We don’t get to do many triple interviews, but we felt it was needed to tell the whole story about Eugen Enin’s new VOD E.3 which is available since yesterday. It’s hard to call it groundbreaking as innovative and progressive skating is what we’d come to expect from the USD, Kizer and Undercover pro, but still, it’s one of the best videos this year. And this comes thanks to a couple factors: the location of the filming is Tokyo, Japan, where Eugen always wanted to go, and the second is working with two great filmers and editors: Vincent Lindgren and Eugen’s brother Daniel. So we just interviewed all three of them.
Intro and interview: Josip Jagić
Photography: E.3 screenshots prepared by the team
How did you get to Japan and was it a dream come true for you?
It started back in 2016 when I first met Vince and told him about the dream of my brother and mine to go there once. I grew up watching anime Movies, Series, Manga, Samurai Movies etc. and always been a fan of the country, Food, Music and culture in general. The same goes for my brother. We love the blading and skating scene there and dreamed about skating these spots one day.
Vince had already been there a few times, so we always talked about it back and forth and then this spring everything fit together so started that adventure. Perfect tour guide.
Also, the locals are amazing and helped us out so many times.
Budget-wise, we just used our own savings since we saved money for that dream trip for a while. For sure it was more expensive than a European trip but it was definitely worth it and we would directly do it again.
The skating is once again extremely elaborate, how long did it take you to plan tricks out for spots?
Some of these tricks had been on my dream list for several years. And a few of them I actually never even landed before… But since we had that surreal amount of spots, I just could choose between my favorite ones and try the most difficult tricks. A lot of times I couldn’t believe it after landing a trick because I always thought I would never find the perfect spot for it.
What was the most frustrating clip to get?
First day, My Dream clip…
In our Bonus Archive I explain it a bit more but basically I fell in Love with a spot I saw on Kaji’s account way before the trip and I dreamed about doing a 270 front torque to switch back fastslide on it since then. It’s the spot with the 2 downrails with a small gap in between. Like always the spot was harder in reality then I imagined it… Stoppers on the run up, wall directly at the landing. Plus it started raining, getting dark and even the security came twice. I almost smashed my head and almost got caught in between the two rails. After the second visit of the security I just realized that it’s over and not worth it since I still have 2 weeks to go. But I’m actually pretty happy with the full torque version I landed instead.
What do you think is your best trick in the video and is there a clip you would like to try and re-do?
Hmmm… too hard to name one out of the 50. Some of my favorite ones are the dream tricks that Danny and Vince requested. I asked both for a trick they really wanted to film.
Vince asked for the true top soyale to 180 top mistral 180 off. And Danny for the classic true fish to front switch fastslide 270 off.
Other than that, there are several tricks that I always wanted to do, like the cross backslide to parallel true makio, the 270 front torque to fish 180 off on the underbar, the 360 soyale (I hate doing 360 forward soul tricks, prefer outspins and hurricanes), the monkey plant moves, the grabbed grinds on proper spots and so on.
Normally I’m really perfectionist but this time I wouldn’t re-do one of them, most of the tricks have been done under time limits of like 30 minutes until we get kicked out so I had to make the best out of it.
Did you already know about the spots that you were going to be skating or did you discover them while there?
I was actually saving spots I wanted to go to way before that trip through the infamous @ukarih Account on IG. Shout out to Kaji! Its just insane how many beautiful spots are just in Tokyo, we could have stayed for months and would just explore a fraction of what’s actually there. And the locals always helped us out with good spots.
Why did you choose Vincent to film and edit this piece?
It was a natural decision to me since Vince had a similar vision about the project and we share a lot of interests in general. He is so talented and passionate which motivated my brother and my even more to give the best we can. We could talk for hours about blade tech nerd stuff or just other aspects of life. Also he shared the filming and editing work with my brother, which felt like a huge benefit, so my brother, could gain more experience and learn from that trip.
In generally we learned a lot from Vince, not only blading related but about life.
How did all you guys get along and how long were you in Japan?
We stayed for 16 days and didn’t had any problems except the typical brother conflicts but Vince directly understood that there is not hate, just our loud and fast way of discussing things.
The last 3 days have been intense since I already reached my physical boundaries, had several bails and twisted my ankle pretty hard. But a few days off with good food, chilling at some beautiful temples and visiting the legend Kazu helped me regain enough energy to get some last special clips done and get the symbolic OCD clip nr.50 done.
How was it working with Vincent?
Vince is really professional, creative and flexible. He had so many good Ideas that my brother and me didn’t had in mind and inspired us in many ways. He is a really positive character and it was great to have him as a third opinion on things. Filming wise he was always ready and caught the right shots. All in all I’m more then thankful about that opportunity to work with him and would directly go on another adventure with him!
(now, on to Vincent Lindgren)
Vince, how did you feel about getting to work with Eugen?
Very excited at first, Eugen and me have been talking about a Japan trip since the first time we met in Barcelona in 2016. Every time we would meet I’d jokingly say ”So when are we going to Japan to film a section?” And it just happened to work out this year. The bros had some money saved up and I was already booked to go to Japan for my 30th birthday, so we decided it was time to make it reality.
Was he hard to work with?
Not at all. Eugen is on another level when it comes to discipline. He knows what he wants to do even before we arrive at the spot, he doesn’t warm up and goes straight for that trick and he is very determined to finish what he’s started. Even the few times where it didn’t work out as planned he always kept his positivity. To work with someone that is that motivated is a pleasure, even if there can be a lot of re-takes to make it look like he pictured it in his mind. While 90% of bladers would settle for the first one, Eugen keeps going until it looks and feels exactly like he imagined, which I really respect.
Do you feel like you share the same aesthetics when it comes to blading and visuals of a video?
Yes. We are very inspired by Japanese cinematography and manga so for us it was clear that we had to draw from those to make this look like we wanted. Being in Japan gives you so many opportunities to play around with the aesthetics. There’s huge grimy neon downtown areas where the people are rushing and there’s noise everywhere but then around the corner there’s a tranquil little temple garden where some monks are meditating surrounded by beautiful nature, so I think the duality of Japan is really what gave us the help we needed to manifest our vision.
What was the best and the worst moment of going to Japan to work with the Enin bros?
The best moments were all of the memories we made, the train rides home after a productive day and the final result of our hard work. Worst moments was when we got busted at spots and having to give up on clips. Tokyo is a very difficult city to skate in, there’s security guards and surveillance cameras EVERYWHERE and most of the time we only had about half an hour to get the clips before getting kicked out. The first couple of days we couldn’t get much done but then we re-thought our approach and we became a strike team. Setup, get it done and get out as quickly as possible.
How did you choose the angles for certain tricks, such as the fastplant to backslide spin to royale on that rail?
Framing usually comes pretty naturally to me since I studied photography. I want to show the whole spot, the surroundings and the details. It also depends on which trick it is we’re trying to capture, the way he’s facing and the angle of approach is very important in deciding which side of the spot is the best to shoot from. I want to make sure it feels dynamic, so getting really close is sometimes the only way to go. Shooting without tri-pods really helps too. Having two cameramen at every spot was great, Daniel and me made sure we covered every aspect and we would discuss between the tries if we needed to change things up. Sometimes I would go in for the fisheye angle and Danny would get the long shot or the other way around. Even if the angle didn’t feel right or if we messed up in some way, Eugen would always be patient and keep going until all three of us felt that we nailed it.
In general, Eugen’s skating is very technical, was it hard to capture some of the little things that make a trick that much harder and are usually not noticed?
Like mentioned before, having two cameras at all times really helped. Super slo-mo and fisheye shots are there to make details more visible. Being involved and trying to focus on what’s unique about a trick instead of just pressing record and letting him do his thing is more rewarding at the end. I still think you have to watch the video a couple of times to really understand what’s actually going on, there’s so many switch tricks and different variations that even the most trained eye won’t catch at first glance.
(now, onto Daniel Enin)
Danny, you have been filming with Eugen I’m guessing since forever, how did you like the whole Japanese experience?
It is indescribable! Japan is a whole different experience compared to other countries we’ve been to. I prepared myself a bit before the trip, for example things that are not allowed, so that we aren’t the biggest foreigners there.
The Food: 711, FamilyMart or Lawson were the places to go! You can get so much fresh food for a normal amount of money. We were surprised by the prices for food and drinks in Japan, because we expected it to be more expensive. The Ramen over there killed me 2 times. It was so good, I couldn’t walk properly the whole day afterwards. Good German Ramen costs over 10€ and in Japan you get a bowl twice as big as in Germany for only 5 – 8€ And don’t forget the free water in every restaurant! Me and Eugen are greedy if it comes to ordering water in a restaurant, because its so expensive in Germany. But in Japan it was heaven with all the free water, we drank so much after every meal haha Vince thought we were camels or something.
The pots were a dream… I don’t have words for it. There is a spot guide in Tokyo, his instagram is @ukarih, people who follow him, know the amazing spots he posts in the area in and around Tokyo. He showed us a ton of spots and there were so many that we couldn’t decide the first days where to go. We even had days where we needed to leave spots behind us, because there where even better ones. Eugen was very sad to not skate every spot. It would be enough for him to only do a soul at a spot, so he could skate it as the first person ever. Even walking through the city at night, you will see so much interesting stuff there! And don’t forget the polite and nice people! Nobody was angry at us while we skated the spots or in the city, expect the security guards. Thanks to Vince, we had a good guide and a translator with us. Without him, the trip would be different.
How do you feel about other people’s work, when Eugen’s representation for a long while was exclusively in your hands?
I’m a perfectionist when it comes to filming and I’m never pleased with my own videos, so therefore any video of Eugen filmed by someone else is a motivation for me to get better. And I love seeing how other people capture Eugen’s skating because it can have advantages, for example I find something that I have never noticed while filming. Then I can change that and adapt it in my way. All the other people, who Eugen worked with the last years for example Jonas Hansson, Mark Heuss, Karsten Boysen, Vincent Lindgren, Jo Zenk or Victor Bayramov did a great job on capturing his skating!
Do you have a favorite trick of Eugen’s you filmed for E3?
This will probably be the true spin fishy to frontside fast slide! It’s a trick that you rarely see nowadays and I’ve always wanted to film this trick on the streets. And the rail where Eugen did it was perfect! And also the mirrored back nugen to true top acid grabbed. If you’re watching it for the first time, you don’t realize what we did to the shot, only if you replay it back. We mirrored my perspective and it looks like the reflection is right around, which in reality isn’t.
What do you think about Eugen’s progression and growth as a skater in the past years and how does his skating reflect his personality?
He’s getting better year after year. He still needs to train some tricks and other stuff, but right now his skating is really good. He falls less and he’s more aware about the tricks he does while we film. He can do tricks where we both think its impossible to land them and sometimes things work out better than we expected. People who know Eugen personally know that he’s breathing rollerblading and he’s like a small kid if it comes to skating. Some days he can skate for hours and then I need to shout at him to stop him skating. Even if he can’t do tricks, he still skates, just on bigger wheels.