Magenta "Balade" / Meeting... Vivien Feil!

Finally on your screens, for you to watch no sooner than right now, right here: the new Magenta full-length, "Balade", prominently filmed in the United States of America but not exclusively. The resulting mix is a twenty-minute long upbeat edit - perfect to watch before skating - that was put together pretty spontaneously, actually. You know how LIVE works by now: the opportunity was too great not to try and ask the busy Vivien Feil (one of the founding fathers of the brand, besides offspring duties of a more organic type) what's up and surprise, he did manage to find the time to come through with answers aplenty for you to absorb alongside the video, making for a solid package we are stoked to present you today!
LIVE Skateboard Media: Hi Vivien! So, what's up with this new Magenta skate cartoon, "Balade"? Recently, Soy was telling me most of the footage was from two trips to the U.S. that eventually ended up on the same timeline as some Euro extras, is that right? How long would you say the whole process of making this new video took?
Vivien Feil: Hi Aymeric. No, Panday does not have all the clues. His knowledge is actually limited. For instance it was three trips to the U.S. that we went on. He claimed two, so he's wrong. Let's tick that box for good.
A good chunk of the crew left to Miami together, then some went off to L.A. and some others to S.F. Altogether, the filming of "Balade" spanned over eight months but most of it was shot on short, two-week trips.

"I especially appreciate it when videos are filmed the most naturally possible"

Soy and I were too busy on the old continent to follow, so we stuck to our national grounds. We both share a section after the credits alongside the silky Ruben Spelta from Milan, Italy.
LSM: Who was behind the filming of « Balade »? Chris Thiessen is a rad dude, I assume the connection dates back to working with the TransWorld video "Riddles In Mathematics" with him and that Leo's frequent L.A. visits help fuel the relationship?
Vivien: Vouich, Chris Thiessen filmed most of the clips. He's a living teddy bear and a champion. We got in touch around the time of the TransWorld video, indeed; we had been talking before, but we kept in contact after he came to France to film for that and decided we should work on something together.
Zach Chamberlin, now a regular, filmed all the S.F. footage. Glen went there to visit the whole crew: Ben, Ryan, etc. and stuck around for nearly a month. You better believe he didn't forget to skate.

Vivien, frontside 180 kickflip. Ph.: Benjamin Deberdt
LSM: The latest Magenta full-length video to date till now was « Just Cruise », shot in Bordeaux back in 2014 throughout a whole summer during which the whole Magenta family was in town; the process was very organic and really just consisted in documenting everyone's daily skating, whereas here the clips come from various sources - which allows one to catch glimpses of more spots but also of the U.S. riders playing at home, on their natural turf. This makes it more akin to the likes of « Microcosme » or « Soleil Levant », whereas « Just Cruise » was more in the style of, say, a « Hill Street Blues ». Are you into both approaches?
Vivien: I especially appreciate it when videos are filmed the most naturally possible. That everybody just goes on the trips they are interested in the most, skates with whoever they wants in the best possible conditions; then throw a skilled filmer in the mix and the resulting footage is bound to be interesting, generally.
The Americans (especially Ben) let it be known pretty clearly this time around: "we're sick of your hippie Euro shit, we need some real fire power, we need the nuclear bomb, we need America".
So next thing you know, boom, off we go to hamburger land. Started out by catching up with Jimmy in Florida, then went to say hi to Ben in S.F. and eventually swung by L.A. as Leo frequently visits as his wife is from California.
And then there's some Baltimore clips in Zach Lyons' part (as that's where his lair is).
LSM: How did you come to the realization that early 2019 might be a good time to drop a new Magenta full-length? Although you seemingly dropped the concept of your "capsules" for good (and should bring it back), Magenta's still been flooding the interwebs with tour edits recently, not even counting the local parts literally every team rider is constantly dropping in independent videos. What's up with your personal appreciation of both formats - full-length videos and web edits? Do you wish you could print more DVD's or are you more detached than certain purists of the physical medium?
Vivien: Full-length video might be an understatement as it's just under twenty minutes - let's just call it a big promo video.

"Throughout our videos, the message never really changed"

DVD releases are always better; you get a physical artafact, and the artwork on the sleeve and disc can add to the magic of the whole piece.
"Balade" won't be released in DVD form anytime soon but we'll definitely include it in some kind of box set later on. Personally, I'd be stoked to see it burned onto something tangible but online is fine to me too. Most of the videos I watch, I watch them online and I can't say I'm losing any sleep over that.
LSM: How did you guys organize yourselves once the time came to put the video together? Who did what, and who had which idea(s)? I have to say that I personally am very much into the magnificent choice of Jacqueline Taieb - an artist you already had used a track of on a former, pre-"Just Cruise" web montage called "France Jam", is there some kind of secret cult going on?
Vivien: All the riders were requesting individual parts, as it had been a while since we last did something following that format.
Soy and I decided on a short format with a quick intro, mini parts and a lengthy outro quite early on. And then we added the bonus part that's set to the Taieb song as a bit of a last minute move.
Taieb is great, works well with skating, we're great fans. 
As far as the soundtrack, like many other times before we got some tips and plugs from Yoan Barroso, very much a specialist.
Soy was the illustrator, business as usual when Stépgane Feugas took care of the animations.
The little texts and bits of jokes, I usually was the man in charge.
Leo edited the video, all the while in communication with the individual riders so they could chime in and bring their own flavor to their slice of the eventual cake. 
LSM: Word, yo Vivien let's wrap things up, any last words, or a message? The one behind « Balade », perhaps? Any shout outs, any projects for this year that you'd like to bring up?
Vivien: Throughout our videos, the message never really changed. We just like to chill skate with friends, go on trips, visit and maybe even skate some beautiful things; "Balade" is a perfect continuity.
Thank you everybody who was part of "Balade", everybody who helped us out or hosted us (merci Koki !) and really just skated with us.
Till next time!
Live Skateboard MediaLive Skateboard Media

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