When it comes to BMX videos, there's nothing quite like an Animal video. The riding, the spots (and the spot use), the music—there's just a certain feeling to an Animal video that you can't find anywhere else. And I'm hyped to say that we're all about to get a fresh dose of that special Animal blend tomorrow with the release of their latest video, FACTS right here on RideBMX.com. Although he was hard at work wrapping up the video, Ryan Navazio was obliging enough to answer some questions and give us the scoop on who has parts, what we should look forward to, how the video came to be, the story behind the name, and more… According to Navaz, "Everyone on the team is killing it right now and I think the video does a pretty good job of showing that Animal is as strong as ever." Fact.
I heard the decision to drop another full length was made relatively recently. When did the idea come about and how did you come up with full sections so fast?
It’s not exactly a “full length”, but the decision to do a bigger project was really last minute. The idea came about in October, Animal wanted to put something out for the end of the year and I just suggested we combine all the footage we already had into a long form video. Then we rented an apartment for 12 days in NYC so I could film with Colin Varanyak and get a big crew out riding to kinda tie the whole project together.
So does this make FACTS some sort of QSS/ Animal House hybrid?
The Animal house was a full month of filming every day in NYC, combined with some footage from a road trip, plus a few things I had been saving. Aside from the occasional second angle I shot the whole Animal House video. FACTS combines footage from a whole bunch of the team from all over the place. Then I just tried to edit it and make it cohesive, using older Animal style videos as a model.
I heard FACTS is going to be even better than Animal House. What are your thoughts on that?
It’s definitely different. The riding is really good. Ratkid doesn’t have a part, so I’m sure that will sway some opinions.
Was there a theme or a plan for FACTS? And what is the story behind the name?
It’s just NYC slang. Any time I spend in NYC I’m always hearing different slang and it’s always so funny to me. Facts was just something everyone had been saying. I thought it was fitting and so did Ralphy Ramos so we went with it, facts.
Besides two weeks in NYC, were there any other trips (formal or not) taken for this video?
I went to Baltimore for a day to film with Colin and that didn’t end well. Other than that I didn’t take any trips. Launchpad and Ralphy took some of the team down to DC back in September. Seems like Ryan Howard traveled around quite a bit for his footage. This is the most hands off I have ever really been as far as filming goes.
Can you tell us a few facts about FACTS…
Everyone on the team is killing it right now and I think the video does a pretty good job of showing that Animal is as strong as ever.
You were out filming with Colin this summer when he took a brutal slam to his face, any chance that footage is going to see the light of day?
It’s in the video.
I also heard that Colin Varanyak has another next-level ender that is on par with his ender with Animal House. What it was like witnessing Colin push rail-to-rail progression with his Animal House/FACTS enders?As far as I’m concerned, Colin’s Animal House ender was the most progressive street move of 2015. It would be hard to top that, but Colin is on another level.
There are four main parts, three being eastcoast dudes, Colin Varanyak, Matt Miller and Ryan Niranonta, and then Andrew Castaneda on the west coast. That's an interesting juxtaposition. How did Animal newcomer Andrew Cast pair up with the rest of the squad? And didn't he go out east to film as well?
Cast was working on a welcome to the team video. I saw all the footage and I suggested to Ralphy that we give him a part in the video. Animal sent him to NYC to tie everything together. He had a fun trip, just ask him about the Juice Bar. Shout out to Calvin [Kosovich] for killing it on the filming.
Who else besides yourself pointed cameras for this project?
Justin Benthien, Launchpad, Evan Yoh, Calvin Kosovich… a lot of other people. I filmed the NYC trip and I had some footage stacked, but the majority of it is from those guys.
Did using footage from a handful of different filmers pose any challenges editing?
It always does just because I prefer to film everything myself and I’m picky. The filmers I mentioned are all really reliable and editing their stuff was easy. I think the hardest thing about editing this was just making it all feel cohesive, but once I figured it the music everything seemed to fall into place.
I know I saw a photo of a Dave Belcher riding and I hear there's a SAF section, too… What else can we look forward to footage wise?
Belcher came out riding with Colin and I when we left for NYC. We got to ride all day but we didn’t prioritize filming for this project. He’s just recently become a father so he’s been busy with real life stuff but he’s always the best to ride with. Twin killed it in NYC and has a nice little part in the video from the time I was out there. Ryan Howards footage, Chris Carter…
Who’s section will people be most surprised with?
I would say Twin—he’s definitely one of the best riders in NYC.
You've been working with Animal long enough to see a lot of new dudes get on the team. What's it like getting a chance to work with the new younger generation and seeing them fit in with the rest of the team?
I miss riding and filming with a lot of the OG guys, but most of the younger guys were always around too, so it’s been a mostly natural transition. Tyrone [Williams] is a good link between generations and he’s still killing it.