In Praise of Vintage Video Games and Retro Haircuts

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Ruben & Bobby, a hybrid hair salon-toy store in Copenhagen celebrates the games and geek culture of the 1970s-1990s. Bobby Ågren, who sports a mushroom-meets-mullet hairstyle, cuts hair and packs the shelves of the tiny shop with action figures and early video game consoles. More than anything, Ruben & Bobby is an oasis -- a place to revel in childhood nostalgia and the aesthetics of a simpler time. This short documentary is part of a series of profiles of creative people produced by Copenhagers, a production company in Copenhagen. Mattia Abeni talks about the ongoing project in a brief interview below. 

The Atlantic: What is Copenhagers?

Mattia Abeni: Copenhagers is nothing more than a media project of mine focused on the video making point of view. I think the easiest and more effective way to present it to people is via the philosophy that goes with it: “The COPENHAGERS media project wants to promote people, places, brands, ideas, projects. We want to give visibility to all those folks out there that every day keep doing what they love, moved by a sincere feeling. Because at the end of the day it is all about passions.” Everything is based on research and connecting people and giving people a chance to get inspired, learning from each other’s experiences.

How did you find Bobby's salon/store?

There is a lot of work behind the scouting of new subjects for interviews; usually it is a process that involves friends and tips, something like, “I do know this guy, or that girl, that is doing this or that, and I think I might fit with the interviews you've been doing.” I can also just get inspired by walking around; I have often discovered a place only after I've passed by several times or happened upon it completely out of blue.

What do you look for in a subject for a documentary for your interview series?

This is actually quite interesting; I do not follow a precise workflow on the scouting of subjects. The only thing that all my subjects and interviews have in common is the fact that in one way or another, they are all pursuing their dreams and passions. That's what it makes it so easy to interview such different people, from artists to dancers, from shops to art collectives, because to me they all come down to personal and interesting stories.

What’s next for you?

I'm in a very exciting place right now because I love what to do. Filming doesn’t feel like pressure, though sometimes it might be overwhelming and it's hard work. It does certainly pay off when I put my headphones on, sitting in front of my computer, to start editing a new short film. That is rewarding. I do have a very deep passion about small documentaries, about particular and uncommon stories, interviews, so in the future I would like to try to travel a little bit more, try to expand some short documentaries here and there. There are just so many interesting places and people ready to share what they love and believe in, and I will hopefully be there to catch that for the small audience I am able to reach every day, day by day.

For more videos from Copenhagers, visit http://www.copenhagers.com/.

Via Laughing Squid

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
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