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Today Sequence Magazine inaugurates a new chapter in its history, characterized by a more mature cut to its contents and an openness to topics and realities in some way related to our daily life. The recent loss of pro skater Ben Reamers has turned the spotlight on a global phenomenon that threatens young people, to the point of eroding the seemingly enchanted and happy world of sports boards, but in the not immune to generational problems. We are used to seeing smiling faces even after bails or injuries, trips full of experiences and fun, but behind the apparent happiness sometimes hide drama and really big problems. After winning the SSFF 2018 film contest and collecting prizes all over the globe, the film that Chef Family friends dedicated to Takuya Kirchmayr Nei is back home and can now be downloaded from several digital platforms. We took the opportunity to have a chat with Chef Family about the project, the legend of Taku and the inner demons.

Mandatory opening question: who was Taku?

Takuya Kirchmayr Nei was a great friend, and OG skateboarder, a top sushi chef, a great warrior, a globetrotter, lovely husband and father. To sum it up, Taku was a legend.

The movie, the wall paint, all the celebrations let us think he was very dear to the Chef Family: what made him so unique?

Taku was constantly travelling from place to place, and every time he made it back to Milan was like a party. He always brought amazing stories and experiences.

Many other crews he got in touch with miss Taku like we does. Sometime shy, sometime quirky, he was always a great companion.

Whether he was going back to his birthplace in Miyazaki, or touched down in Sidney, or again every time he came back to Stazione Centrale, there were crowd of friends warmly welcoming him.

Words by: Matteo Rossato
Photos by: Chef Family

Taku was constantly travelling from place to place, and every time he made it back to Milan was like a party. He always brought amazing stories and experiences.

How did your paths cross?

Stazione Centrale was the place where everybody met Takuya for the first time. Everyday this epic spot sees people from different countries meet and crews taking shape. He was a local, hands down. He had footage out since the early 2000 with several crews, like the legendaty movie SpaghettoChild 2, “Why Be Something That You Are Not?

Let’s talk about the movie: the storytelling and all the warrior story is simply amazing. Was it a true story or was it purposely written for Taku?

Thanks! We wrote the story from zero. We transformed his life into a Samurai legend, because he came from the land of the Rising Sun. We talked about his travels, his connections around the world, his signature style and character, and his inner struggle.

We wanted to tell it like a story to hand down from father to son, and we wanted to let everybody know we all wrestle our own demons someway.   

We wanted to tell it like a story to hand down from father to son, and we wanted to let everybody know we all wrestle our own demons someway.   

Even if all almost each member of Chef crew is a professional in some media field, it must have been a huge work to accomplish. Could we call it a spontaneous collective effort or you treated it like a project with budget and scheduling?

It has been a quite complex and long process, each member of the crew had a crucial role in the final result.  We started with the concept for the story and then we translated in English and Japanese. We must deeply thank Alessandro Martoriati – OG Roman skater now living in the Gumna prefecture – for that. With the help of his wive Katsumi, he translated the whole text and involved Mr. Aoki, who did the voiceover.

He played perfectly into the part, and along with the original tracks by Carlo Valsesia and Francesco Cellamaro aka Esa, it ended being a masterpiece.

About the graphic, we started from the name タクヤ ( TAKUYA ), designed it in Katakana style with the help of amazing calligrapher Loris Lillo.

Then we put together the flyer and we added it into the animation at the beginning of the movie. To celebrate once again Takuya, Bufer painted the artwork on a wall. We all put our best to remember Taku and still watching the video today is really touching.

What were skateboarding and Chef Family for Taku?

Skateboarding was a great relief for Taku and the point of connection between all the places he lived. Chef was his family. Fun fact, some members of the crew never met him actually, but stayed in touch with him through socials, planning some future trip together. Chef was brotherhood and many deep friendships were born in there.

Why putting on digital download the movie instead of a more classic youtube?

The prize of the Surf Skate Film Festival 2018 was a deal with several platforms. It has been a great way to share the movie with everyone. The proceeds will support a project for the local Miyazaki skate community.

The movie accurately avoid to fall into the drama, with full respect of Taku Memory. Only one question: did you expect it?

We wouldn’t have ever expect such tragedy.
Behind a smile you can hide a severe depression or simply a rough period.

Takuya made us always smile, but inside he was constantly fighting his demons.

You always need to ask for help, talk to friends and parents and call for professionals if needed. We all need to be kind to each other, be curious and find out if they need help.

The movie won many awards around the world after the SSFF. Which is – in your opinion – the reason of such success?

The parallelism between skateboarding and its iconic imagery merged perfectly with the story of Takuya’s life. For us, working at the movie has been the best way to remember and celebrate our beloved friend.

His story is so unique and many people emphatized with Taku and his legend. We live in a selfish world, we aren’t able to deal with death and all what we feel at the end is sadness. It shouldn’t be like that. We should be thankful of the time spent with the beloved ones and realize that they will be always with us through their memories.

Why we all should download Taku?

If you ever met Takuya at least once and you’re intrigued with his personality, you should see this movie. Even if you’re not into skateboarding or didn’t know Taku, it’s a documentary and its themes go way beyond his personal story.

SSFF 2019 saw Chef coming back with another interesting project about Milan Skateboarding: Spaghetto Child III. Could you tell us something about it? Will it be screened at other movies festivals around the world like Taku? And when will it be available for the masses?

Well yes, after 17 years from the last episode, Spaghettochild is back!

This skate documentary is a gift for who – like Spaghettochild – documented the history of Italian skateboarding. Many film festivals asked to premier it. The next one will be at “Taoyuan Film Festival” in Taiwan. The organisers were so hyped that asked us to send the first two episodes of the trilogy. Don’t worry, you will have the chance to see the movie soon, too.

Thaks for all guys, keep pushing skateboarding and Chef.

Thanks to you and for the interesting questions, they allowed us to tell the project in all his facets. As for us, we’re gonna come back with some Chef goodies in limited editions for crew members and close friends, stay tuned!

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