SPYGLASS – AN INTERVIEW WITH THE PRODUCERS

SQUAD – Brad Hill Photo

SPYGLASS  is the second full-length release from the Vancouver B.C. based bike shop ATLANTIS VANCOUVER. The video is shot 100% on the good ol’ VX1000, has that classic DVD feel, and boasts an impressively diverse soundtrack throughout. Even if the riding were mediocre (which it is not), this video would have a place in our hearts here at RideBMX. However, the riding in this video is just as refreshing as the production, featuring the many talented locals of Vancouver, and spotlighting a number of the shop riders who are STRAIGHT KILLING IT! Standout sections include Carl ArnettOwen DawsonJordan Hango, and the director himself, Andrew Schubert. Shouts to Orlando, the founder of Atlantis Vancouver, for teaming up with us to release this video to the masses, and to the film’s chief lensman/editor/director Andrew Schubert. We’ll be dropping sections from SPYGLASS all this week, so we decided to catch up with the films director (Andrew Schubert) and producer (Orlando) to get the low-down on all that went into this “instant classic” Canadian BMX video.

GANG – Orlando Photo

Schubert – Brad Hill Photo

How long was spent on production?
Andrew: One year. We started filming late December 2015, and I think the last clip filmed was mid November 2016.  I spent a month straight editing / working on post production and finished the master copy of the DVD just before December 2016.

What made you want to spearhead another full-length video project?

Orlando: It is just ingrained in what we do day in day out. Go out ride, film, mess around. The video is just a documentation of what happened in a year as opposed to a set agenda to film something. I think most people enjoy riding and filming so it is an easy thing to continue to do.

Jordan Hango – Brad Hill Photo

Vancouver has an extremely strong scene with tons of talented riders who meet up nearly every day to cruise, how do you think the scene got so big / strong?
Orlando: I think it has always been this way, it is just now people are taking notice again from other parts of the world. After that period of the Canadian super pros who were from this area people may have been under the impression that nothing was happening in Vancouver. Nowadays it reminds me a lot of how it was 13 years ago in the North of England. You have a super strong core crew who just go about their business without too much regard for the BMX masses who have overlooked that area for years. What came out of that area of England in Voices, the NSF, Ben Lewis, Marv etc. might have been a surprise to anyone not in the scene, but the people who were apart of that at that time new exactly how good all those people were. The same thing is happening now with Vancouver. People are suddenly talking about Jordan Hango, but he’s been doing that shit, that good for a decade, its’ just no one knew.

Andrew and the VX – Brad Hill Photo

How many tapes did you go through?

Andrew: I think I went through 20 tapes and Orlando went through 10 tapes.

Why standard def?

Andrew: I have always loved SD videos, and most of the videos I grew up watching and drawing inspiration from were filmed with a vx.  I love the classic look a SD DVD has.  I figured it would be cool to make a video that could go alongside those videos on the shelf.  Orlando had a vx1/mk1 and wanted to make another  Atlantis DVD, and I was over shooting with a a7s style camera and was ready to go back to my roots of using a vx1/mk1.  Worked out well, either myself or Orlando would always have our cameras, or both of us.

Burred Bridge hangs – Brad Hill Photo

Owen Dawson delivers a casual handicap crankarm while Andrew crunches the clip

I know you (Orlando) lent a hand in filming a large portion of the video along with Andrew. What percentage of the video was filmed by you vs Andrew?
Orlando: You know how Elvis made the real people who had written his songs sign an agreement to say he had written them himself? That’s what Andrew did to me…

Do you two have a designated fish Filmer vs long lens filmer (if you’re both filming the same thing)??

Orlando: I usually film fish because I look better in the shot than Andrew. He needs a more flamboyant shirt collection if he is going to be in shot.

Owen gettin’ kinky in Victoria – Brad Hill Photo  

When the filmer clips up – Brad Hill Photo

Any glitches or lost clips?
Andrew: Surprisingly I don’t believe that there was any glitches.  There was a few audio glitches where I had to realign the audio or in one case simulate a clips audio.  As for lost clips, I don’t believe there were any, however there is still a mysterious clip of Desson doing a pegs soft on a out ledge that is MIA haha, Orlando gave me his final tape to capture and the clip was supposed to be on that tape, but I never saw it…  Orlando likes to joke that I lost it, but I guess Orlando is the only one who will ever know what really happened to Desson’s pegs soft…

Crewed up in Victoria B.C.

Any trips?
Andrew: We did a Atlantis Vancouver team trip to Victoria, BC for the May long weekend.  Owen filmed a third or more of his part on that trip. There was another team trip to Portland during the filming of Spyglass that I was unable to go on.  Orlando ended up making a web video of the Portland trip footage. Other then that we went just over the border to Bellingham, Wa for one day.

Ratio of Vancouver clips to other clips?
Andrew: 90% of the video is filmed in Vancouver or the surrounding areas and mostly all spots traveled to by bike. Then probably 8% from the Victoria trip and 2% just random places.

99% of the video is filmed in BC.

Andrew Schubert with a hefty pegs to flat – Brad Hill Photo

Desson w/ an ice manny 180 in-between Dad duties – Brad Hill Photo

Filming approach.. Many missions for specific clips?
Andrew: Generally it was just pedal around have fun with friends, film if there is something someone wants to do, then enjoy a tin with the boys.  Whenever there was a specific spot someone wanted to go to, I would always make an effort to go there. Usually we would just pedal around tho and someone might remember a spot close by and if they had something in mind we would head there.  Owen’s ender might be the only thing that was kind of a mission but Owen is so chill it felt like anything but that.

Steep and scary feels from Owen – Brad Hill Photo

Owens curved kinker crash is one of the worst I’ve ever seen and it looks like he pulls it right after. Any story behind that?
Andrew: Yeah I would have to agree with you on that.  We were out driving to spots in the area he grew up by and he said he wanted to check out this school with a kinker in the front and a curved kinker in the back. When we got to the school we went to the regular kinker in the front and Owen almost immediately ate shit trying to go up the rail just for fun. After the pain passed we went to the backside of the school and Owen was just like “yeah lets try this”. He just started jumping on it straight away, flying into the curve and launching about 10 feet into the grass hill.  He probably bailed over the kink 15 times before he made it around the kink the first time, but not down the second stage of the rail. That’s when we all realized it was possible and he did too! I think 2 tries after that is when he had that fall.  By far the worst fall I have seen and the way he screamed I thought he was seriously injured.  Owen was pretty over it at that point, and said he was done. He had a nice bar stab across his chest from being belted to the ground by his bar end and I’m sure the heat was getting to him, it was likely the hottest day of the summer.  I have been filming with Owen for years now and know he has a crazy drive to get things done, I rarely do this but I went over to him after a few minutes and said “if you don’t do this now, you probably wont ever want to come back to try this”.  He said “I know, I know, you’re right”.  3 tries later I think he landed it, and he completely peaked with excitement and relief, and peddled straight to the beer store, but came back 1 min later for his wallet.

Steep as shit over-dubs from Owen Dawson’s stand-out section – Brad Hill Photo

Video  inspirations?
Andrew: Oh man, way to many to name, here are a few: FitLife, Lotek mixtape, Left/Right, Insight, Talk Is Cheap, Gleamin “Quit Dreamin”, Props/Road Fools, alot of skate videos, and for this particular project with the name being spyglass, I watched a fair few spy movies while I was editing and drew some musical inspiration from those.

Posted up in Victoria with some select beverages and an epic view

Quebec crew – Orlando Photo

Meaning of Spyglass?
Andrew: We were all out riding around the city probably about 5 months into filming, and Brad Hill was getting a clip across the street from this cop station with the street name spyglass place. Orlando immediately thought it was a good name for the video and I thought it had some mystery behind it which would entice people to wonder what SPYGLASS was…  And so it was.

Favorite clip in the video?
Andrew: Yikes, that is a hard one.  Every clip in the video has meaning to me, wether it is how the clip looks, how awesome the trick was, or the memory/story that may go along with the clip.  Visually and trick wise if I had to choose one clip my favourite would be Hango virtually spine jumping over a fire hydrant using two tiny grates as transitions.  The colours in the clip and impossibility of how he jumps it get me pumped every time I see it.

Any injuries while filming?

Andrew: There were a few for sure.  I pretty much broke my ankle in March so could not really ride for 2- 2.5 months, Owen sprained his ankles a few times, Desson broke his knuckle and was in a cast for a bit, Hango was hit by a cube van in a hit and run and had to get emergency surgery on his collar bone and was out most of the summer, and then Carl broke/crushed and damaged a bunch of stuff in his wrist/hand in his intro clip in the video around September I believe.  There was probably a more bumps and sprains I can’t remember.  All in all with all the injuries it was pretty remarkable everyone pulled through and filmed sections.  Hango pretty much filmed most of his part in a month and a half after returning from his injury, and you could definitely not tell that he had been off the bike for 2 or more months.

Wreck beach hangs – Orlando Photo

Wink Grant tosses ’em – Brad Hill Photo

Did you have a strict deadline of one year? Or is that just how quickly things came together?
Orlando: I set the goal to film a video every year for Atlantis and so far that has worked out. Spyglass definitely exceeded my expectations of what could be achieved in that time period in a place with only 6 months of decent weather. It is a testament to the talents of my friends the riders and Andrew. I could’nt thank them enough for all those good times that will be forever digitally etched into that disc.

Wink Grant Photo

Brad Hill Photo

Did you have a strict deadline of one year? Or is that just how quickly things came together?
Orlando: I set the goal to film a video every year for Atlantis and so far that has worked out. Spyglass definitely exceeded my expectations of what could be achieved in that time period in a place with only 6 months of decent weather. It is a testament to the talents of my friends the riders and Andrew. I could’nt thank them enough for all those good times that will be forever digitally etched into that disc.

The crew in Victoria – Orlando Photo

Beverage in one hand, camera in the other, this shop owner can film – Brad Hill Photo

Plans for future releases?
Andrew: At the moment nothing is set in stone, I would really like to make another full length as I find they bring me the most satisfaction.  Creating something with your friends that represents your scene, shop (Atlantis), and outlook on bmx, as well as being able to show your creative side is really an amazing feeling and opportunity.  I can’t thank Orlando and everyone in the video enough for being a part of the video and trusting me to represent the shop/scene the way I saw it.  I am hoping to get the ball rolling on something new next year…  In the meantime I have a web video of Owen Dawson in the works and a Jordan Hango Web part coming close to completion.

Jason Teet – Brad Hill Photo

Orlando Photo

Plans for future releases?

Andrew: At the moment nothing is set in stone, I would really like to make another full length as I find they bring me the most satisfaction.  Creating something with your friends that represents your scene, shop (Atlantis), and outlook on bmx, as well as being able to show your creative side is really an amazing feeling and opportunity.  I can’t thank Orlando and everyone in the video enough for being a part of the video and trusting me to represent the shop/scene the way I saw it.  I am hoping to get the ball rolling on something new next year…  In the meantime I have a web video of Owen Dawson in the works and a Jordan Hango Web part coming close to completion.

Why are bmx shops so important to the overall scene of a city?
Orlando: The good shops are a place where the riders in that city can channel their energy through. They can give local people a sense of identity that is individual to the city they live in and help project that image to the world. Vancouver already had a great BMX scene both on the bike and creatively. Atlantis just gives it a focal point for all that talent to come together. I believe that if a strong scene is represented with integrity it will reinforce itself and get stronger. This is happening in Vancouver and it is a model I wish all of the BMX business would think about more.