Did you ever wonder what happens after the doors of an amusement park close? One of the tropes of being a skateboarder is partaking in everyday life with your spot sensors still permanently engaged. Weddings, date nights; there's always the little-bank awareness and ledge radar humming in the background. In Jaakko Ojanen's hometown of Tampere in Finland, the holy grail of off-limits spots was always the Särkänniemi amusement park.
Särkänniemi is an amusement park located on the shores of Lake Näsijärvi in Tampere. It’s the second largest amusement park in Finland with over half a million yearly visitors. One of them, Jaakko Ojanen.
Jaakko has skated the streets of Tampere for over a decade now. Locally he was already known for his skills at the age of 12. He ripped both skating and snowboarding like a pro. All the youngsters talked about the mystical young gun who destroyed every spot he went to.
Last spring Jaakko visited Särkänniemi and realized something. There were so many cool spots to hit. Although skateboarding in Särkänniemi has always been strictly forbidden, skating there started to sound like a perfect project.
The plan was to shoot during a dark night. Finland is located so up north that the sun doesn’t set entirely during the summer months. There are only two to three “dark” hours during the night. With that timeframe it was going to be super hectic. We locked the dates in and the whole crew were excited and waiting for action. Two days before the main night Jaakko called: “I really don’t want to say this but I twisted my ankle last night”.
We cancelled everything and waited for Jaakko to recover.
It took almost two months to organize a new date for the shoot. Luckily fall had come and the nights had got a bit darker. That meant we had more time to shoot. Jaakko was in a good shape and the crew was ready to make it happen.
Fast-forward to 06.00am. After numerous problems with camera gear, drones almost crashing, humidity and Jaakko’s ankle, the sun was rising in the horizon, we called it a wrap and headed for breakfast.