Make no mistake about it – full length videos from BMX brands are a massive, belt and braces, full-bore all the way, neck-deep, ocean-going commitment. As such, they are a pretty rare beast these days. Combine that with the ever-increasing tidal wave of free web content and pretty much every single rider and his dog filming instant clips for online media, actually getting a global team together with a professional filmer and booking flights and hotels and signing-off a considerable budget to create a BMX full-length video is a big, big deal. But it’s important. BMX videos are vital. They’re landmark items. Lines in the sand. Flags raised. It’s been said before that a full-length video is like a band’s album. It’s the full works. It’s the heart and soul of the band, and when it comes to BMX companies – it sets the entire tone of what’s going on.
Over at Wethepeople, Harry Schmid, Paul Robinson and crew know BMX inside-out and committed to a full team video project at the end of 2015 – bringing in none other than Cal Earnshaw to film and produce the new project, namely Foundation. We caught up with Cal to talk more about the video…
When you got the call to create Foundation, what was your first thought?
Let’s do it!
When did you start filming for it then?
On paper, January 2016. We originally started out trying to film footage for the video on trips, as well as putting out web edits from the trips as well. The first trip was a disaster, Palermo, no spots, only just enough clips to make the edit, I think I saved one clip back for Foundation from that trip. Then in April we went on a trip around France with Frenchys, which we still had to make an edit from, but there were a tonne of good spots so we managed to get a few clips for Foundation as well. We kind of realised that making web edits and shooting for Foundation wasn’t going to work so that soon got scrapped. So yeah January, but in reality we only really got started in April, or maybe even June when we did the Barcelona trip.
Was there a real buzz of excitement in the team about getting this video in the bag?
There’s been mixed emotions, it’s been bit of a rollercoaster. We never really had a plan and that was the case right up until the deadline – me and Paul still aren’t sure what we are doing, hahaha. I know the team would have liked longer to film and I would definitely liked to have worked on shooting this for more than seven months, but Paul and Harry always said this wasn’t going to be a two-year thing so it is what it is.
Do the riders still put more into a video compared to a web edit? Is that still a thing?
Yes definitely, Video parts have longevity whereas web edits are tomorrow’s chip paper. I think the guys definitely wanted to give it what they had to make a good section.
How difficult was it filming for the video alongside random clips and projects for the web? I mean, I know that was the deal from the start – to not just spend two years making a DVD, but to also produce web content alongside. How hard was that?
Really hard! Like I said previously we scrapped the idea of putting out full edits as well as bagging Foundation clips, we obviously didn’t want the web content to stop, so we opted for more Youtube style content to shoot, Top 5’s, bike checks etc, things we could knock out in an hour or so at the end of the day when people are chilling at a spot.
What was the biggest surprise or best treat during the filming process?
There’s been loads, a stand out one for me is Jordan filming one of his bangers at the first spot on the first day of the first trip we went on. That’s gotta be pretty unheard of when shooting a DVD?!
What was the best trip for Foundation?
I think Barcelona, I was out there for two full weeks, we only had one day of bad weather, we had a sick apartment with lots of space. I think that added to it, having a nice place to come back to each day. We got a lot done on that trip as the guys off the team came and went over the two week period, we partied a little too.
Any fails along the way?
Ha, yes plenty of fails, no worst trips though, I enjoyed all the trips. The least productive trip was probably the trip to Latvia – out of the eight days that me Dillon and Jordan were there we only had one and a half days to film – we had quite a bit of bad luck on trips, it’s surprising we got anything filmed.
“a stand out for me was Jordan filming one of his bangers at the first spot on the first day of the first trip we went on. That’s gotta be pretty unheard of when shooting a DVD”
What about injuries – there must’ve been some right?
Jordan got a bruised heel and Dillon broke his foot.
What about the trip to the premiere at Simple Session? Was there any pressure?
I was looking forward to going on a trip and not having to film the whole time, to just chill and watch the riding and catch up with everyone. And yeah, a little pressure, I was still editing just two weeks prior to the premiere… haha.
What about the UK premieres – should be good right?
For sure, I’m hoping there’s going to be one near me, be good to show a few mates what I’ve made.
So now it’s done… what’s next?
Ha, well I’ve barely had any time off since April, pretty much been working six or seven days a week the majority of the time. Got a much-needed holiday in Morocco booked plus some good non-BMX projects in the diary. There’s also a few BMX edits in the pipeline, but I think I’m going to get stuck into the DIY at home first and relax a bit then probably pick it back up in March.
Any thanks / shout-outs for the help you received along the way?
Abi for being so cool with all the trips and me working all the time. My mum and dad, Jordan, Tim Dollimore and TMW, Caroline Melville/OCP, Paul Robinson, Mark Noble, Josh Moore, Ben McPherson, Grant Castelluzzo, Dan Foley, all the distros and riders that have helped us out on trips, all the Onyons, anyone and all the team, there wouldn’t be a video without them.
Team Trips went on: 8ish
Riders involved: 13 or 14 i think
Hours of footage logged: I’m unsure about hours but the folder of footage on the hard drive is currently at 1.5TB.
Number of music tracks selected & rejected: The Spotify playlist me and Paul made and shortlisted tracks from has 318 songs in it. We then whittled it down to 15 and then used eight songs in the final video and I only made two song changes after selecting the final songs. I chose a lot of stuff on instinct, editing time was minimal so I had to just roll with it – I’m happy with the selection though.
Bails filmed: Surprisingly not that many.
Hotel rooms booked: around 16
Cameras used: Sony FS5 and Sony A7s. Josh and Grant also used Sony FS7, Sony A7s and Sony A6300
Lenses used: Sony G powered 28/135, Sony G powered 18/105, Sony 16mm pancake, Canon 18/105, Canon 16/35, Sigma 15mm Fisheye.
Weight of filming kit lugged from spot to spot: I think it’s around 18/19kg… my back is f’ked.
Stuff stolen: Nothing!
Stuff lost: My sanity, some hair and the rubber eyepiece off my Sony FS5.
Stuff found: Nothing!
Countries visited: Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany, England, Wales and China.