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Filming during a Global Pandemic Part 1

The Story Behind the Vans 'MASH' Transition edit

16 Apr 2021

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VANS are Official DIG Partners | Video by Rich Forne

Even though all their team projects had to be cancelled due to Covid, VANS still wanted to find a way to keep their riders active (and filming) as soon as they were allowed to go out safely again.

With very limited travel options, they all kept it local (either within their region or wherever was allowed) and rather than always using their regular filmers, they asked their homies to press on that red button. Rich Forne then took the footage and created two heavy mixtape MASH videos; one focused on Street and one on Transition.

We caught up with the 5 riders featured in the Transition edit (Sergio Layos, Paul Thoelen, Greg Illingworth, Tom Van Den Bogaard and Teresa Fernandez) to find out more about MASH and how the riders dealt with filming during the pandemic here.

See the MASH 'Street' video and interviews HERE.

Related Video

VANS BMX ‘MASH’ - TRANSITION

Sergio Layos, Paul Thoelen, Greg Illingworth, Tom Van Den Bogaard and Teresa Fernandez - More Info

SERGIO LAYOS

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Sergio Layos

How has the last year affected you?

Well I have to say that for myself getting locked at first was something good as I had surgery a week before the first lockdown and 5 days after surgery I tried to ride and that didn’t go well with the fresh stitches and everything still swollen so having to take te time to stop and recover like you're supposed to was something positive for me. But at the end (as for everyone) it ended up being tough. Then after that there was only one park open but it still felt the happiest to be able to ride again. Then more parks started to open and I started to move around but I have been lucky and careful enough where I didn’t get the virus.

For the Vans MASH video, did you hit local spots that you know well or did you manage to get out and discover parts of your local area that you weren’t so familiar with?

I felt the need to get out of my area, I’m used to not me home for too long and this felt like a good opportunity to get in my van and drive to all those places that I always wanted to go but never had the time but most of them were close but it felt good getting out and explore.

Are local spots boring for you after riding them so much or were you able to look at them with fresh eyes?

I got to a point where I had to stop going to some places for a while as riding them so much wasn’t helping my motivation but made me ride more some other places I wouldn’t usually go that I ended up loving.

Are any of your clips from anywhere beyond your local area?

Most of my clips are from all over Spain and I knew here you could move around if it was for work and all we did was make it look like we were going to work and some how till today still works for me.

How was it filming with friends/locals rather than your usual filmer?

I’m lucky enough to travel with my friends that are also my usual filmers so couldn’t have worked better for me.

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Was it liberating to not have the pressure of filming on a relatively short trip ?

For me it felt a bit more relaxed as we had a lot of time but at the same time I wanted to make the most of the places that we went to so ended up being challenging anyway.

What are the three things you look forward to most once all restrictions have been lifted?

I want to feel like I’m not a criminal for going to a place where there is zero risk of harming anybody. I want to be able to travel anywhere. And not have the vibe of lack of freedom. Maybe the 3 of them are the same hahaha.

How have you kept busy and healthy during the pandemic?

I got into building the inside of my van as it was a project that needed a lot of time and I managed to finish it and also to build my friends and also was lucky enough to stayed at my friend’s on the country side were it was easy to be safe.

Has the past 12 months brought any positives for you?

I will say yes, I learned to take it a bit easy, to rest properly and tried to live life as stress free as possible.

PAUL THÖELEN

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Paul Thoelen

How has the last year affected you?

I luckily did not get ill at any point nor did any of my family and friends. The regulations in Germany weren’t too strict, which is probably the reason why we are pretty fucked right now haha. As probably anyone else is too, I’m just over the whole situation by now!

For the Vans MASH video, did you hit local spots that you know well or did you manage to get out and discover parts of your local area that you weren’t so familiar with?

No I only hit spots that I knew already. A few of the clips in the video I had in mind for a couple of month and felt sick to finally tick them off the list.

Are local spots boring for you after riding them so much or were you able to look at them with fresh eyes?

It wasn’t too bad. I was more than thankful to have had spots to ride especially during winter. Shoutout to the Schlachthof crew from Flensburg for giving a winter shelter!! But of course, after 4 month riding the exact same ramps day in day out it was refreshing riding some different stuff again.

Are any of your clips from anywhere beyond your local area?

No not really. All the clips were made within a 150Km radius from my place.

How was it filming with friends/locals rather than your usual filmer?

I was lucky enough to film with Markus Wilke with whom I’ve done several projects before and who is one of the best dudes to hang out with. So it was super cool to film MASH with him.

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What are the three things you look forward to most once all restrictions have been lifted?

1 - Not having to decide who to call for a session and write everyone instead.

2 - Being able to plan trips and all that stuff.

3 - To see literally everyone I couldn’t see all this time.

How have you kept busy and healthy during the pandemic?

When all the parks closed I started riding street a lot which was good fun. Other than that I started riding race bikes.

Has the past 12 months brought any positives for you?

Yes definitely. I mean of course I’ve missed all the dudes from around the world, contests and different places, but in the end it felt really cool being at home all summer long.

GREG ILLINGWORTH

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Greg Illingworth

How has the last year affected you ?

The last year has been completely different for me. Aside of not being able to travel anywhere, the only indoor facility to ride around us was completely close the entire time. Even while other parks around the country opened up for brief periods or with strict rules, Source remained closed throughout. SO as soon as winter kicked in, there was pretty much nothing to ride at all, other than some soggy sidewalks. I think I would have managed to get out to ride a bit more street over the winter if I were able to do it with some friends or other riders… but doing that alone in the heart of winter really was tough. I definitely rode less and that really sucked.

For the Vans MASH video, did you hit local spots that you know well or did you manage to get out and discover parts of your local area that you weren’t so familiar with?

For me it was al about staying in the woods, keeping clear of people, keeping my partner (vulnerable) safe and staying away from hospital. So nope, I didn’t explore or push myself too much. The advice was to stay close and stay healthy.

Are local spots boring for you after riding them so much or were you able to look at them with fresh eyes?

I spent a lot of the winter making improvements on the trails so they\ll be better than ever this year.

Are any of your clips from anywhere beyond your local area?

No, wasn’t allowed at all.

How was it filming with friends/locals rather than your usual filmer?

Haha that was a little tricky for me to be honest. Being used to dedicated and paid filmers is a real luxury. Of course you cannot expect a friend or a favour to serve your purpose perfectly, so there were days when I was ready to film and the trails were running perfect and then the 'friend' or filmer that was gonna pop over to film some clips all of a sudden has something else important to do (understandably) so they can only stick around for an hour. Then the clips often don’t meet the standards of the brand or editor. It’s a bit of a minefield to be honest but that’s all forgotten about when you drop in and hit the first jump anyway.

Was it liberating to not have the pressure of filming on a relatively short trip ?

Kind of, but those trips are often the most fun and productive for clips. The pressure on those trips can sometimes be intense but that’s part of the fun. I generally prefer taking my time to film a section but it also can help having a bit of a deadline for motivation.

What are the three things you look forward to most once all restrictions have been lifted?

Traveling, riding with friends, coaching kids.

How have you kept busy and healthy during the pandemic?

I’ve been in the woods digging the trails and I’ve spent a lot of time creating a building up a little mobile coffee truck business for the summer.

Has the past 12 months brought any positives for you?

Yes, most importantly it’s allowed me the time at home to help my partner get some of the medical support she desperately needs.

Teresa Fernandez

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Teresa Fernandez

Are any of your clips from anywhere beyond your local area?

My clips were filmed in Malaga. Where I live, the restrictions have been very tough until recently. I had the opportunity to travel to Malaga and I took advantage of that time.

What are the three things you look forward to most once all restrictions have been lifted?

What I most hope to do when all this is over is travel, ride bmx all over the world, be with friends I haven’t seen for a long time and be able to enjoy my family for a longer time.

Tom Van Den Bogaard

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Tom Van Den Bogaard

How has the last year affected you ?

When the lockdown started in March I started working at Area51 skatepark in Eindhoven. They are renovating the whole skatepark so I helped them with tearing apart the old set-up. So not that much riding back then. Luckily the regulations in the Netherlands aren’t that strict compared to other country’s. Only the curfew is pretty annoying. A few months ago I got tested positive on covid but luckily without any symptoms. So I was free to go after 10 days.

For the Vans MASH video, did you hit local spots that you know well or did you manage to get out and discover parts of your local area that you weren’t so familiar with?

A bit of both. Some spots I already rode before but I knew I could film something cool on. Some spots I never been to before but I already knew what I wanted to film. Unfortunately we don’t have that many good outdoor spots in the Netherlands...

Are local spots boring for you after riding them so much or were you able to look at them with fresh eyes?

To be honest I started looking at them with a fresh eye. Usually I would never go to some shitty skateparks in my area but now I’m just stoked to be riding.

Was it liberating to not have the pressure of filming on a relatively short trip ?

I had a bit of pressure filming this. Just before I wanted to start filming I broke my collarbone. When that was healed I got tested positive on covid...after that the weather in the Netherlands was so bad. So we filmed everything in like 3 weeks time on “dryish” days haha.

What are the three things you look forward to most once all restrictions have been lifted?

1 - Traveling

2 - Going out for a beer with the boys

3 - Being able to be outside after 10:00 pm

How have you kept busy and healthy during the pandemic?

Riding as much as I can and working at the Area51 skatepark Eindhoven.

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