By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Shanghai 6 is a documentary to express why the streets are so important in our skate community, especially in China. To Charles Lanceplaine, it was important to put together a good team and go out and do what they do best, skateboarding.
"The new opus focuses on the radical changes the scene has undergone in the past decade and what it means for the local skate community", said Lanceplaine in a Vimeo post. Likewise, this documentary was directed, shot and edited by Charles, produced by Push Media and a whole team that helped to make this possible.
During the film you can see skaters like Johnny Tang, Brian Peacock, Dan Leung, Tommy Zhao, Brian Kleiber, Jeremy Hu, Boss Xie, Jeff Han, Guanmu, Jay Meador and Xiao Ji. Most of these grew out of the last decade.
The skateboarding scene has changed a lot around the world. Something the skate community has in common no matter the culture is that this sport has always been noisy and destructive, skaters for example have had to fight with the law for skating in forbidden spots.
Situations like these are common for all of us. Prejudices, being judged by others for dressing in dirty clothes and broken shoes. In China skateboarding is still young but full of gifted skateboarders who believe in the sport and they don't really care what people say, they just skate!
Shanghai is the largest city in China. It has a kind of science fiction vibe and looks like a place for the entire humanity but in the future. At the same time it is also quite traditional and a lot of what you find there you probably won't find in other places. This means that if you are a skater, you will love to skate the Shanghaian streets like Charles Lanceplaine does every day.
Lanceplaine is an amazing photographer and filmmaker, on his social media you find all his history taking photos in the places he has been. What is most highlighted there is how he captures skateboarding and makes it seem so perfect with amazing quality.
"Hailing from a small beach town of 300 people in Brittany, France, Charles Lanceplaine spent 12 years in Shanghai from 2007," The magazine 'That's' said in its article about Charles.
The reason why Lanceplaine went to Shanghai was because of love, “I was trying to go to Tokyo for an internship but that did not work out, and in the meantime I found one in Shanghai, figuring it would get me closer to the lady,” he told That's Shanghai.
His relationship didn't last but skateboarding was always there and a huge skatepark motivated him to stay. At the time, the scene was small, but the skateboarding industry here was going through some events and the community needed to be documented, Charles made that happen.
“It was literally my first foray into the world of filmmaking; I had no idea what I was doing – no idea about the technical aspect of videos – I just learned it as I went. That’s when the work on Shanghai 5 started happening,” he said in his interview for the Mag.
A documentary to show skateboardings development in Shanghai
In 2010, Charles Lanceplaine released Shanghai 5, a documentary to show how the community was growing day-by-day, he went deeper than just skate there. By that point, people were starting to skate more and everyone knew who was skating.
“Shanghai 5 introduced the scene and the city, which back in 2010 Shanghai was a very different place. It was like the Wild West; amazing skate spots everywhere, no security around to kick you out. Back then, police and security guards were more curious and amused by skaters. It felt like a place where everything was possible,” Lanceplaine said to That's Magazine.
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“Shanghai 6” is finally online! Link in our Bio! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Skateboarding in Shanghai has radically changed over the years, going from a free for all skate spots to a heavily regulated practice. "Shanghai 6" is the sequel to "Shanghai 5", a 2010 documentary about the burgeoning skate scene. The new opus focuses on the radical changes the scene has undergone in the past decade and what it means for the local skate community. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Directed, shot and edited by @charliedanger Edited by: @ivanovvitya , @dipsumben , @amerigoblin , @itsjustlifejay Additional filming: @zhaopower , @klei_ber , @itsjustlifejay , @ivanovvitya @nanking_joe , @andreacolz , @malik_ndiaye , @kylecamarillo Drone footage: @ag.jpg , @charliedanger Artwork: @keflione @royalclubsh Produced by @push_media
But it was in 2020 when he finally launched Shanghai 6, the sequel of the 2010's and without a doubt a lot happened in the 10 years that passed, so much so that skateboarding was being considered a "sport" in a way it wasn't before, which also means that the government wants to control skateboarding. Security guards started to be more like enemies.
"China still is China, it’s the government’s rules, right? After skateboarding became an Olympic thing, the government started to try to control the game, because skateboarding is growing, Jeff Han and Founder Fly, said during the documentary.
A demand to respect street skateboarding
To them, skateboarding having its first appearance in China is something that brings benefits, “On the one hand, I think it will help skateboarding; we can already see the emergence of more and more skateparks around China. It is great for a lot of people to have access to parks,” he said to That’s Magazine.
But for others, this is having a negative impact too. Even so, what they really care about is to skate, “It will create more control over the discipline, and, once they have set up skate parks around the country, it will make it increasingly difficult for skaters to practice it on the street,” Charles added.
Watching the film I fell in love with the amazing places like LP, The center, a lot of ledges, stairs, flat grounds, everything is so photogenic with beautiful landscapes. Skateboarding is a global language that just skaters understand.
When you are traveling and you also belong to the skateboarding scene, the first thing you look for is a place to skate. I can only imagine that being the same for skaters in Shangai and in China, and that's what makes us a family no matter where we are. The documentary reminds us of that and makes you feel part of it.
However, the documentary was also a call to respect what skateboarding was and still is. Sometimes it looks like those times when skating on the streets was a crime are coming back, but what many don't really understand is that we belong to the streets, skateboarding is our vehicle and what makes us feel free. We love skateparks, but we also love the streets.
You can watch the documentary on his Vimeo profile, which is really cool because it is available for everyone. Please let us know what you like most about it!
Read also: The Skateboarding Scene in Shanghai