The creative geniuses that go by the name of Real Skifi have been at it again, bending the minds of freeskiers across the globe. In their latest episode, Real Skifi Tenet, they took a leaf out of Christopher Nolan's book with some trippy cinematic creativity. Real Skifi are known for their creativity on skis, but this is some next-level sh*t! The more you watch it, the more it blows your mind.
"The idea for this video had been in our minds for a while already, and finally we got together to brainstorm and make it happen. In this project, we had to use our creativity differently from what we’re used to. This time, the challenge was to get the acting and timing right instead of landing a hard trick." - Real Skifi
We caught up with Juho Kilkki, the main mind behind the madness, to find out a little more from behind the scenes of their latest episode.
Obviously, you were inspired by Christopher Nolan's Tenet, but did you understand the movie’s plot? We’re still scratching our heads.
Haha, I will admit that I may have googled "Tenet explained" after watching it! You know, I've only seen the movie once and it was definitely not enough for a proper understanding of the plot.
Explain how you went from watching the movie to making a Tenet-themed Real Skifi episode?
The seeds for the project were planted long before the movie even came out. Around four years ago, I started thinking about if it was possible to do tricks in a way that when filmed and reversed, they would look normal. It was mostly just theory around symmetrical tricks and setups, but we never tried it. So, when Nolan's movie came out it was like fuel to an old fire and it brought the whole concept to a new level. We realised we could bring in extras to create the illusion of opposite time flows. We could make the clips go back and forth, or any which way. The discussions, when we were trying to explain our ideas to each other, were pretty funny.
Has it surprised you how well this episode was received?
Yes and no. We knew this was a good one and we were super excited to release it. But it's always a surprise and a pleasure to see that people are actually inspired and stoked about what you've created.
We can't begin to imagine how difficult this episode was to coordinate and film. Which shot was the most challenging and why?
The simple rail slide on the log with children riding the carousel was one of the hardest for me. There are just so many details to think about when doing something "inverted". It was funny to build a take-off that would look like a landing and vice versa. Basically, the take-off had to be as low as possible and the landing high and narrow. Approaching the take-off I had to look back, away from the direction of travel, for as long as I could, so that it would look like an outrun. Then I would fake a heavy “head-bob” landing and pop onto the rail more or less blind. Sliding the rail, I had to look back at the takeoff and pop off the rail before it ended. I had to hit the tranny of the landing perfectly, while going backwards… blind. It was almost too much for my brain to handle.
In terms of production level and execution, this episode is mind-blowing. Can we expect to see the further blurring of cinematic themes and skiing creativity in future Real Skifi episodes?
Stepping up our production game and exploring our creativity are definitely things that we value and want to pursue. However, going “full Hollywood” isn’t our plan right now. We would need some very different budgets for that haha. We love experimenting with all kinds of ideas and concepts: The Tenet video was just one of our many adventures.
How do you manage to re-invent the ski edit every single time? What’s your creative process?
Thanks for the kind words! I really don't think there's any secret to it. When you have a tendency to get excited about things, you might just end up creating something interesting. We keep our eyes and ears open and sometimes we even sit down to think and plan.
Any clues on what your next project might be?
We do have a few projects already in the oven. I won't give away too much, but there's some good stuff coming! The next video will most likely be released in autumn.
If there is another blockbuster movie you’d like to re-interpret as a Real Skifi episode, what would it be and why?
Honestly, I haven't thought about that at all! If I had to pick one now perhaps it'd be Forrest Gump. There's the running scene where he runs for years and people start following him. It'd be cool to have a street skier ski from town to town "for no particular reason" with hundreds of people following him haha.