Supermarket Skate with Madars Apse
The first time GoPro production artist Will Hodgett heard about this particularly out-there idea from GoPro Skate athlete Madars Apse, was back in the summer of 2016 when they were on a shoot in Copenhagen. Shutting down a supermarket for a skate shoot? Sounds crazy, but we made it happen.
Read on to get the inside scoop from Will about how Madars’ tapped his DC Shoes teammates Thaynan Costa, Adilson Pedro and Josef Scott to help make his dream project become reality.
GoPro: Where did the Supermarket Skate idea come from?
Will Hodgett: That week in Copenhagen was the first time I actually met and hung out with Madars. One night into the trip, we were out at a bar in the meatpacking district having some late night beers and the chat turned to talking about dream projects. That's when Madars first mentioned the idea of thrashing up a supermarket.
I think my first reaction was probably: "Oh sure but how are you gonna get a supermarket on board with that?" To that, he mentioned vaguely he had a friend who knew somebody that owned a supermarket and thought they would be down. Suddenly, it didn’t seem impossible anymore.
Pretty much ever since this conversation in Copenhagen, I was obsessed with the idea to make it happen at GoPro. On the one hand, it felt like visually it would look so different, but also, I liked the idea that it was just fun and not so serious, which was a good opportunity for GoPro to do something a little bit different in Skateboarding.
Personally, it just seemed like one of the most fun projects to work on, and when you see how excited someone like Madars is about it, then you know it's gonna be a good one.
Who knew the supermarket owner, and how in the world did you get him to think this was a good idea?
The first person Madars got us on the phone with, was THE MAN Gaston Francisco. Gaston was one of Madars’ buddies and a production guru who he had been filming with a lot in the past. Gaston also held the key connection to the supermarket—it turned out to be another friend of Gastons’ that owned the supermarket in France. Gaston helped us set up the whole shoot; he was our liaison with the supermarket owner and was key in getting him on board for the project.
Was he hard to convince or did he love the idea?
It did seem like it was going to be pretty tough, or maybe too expensive, to get the supermarket on board. Asking a guy we’d never met for permission to lock up his supermarket all night for us to skate and then trust us to have it ready to re-open in the morning seemed like a pretty ridiculous ask. But Gaston wouldn’t take no for an answer.
When we got there, I don’t even think the owner realised what kind of skating we were filming. He initially thought we were going to be shooting a mellow ad with the guys rolling up and down the isles. I don’t think he expected us rocking up with a bunch of ramps and wild skaters ready to cause mayhem.
Luckily for us it turned out the supermarket owner was pumped on the idea and totally cool with us pushing the limit and doing what we wanted. He turned out to be a super cool, eccentric French guy. We kept asking him "can we do this" or "can we skate that," and every time he would just laugh as if we were crazy and say go ahead!
We had three nights to shoot, and he came to the supermarket every night with his kids and some friends, cracked open some wine and watched all the mayhem unfold. His kids were also stoked to get involved and help us set things up and clean up at the end of each night, which was very cool and a huge help. He really set the vibe up for us and big props for being so cool with us being there.
Any moments that stuck out to you?
I think one of the wildest and most unexpected parts of the shoot was Madars and Adilson riding the empty shelves. We didn’t plan for that, but when we arrived, one of the isles was empty for re-stocking.
The guys jumped up on the shelves to see if they held their weight (barely). Then, we took out some shelves and made a little feature for them to skate.
It turned out to be pretty sketchy, shelves were bending and falling out all over the place while the guys were skating. I think we replaced the shelves five or six times. In the middle of the piece, there’s a clip where Madars steps out and falls through one of the shelves, but what you don’t see is that when Madars fell through that shelf he actually cut his leg. It was a bit of a hairy moment for a second, but he brushed it off, stuck the trick and kept skating on it for the next couple of nights.
I think one of the funniest parts was watching Thaynan smack through the tower of cans we built. Gaston had mocked up and built a few fake products for us to smashso we didn’t waste any real food or items in supermarket. We had Thaynan skate through the tower of cans twice, and he landed really hard on his ass on top of all the cans each time while everyone crowded around and laughed with him, it was pretty funny to watch.
Anything else you’d like to add?
When you are on a shoot like that and surrounded by filmers like Chris Ray and Danni Galli, guys who are so in tune with GoPro and filming skating, it’s incredible to sit back and watch them work their magic. They really brought this project to life not only with their filming skills but with the energy and vibe they brought to the whole shoot. There was definitely never a dull moment inside and out of the supermarket for the whole week.
I remember at the end of the last night of the shoot everyone hanging out the back of the supermarket after getting the final shots. Madars came out to the crew so stoked and thanking everyone for being a part of it and making it happen.
Hearing Madars say how long he’s been wanting to do this project and knowing how long it took to pull together and make happen since he first brought it up, definitely made it a special project to be a part of personally. Crazy what a late night beer with someone can lead to ...
Head over to Transworld Skateboarding to hear Madars' side of the story. To give you a taste, this is our favorite outtake from that interview:
If you have to slam into food, what’s the safest, most comfortable food to land in?
I would say watermelons would be safe, unless your Josef Skott as he hates watermelons.