A little over a year ago, Ramón had a little incident with a guardrail that ended up being a blessing in disguise. He ended up making a short film about his injury and then took the time to talk about what happened and why it turned out to be a good thing.
Justus: Why don’t you start by explaining the video in a broad sense?
Ramon: It happened two weeks prior to the deadline for film school applications and I had already started a project for my application but I wasn’t really feeling it and this turned out to be a greater story. It was a really mild winter and we went skating on a road that’s about half an hour from my place and it was the first run down the hill, I was flying and I was too cool to predrift. It was pretty salty, so I was going too fast and sliding out and hit the guardrail and unfortunately I wasn’t wearing a GoPro! It wasn’t until later that I realized that I didn’t hit the guardrail with my foot but the board hit it, and then through the impact my foot twisted and that’s how it broke. First I screamed and I was swearing, I don’t remember the words, but I was swearing for a minute or two.
J: Yeah, I believe it!
R: The cool thing was it didn’t really hurt.
J: Because you went into shock right away?
R: I was just pissed! I thought, “This was stupid, I can’t use this.”
J: So you knew that it was broken immediately?
R: Well, I knew that something was not OK. I thought it was dislocated. As soon as my friends arrived, they told me, “No, no, that’s broken.” So I was sitting there, not really feeling any pain, so the next thing that came to my mind was, “I have to apply for school in two weeks. This is really stupid.” And the topic for the application (you have to write a “motivation” and submit a video) was “a temporary solution”. So I was sitting there thinking, “Hmm, that could fit. Hand me my camera.”
From the very first moment, I knew that this would probably be the video that I would have to hand in, what else would I be able to film in two weeks time with crutches involved? So I was like, “Cool, this is going to be my application video.” The ambulance drivers were pretty cool with it, I think they loved it. They thought it was really weird that I had just broken my leg and I was filming.
J: Yeah, not a common reaction to breaking your ankle!
R: My main focus was not, “Get me the f*** to the hospital,” it was like, “Cool, take your time so I can document everything!”
J: It probably helped take your mind off the injury too, if you were focussed on filming everything.
R: Yeah, there’s one scene where they give me a shot, and I wasn’t looking at it because I was holding the camera and I can’t stand that stuff. And then later while I was editing it was like, “Oh cool, that’s just some guy’s arm.” The good thing is that I was shooting with the 7D, so at the hospital most people didn’t realize that I was filming. They would ask if I was taking photos, and I’d say no. They’re not asking me if I’m taking videos!
So I got home from the hospital and my mom said that this was a sign. And it was, because here I am now [in film school] a year later, doing what I do. I think it had to happen, my mom was right, because if I had submitted what I was working on I probably wouldn’t have made it. In the end, I feel pretty happy that it happened.
J: Yeah, a blessing in disguise. How did your parents feel when it happened?
R: There’s a scene that’s not in the video, maybe I’ll add it, where Patrick [Switzer]’s girlfriend Tamara filmed me calling my mom from the ER. And I said, “Hey, how are you? Are you sitting?”
And she said, “What?”
“Are you sitting? Can you please sit down? I broke my leg and I’m at the hospital.”
And her reaction wasn’t quite what I expected. She was kind of cool with it. I think she thought, “Yeah, he’s been doing this for ten years,” and she figured at some point something would happen. The point was that all of January I didn’t really do anything in terms of work or applying for school, so she was right, that’s what I get! Maybe there was a bit of a question from her wondering if I would stop, but probably not much.
J: So there wasn’t much pressure to give it up because of the accident.
J: It’s good to have supportive parents.
R: Yeah, it’s been like that for a long time. They see that it doesn’t take anything from me. There are parents who have kids who do drugs and stuff, this isn’t like that.
J: Anything else?
R: I guess I should explain that the reason this video didn’t get posted on the anniversary of the accident like I had planned, was directly because of what the accident got me into: School! I was busy with school and couldn’t get right on it, so that’s my excuse, haha. The content of the video is the reason that I couldn’t actually post the video!
J: It’s all come full circle!
R: Yeah, this longboarding accident helped me get into film. Which in turn helps me go back to longboarding and get involved in things like Greener Pastures.
J: Cool, well thanks for taking the time to talk.
R: Yeah, nice to talk to you too.