We're proud to present the new video by one of Amsterdam's most well-known crews: the Booticelliboys. As a bonus, we hit up the man behind the video, Koen Mulder, for a short interview.
Photography by Hugo Snelooper
The video is called “Aan lager wal” / “On the skids”. “On the skids, to experience difficulties and be likely to fail.” Is this true? Are the Booticelliboys not what they once were?
It’s sort of true, I guess. We’re all starting to reach ages above 30, and not everyone is skating at the same level anymore. Besides that, we were looking for something that fits our boat-theme. Bommer came with the name, in the end.
Is it true that the video is mostly a product of those endless lockdowns? The streets seem to be emptier than normal in most of the clips.
That’s right. Because there were hardly any other things to do than skate, we were out on missions a lot. It got me hyped to skate a lot more and to film as well, because there was a big group that wanted to skate a lot.
The whole city centre being empty was crazy. Normally, I’m never there. It’s usually a bit like an amusement park, but when it was empty, it was more like a museum. I started taking walks through the centre instead of the park too. There’s all these sick buildings that you never see because you want to get out as fast as possible. It was also nice to skate places that are usually not so accessible. There’s quite some footage of Rembrandtplein in the video, for instance. It’s an annoying place because of all the tourists, but during the lockdowns it was skateable, and the police was never a problem either. I did get a 24-hour restraining order for drinking a beer there.
Laurens van Gurp has the opener part, while he had zero clips in the previous video. How did the crew change since “The sound of success”, and what are the entry requirements?
The line-up for this video is a bit different, even though the hardcore guys of the crew are still there. A lot of them have other things to do: work, wifes, kids, getting older, injuries, some have moved away. You name it. Since the last video a few people joined, like Laurens, and he wants to skate a lot and is quite good at it. About the admission, I think it has to match with us and then mostly the guys that are part of the group for the longest time, like Jamie, Simon, Mees, Joep and Finn. I think Simon or Finn is admin of the chat group, and they decide whether someone gets in or not, haha. It can be tricky when a friend of someone moves to Amsterdam, and they’re like, “can you add this guy?”, when not everyone in the group knows that person. It’s nice when everyone within the crew knows each other.
There’s a lot of Dutch music in the video. What does the “skate music” folder on your computer look like?
That’s right. I have a lot of friends that make music so it seemed fun to have the whole soundtrack made by them, but I quickly found out that that was really limiting and a hard thing to do. Then I figured it would be cool to have at least all sung music in Dutch. I don’t really like music with singing, but that gave me the challenge of finding songs that had somebody singing that I did like. Somehow, it’s always Dutch music. I’m not nationalistic in any way, I just like the language, I think.
Searching for music is some sort of an addiction I have. I have a vinyl collection of about 2000 records, so curating the soundtrack for a video is one of the most fun things to do. My collection has a lot of electronic and beats music, so the instrumental music was easy to find. I already knew some songs before I even started editing, like that number of de Witte Kunst for Laurens’ part, and I have a “bootivideo” folder on iTunes, Spotify and Youtube. That’s where everything I find ends up in, and people recommend things to me as well. Spotify radio works good as well.
You went to Mexico for a while during the winter, what did you do there? Was it to escape the pressure of the film?
Originally, I wanted to travel after my studies, but I got hired at a fun school straight after and then worked there for six years straight. It was time for a trip after those six years, just go out all alone for a longer period. Not having responsibility over 25 kids, seeing what that does to me, how that feels. During the covid period I managed to save up quite a bit because I only spent money on food and records. It was simply time to get away for a bit.
It was great, a few crazy and special things happened, but after three months I did start to miss my bubble in Amsterdam.
I went back with fresh energy, but I had already nearly finished the film before leaving. We couldn’t do a premiere in the winter because of the regulations so I finished it when I came back. I was definitely not feeling like filming and standing hunched all day, either.
In your speech you said this would be the last Booticelli video. Is there someone taking over or is it simply over? How long did you take up filming duties for the crew?
I think so. Everyone is older and is skating once in a while, but a whole video is not going to happen that quickly, I think. But, you never know! Bommer just bought a VX1000 and is stoked on it. But, I think for most of the group, it’s been a good run. For this video I filmed about 85%, the previous one about half of it. I probably filmed on a weekly base for five years straight, but it feels nice to not do that anymore. I can skate myself now! Other than that, there’s Valuta Brand by Tjerk and Federico, they’re really pushing the scene in Amsterdam.
The kids in Amsterdam are getting better every day, think of King and Jason, but are there young filmers too?
True, when you go to BYOBS on a Wednesday at Olympia you can be amazed by anyone. In terms of young filmers, I have no idea, I don’t think there are any. Everything is for instagram! I hope I’m not forgetting someone now, haha. Maybe they can start a media department at skateboard school NOORD!
You have a sick part yourself as well, what was the ratio between filming and skating on the average session?
Thanks! Well, the ratio was not balanced at the end of the filming process. I was filming more than skating and I definitely lost motivation because of that. Eventually, I enjoy skating more than filming and it became more of a work thing than having fun. My footage is a bit older, mostly from when Tjerk was filming for Valuta a lot. I think that's a hard thing too, because you have an idea of how it should look, and then having friends who have less experience with filming… that’s always tricky. Luckily Finn and Laurens were there a lot as well, and they can film fine too.
It looks like the ender wasn’t filmed on a VX. Is that right?
Yes, indeed. During one of the first lockdowns, Mees had a period in which he did all kinds of sick tricks, and I wasn’t there for any of them. Switch inward heel over a bike path, a huge switch wallride and the fingerflip into the bank. Charlie filmed the fingerflip and because after that period, Mees struggled a bit we made a concession. I didn’t really want tricks that were filmed with different cameras in the video, but it’s the ender and such an epic trick. It also fit nicely with the music I imagined.
What was the most unexpected trick? Where someone did something you never held possible for that person, or an impossible spot…
Hahaha well, the fingerflip surprised me. That’s a tough one! And the 5050 bigspin by Mees is a good story too. He had been trying it for seven years, something like that. He tried it a few times for the previous video, battling for hours but not making it. When we went to the spot for this video, he did it in about twenty tries. Mitta does a back lip there, which is also really hard, riding into it like that. He did it even better than that one, but that clip had a really bad glitch. It’s a hard spot.
Alright, thanks Koen!