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Lucas Jankoschek Interview

Everything that happens in Vienna happens out of love and passion


Luci became a good friend of mine within a matter of only a few weeks, probably the fastest I have ever gotten to know someone. I immediately felt at ease being around him and we hung out quite a lot for a little over a month. Quite honestly speaking, I don’t even really know his full name, but I don’t think that matters all that much. When you get to a certain age, it will become harder to make new friends and usually you are already set for your chosen family: the people you choose to have around you as much as possible and the ones you actually care for. For me, the most refreshing thing about Luci is that, by definition, he’s not a “cool guy.” He seems to be perfectly balanced with his job and his passion, has the right people around him, lives in a good spot in the center of Vienna with his lovely brother, and wears his heart on his sleeves. If that makes you the opposite of a cool guy, who wants to be a cool guy? The only disadvantage in our relationship is that he loves to sleep a lot and I don’t. I feel like whenever we get to hang out, he often says things like, “I’ve never been here before.”, “I’ve never done that before.” or “We usually don’t do that here.” – and he might be referring to things like buying a double espresso to go and drinking it while skating to the next spot on a Sunday morning in a rather sleepy Vienna. Luci and his crew (Turtle Productions Vienna) have done their best to put Vienna back on the map, produce handmade videos and soundtracks, and present their own spirit and taste to the outside world. All that with a good eye for details, Easter eggs, and a very wholesome storytelling. Become familiar with Luci & Vienna and Luci in Vienna. Just one more thing: sleep is the cousin of death, Luci!

- Daniel Pannemann

You studied art to become an arts & crafts teacher, right? What sparked your interest?

I always wanted to do something with art. Friends of mine already studied it and then I applied as well. I also studied teaching for safety reasons. I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been teaching for two years now, so I’m still in the checkout phase, but I like it so far.

Do your students like doing art?

Generally, they like it and I’m one of the youngest teachers there, so I think I connect pretty well with them.

Do you use stuff from skateboarding in class?

I wanted to start teaching with something I’m comfortable with. That’s why I started with stop-motion movies, and in crafts, we did earrings out of old skateboards.

"My worst fear was that the kids would find out that I skate"

Are you a different person as a teacher? Are you wearing different clothes?

Funny that you ask. I’m still thinking about this a lot cause last year, when I started, I adapted much more. My worst fear was that the kids would find out that I skate and would then act differently in school; but pretending for a long time is exhausting. This year, I loosened up and showed them Turtle 3. It’s way more comfortable for me now and the kids also benefit from it. However, you have to level it out.

In terms of your age, you’re actually closer to some of your students than your colleagues.

Before the holidays, we had a BBQ with the whole staff and, for me, that’s way harder than being in the classroom. [laughing]

Friedjof is also teaching arts & crafts. Did you exchange any experiences or tips when he visited you?

We didn’t, but I could get some tips from him. He has been doing it for a while already.

Lucas Jankoschek rainbowride Wien3

Rainbow Ride

Have you met before?

Two years ago, Friedjof was in Vienna with a crew, and randomly at 2 a.m. in some bar, we found out that we both teach the same subject. After Turtle 3 was released in September, he sent me a really nice message about how hyped the video got him to skate and asked to do something together.

Your thesis is about urban space and the Situationists, and I can also feel that in the Turtle videos.

Totally. The Situationists were artists in the ‘60s and wanted art to become alive. They roamed through Paris and noted places that had a special atmosphere to them. Their idea of the city of the future was a city full of those atmospherical places. Their roaming was their art and skaters do the same. Some places have a special atmosphere to us and we also do spot maps.

"For my approach to skateboarding, the city is extremely important"

Your interaction with Vienna and the city as a background gives your videos a special feeling.

For my approach to skateboarding, the city is extremely important. The best thing is looking for a spot, finding an unskated one or “unskateable” ones, and making them work. Give the spot a tag with your trick and then go on to the next one.

You never go back to a spot to do a different trick?

I do it once in a while, I’m not that inflexible. If you film a part, you have the motivation to show some technical tricks, so going back to a spot is a good idea. And in the end, if it’s fun, that’s the most important thing.

Lucas Jankoschek fsboardslide pop over to fakie Wien

Frontside boardslide pop over to fakie

Did you also look for new spots with Friedjof?

It was a bit tricky cause we only had three days, and Fidi and I had to find out what we wanted to do. I suggested a bunch of spots I already filmed a trick on, but he wasn’t into half of them and, after two days, I ran out of spots. Shooting photos is different and I was a bit overwhelmed. Also having only three days, there’s a lot of pressure and I’m not much of a morning person. Fidi and Daniel [Pannemann], who was with him, chased me out of the house at 11 a.m. and we skated till 8 p.m. when it got dark. One spot after another, it was pretty exhausting. In the end when Fidi left, I had to stay in bed for three days with sunstroke. I find shooting photos way more exhausting than filming a video cause, on every try, you try to get into the position that looks good on the photo. There is this frontside boardslide photo. I would’ve never filmed this cause it felt weird sliding and I had to go really slow, but the photo is sick. It’s really different.

What are you looking for in a video project when you start? How do you begin?

Like I said before, I try to skate new spots. Sometimes people want to go to spots that are done. Even if you can do the craziest technical trick there, I find it boring. And there’s nothing worse than a skate video that’s predictable and boring. Skating old spots in a new way, on the other hand, is interesting, but I prefer new spots.

Are there lots of new spots in Vienna?

Yeah, new ones are popping up regularly. Not only that, they’re newly built and you can also discover more existing ones. You just need to be motivated and not only hang around in the city centre. Go to the outskirts and look for spots there. We often just ride to a certain subway station and then look around what’s there.

Are you the one motivating the crew to go out?

If I’m filming for a Turtle video, I’ll try to get people to skate spots I’d like to have in the video. Right now, Simon [Trummer] is filming a video and I’m just a skater in there, so I don’t have to think so much for the others, which is nice. If you have been filming videos for years, you’ll get into this position where people ask you, “What’s the plan? Where are we going?” I like doing that and I think I’m kinda good at it, but now I can enjoy the project from a different position.

Lucas Jankoschek rollin Wien3

Roll In

How did it all start with the Turtle crew and the videos?

I moved to Vienna and continued what I’ve done in the countryside. It’s just that I got a VX and I named it Turtle Productions. I didn’t really know anybody here besides Simon. He introduced me to the scene. I knew some people from videos and was hyped to be able to skate with some of my idols, and next thing I know, we’re a crew and they’re my best friends now.

How did the aesthetic of the Turtle videos come together?

I think less is more. Plus, I don’t have the patience to get fully into animation techniques. I like to know the basics of a tool and just use those.

I always find it suspicious if somebody has a great technique in something. If a guitar song has a crazy solo, I think, “Maybe they’re trying to hide that the song has no soul.”

Same with skateboarding. Tech skateboarding doesn’t interest me. There’s not much behind it. I prefer the creative aspects. I’m also not that impressed by a hyperrealistic drawing. It’s just the technique and nothing more.

I also prefer looking at something that has a heart and soul. The Turtle videos have a certain vibe that I think is strongly connected to the city. How important are the interactions with strangers for you?

I think that’s an important part of the video. Just seeing skateboarding is a bit boring. You need to get the city life to transport a feeling for the city.

"Tech skateboarding doesn’t interest me. There’s not much behind it. I prefer the creative aspects."

It also seems you have nice and respectful interactions with passersby and there’s always a good vibe going on.

All of us are really peaceful people and we’re not into being the “radical” skater that argues with somebody.

Vienna has scored the title “most livable city” in the world a couple of times now. Does this also affect skateboarding?

If you go street skating, you don’t feel that dirty cause the streets are pretty clean and maybe you tend to hang out longer that way.

The music in the last video was made/curated by a skater, right?

Flo [Seyser-Trenk] does the band Euroteuro and skates as well. We got him into the project and he was so motivated to do the soundtrack. He produced most of the songs himself and found some other songs from bands we’re friends with.

Lucas Jankoschek wallride to wallride Wien

Wallride to wallride

Way more personal than just picking a Pink Floyd song.

I really hated it when I worked on a video for months, uploaded it to YouTube, and a song got blocked. Now we had all the rights and were able to show it at the Diagonale festival in Graz, for example.

What’s the story behind that?

After Turtle 3, a few doors opened up. One was a director contacting me cause he wanted my animations in his new movie, which premiered at Diagonale. While I was working on that, he convinced me to submit Turtle 3. I thought they’d never show a skate video, but in the end, it happened and we went there in March. We stayed there for five days in a hotel and lived like kings.

How do non-skaters react to a skate video?

I found it super interesting cause most of them connected with it. They had lots of questions, for example, why there are so many subways in it. Or why there’s only one girl in the video, which got me thinking as well.

It feels like the scene in Vienna is very progressive and open – especially after the Gnarathon and the FLINTA* session there. Your videos also seem like everybody is welcome.

I also see the Vienna scene as really open. There are crews that work on their own projects, but everybody is nice to each other and you go skating together.

Lucas Jankoschek flip backlip Wien2

Kickflip Backside Lipslide

Looking at Vienna, it always seems to me that there is an anarchic, creative, and artistic vibe going on.

You also have other skating there, but it’s less. I don’t know why that is or why Vienna is a bit stuck in this punk/art thing.

When I watched Turtle 3 for the first time, the ender part immediately got stuck in my head. I liked it a lot, but at the same time, I was not sure if the guy, Schörgi, can even really skate, you know what I mean?

[laughing] That describes him really well. I also ask myself sometimes if he even can do the trick he’s trying. Sometimes it ends in a slam, but sometimes it works. Schörgi is an OG. He was already ripping when I still lived in Burgenland. He’s 36 and has a child now but was super motivated to film and he just looks good on camera, no matter what he does. Skate videos are a lot about the characters and if you’re a strong character, you don’t have to show the hardest tricks.

That vibes pretty well with Magenta. What’s your status there?

Magenta was always a big inspiration. I was a big fan and analyzed the filming in the videos. Now they flow me some boards, which makes me super happy. It started when I met Soy [Panday] in Vienna to film him for a Magenta video. Then they changed their Austrian distribution and the skate shop I’m riding for started to do it. Two years later, I was in Paris and had a beer with Soy. He casually mentioned that when they switched, he had asked if I could get boards – but nobody ever told me! And I was like, “Can we still make this happen?” At some point, I asked if I can be part of the next video and then I got invited on a trip to Marseille and met the crew. It was a big honor for me. Then Leo [Valls] invited me to Bordeaux, where we met as well.

"Skate videos are a lot about the characters and if you’re a strong character, you don’t have to show the hardest tricks."

What are your plans for the future with Magenta?

I’d love to be included more, but I’m not sure how they see it.

You also have a twin brother you started skating with. How’s that?

For Fabi, skateboarding isn’t his top priority, but I get him motivated and I drag him with me to be part of my projects. Other than that, we live together and we’re a great team. He did artworks for the video and designed some shirts cause he studies abstract art.

One part from Turtle 3 was released through Jenkem. Was that because Ian [Michna] has a connection to Vienna?

I’ve always sent videos to Jenkem, and at some point, he answered and told me that he was living in Vienna when he was younger. And then he wanted Fuxl’s part from the video, which made sense cause he was the tour guide for their Vienna check out that was released a few weeks prior.

Fuxl is also one of those characters I can only picture in Vienna.

He’s a pediatrician and became a father of twins a year ago. He has so much energy and is 100% a skate freak. He’s on night duty and goes skating right after, with glassy eyes. We call it “wipers” cause he has to wink so much to stay awake while he’s trying a drop in or something. You definitely have to experience him in person.

I have a random question at the end from Friedjof, “Why do you never skate with white shoes?”

We wanted to shoot a last photo, and for some reason, I put on new shoes, which is the worst combo with an old board. That’s why I slammed cause I had no grip, and the shoes were white. It’s a bad omen. I might spray them black.

Any last words?

Thanks to you guys for the interview cause it’s not a given if you’re from Vienna.

It’s crazy, it’s a big beautiful city with an active scene and good spots and it’s still somehow under the radar. Why’s that?

Well, the industry is in Germany, and in Austria, you’re living in the shadow of the big brother. That’s why it’s difficult to make it out of Vienna. It’s both a curse and a blessing. Since there is no money in it anyway, the fun is the main focus. Everything that happens in Vienna happens out of love and passion.