". It singlehandedly got me hyped on filming again, and that was around the time when Mario "Feki" Fanuko [ed. note: Pula legend behind the video "STRIC"] started skating with us, the younger generation. His camera was not working at the time, but he had a fish-eye. Eventually I decided to buy a VX-2000 I found on some Croatian equivalent of Amazon. Feki showed me how to set up the camera and how to capture footage - thanks, Feki! It was only a few months after that that we filmed our first video.

Raul and Elvis Butković, somewhere in Istria. Ph.: Karlo Gluhačić

LSM: How long did making "TABULA RASA" take? What is it that inspired you to make an independent VX full-length on your own? How did you choose the featured skaters, and how conscious was the effort of presenting the styles and spots on display in the video - did you mean your video to have a message, did you just make do with your surroundings by default or is there anything special you wanted to represent?

Raul: "TABULA RASA" took two years and a half, from 2017 to 2019 but I think the last year and a half was the most productive.

After that first video I was mentioning, I wanted to buy a VX-1000 and a MK1 fish-eye and start filming anew. I'm not a fan of short edits, so this time I was really all about collecting footage.

"But then he said
'if you do this trick,
I'm going to give you
a hundred kunas'"

About skaters, well, skaters aren't that numerous in Croatia, and we almost all know each other. I'm not going to speak for everyone but for example, I met Dino maybe three years ago in Pula, when he came to the local skate contest. He stayed here for a few more days and we filmed a few clips, then I saw how the sessions were going with him, started to ponder if I wanted to do something with him and then the next year already, we were starting to film for "TABULA RASA".

Ph.: Karlo Gluhačić

About Peko (Antonio Peković), I've known him for a while now but we don't live in the same town, so we skate together maybe once or twice a year. Two years ago, Karlo, Patrik and Puki went to study in Zagreb, and Peko started skating and hanging out with them every day. I, myself, was starting to go to Zagreb more often to skate with them, and that's how I became close to Peko. We would always film stuff and I don't know, at some point we just naturally started to collect footage for this video in particular. We started to meet more often, even in different cities in Croatia, to film; we also went to Copenhagen together.

And about Zvonimir [Mikić] - every summer for the past two years, he's been staying in Pula for work, and we filmed that part of his over those two summers.

Ph.: Mark Pogačar Nikolič

This video has no specific message - we just wanted to skate as many spots as possible, film smart tricks [laughs] and I tried to film it the best I could - and also find good music.

I think that's it - just good times!

LSM: There is more than just Croatian spots in "TABULA RASA"; where exactly did you guys go to film and how many trips did you take overall? How did those missions come together? Any particular trip anecdote you feel like recounting? Could you get any outside support to help fund the trips, or did you pay everything out of you guys’ own pockets?

Raul: We filmed in Pula as well as in a lot of small places in Istria, but also in Rijeka, Zagreb and Split as far as Croatia goes. We also went to Belgrade thanks to David, Nebojša and Danilo, we went to Ljubljana thanks to Mark, Desh and all the Slovenian homies and finally we went to visit Nino Jurlina in Copenhagen - that was our last trip.

Ph.: Karlo Gluhačić

We paid for everything out of our own pockets - only Peko and Mark are getting boards for free. I don't remember any crazy story or anything remarkable happening while filming, just VX issues - I once smashed the fisheye into a wall, and now you can see the cracks from that hit on some of the clips that I ended up using nonetheless.

Or, maybe that one time when Peko was skating close to someone's house and the guy who lived there went outside, so we thought that he was going to tell us to go away, but then he said "if you do this trick, I'm going to give you a hundred kunas", so he did that trick and eventually the guy gave him weed... I don't know, you decide if you want this in... [editor's note - well,]

Copenhagen days. Ph.: Karlo Gluhačić

LSM: Did anything in particular influence the aesthetics and style of "TABULA RASA"? For instance, why the VX? How much do you follow the independent skate scene? Also you guys live nearby, so - what’s your personal connexion with Nikola Racan and his 2014 video "SOLSTICIJ"?

Raul: I don't know, I just love to film with the VX and for me, VX just looks the best, I couldn't imagine filming HD. Also there's definitely the influence from Nikola Racan and Mario Fanuko: I would see Nikola and Feki film with a VX all the time as a kid, so that also might have marked my mind, somewhere. About "SOLSTICIJ", all I knew was that Nikola was filming a video and that was it, although I was there on some of the filming sessions.

"We are going to continue doing the same thing"

LSM: In addition to being an incredible skater, Dino Coce is also a creative filmmaker himself. What do you know that you could share about his own video project, "FINTA"? The trailer premiered at Vladimir two years ago - if not three - and he’s still working on it, always coming up with more creative, groundbreaking ideas and concepts. Do you have any info? Besides that, how was it like filming with Dino for "TABULA RASA", and what was the flow of the process?

Raul: Dino just moved back to Split from Berlin, and he's going to finish "FINTA" with his crew in Split, hopefully in time for Vladimir Film Festival 2020. Filming with Dino was sick, everything always went smooth. We started filming for the video around the time of Vladimir 2017, then our next session was on Vladimir 2018 and again after that, we got hyped and he came to Pula for ten days that winter, I think. We filmed in Pula, but also passed a few small places in Istria, then I went to Split and we finished his part. He filmed that part on three decks, he gets stuff done quick! [laughs]

Ph.: Mark Pogačar Nikolič

LSM: Alright Raul, let’s wrap this up! Anything next in line as far as projects, are you already working on something new, different, still filming, taking a break? Do you intend to stay in Pula for the time being, any future perspectives? Anybody you would like to thank?

Raul: We are going to continue doing the same thing - Dino is coming to Pula in a few weeks, Puki is going to be studying in Italy for a few months so I'm thinking about visiting him, and I'm sure someone else is going to be down too... So maybe that will result in another video in a few years, I don't know. Right now I'm studying in Pula, so I'm going to stay for two more years for sure.

I want to thank my family, all my friends, special thanks to Elvis Butković, Matteo Putigna, Matija Kos, Patrik Prhat, Karlo Gluhačić, Matija Janjušić, Nikola Racan, Mark Pogačar Nikolić, Desh, Antonio Peković, Nino Jurlina, David Soda, Nebojša Resanović, Danilo Pisanjuk, Dino Coce, Luka Hornyanszky...


Dino Coce


Dino Coce, hippy jump. Ph.: Tomaž Šantl

"The first time I saw this spot, I knew that no one had ever skated it or, if anyone ever did, then: respect!
The second time I came to Pula is when I hit up Raul to go "film a hippy jump"...
The 2018 Vladimir Film Festival had come and, on my trip there, I had brought an extra board, just for that one hippy jump.
Once there, I told the crew I would need to find a sewer grate to trap and snap my nose and tail with, using the leverage, so that the board could actually fit inside the spot.
So I went in search of the right one but in the meantime, Nich Kunz had offered to break his board instead. So I finally find a good grate, and come back to Raul breaking Nich's board for nothing. What the fuck!
So yes, I broke my board (nose and tail) and did the trick.

Ph.: Tomaž Šantl
The hole is so narrow that the skateboard can only make it through if it goes in completely straight and aligned with the bank; it can't nudge either of the sides, nor bash the top.
For a while, on every attempt I made the board would just get stuck there and I'd be jumping into the downhill gutter by foot. Besides the make, the board only made it out once other time, maybe.
I was ready to give up because everyone was waiting, not believing in the possibility.
After a lot of trying, I managed to send the board through, jump then somehow land into the roughest gutter in Pula without a nose and a tail.
My favorite part is that I was able to film the last trick in the video during an edition Vladimir; I had told the locals about that trick idea the year before, so as soon as they saw me come back with a board with no nose and tail, they knew that I had gone and made it.
After the premiere of "TABULA RASA" at Vladimir 2019, we ran into more skaters in some supermarket, they had been checking out the "spot" and wondering how I could have possibly made that trick." - Dino Coce

Ph.: Tomaž Šantl


"Prvi put kad sam vidio spot znao sam da ga nije nikad nitko vozia, ako je onda mu svaka čast.
Reka sam Raulu drugi put kad dodem "ode ide hipi jump"...
Došao je 2018 Vladimir Film Festival i ponio sam extra dasku samo za taj hipi jump.
Rekao sam ekipi da mi treba šahta da mogu razbit nos i tail da se može vozit. Išao sam u potragu za šahtom dok je Nich Kunz ponudio svoju dasku da je razbijemo. Raul razbije Nichovu dasku i ja sam taman našao šahtu i rečem "koji kurac, sjeba dasku za kurac... Sorry, Kunz".
Razbio sam svoju dasku (nos i tail) i išao probavat trik.
Prolaz je toliko uzak da skejt može proć samo ako ćipo ide ravno, nimalo livo ni desno.
Svaki pokušaj je bio da skejt zapne gore i ja skaćem u nizbu, baš svaki, možda je jedan proša.
Bio sam spreman odustat jer je svaki zapinja, bez nade.
Nakon puno pokušaja uspio sam da prođe, skočio i lenda i nekako se spustija na najružnijem fletu u Puli bez nosa i taila.
Svi sretni, ja nemogu virovat, Raul nahajpan...
Najdraži dio mi je da sam uspio snimit zadnji trik u video na Vladimiru, prićao sam ekipi već za trik i kad su vidjeli puknuti nos i tail znali su da sam ga uspio.
Nakon premijere "TABULE RASE" na 2019 Vladimiru, neki stranci su išli na spot gdje sam napravio hipi jump, nisu mogli vjerovat kako je skejt prošao..." - Dino Coce
Get your hands on "TABULA RASA" in DVD form straight from the author, here!
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