Jo Peters 5 W’s

Interview: Benjamin Deberdt

French man based in Berlin for a while now, Jonathan Peters has produced, on his own, three full lengths in the past five years! After Obectif Lune in 2008 and Journey To The Center Of The World in 2010, he followed through with 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea, that just came out, with a booklet of his photographs that are as black, white, and gritty, as the animated ones he usually offers. The Live Exclusive montage (to be seen below) he is giving you to celebrate the release, is actually an exception for his passion for duotone.
We thought it was time to let a bit spill about this quite secretive character. Ladies and gentlemen, here are Jo Peters 5W’s:

Why did you start filming skateboarding?
I received my first Digital8 camera for my 18th birthday, and I started filming my buddies skating and partying. In the beginning, I helped with the Strasbourg videos with Jean Von Cramer that did the first one on the local scene, then with Jean Feil that did the next two. I was more interested in the editing part, in general, and after a few messy years in Strasbourg, I decide to get a training in Paris. I got my editing diploma and then worked for a year at Nissan France, doing corporate movies. From that job, I got to invest in a bigger camera than the original Digital8. I have been using that camera for eight years and all my projects, including the latest one. I only got a new one a month ago. For the record, I gave the old one to the Radio skateboards dudes so they could film themselves during The Drive, thinking it’d die during that trip, but I heard it still works…

 Jo Peters

Tjark Thielker, Bs nosegrind. photo: Jo Peters

What keeps you going, nowadays?
First, I have always been really into doing skate videos, and here, in Berlin, I have the option to film really interesting people, which is motivating. On the other end, it is a good alternative to my editing job: it keeps me from being in front of the computer all day. Right now, to be honest, since I finished my third project, I’m wondering how I will be able to push the whole thing… I have been filming a bit, with no plan, and I’ll see, after the winter…

When did you move to Berlin?
In November 2006, a few months after my Nissan contract ended. I had a bit of money saved, and didn’t want to stay in Paris, for various reasons. I couldn’t see myself moving back to Strasbourg either. First, I thought I would go abroad for a year, something along those lines. I had some German basic skills, and the memories of spots from old issues of Puzzle [Former European video magazine, Ed’s Note], so I went twice to Berlin, as a tourist, and then started looking for a place. First, it was a bit complicated, as I literally knew no one in town. But, slowly, it started to work. There have been complicated moments, but, in the end, when I look back, I see it has worked way better than I would have imagined.

Who is in 20 000 Leagues, and why?
It was a bit different for everybody. Valeri Rosomako, we have been filming for a long time. He is super productive, always pumped to film weird tricks on impossible spots, so I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff, obviously. Hirschi, I only met him recently, just after the second video. We talked and decided to film a part for the next one. He got on Antiz, so we filmed a few tricks for OAF. We kept on filming, and finally, I gave a few tricks for a coming Antiz promo, and we got some “Antizian” guest tricks in return to finish his part. Kieran Heinemann, same thing, we met at the end of the second project, and were OK to film for the next one. Sadly, he got hurt badly, and we only ended with half a part… Hannes Schilling, everybody knows he is super good and totally underexposed. I’m all about those types of profiles. We started filming a few things, and I managed to convince him to push the whole thing and we managed to get a full part in a little time. There is a lot of people in the video that have good stuff, like Sylvain Tognelli, Michael Mackrodt or Tjark Thielker… I was quite satisfied to have Sami Hariti, who is the absolute local hero! In general, I just want to show lost of spots, lots of people, and give a good rhythm to the whole thing, I think.

Where do you see yourself going with your photography and filming?
I believe in local videos. I want to keep on doing that, and also keep on doing things aside to stay independent, and not get eaten alive by the skateboard world.

You can cope the 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea DVD with its booklet here if you live in the UK, or here.

And here is a Live Skateboard Media exclusive montage, of lines only, to get you stoked:

Live Skateboard MediaLive Skateboard Media

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