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Balthazar Neveu Interview + Wise Video Exclusive Teaser

The only thing I know about Wise is that it is a French based scooter apparel company. Can you give us some background about the company?

I started Wise back when I was living in Spain (Barcelona, end of 2010) as a scooter apparel brand dedicated to promote OG scooter perception. I gathered some riders in a team made of riders who worked and had been riding for a long time. The old team was totally transformed during the last two years, probably because older scooter riders canʼt film too much and follow a full brand project. In 2012 we came up with a series of T-shirts and in May 2014 we released the Wise DVD and its online version. I wish I had more time to try to develop Wise as a scooter company but scootering will remain a passion aside of my work unless things evolve. And lately there have been more chances that Wise transforms into a scooter company but I donʼt want to say more until things actually happen instead of speculations.

When you started the company was the intention always to create this full length video?

No, the idea of a full length video came up later and then I had to pick new riders after kicking out Marc Pauls and realizing that Joe Oldfield and Bryant Walker lived too far away to be able to feel a strong belonging to Wise. We later introduced Alexis Cuvillier, Martin André, Jules Couderc and Antoine Delcampe, four incredibly talented French scooter riders. And of course, with Travis House, we had a full street team ready to send it for the full length.

“I’ll always try to privilege my riding in front of anything else..”

Wise Video Exclusive Teaser

How did the connection with Travis House happen?

Well Travis came to that street jam in 2012, he was back in the scooter game. I thought it was gnarly to have an OG back in the game. And when I first saw him doing these massive over toothpicks on the Dissidence ledge, I had to ride with him more and try to get him on Wise. This was such a good pick since Travis has so much positive energy. Travis stayed at Papyʼs (rootsboy) for a while and filmed him in Paris. I remember that we needed more footage in the end and Travis went away from Paris for a few days. I convinced him that we had to film during one more sesh to finish the edit. Thing was that it was his last day, so I met him at the station around 7AM after a long night working on French Toast and then Travis got like five clips filmed on the morning… and then he was back to Newfoundland, I was back to work. That was totally crazy and a month later Rootsboy uploaded the Travis Wise Welcome edit. In 2013, I helped him with the plane ticket and he got the chance to go to Montreux for the first time. Weʼre proud to have him in the team!

Is it difficult to own a company, film, and ride all at once?

Ah man, thatʼs a good question. Thing is that running Wise is far from being a full time job right now, I have a thrilling engineer job working on improving the quality of cameras. Itʼs all about maths and digital processing… so I have to share my free time and the weekends to ride and film with the team. Itʼs not too hard to do both as long as you remain well organized but I have to admit that when I came back from Australia, I had to edit the DVD in a row before the street jam and I wasnʼt really able to ride. Iʼll always try to privilege my riding in front of anything else though. Also I like to film riders so we film each other usually, this is the deal every time we go on a trip. My favorite trips are still the ones I make with my friend JD because we are usually patient when we film… weʼve known each other for a long time and both know how hard trying a tech trick can be. I also rely on the Wise riders for some so everyone contributes a bit. Alexis Cuvillier is in charge of designing some parts and maybe run the upcoming company, Jules Couderc is our official designer and Martin André is basically one of the best filmers Iʼve seen so far among the scooter scene. This is the good thing with the concept behind Wise.

It seems like in Europe there is never a shortage of spots. Most spots almost look like skateparks. Do you ever run out of things to ride?

Man, everytime we go to Barcelona, we get to ride such different spots. Paris is definitely full of it but some famous spots get destroyed or they put skate stoppers on it. Iʼm thinking about Bercy that they are destroying right now. That switch fs 180 in my part might be the last clip filmed out there. Security is way cooler than the one I experienced in Sydney or NYC. I think the main reason why we get so many spots is that our cities were not built to be crossed with cars but for people to walk or cruise around. We get a very dense subway network in any European city we travel to. Anyway sometimes Americans believe that Europe is one little country… but itʼs not! Cities are far away from each other sometimes and for the Wise DVD, I got a chance to film in London, Barcelona, Paris, Lyon, Switzerland so thatʼs why thereʼs such a variety of spots.

“NYC was awesome anyway and the scene looked street as fuck.”

When you came to America was it different than Europe for riding and just in general?

America is different in general. In Philadelphia, most people I saw were fat and girls are kind of ugly. You are free to eat fresh food but it gets way harder when all fast food places are so cheap. I think weʼre luckier in France on this topic. The most different thing is that you need a car otherwise you canʼt really go anywhere. It looks like the buildings were built without coherence, like to each his own, like “Iʼll build my own house whatever you think dear neighbor”. This creates weird discrepancies among the cities. It also seemed that scooter is not as popular in the USA as in France (in Paris, so many kids ride scooters and bunny hop every stupid curb). I remember going to that Black Diamond skatepark and I think thereʼs another level of hate towards scooters out there. NYC was awesome anyway and the scene looked street as fuck, especially there was this black scooter kid skitching cars grabbing the part of the car next to the wheels. Canʼt remember his name but Iʼve never seen someone doing something that crazy. USA is also the country of entrepreneurs and after spending some time with Dan and Ryan in Delaware, I kind of got the feeling that thereʼs a culture of entrepreneurship that we donʼt have in France. I mean this fact is well known, but that was a direct example of dudes wanting to invest their lives in scootering and now I think I get why scooter dads start scooter companies for their kids. You donʼt see that very often in France.

What are your influences when designing apparel?

Apparel didnʼt work very well mate, maybe the reason was that Iʼm no designer. Now we got Jules, he does gnarly designs and heʼs the one who made the animations in the Wise video. Anyway, I designed a T-shirt with the modded folding system making a reference to the source. This reminds me the old days when we were trolling on SR. I also designed the one with the big Wise logo in the back which is filled with small orange logos… this is also a “scooter geek” reference, I give you a hint mate. Each small icon is named after a trick, for instance you get a pole dancer for “pole” and a box of jam for “jam”.

I remember you would film and edit full length videos years ago before anybody was doing it. Did you think it would ever turn into something like this?

No man, I never thought I was ever going to make a good full length like the Wise video when I was younger. I edited Signature, SIIGN, a long time ago and more recently I thought Desafio was just going to be the last full length Iʼd film since it was all in Barcelona and you canʼt beat that sun anywhere else. Stacking footage for a long time is very hard as well. Well I might be able to change the way I live someday and be a scooter filmer/editor but thatʼs definitely not my big dream, Iʼd rather do this as my hobby or to promote the brands I belong to (Wise and Dissidence).

Does Wise have any future plans for videos like this?

I guess this will take another three years or something like that, as soon as the crew is determined to do another by itself, weʼll start another journey and Iʼll be more motivated than ever to film these guys again for some steezy fast tricks in the streets! Weʼll be back posting short videos frequently in the upcoming months like the planet coping series which is our park footage mainly.