We have become almost immune to skate video content these days, with new projects, edits and full lengths dropping on a nearly daily basis. Everybody is good now and although difficult skateboarding is impressive, it's almost yawn-inducing to watch a regular skate video with just skate footage set to music and nothing creative or unique offered by the filmmaker. But it seems like every year or two a video pops up that is completely out of the box, offering a fully original take on what defines a good skate video. This year, that video is not only from a first time filmmaker, it's also from a much unknown region of the world that most Americans couldn't even place on a map. The "Finta" video, out of Split, Croatia, is probably the most entertaining full length of the year, in my opinion, and as I watched the last part I was so impressed by the skating I started Googling to find out who the hell this skater was that I had never heard of. And it turned out that he was actually the man behind the video itself. We tracked down Dino Coce to get the full story behind "Finta" and discover his inspiration for making this wild video. And he gave us the opportunity to host a part from the video on the TOA Youtube channel. So read the story below and then enjoy Luka Hornyaszsky's full part from the video. And the Finta DVD's just landed today in the TOA shop.
Interview by Josh Stewart
Hi Dino....we just met for the first time online, so our readers will likely be meeting you and first learning about your work along with me. So I'll just ask you some general questions to get acquainted......Where did you grow up, when did you start skating and what do you do for a living?
I grew up in Split, plokite hood. I started to skateboard around 2007 with my close friends. I am a pizza baker. And we meet in Pula last year.
OMG are you serious? I can't believe we already met, I'm such a dick!
Yes, we meet at the vladimir film festival 2019, I took the picture of you Butko and Raul, haha.
Jesus, ok I'm sorry about that. Well, your scene seems pretty isolated from the major skate industries in the US and western Europe. Were/are you or any of your friends sponsored?
Yes we are uwknown in the (skate industry) maybe for the better. My friend Luka rides for Ladrido skateboards, and me and the rest are not sponsored.
That's surprising actually. You guys have some real talent over there. What is it like skating in Croatia? Split seems like a pretty big city, but how do locals view skateboarding there?
Skating in Split is so good because our local people are 20 years behind everybody else. I think if you show them skatestoppers they will be like "damn you can use that so the kids won't destroy our streets?" Sometimes they dont care but when they do got pissed off, they will throw wine bottles from balcony....like they did to New Balance team. But skating from spot to spot is too easy because everything is close,l ike Đardin marble ledges to koteks double set (Chris Pfanner kickflip thrasher cover)
What got you motivated to want to make your first skate video? I know your first few offerings were all released on Youtube right?
I dont know, maybe my friends. I wanted to show the world my crew and this is the plan. Make a video with stupid ideas just to show everybody our skateboarding and our city and everything, haha, My first videos are released on youtube, yes. But this film is special. I wanted a physical copy, so I can, in a few years, say I made this and hold it in my hand, not on some algorithm on interweb.
Watching Finta, I feel like I could guess that your biggest inspiration was maybe Colin Read's "Spirit Quest", would I be right? Are there any other videos you and your friends were heavily influenced by?
Yes, Spirit Quest changed the game. I felt like for good skate videos you need a filmer, for anything you need a filmer. So the filmer is maybe more important then the skaters or actors ...He knows what it will look like in the end. Other influences are Takahiro Morita, Zach Chamberlin, Ryan Garshell (gx1000), Shinpei Ueno, Yoan Taillandier, Nikola Racan, YOU, William Strobeck, Raul Žgomba ,Gustav Tonnesen (yes he is a filmer) and Colin Read. Other videos Sabotage from Philly, Fancy Lad crew, Osaka Daggers, F.E.S.N., Sour skateboards, and anybody that is d.i.y.
So this is your first dvd, or hard copy of a video.....what does "Finta" actually mean?
Yes my first and last hard copy of a skate video. FINTA means šala, trik, varka, izmišljotina, pretvaranje, caka, zajebancija, prevara,
Aaaah....ok, that makes sense now...Watching Finta kind of made me feel like a kid again....it somehow connects to those things about skateboarding that get you excited and stoked when you first start. Which came first? Was it the unique ideas you had for this project that made you want to make a full length, or did you want to make a skate video and then you started to come up with ideas to help make it more interesting?
Thanks Josh for those kind words. We were collecting footy form 2015 just like any crew of skaters that like to capture tricks on camera. Then Spirit Quest dropped in 2016, I saw everything different. If I wanted to make a video that will be recognized by everybody (not just croatia guys) I need to make something special. So i started to think about filming/skateboarding/editing...
Ideas started to come later in the process, everything in my head was like "Imagine this, imagine that, imagine that we do this or that" so we did this imagination of something and instagram was trendy back then, so if i wanted to put this video on instagram for instant gratification i can do it, but why? I like the idea to hold all this (IDEAS) fintas and when the time is right I will show them to the world, like some kind of evil genius...
Haha...well, I'm stoked you were patient and waited to release it as one full project on a DVD. I absolutely love that all of your concepts were created practically and not digitally. I personally found myself laughing the hardest at the clip of Orion filming. Haha. Which of your "special effects" took the most amount of work? Or were the hardest to pull off?
Yeah practical is special ,that is where the magic happens. Orion filmer, yes he made it...
Hardest effect to pull off, maybe LUKAs manny to fakie manny on a flat many pad. If you watch it, it is like "wtf is happening?" We did that with a friend Jazo. He was holding Luka with technora cord (survival cord that can hold 450lb). So Luka put the cord around his chest and it is so thin that you cant see it on camera, and Jazo is holding the cord on the other end.
So Luka is doing a manual and near the end Jazo needs to pull him in the different direction, the timing was crucial. We filmed that maybe 2 hours, after the make i apologize Luka for everything, because tommorrow Luka told me he went to emergency hospital to check his chest. And he broke his ribs, so that is the only finta that was extreme. Most amount of work was the in the beginning of the film, that room with chair, pc, keyboard, posters...
it took me 2 months in my basement to finish that shit.
Wow, well it was worth it. That was the first "Finta" that sparked my imagination and made me psyched to keep watching and see what happened next. Were there any ideas you wanted to do that ended up being too hard or impossible?
Yeah, there was couple. I wanted to put my friend Ban on glass that is 5 cm tall, he would do the fastplant on the glass and I will be underneath with fisheye, so it would look like he is stepping on a camera, then i will do the match cut of him pushing ....but it was too dangerous
One rejected idea also, imagine some guy is riding a skateboard, simple. But in real life he is standing still and the whole room is moving, like some kind of big treadmill. Like how would i do that? I like tricks that looks easy on camera but in reality they are so hard
The idea of what makes a "good" video has changed so much over the years....After decades of videos being laser-focused on just capturing the hardest and craziest skateboarding, a lot of people realized that format is just boring.
You guys figured out that keeping viewers entertained and never knowing what to expect is the best recipe for a great skate video. But you guys kept it balanced with some serious shredding as well. Is it nice to know that skaters around the world will be finding out about you guys and your scene for the first time thanks to this video?
The format isnt boring or predictable. Like some PRO doing a line (ledge trick, flatground, then ledge) like in my mind i can already know what he will do. Yeah you need to have shredding action, haha. That is why I did this video, so some kid from America has my video, like really, imagine telling that to young DINO....
Haha...that's awesome. I read in your Live interview a great quote where you said about your video "The plan is to trick the viewer into watching it many times". I think you pulled off that trick nicely. Because your video makes you want to go back and rewatch several segments multiple times. Now that the video is done did you feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders? Are are you feeling a sense of loss not having that big project to work on any more? I know I always have mixed emotions after I finish a long project like that.
Sick, the plan worked! I will miss filming days with my friends, i know that this friend will find a job, this one will get a girlfriend, we will not skate together many times in the future (maybe not ,you never know). Yes Finta is one big mixed emotional journey.
Is there anything you hope that viewers learn and feel after watching Finta?
i want them to learn that it was all one big prank, all effect are (cgi) computer generated imagery. That is the finta.
Haha....I think people are going to want to see more after this video gets seen more around the world.
Do you think you guys will do more in the future? Or do you feel like you've accomplished what you set out to do?
i have bonus and throwaway footy for days, I will maybe put it on my youtube channel in a few years. I have new ideas but that will be for my instagram.
Can you talk about super 8 or 16 mm camera that is in the video?
i will say the super 8 camera that is in the video is real and fake at the same time. I filmed it on lumix g7 through the body off a super 8 camera, so i am still using it but not how is meant for. That is also practical effect.
Amazing! I loved that. Well, thanks for your time Dino and for giving us a rad video to close out this horrible year!
THANK YOU JOSH AND THE THEORIES OF ATLANTIS (ALL LAND ICE) CREW FOR THE CHAT!
Now Peep Luka Hornyanszky's full part from Finta below and pick up a hard copy here on the TOA site to see the whole sha-bang!