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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Introducing Donovon Piscopo

By Andrew Cannon

Less than 24 hours after the premiere of the Nike SB Chronicles "Volume 2," we introduce you to Donovon Piscopo. Some of you may have caught a glimpses of him in Nike SB ads or at a contest, but up until now there has been very little video coverage of him. We caught up with Piscopo to talk about his first part, surfing and why he hates filming on the road. Minus about six tricks in Zero's "Strange World" and some footage in "The Cinematographer Project," this Nike part will be your first part, right?
Piscopo: Yeah, this will be my first part in a real video. I've had like six or seven sponsor me tapes throughout skating but this is the first project I've worked with an actual company and had a budget to travel and do cool things.

How has it been filming for it?
It was a great experience. I got to hang out with Jason Hernandez (Nike SB Chronicles cinematographer) everyday and he's one of my good friends. I just got to skate the way I wanted to and it was awesome.

Do you feel like there is more or less pressure on you since nobody really knows what to expect?
No one really knows how I skate in general. I've been skating for pretty much my entire life, so to me the pressure is cool but you have to find a happy medium. I would put pressure on myself to go skate and having Jason to push me was rad. But other than that, I didn't have anyone putting pressure on me. It sounds kind of lame, but it was totally just organic. Some of the stuff took five days, other things happened first try -- it was totally dependent on the day. It's really odd though. I thought I'd be having a mental breakdown but everything ended up going really smoothly.

A lot of the guys on the team said they are looking forward to seeing your part the most. Whose part are you looking forward to?
Theo's [Theotis Beasly] part. He just has so much fun when he skates, it's rad. But everyone, Justin [Brock] and Ishod [Wair] too, they rule. But I was there for a lot of Theo's part so I am hyped to see it all put together, especially knowing what went into it.

Were you able to stay healthy during the filming or did you deal with injuries?
Through the whole project, I have been dealing with some kind of bruising in my knee, so I filmed the whole part with a bunk knee. It kills, but I can deal with it. But I got pretty lucky and didn't get too broke off.

Did you do anything to try and help your knee throughout?
I do exercise. I run every single day and I surf every day as well, which is probably one of the best exercises you could do for it. But I wasn't training for a skateboard video part.

How did you avoid being a little kid in the spotlight? You had the sponsors but you somehow shied away from it. Was it your parents or the older guys you skate with?
My dad has been skateboarding since he was a kid and he knew what was cool, so I just kind of followed him. And I didn't want to be that kid. I was in school full time and I wanted to graduate and have that life too. But I owe it all to my dad -- he helped me out and showed me the ropes.

Doesn't he own a skate shop?
Yeah. Him, myself and a few of our friends own the Pawn Shop Skate, it's just a little local thing. When he gets done with his day job, he can go and hang out at a skate shop, so it's pretty rad.

"I will probably never watch my video part, just because thatí's my trip," says Piscopo.

What would get you hyped to skate while filming for this video?
I would watch Dane Reynolds. It was pretty much Dane Reynolds' parts and surfing. And then the morning phone calls from Jason.

So the surf stuff got you pumped to go skating?
Yeah, I can't watch skating anymore, as lame as that's going to sound. I've just watched it my whole life so I need something new. All the skate stuff is awesome but the surf stuff is taking over my life. It's all I think about and all I do so now skating is even different. It's way more fun.

Did it change the way that you look at skating?
Yeah, everything. Even just pushing to drop in on a quarter pipe is different. It's crazy. I don't want to just skate a certain way anymore; I just want to have fun and do what feels right. It's given me a new outlet too, so I can focus on the good things about skateboarding and not worry about the things that come along with it that are not that cool.

Do you prefer to film on the road or when you're at home in your comfort zone?
I hate filming on the road. When I am in Los Angeles, I'm in my zone and I know exactly what I want to skate, when I want to skate it and how I want to skate it. Being in L.A. is probably the only place that I'll film for the rest of my skate career. It's cool if you can film on the road but I'd rather go on a demo tour then go on a filming trip to somewhere like Arizona. To me, it's just not fun. Being in good weather is a big plus too.

Did you have a list of tricks that you wanted to do or did you freestyle it?
My part is mostly lines. I just tried to make it how I skate on a regular basis so I would go out skating, and it was pretty much just Jason and I going back and forth. He knows the way I skate so we would go out in hopes of finding a rad new spot that I'd never skated, he'd point the camera and we would just go for it. There were no big planned tricks or any stunts, just skateboarding.

Have you seen your part yet?
I have not and in reality I will probably never watch it, just because that's my trip. I trust Jason with everything though.

Did you get to pick your song?
I did get to choose my song though, which is the only thing I did worry about. He and I had been going back and forth since the beginning of the video and songs kept getting denied or we couldn't get the rights. But I ended up with a good one and I'm psyched.

What is going to be on your agenda now that the video is done?
Going surfing right now and hopefully I'll have a new project to work on soon. If not, I'll just be skating.