Andre Paskowski – Interview Part 2
About two weeks ago we published the first part of a longer interview with the German freestyle windsurfer and DVD producer Andre Paskowski. He spoke about his fight against cancer, his goals and different approaches in life. Now he is again fully into the final stage of his upcoming movie project “Minds Wide Open” and filming at the PWA event in Klitmøller. If you missed the first interview with Andre you can read it here. In this interview, the second part, you get more background infos about the “Minds Wide Open” project.
C7: Recently Kauli, Ricardo and Victor travelled to Indonesia to film for the DVD. How was it there?
Andre: Filming in Indo was great, there is some nice footage. When I put up the movie I wanted to go to Indonesia. Already the word sounded exotic to me. Well it turned out that I could not go but pictures and footage are looking exactly the way I imagined it to look. Kauli has been already in that area before while the rest of the crew have never been to Indo at all.
C7: Did you experience any special situations there?
Andre: Oh lots. Almost like every trip you experience lots – which is great. It started with paying 2300 EUR of overweight with Emirates in Munich then they scored wind and waves every day which of course caused a lot of broken gear. It is a reef break. The waves are fast and making a tube. It is more a area for surfers. So one mistake and you end up on the reef with broken gear. But if you make it right – the rides can be some of the best ever. Kauli had to be stitched in hospital because he crashed while surfing. But because the last day of the trip was one of the best days, he still sailed, but i saw photos were his leg was totally blue.
C7: What does the title Minds Wide Open mean for you?
Andre: I think these 3 words describe any windsurfer around the world or at least should do. I think this is a major part of our boardsport community. It offers us to travel and to see different places. Every place is different. Different people, religion, social situation, health situation and it opens your mind to see and experience all of that. And as a result, it will help you back in your 2 million home town to enjoy life more.
C7: Do you have a storyboard for the movie?
Andre: I would like so much to work more on a real storyboard but the problem is that immediately on forums like the C7 one, I would read comments like “cut the lifestyle – show the action”. That´s why there are no real “Story-Movies” out there yet. It would need a special sort of rider to make it and a special sort of consumer to like it. A windsurfing movie still needs high class windsurfing to make you dream. Our story is inside each rider and each place. We show action combined with beautiful landscape and lifestyle from around the world. And I hope it makes the viewer dream for one hour.
C7: What are the differences of the new movie compared to Four Dimensions? Did you use new cams, accessories or techniques?
Andre: We surly can not re-invent movie making and people, who promise that before every production, are not serious. But we did try to work harder on some points. For example we did trips to film just for the movie. Which we could not afford for the Four Dimensions production. For Four Dimensions we filmed besides World Cup events or while fotoshooting and then look what the result would be. Now we went to Cape Verde, Indonesia, Egypt, Denmark only for filming which offers a completely different result and to see the rider also in a different state of mind.
Also we do have invested in a new set up of cameras. Which offers us better quality and “arty” touch even on “normal” action footage.
As well we spent some effort on stabilizing the camera. We do have wind (land filming), waves (boot, jet ski filming) or air (helicopter) were it is hard to film out of your hand. So if you could stable the cam you could have a much cleaner picture or even use a other set up of lenses. This creates new angles and perspectives for the viewers eye which makes it look exciting.
So I think that’s the difference: Better footage of action and lifestyle because we travelled to film and better footage and perspectives because of technical advantages. Ah and not to forget!!! We do have 3 new riders. Philip, Kauli and Ricardo and I think the world was waiting to see a movie of them. It is about time for that!!!
C7: Did you put more effort in this production than in the Minds Wide Open production?
Andre: It is impossible to put more effort into a production then I did on Four Dimension. To be honest I think I did put too much into it as I believe it was one of the reasons that I got sick. That year 2009 was crazy. Doing the European Tour and the World Tour and on top I travelled around Europe with my Brazilian friends. I was the only driver, we went everywhere by car and I made around 30.000km in just 3 months and we did the movie were we were 2.5 people responsible for everything. After I got sick. Not sure if there is not a connection? I was in good shape so I might have not felt the impact immediately, but then it came full power.
So I tried to learn from it and build a bigger team. So, I do not have to be worried that much. But my personality is not easy. I try to have control of things and I am sort of a perfectionist. So it is hard to leave responsibility to others. But in my current health situation, I have to. So in overall we put more effort into it but all spread onto more shoulders.
C7: So, who are the people working for the movie?
Andre: The main person is Sebastian Dörr who worked so far on all my movies. He is in charge of editing and also has done most camera work. We also work closely together with Michael Sumereder. He is in charge to take our pictures, where he does an incredible job, but also he does work behind the camera. We also work together with Tristan who does our Colour Work. For design and special effects we have Nico Uthe. Peter Svensson who actually had made the first project, does look on material and try´s to give inputs. I am in charge of all production relevant topics like: music, booking of travels, PR work etc.
C7: For example, how many flights did you book?
Andre: A lot. I did not count them all. But a problem already was that we had to go twice to Cape Verde because on our first trip we scored absolutely zero wind and waves. We also had Sumsi on each trip to take pictures. So we had on each location 2 or 3 people flying. 6 destinations = lots of flights. And a hell lot of overweight charges. It seems that the airlines want to improve their profit with charging overweight.
C7: To get to the point. How big is the budget for the movie?
Andre: The costs of a production are extremely expensive. Flights, cars, hotels, food, and that’s just the obvious fravel costs. On top we have to sign bands which is almost 25% of all costs. I have to pay people, who work for me and I have to pay all other running costs of a production. So we get well above the critical 100.000EUR Line. But that totally does not mean that we life like kings have a big office or anything like that. It also does not necessary means that because of a big budget we have a great movie. This amount is just adding up real quickly on a 1.5 year project with a big group around the world.
C7: The budget is enough to cover the costs?
Andre: By far not. Unless you have riders who might share a heavy outside sponsor it will never be a situation were you would have the budget you need. The windsurfing industry is just not big enough to support this production with the right amount of cash. I feel that they like it a lot, but that they have other topics to worry about. So, I kind of take everywhere a little and put the big rest amount myself in. This time we could release a bit more money from the beginning because the riders were so keen to put some budget themselves into the project, which is great but also a bit frustrating. I don´t know any other sport were a rider has to give money that a production of a movie can happen – especially not when 5 World Champions are involved. Nevertheless I am extremely happy that we found the sponsors we have. It is not a easy go and talking to my own sponsors, but I am so stoked that after the last 1.5 year they still support me and still believe in me and my impact on windsurfing.
C7: What can the people expect of Minds Wide Open?
Andre: Typical wave riding, extreme jumping, freestyle in waves and pure freestyle.
C7: Are there any movies out there, which inspired your for this new project?
Andre: Oh yes there are. Windsurfing is missing unfortunately the constant flow of new releases. I watched the Windsurfing Movie 2, which I thought has great camera work and a real perfect production. The newer movies such as “Planet Blow” I could not see yet. But mainly I try to get my inspiration from surfing and snowboarding movies. The camera work is amazing of that movies. Also the whole way of producing is different. While we are depending on selling, it feels like on their productions, all is done before and they really can make it 100% creative because they don’t need to worry if they can pay the rent next month. That’s a massive difference which is holding windsurfing movie a bit back – so far.
If I name a few I would say for landscape and bringing emotions into play I watch “Sipping Jetstream” and “Castle in the Sky” and for action and editing I watch “Thats it Thats all” and “Modern Collective”.
C7: How long will the main movie be? Any extra parts planned?
Andre: Four Dimensions was 40 minutes and the people say it was to short. Which is great. If you watch 40 minutes of windsurfing and you say you want more then the movie was in the right length, as normally I get tired after 20 minutes. As we do have more riders we will extend to 50 maybe 55 minutes. But I prefer the viewer says “It was a bit too short” then the viewer say “It was a bit too long”.
Thanks for the interview and we are all looking forward to the finished DVD.
To pre-order the DVD for a special discount price you can go here: Pre-order and Trailer Minds Wide Open