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Aymeric Nocus – “If I Touch”

Aymeric Nocus is as passionate about skateboarding and as core as you can be. You can feel his love for skating in everything he does. Like his work for Live Skateboard Media or his help at Vladimir Film Festival. A while ago he moved back to his hometown, where he tries to push the scene and on the side filmed a part all on his own on a cheap Mini-DV cam in his very own style. Everybody is always saying that skateboarding is about not giving a fuck and expressing yourself but only a few really do. Aymeric surely does it 100%!

Originally this clip was never really meant to be public – it’s making coincided with a time in my life where I suddenly felt like cultivating my skateboarding as an even more personal activity. I was over a lot of the general excess in this world and, by extension, spontaneously finding more solace in going back to the roots of skating whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like – instead of expecting every session to be a group activity and thus, nine times out of ten, wasting it on waiting turns at the skatepark, in exchange. The incentive to film came from this group chat I’m in where motivational king Alex @frobonics regularly likes to edit legitimate, and actually rather well-crafted full-lengths featuring all the participants for fun, those never leave the chat and actually are the best because you get to see so many different approaches, styles and spots from around the world condensed within each. And even if it’s the same generic Ikea parking block, no one skates it the same, or looks the same skating it – but you know. Anyway, since the idea matched the format of my current sessions, I started collecting solo clips for him with absolutely zero plan in mind, and then I sort of caught the bug as I went, patterns started to emerge in my angles and concepts very spontaneously on the timeline. In between tape capturing sessions I started playing around with possible songs, experiments with sequencing, pacing and then some weeks later here we are.

I was fueled by many inspirations the whole time - all individuals doing their own artful thing and having defeated certain insecurities – the main one probably was Ruben Spelta’s homemade “SOLISTA” part that Magenta dropped; when interviewed about it, he stated his idea was to go and film tricks and spots the majority of filmers would straight up refuse to shoot, I guess because they don’t score enough points or something. And the end result was something conceptual that felt sincere to the skater’s actual spirit, reading of their environment and connection to their board – a purely honest trip into their mind with no outside noise interfering with their frequency – no filter, be it personal or commercial. I’ve had the pleasure to skate with Ruben in Paris before and can really vibe with his candor; that part of his actually is a great representation of that, it’s innocent. Other influences have been Mark Gonzales’ YouTube channel, Toyota, Japan-based filmmaker and skater extraordinaire Teppei Ono’s local works notably with “HAIIRO”, Dino Coce’s universe with his full-length video “FINTA” and Instagram performance under the moniker @orionskate, Brett Nichols’ long lens eye when it comes to framing angles and also my old friend and OG Brest, France local Sami Even, who used to send me his own solo filming experiments over a decade ago (still up on his YouTube channel: Turbomecanoide) and I only realized how close those were in format to what I was currently doing myself halfway through production. I actually haven’t heard any news from Sami in ages now, which worries me a bit and so I really hope he’s doing well.

Someone in the group chat defined my style as “iconoclastic” just around the time I started filming, too and somehow the word stayed with me, I thought it was right on point and also really funny. So in between that and Ruben’s burst of deliberate focus on what the status quo would deem as non-spots and wrong ideas, I very much was inspired to document the fun stuff I naturally like to do not just even, but especially if it played with the codes. I deliberately went for as little conscious control as possible – would just skate how I usually do off camera and let the tape running – then capture everything later that night and maybe fight my own insecurities a wee bit by forcing myself to keep a clip from every session, even if that meant something really absurd shot on the fly on the way back home. That approach combined with the ability to completely control presentation from the framing to the skating then the editing actually made my skate time feel a lot more like the performance art it really is or can be if so one chooses; creative, fun and interesting in a more open, less binary manner than just the athletic or technical side to me, in addition to being introspective and meditative in lieu of stressful – the latter being everything but why I skate. I think it’s always important to remind people about their own power to choose, and positively affect their lives accordingly. Also I’m blessed these days to live in a quieter, smaller city with quite the remarkable architectural history; I tried to show at least a handful of its oddities here, albeit none of the spectacular sceneries at all - more so the textures. In many ways, those are a universal language amidst skateboarders because we literally spend all of our time on our board deciphering them. Even on those days with no skateboard, a lot of us I’m sure can easily feel bricks either vibrate or catch our front truck by just looking at them.

Fun fact: I didn’t do it consciously, but in this edit I’m skating the same board and pair of Suciu Gazelles from start to finish, sometimes people do not get that and I can easily see why but I actually like it when I can call my skate gear my skate gear and you’ve indirectly sculpted the objects to the point where they’ve physically become personal. I mostly kept the timeline chronological too, really just dropping new clips at the end as I would get them and so if you pay close attention, you can see everything start as relatively pristine and then shape up ‘in real time’. Everything was filmed on just one same tape, too – I normally never, ever reuse tapes, but for some unclear reason it just felt right to do here and so I did. But that also may at least in part be that I’m too lazy and cheap to go out and look for new tapes.

Finally, during the editing process, I conducted a lot of tests in the music department, constantly swapping in and out new tracks; I knew I wanted something close to home in certain ways, that paralleled the innocence or ignorance of the skating all the while referencing something local or close to local. Ended up going for this live Gentle Despite track because Sarah Records is this world’s best-kept secret I hope I didn’t just ruin, and it turned out to be a meaningful match – as far as with the last trick in this, which again was one of those more improvised moments and to this day, on the clip I’m not quite sure “If I Touch”.