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Action, Documentary or Feature?
"Trying to put Flip a Coin in a category is a bit hard, as we cannot think of an example that is similar to it. We can tell you it is not a documentary, it's not an action video, and it is also not a ‘regular’ movie. If you know what it is after seeing it, please inform us! We'd like to label it but don't yet know how. The thing is, we could not understand something like this has not been made before. It was very hard trying to explain to people what we were after and have had a lot of people throwing question marks at us about this concept. That is probably normal when trying something different. We were convinced it could work, but as we made progress and came closer to a finish it also had us question whether in the end it would actually 'work'. At a certain point the pieces of the puzzle are all there. But do they fit? I had quite a few restless nights over this. Now that it is finished, I think it works and the puzzle is complete. It's the hardest thing we ever worked on."

Thumbed
"Our production company Thumbed is only a two-man band - just me and my partner Maarten Kempen - and now up and running in its seventh year. Normally we make things like TV commercials and promo videos. That’s what puts food on the table. But since we started the company, the idea for Flip a Coin was there. And we couldn't let go of it, until it was made. We invested our hard-earned money from the more commercial jobs in the film. Not because it seemed smart or a wise investment, but because we felt like it. No sponsors, no external funds. And therefore also no limitations other than the ones we felt were needed."

Storyline
"The story needed to be told because we think it puts many of the smaller annoyances of life back in perspective. Plus it gave a very good excuse to show windsurfing and skiing in full glory. Where at first the story was a necessary aspect of the movie that was needed to keep the movie interesting, along the way it became more vital. And in the end, it was the most important thing. Of course, in any movie, story is key. That fact in itself is not rocket science, and it is written in every film making book. Yet how important this really is, we actually just found out by making this movie."

The Characters
"The two main characters are played by true sportsmen. Thomas Borge Lie from Norway plays the role of Jake and competes in the world cups in skicross. He also entered this year's X-games skicross competition. He is on the rise and we were lucky to meet him. When we got in touch with him two years ago he was not yet in the pro leagues. It is cool to see his sports career develop. Very much in the same way the characters in the movie develop as well. Anyway, this guy knows how to ski fast. It's insane once you get close to it."

"The windsurfer, John, is played by Sven Akerboom. Sven competed on quite a high level when he was around 17, and one of the first 'Pro Kids' that got sponsored by Starboard. By now, several shapes at Starboard have his shaping signature, as Sven’s became one of the main guys in the Starboard R&D team in recent years. The amount of effort he has put in this movie is admirable and pushed us in the right direction. He was one of the few people we could only explain the concept in words and who said: 'Cool. Let's do it’, and, ‘Let's make it work'.

Curious about the film? Watch the free episode by clicking the blue button.

Music
"Music for us was almost the starting point of the movie. Often in filmmaking, the music is one of the last elements to be added. It then all of a sudden brings a movie to life. We worked the other way around, and had composer Mike Andrews create the score before we had finished shooting. Music is far too important to just add in the end. What he has come up with, is everything asked for and more. Flip a Coin has beautiful theme music, but in between there it just goes all over the place. From mellow and beautiful to rock. As we felt there was something missing in the music score, we asked our early ‘fans’ on Facebook for help. One of the members introduced us to the music of Foreground Set. Electronic tunes from Norway, similar to Royksopp. All of this together created one cohesive mix of stunning tunes that help tell the story."

Techniques
"We've tried to film many of the sections of the movie with the intention to make it intense. There are some quite dramatic angles and slowmotion techniques in a few spots. There are pieces that show windsurfing in a different way than has been done before I think. Less of an action video approach, much more from a cinematic perspective. What also helps in this respect is that, as a viewer, we know exactly what is going through the guys mind while he is doing the action, all because of the storyline. Anyone can relate to the story and enjoy it. People who like sports in general especially. But for windsurfers and skiers, I think this is a must-see."

Written by Brian McDowell - art

Flip a Coin
When Thumbed Productions started to make their movie Flip a Coin, they threw away the rule book. They wanted an action sports movie with more emotion and background than the regular flicks we see, and they wanted to showcase the sport to a wider audience too. In fact they did everything upside down. Just because they could. Joint Producer Henk van den Doel tells more.

"The story is all about childhood friendship, something that many people can relate to. Pro windsurfer, John, and skier, Jake grow up together. But Jake's dad gets a promotion and they move to Norway. Just before Jake moves, they find a coin on the beach, which John keeps in his pocket. Years later, John finds the coin again and decides to give his old mate a call. Would he be interested in a road trip through Europe, where they let the coin decide their path? Jake thinks it's a pretty bad idea and encourages John to finish school first. From here on, both go their own way in a journey that is all about talent, hard-earned skills, injuries, love, goals and most of all friendship."