Kilian Martin: Altered Route

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 15 June 2012
Category: Reviews Comments View Comments


Freestyle urban skater Kilian Martin once again demonstrates his skills with the help of a talented director, an atmospheric location, and high-speed photography slowed down to highlight every nuanced move.

Kilian Martin: Altered RouteLast year we reviewed a short film, the third in a series by filmmaker Brett Novak, that featured freestyle skateboarder Kilian Martin. They have teamed up once again, with the aid of Mercedes-Benz, to make a fourth short, Kilian Martin: Altered Route.

The pair, along with Phantom camera operators Brandon Baldwin and Darren Dyk, travelled to an abandoned water park in the Mojave Desert to work on the latest film (with a 1980's Mercedes-Benz 450 SL from Mercedes-Benz USA Classic Center in Irvine, California in tow, which you can see in the beginning of the short).

Kilian Martin: Altered Route

The water park has quite a history, having first been opened in the 1960s as Lake Dolores Waterpark before closing in the 1980s as the public lost interest. It opened again in 1990 as the Rock–A–Hoola Waterpark, then closed in 2000 due to bankruptcy, then opened for a third time in 2002 as Discovery Waterpark before dying its final death in 2004. Attractions and physical assets were sold and more recently the place has been vandalised, resulting in a decayed space that's perfect for photographers and skateboarders. (Brett Novak and Kilian Martin are not the first to have experimented at the park.)

The editing and filmmaking is as tight as the previous short, Kilian Martin: A Skate Illustration, but the general feel is more subdued, aided by the soundtrack, "Adventures In Your Own Backyard" by four-piece band Canadian Patrick Watson, which has an old-West feel to it that is echoed in the visual narrative, especially in the beginning of the short (this one tells more of a story than the previous one). Visual cuts and camera movement are also well matched to the ebb and flow of the track.

Kilian Martin: Altered Route

There are no visually overpowering "killer moves" by Kilian Martin on the skateboard(s) but if you've watched the previous shorts you'll see there's a subtle evolution of some of his techniques and tricks, and they really are incredibly impressive and require repeat viewing to appreciate fully. There's a Zen-like quality to some of the skateboard spins (it almost feels like a dance) and the way the camerawork frames them, especially towards the end of the short as night falls.

The team was at the park for a few days, practicing and perfecting both moves and shots before committing the final acts to film, and it shows in the quality of the work. This time there's less emphasis on colour and architecture to tie elements together and more emphasis on atmosphere. Key moments are played back in slow motion due to the high-speed Phantom cameras, giving us the chance to marvel at the techniques and skill employed without having to play-pause-rewind all the time to try and catch what has happened. Occasionally old footage taken at the park merges into its modern-day equivalent, filmed at the same angle, offering us a taste of what it once was and what it has now become, while Kilian Martin skates through the echoes of the past.

Once again we've been enthralled by an excellent piece of filmmaking by Brett Novak with visuals and a nuanced sentiment that linger in one's mind. I'm definitely looking forward to the next instalment in the series.

Watch the video below or click here to see the previous videos in the series.

Tags: #screen, #skateboarding, #watch

Watch Online Watch Online: Kilian Martin: Altered Route (2012)

Vimeo link

Click here to see the previous videos in the series. Opinion: Kilian Martin: Altered Route (2012)
Rating: 7/10

Key Facts: Kilian Martin: Altered Route (2012)
Year: 2012 (29 May 2012)
Running Time: 00:04:18
Genres: Documentary, Sports
Director/Camera/Editor: Brett Novak
Skateboarder: Kilian Martin
Music: "Adventures in Your Own Backyard" by Patrick Watson
Sponsor: mb! by Mercedes-Benz
Phantom Camera Operation: Brandon Baldwin and Darren Dyk

On The Internet
Kilian Martin: A Skate Escalation (2010): Watch Online Streaming Video YouTube | IMDb
Kilian Martin: A Skate Regeneration (2010): Watch Online Streaming Video YouTube | IMDb
Kilian Martin: A Skate Illustration (2011): Watch Online Streaming Video YouTube
Kilian Martin: Altered Route (2012): Watch Online Streaming Video Vimeo
Brett Novak: Official Site | Facebook | YouTube
Patrick Watson: Official Site | Facebook | MySpace | Twitter
Brandon Baldwin And Darren Dyk: YouTube

You Might Also Like Comments Speak Your Mind

Support Independent JournalismKo-fi
Support independent journalism:
donate to via Ko-fi.

Every article on is free and produced with passion - but passion doesn't pay the bills. Your donation makes the difference. Pay what you can, when you can - no strings attached.

Donate via Ko-fi Network
Editorial Contacts
South Africa Mandy J Watson
Founder and co-editor
Cape Town, South Africa

United States Jase Luttrell
Portland, Oregon, United States
Feed delivery RSS
Subscribe to RSS updates in a feed reader

Email delivery Email Delivery
Subscribe to RSS updates via email

Newsletter delivery Monthly Newsletter

powered by TinyLetter

South African Comics
• All The Coverage: Reviews, art showcases, and news from the world of South African (and occasionally Southern African) comics.
  • Werewolves Versus Crowdfunding
  • Siri Watu #5 Exclusive
  • 5 Zombie Questions: Zapiro
  • Captain South Africa #3 Exclusive
  • News: Full Bleed Competition
  • News: March 2019
  • News: You Died Anthology Submissions
  • News: Creator For Creators Grant
  • Older Posts

• Calendar Of Events: Find out what's happening in August and beyond.
  • 3: Bazinga Day 2019, JHB
  • 3: Sean Izaakse/Cosmic Comics, JHB
  • 3: Open Art Sketch Meet, CPT
  • 9: Marvel/Cosmic Comics, JHB
  • Until 16: Werewolves Crowdfunding
  • 17: Sean Izaakse/Cosmic Comics, JHB
  • Until 23: Loyiso Mkize/Zeitz MOCAA, CPT
  • 24: Open Art Sketch Meet, CPT
  • Ongoing: Women/Fairy Tales, Nottingham
  • Cancelled: Siri Watu Crowdfunding

#sacomics Calendar
Save The Date:
More events

Explore The Archives
From The Archives

More From The Archives

★ More from the archives.

Cappuccino Quest

Shop | ZA
Shop | ZA
Shop | Amazon.comAmazon US
Shop | UK
Ads | Ad Dynamo
Ads | Tiny Prints/Treat
Greeting Cards by Treat
Shop | iTunes App StoreAmazon US
Ads | google