Beyond Store video Yours Truly came out recently with a book by the same title. We skyped photographer Samuli Härkönen, filmer Pekka Harjula and Beyond head honcho Juho Haapala to hear what they had to say about the project. Couldn’t always tell which was which, so they’re just lumped together as Beyond on the transcript below there. On the other hand, if you have the attention span of an ant and can’t be arsed to read anything but just need to see something moving, scroll down for the video.
KP: What made you want to make a book?
Beyond: I think we were in a situation, where we’d accumulated quite a pile of photos and we were wondering what to do with them. A lot of it was filmed as well, so a book with a DVD seemed like a natural thing to do. We also wanted to do something that’s not so common: to publish a photo book as a skate shop. It’s more common to have some photos that come with the video, I suppose, and those packages are usually produced by big brands, like Nike for example.
More like a booklet that comes with a DVD, you mean?
Yeah. And the staring point for this project was that we have this much already, let’s see what we can come up with in 12 more months, then blow the whistle and put it out straight away. The approach was more to document what the guys get up to in a year, rather than planning it out and then pushing the deadline if the tricks aren’t insane enough.
Do you think of the book more as an album to remind you of the times, or as promotion to the shop and the team?
Hmm…maybe slightly more as a memoir or a celebration of the good times.
I’d imagine it to be pretty hard to make a book like this on the assumption that it’ll pay for itself in sales, let alone make a profit. So I guess your motive would have to be either that it boosts your shop sales as promotion — or that you just do it because it’s fucking rad.
The book costs 10€ to buy and it cost us 9€ to make. And that’s just the cost of printing and the DVD, not counting any cost for the actual photography, filming or travel. So yeah, it’s pretty safe to assume that we won’t make our money back. Whether you write it off as marketing investment or just good times and a good looking product is another thing. For sure, we hope it’ll help sales, but then again core skate stuff is actually just a fraction of our sales. Shoes and clothes sell loads more. I’d love to be able to concentrate on the skate stuff, but I guess kids go to big websites for that. And at the same time we don’t want to make compromises on how we run things and what sort of shit we do.
Beyond Store opens in a new location in on Kauppakatu 18, 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland, this coming Friday. They’ve covered their wall with screen shots from the video.
So you end up with a photo book! How do you distribute it?
By ourselves, in the shop and through our webstore. We thought about giving it away with boards, but then we have a lot of dudes that buy two boards a month. Those guys would’ve had a stack of books by the end of the summer. We sort of thought that a tenner can’t be too much to ask for something like this.
Was it, then?
Well…haha. Let’s say that the kids can’t quite appreciate it for what it is, I guess. If you whack it on the counter at the shop and say to the kid that this our new video for just a tenner, they’ll look at it and see a mag instead of a video. Whereas if you’d bust out a DVD and say it comes with a book, they’d be well up for it. It looks bizarre to them as it is and they won’t go for it.
Are you saying that kids buy videos?
We haven’t had any videos for sale for a couple of years. I think Mindfield might have been the last one or Real maybe. I think we had about twenty each and we did sell them actually. But yeah, we’ve been trying to sell this one now…[haha]
What’s your take on a video part for $2 on iTunes?
It’s funny. I don’t have anything against it, but it does seem a bit funny to me. Maybe you watch it more often if you paid for it? You know, a person cannot watch a youtube part for longer than three minutes without losing it. Maybe if you had to pay for it, you’d sit through more minutes?
So what do you think happens to a book, when we re-photograph it and put it online? Will people think oh that looks cool, I want one. Or will they be like, it’s already there so why would I need one now?
Nah…I don’t think you could really take photographs of the product online as a substitute for the actual thing. But we’re sort of more interested now in putting the video online and seeing whether that creates interest for the book as well. But who knows, maybe in Finland at least whoever wanted the book in the first place has it already.
How many did you produce?
600. It’s incredible how little difference there is in price, whether you produce 200 or 600.
True, but the perverse thing is that by producing fewer you might sell more, because people will panic and think it’s going to run out.
Yeah. And also I guess that being in Jyväskylä we’re kind of remote and hard for people to put their finger on. For example we did this collaboration wheel with Spitfire and we had a video clip to go with it that they put on the Deluxe site. So some kid was feeling the wheels on our facebook wall, but he said something like it’s a shame that you can only get them from Beyond. I mean what do you reply to something like that? What, if Beyond was in Helsinki, you’d buy the wheels?
Spitfire x Beyond collab wheel
Speaking of the edition, how many have you sold?
Don’t know about “sold”, but half are gone! [haha] We’re still working on selling it internationally, but the idea is to have an option on the site, where you’d get it delivered overseas for 15€. And we still haven’t even sent promo copies anywhere. I’ve got an envelope sitting on my desk that says Girl Skateboard Company (Carroll and Howard).
And after that sky’s the limit?
Yours Truly, full video.
Featuring Olli Ilmonen, Ville Keituri, Okko Sirvio, Eetu Sundvall and Mikko Kivikoski among others. To order your copy of the book and DVD, click on the link below.