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Rachelle Vinberg (Skate Kitchen)

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2018 NEXT Section Sundance Trading Card Series: #21. Rachelle Vinberg (Skate Kitchen)

2018 NEXT Section Sundance Trading Card Series: #21. Rachelle Vinberg (Skate Kitchen)

Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2017 discoveries”.
Rachelle Vinberg: – The Alchemist: Shuffling through the books on my friends bookshelf last January, I stumbled across The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I asked her if she’d read it before. She hadn’t, but she did say that a lot of people she knew absolutely loved it. I ended up borrowing it and read it twice back to back. It blew my mind. The story follows a young man on his journey toward, what Coelho deemed, his personal legend. Coelho believes that everyone has a personal legend (purpose in life), but not everyone succeeds in accessing it. Things like fear, hesitation, and weariness, are what hold people back. Instead, one must trust the universe, take risks, and follow his/her intuition in order to reach fulfillment. It was after I read this book that I decided to let loose and trust the process. By process I mean the way things happen to work out. Rather than questioning, worrying, and trying to control every aspect of my life, I learned to be free and open, trusting that whatever happens is supposed to. So far, it all has.

– Reason for skating: Skateboarding was always something that I did for fun. Whether it was skating alone out on the street, or at the park with friends, it was something I used to consider a pastime, or hobby, that I did for solely my own pleasure. Recently, after The Skate Kitchen (group of girls I skate with) got together my view on skateboarding has completely changed. We (The Skate Kitchen) get so many girls messaging us and coming up to us at parks explaining how intimidated they are to start skating. I see these girls and I see my former self in them. I see the “Camille” in them, and suddenly skateboarding isn’t something I do just for me anymore. It’s important to motivate these girls and to help them hold down their board with confidence.

The City: It’s been nearly two years since I’ve been coming to the city to skate, but I’d say 2017 was the year that I was able to really explore it and appreciate all that it offers, on and off the board. There’s always somewhere to go, and new spots to skate. Everyday is different. I still consider myself new to the city too, so going out always feels like a learning experience. One thing I love to do in the city, besides skate, is find new vegan cafes or restaurant. There are so many, and veganism is a big part of my life.

Lavallee: Your role is an extension of the collaboration in the short, That One Day. Is there a lot of commonalities between you and the character you play / or is it blurry and difficult to decipher type along the lines of the short?
Vinberg: Before the short, The girls and I had talked to Crystal about experiences we’ve had at skateparks. We told her about the times, as beginners, when we felt intimidated entering a skatepark full of guys. This intimidation was a feeling all of us girls shared. When it comes to the storyline of the short, Crystal based it off a situation similar to my own. I grew up in Long Island and spent most of my time skating alone. I’d spend hours watching City skating videos on youtube, dreaming of going out there to skate. Finally, on my fourteenth birthday, my mom drove me out to LES skatepark, which is the one we filmed at for the short. I didn’t know anyone, and it was definitely intimidating for me to skate at the park, not to mention, she parked her car right in front of the entrance and sat in her car the entire time, which was embarrassing. This was before I knew any of the girls. When it comes to the character of who I play in the short, and in the movie , I do consider it to be me, but a former version of myself, that fourteen year-old girl.

 

Lavallee:. I was wondering if there was a different approach to physical performance with skateboarding and moving camera aesthetic this time out?
Vinberg: Filming and “catching clips,” is a big deal in the skate world. If you go to a park you will most likely see kids filming each other. Often times kids will spend hours trying to get the clip with their friends filming for hours alongside them. Filming skating for the movie was pretty much the same thing. Joey, our skate cam man, would trail us on his skateboard. The only differences were the amount of time we had to land the tricks and some of the shots that were filmed. Like I said before, it can take hours for tricks to be landed. We all really wanted to catch good clips for the movie, but understood that we had to be strategic about how much time we’d have to film them, which was a little frustrating for me haha. When it comes to the way it was filmed, shot wise, I’d say the way skating is filmed in the movie is way more artistic than how skateboarding is usually filmed. There are shots of our shadows, hair, etc, that don’t necessarily show the tricks we are doing, but are still part of skating.

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Rachelle Vinberg (Skate Kitchen)

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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