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Mongoose Jam 2017 – Winning Team Captain Interviews

There were two chances to win for Mongoose Jam 2017—the rider's vote after the jam, and the follow up Viewer's Choice award. Team Ryan took home the heaviest check after the jam and Team Peraza had the viewer's vote. So what does it take to win the Mongoose Jam? We caught up with Paul Ryan and Kevin Peraza to find out…
 

Mongoose Jam Winner: Team Ryan

Mongoose Jam changed things up this year and had the riders vote for each other instead of having a panel of judges. When the ballot box was full, Team Ryan was the on top. Team Ryan was comprised of Mongoose team captain Paul Ryan, Kriss Kyle, Lahsaan Kobza, camper TJ Ettinger, and filmer Matty Lambert. Here's a follow up with Paul Ryan…

Mongoose Jam 2017 Winners – Team Ryan. (Photo: Mark Losey)

Team Ryan won the vote from all the riders from the Mongoose Jam. How does that feel knowing the votes came from your peers?
It feels good knowing the peers voted for team Ryan as everyone had the choice to vote for the team they thought made the best video. It was a good concept of judging as only the riders in the contest could make the choice for best edit.

What do you think it was about your video that helped it win?
I'm not to sure we just went out rode and filmed what we wanted and had fun. The riders on my team all enjoy making edits—including myself—maybe that helped.

What made you decide to go with Matty Lambert to do your video?
Me and Matty are good friends and have been working on a few things recently and when I asked if he wanted to be apart of team Ryan for Mongoose Jam he said yes straight from the start.

Did he have a plan or style of filming already in his head before you started?
Yeah, Matty had a few ideas from the start of what he wanted to do.

The entire Team Ryan video was filmed outside. What was the reasoning behind that? The wasn't too much reasoning behind it just the majority of the stuff we wanted to ride just happened to be outside.

With so many indoor things to ride at Woodward East, was it ever hard for you guys to stick to the outside only plan?
While the majority of the stuff we wanted to ride was outside, don't get me wrong there was a lot of amazing stuff to ride inside, but from the amount of outdoor footage to maybe one or two inside would of looked out of place in the edit. Also don't have too much to film on the vert ramp [laughs].

Kriss Kyle was on Team Illingworth last year. How did you steal him for your team? Did he know you would be a winning team?
I didn't steal him. I had a feeling Greg might of asked him already, but I asked him and he wasn't on anyone's team and also said yes straight away and we went from there pretty much.

This was the second year of the video battle format. How would you compare this year at Woodward East to last year at Woodward West?
Not too much to compare, East has a lot more to offer than West, but both in good ways with West being smaller you had to think a bit more outside the box.

Your team had quite a few roof clips last year, but the roofs were off limits this time around. Was it hard to keep Lahsaan on the ground?
[Laughs] It was a bit. He suggested a few things that would have been amazing to see involving roofs, but rules are rules [laughs].

You guys had three full days to film. What were some challenges?
The biggest for me was to not have my body hurting after getting excited the first day and riding all day.

Which team video was your favorite?
My favourite was Team Illingworth. They had a good mix of types of riding and they involved the amateur rider a lot in the edit and had gapped plan from the start!

Team Ryan’s video…

  

Viewer's Choice Award: Team Peraza

There was another chance for the teams to win after the Mongoose Jam with the Viewer's Choice awards. The premise was simple; with all five team videos in one place watch 'em all and vote for a favorite. The viewers were really feeling Team Peraza's video this year—making Mongoose team captain Kevin Peraza smile even more—as if that's even possible. Kevin's team included Victor Peraza, Mike Gray, Woodward camper Oliver Foster, and filmer Juani Zurita.

Mongoose Jam 2017 Viewer’s Choice – Team Peraza. (Photo: Losey)

You just won Viewer’s Choice. Why are you so damn popular?
[Laughs] I don't known, but I'm happy people were hyped on the video in general. It gets me stoked to put another video together for everyone.

What does winning Viewer’s Choice mean to you? How is it different than if you were to win the actual jam with the rider’s vote?
This year the jam judges were all of us riders and we personally voted for a team. But winning viewers choice is pretty unreal. Since it's so hard to please everyone's different opinions towards how an edit should be. But we tried getting a fun vibe to it all, a progressive, but casual video that we all had fun making. I'm real proud of the team and happy on the outcome and the positive feed back of it all. Thanks to everyone for showing us love!

What made you decide to go with Juani Zurita to be your video guy?
It's always hard to pick. I recently went up to Woodward West for a day to hang out with my little brothers and everyone at camp. Juani works in the digital media lab there and his brother Coco and him live there as well. Its cool, they're like brothers to me. Anyways… we talked about the Jam and he told me that he would love to film it, and that he has been getting way better at filming in the last year. He told me that he wanted to prove it to me by filming some clips that day and putting an edit together over night—like how the Jam format is. Long story short, I wish I had put more of my effort that night and got more clips because he killed it. Definitely hyped on how prepared and ready Juani was every day. His motivation and attitude towards it all is on point and I could not have been more happy with the video. CHEERS JUANI. I can't wait to work on another project with him.

How did you go about picking your team? I know you had some other riders in mind, but they got hurt or had other commitments…
Victor had been killing it and I felt like it was the open window to show the world Victor as a person and his own rider. We ride nothing a like, but we vibe so well. Learning from him or me teaching him stuff—it's fun no matter what. I had a couple of dudes in mind that were either hurt or busy with other things. But I ended up getting Mike Gray who is an incredible rider. I was so stoked on Mike and everything he did. He's also super chill to be with, we all vibed super well and that's the most important part of it all.

You obviously ride with Victor all the time, but what was it like riding with him in this capacity, during a video contest?
It was pretty sick to see him get stuff done somewhere outside of our home park. Everything was just bigger and more extended. Even if we didn't film everything, the sessions were incredible. Watching him progress and step outside of his bubble was cool to see. Got me hyped for many more videos and events to come with him by my side. I'm a proud brother for sure.

Did you have an idea what you wanted for the video before you even started?
Yes and no. I had a visual of things in my head. Remembering that camp is in the middle of nowhere and there are tons of hills and perfect green grass and trees all around. Just felt like we needed to capture that in some way. But also being that I had been to camp before I had an idea of what could potentially work on certain spots or set ups. I just kept in mind to use and ride different things that no one else would. I even did my research on old videos and recent videos filmed at camp by other dudes throughout the years so none of us did things that had already been done. Or put a video together that was similar to another one.

How did the theme / direction or your video come about?
We didn't know what to do until we got there. Being that we had only been there for a contest format you almost get to step outside of your bubble and create something that shows the world you. I felt like it was perfect for me to be myself and do what I enjoy doing. Instead of traditional contests runs where you feel like you have to compete against others and not just yourself.

My general idea was to create something fun. Keep the BMX vibe alive in every way. Show the camp side of things. The whole family aspect of it all. Being a young kid with a dream and now being a person who can guide the youth to do bigger and better things not only in the sport, but in life.

I knew I had to bring the campers into it at some point. We also chose our camper Oliver Foster and brought him a long with us the whole week so he could feel part of the team every day and not just for two filler clips. I was so hyped on our camper. Always stoked and ready to get stuff done. Not to mention always smiling and just loving every moment. I picked him not for his skills, but his personality and attitude towards riding. That to me will always be BMX. Just another kid with a dream with something he loves. He reminded me of a young me. I had to bring him under my wing for the week.

This was the second year with the video battle format, first being at Woodward West, and now this year at East. How did this yea compare to last year?
It was pretty amazing. I love both West and East. But the size of East and variety of things to ride is overwhelming. But at the same time your full of joy and excitement every day—even after taking hard slams or just being worn out by all the hills and parks you could ride. It's kind of unreal. East is so big that there were five teams with four dudes each and not once did we cross paths while filming clips for our own videos. Not to mention the possibilities are endless. There wasn’t one clip or trick in all the videos that was the same in anyway or copied. I left with so many ideas that I would still love to film there. Thanks again Woodward Camp for opening the doors for all of us. I can't wait to go back.

What was the hardest thing to film?
The hardest thing to film for me in the video was probably the nose 180 down the ledge to cab whip in the bowl. The ledge was so weird and different that I wanted it to happen, but speed and the angle of it all was so hard. Not to mention I was juicing the half-cab whip with so much speed that I would just get destroyed on flat [laughs]. It worked out in the end and I loved the feeling of it all and the clip looked damn sick. But there were a lot of clips that beat me up that didn't even make the video. I went out of my way to try new things, but sometimes you're not feeling it or it just doesn't work. It's a mental game most of the times anyways. I'll be back for more.

You guys had three full days to film. What were some challenges?
Yeah, I mean only three days to film was kinda rushed, but it worked. My body was definitely sore every day. It was also hard since most of us had an overnight flight—Sunday night after the Vans BMX Pro Cup Finals. So I was feeling it mid-day Monday for sure.

Which team video was your favorite and why?
My favorite team video year was probably Greg's [Team Illingworth]. The vibe to it was fun, it was funny, they all killed it. It was sick to see Van go in, as well.

Team Peraza’s video…

Watch all of the Mongoose Jam 2017 videos here…