Behold! The first of hopefully many interviews that will appear among my contributions to Urban Freeflow. I am also hoping that no other interviews will take as long as this one did to get finished due to the incredibly busy schedule of my first interviewee, Sergio Cora Campos from G.U.P.
So after sending these questions to Sergio months ago and never hearing back from him, I met up with him at London’s very own IMAX Subway (where he was training on G.U.P’s first trip to England,) and convinced him to sit with me for a few minutes and spill the beans on his history and future plans regarding all things Parkour and video related.
So Sergio, when and how did you get into Parkour?
It was about 8 years ago. It was so random, I was with Brian from G.U.P just walking on the street after we had seen the Yamakazi movie. We found at the time what we thought was a good spot, but now we see it is a really shitty spot, and we thought OK this is a good place to do Parkour. From then on we trained.
From there how did you form G.U.P (Galizian Urban Project)?
It was maybe 1 or 2 years later and we met with Shobu and the other guys we trained with and decided to give our group a name and train together more often. But you know, we were kids, like 16 so at the start it was nothing serious.
Have you always been into filmmaking or did the interest grow alongside your training?
Yeah I became interested in filmmaking because of Parkour. We needed someone to film our training. So for about 6 years now I have been filming and trying to train alongside.
But you started with photography right?
I did one year long course in photography but it was so shit and I don’t think it really effected how I film. All of what I know and do is just because of practice.
What camera do you usually use to film your videos?
Now I am using the Sony As7 but up until recently I was using the Canon 7D. Before that I also used a Nikon D90.
What is your dream kit? What camera gear would you love to use?
Probably your fucking camera haha!
My Sony FS700?
Yeah at the moment I think it is best for Parkour, with all of Kie Willis’ lenses. All of them!
You produce a lot of content for two youtube channels, your own personal channel and then GUP’s. Both of these have a tonne of views and a large subscriber base. Did you actively try to grow these or has it just happened naturally?
Yeah it just happened naturally. At the beginning I never checked how many subscribers we had. It’s the same with the G.U.P Facebook page, with the likes. I never posted videos for the likes, I just posted videos for the people who like to see random stuff or outtakes. Then yeah, the numbers of likes and subscribers grew.
Do you ever film videos outside of freerunning content? For example, music videos or boring corporate work?
Yeah of course because I need to have money haha! Normally what I do is music video clips, documentaries and random stuff like that. But the problem in Spain is the financial situation is so shit so to get money with that kind of work is very difficult.
Do you get more money for those kind of jobs than freerunning jobs in Spain?
Yeah of course! There are no freerunning jobs in Spain! All of my freerunning jobs come from outside of Spain, for example filming the Fam Jam or the Morocco video we just worked on for JUMP Freerun.
On our recent trip together in Morocco I noticed your filming style is very relaxed, just capturing what goes down rather than putting any real stress on planning the days events. Is this always the case for G.U.P videos or do you place more focus on larger projects?
Maybe it’s not good, but normally I never plan anything. From the start I always filmed what is happening randomly, the jams, the moments and the feelings. I don’t like to tell someone ‘hey, do a run here!’
You tend you use a lot of camera angles coupled with fast cuts in your videos. How do you go about filming runs with your teammates?
Haha! They have to repeat all of the time because I only have one camera!
Do you think this is why the guys from G.U.P have such clean movement because they have to repeat their runs over and over?
Hahaha! No I don’t think so! Usually when I film a run it is because I have already seen one of the guys do that run before. Maybe it helps but our kind of training is always repetition repetition anyway.
So in Morocco, and even today here in London, you manage to get quite a lot of training done alongside your filming. You have a really high skill level! Do you find it hard to get your training time in?
Yeah! You know how it is! For me it is the most difficult part of trying to be a Parkour filmmaker and an athlete. Now days I am trying to train more often, so I will give the camera to one of G.U.P and maybe the clip will be really shitty, because seriously, they are really bad at filming! They know it, its OK! But yeah, I prefer to have bad clips and more time to train.
‘We just train and see what happens. Like we have always done!’
Yeah and you can always try to improve the footage in the edit.
You have quite a large history of competing at competitions like the Red Bull Art Of Motion. How did you get into that?
Well the first Art Of Motion I went to was in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I had just made a random G.U.P video with Brain in Alicante, Spain called ‘By Now’ and Red Bull Spain called me and asked if I would like to go. Then since that competition I was invited to more and more.
When it comes to freerunning film makers, who are your inspirations? Also is there anyone we should keep an eye on who you think is up and coming?
I don’t really have that many because I like to focus on my own work. I have some that I find very motivating, for example Riccardo from Team Jestion, You (Visive Productions), Toby and Sacha from Storror obviously. Regarding up and coming film makers, I cant remember now, probably but I can’t think!
What can we expect from you and G.U.P in the future? Any big plans?
Haha this is a very classic question in interviews but it is very hard to answer! Most people have plans for the future but with G.U.P it is very difficult! I don’t know, we just train and see what happens. Like we have always done!
Do you have any countries you are hoping to visit and train in?
London actually! Since I started training I always loved watching Phil, Danny etc and I have never trained here before now so finally after 8 years I am in London!
So to round this interview off. Do you have any advice for up and coming filmmakers that you have learnt over the years?
Practice practice practice! Really, just practice a lot! Edit a lot of videos and overtime you will get better and better. Also try to save your money to invest in good camera gear!
Thanks Sergio! Keep it up!
Giles Campbell Longley
The Motus Projects