– This is a huge project. Can you run us through the process of putting it together? How long did it take to capture and edit?
“To start it was all about finding footage, tapes, digital files and anything I could from friends which worked out to be more than 100 hours of video, not including rolls of film, which I sorted through and got down to 27 hours then edited down to about 12. I think all that including editing took about a year and half on and off. Rendering the video for the Blu Ray and DVD took about 20 days too.”
– Which was your favourite section to edit and why?
“Probably the intro and outro were my favourite but also the hardest, going through all the footage and figuring out what brought back the most memories and summed up what it’s all been about. They were the last parts to be put together too.”
– When you started filming, did you know that one day you’d be making a full length video like this?
“I had no idea, I was just filming because I enjoyed it. I made a bunch of small edits along the way but never knew it would turn in to a massive project.
I suppose also it was in the back of my mind, that the Blu Ray version of the video with all the extras would be a perfect way to preserve all the footage I got over the years. I know that if I lost all the tapes and files somehow, that pretty much all of it exists in 50 other peoples’ homes as a back up.”
– What equipment did you use to film it? Did your set up change much over the years?
“The earliest camera we was using at the time was a Hi8 one that my friend Stiv’s dad had, then it moved on to little digital point and shoots that weren’t the best but did the trick, then DV cameras. When I got a bit more serious about filming I used Super 8, and the VX cameras which I still use today. Other than than I’ve used VHS, camera phones, Hi8 again, and more recently 16mm. I’ll give any video recorder a go, but I’ve never really been fond of HD 16:9 stuff… I have a Canon 60D to mess around with now, but mainly for photos.”
– Got any trivia / things we wouldn’t know / crazy stories while filming?
“Originally the video was going to be just on DVD, but I didn’t want to waste anything, all the footage meant something to me or people that were in the video, so I decided to go down the Blu Ray route, it turned out to be a 3 disc set which I had to make custom packaging for. I also did 5 copies of the video on VHS, only really because I grew up watching BMX on video and thought it would be rad to have mine on tape too.
I was going to start from scratch and film with people I’ve got to know over the years through Seventies and whatnot, but then I realised I had so much footage collected already just sitting there waiting for attention. I think it’s been a bigger and better project doing this.
The video wasn’t aimed for anyone other than the people involved in it, as a keepsake to look back on in years to come, which is why I only made 50 copies each of Blu Ray and DVD. I think I’ve shifted all of them now.
I had a pre-premiere at Mark Lehair’s house with a bunch of people to watch it for the first time all mic’d up for DVD commentary, I think that shit me up more than the actual premiere actually, keeping it tight and hearing peoples’ reactions properly.
“Joe Gould did that gap to second stage rail in Barcelona well before Dennis Enarson did it in the Demolition video, and with a broken wrist!”
Joe Gould did that gap to second stage rail in Barcelona well before Dennis Enarson did it in the Demolition video, with a broken wrist! With the same broken wrist he did that huge ledge ride at the stadium.”
– Did you have a premiere?
“Yeah, in January 2015 we organised a shindig in Grantham. It was a really good turn out and a bunch of people who haven’t shown their faces much recently came along which was rad. I made sure I had all the copies of the video to give people that night too which kind of capped it all off for me.”
– Give us some stats…
Years filming: Around 16 years on and off.
Countries visited: The only other country we filmed in for this was Barcelona in 2008 I think.
Number of DV tapes: I’m not sure, it felt like a million capturing them though!
Number of parks / spots now gone: Derby Storm is certainly one that I miss, it’s more local street spots that have gone that we grew up riding. I’ve watched so many of my favourite places to ride get torn down and turned in to car parks.
– Five highlights…?
“Just getting it finished and seeing everyone sat around watching it was so good.
Seeing Joe Gould hammer that Barcelona gap to second stage first try was the business!
Crids’ last clip where he overshoots the ledge on the inflatable slide in Skeg.
The start of Stiv’s section where he smashes in to that kid at Radcliffe skatepark is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever filmed. I was just chilling with Orlando and Stiv rolls up, and I just so happened to have my Super 8 camera on the go, so I filmed him and that happened. The camera does’t record sound but right after he hit that kid he said ‘whoops’ and carries on over to us.
Getting the discs back from the duplicators and being able to hold the physical thing was the best feeling, but scary at the time because it was final… no more going back and tweaking anything!”
– Five low points…?
“Missing out Ben Basford’s name on the credits, even after checking it a million times. Sorry Ben!!
Not everyone being able to make it to the premiere sucked. Tom Sears and Orlando had reasonable excuses though.
Losing footage or when tapes had glitched so bad it wasn’t usable, also when I’ve found more footage after the video was completed… I may yet make something out of that stuff though.
When my hard drive died mid way through editing. You can never back something up to many times!
It would have been rad to have even MORE footage to make it even longer.”
– Do you have any future plans for Black BMX?
“I’m filming another edit right now, but it’s more about documenting what goes on while we’re out riding. We ride every Tuesday pretty much without fail, so it’s based around that really. Nothing to heavy but it’s a good reason to make another video. I’m always working on other stuff like hoodies, patches and t shirts with the Black name on them too.”