Click below to check out a quick Q&A with Jim Cielencki regarding the upcoming Sunday video, entitled Up Up and Away.
JIM, GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF UP UP AND AWAY IN 5 WORDS.
Sunday team snapshot in 2008. 2008 is not a word, it’s a number!
HOW DID THE TITLE COME ABOUT?
There wasn’t any really good story behind it, except for the idea that there’s always more that you can do. Whether you’re filming a video part or a whole video, there is always going to be more you want to do for the video. But at some point you have to call it so you can have it out and begin another idea. It will drive you insane, and I think that is what my issue was with getting the video done. The title is sort of my coming to terms with this issue.
Up, Up and Away is our first video, and then we will do another project and another. It works well because the video came out so good, and we are motivated to make the next one even better. I like it because it has a bright outlook towards the future, instead of something like Dying to Live, or a video with a similar title.
ANY COMPANIES FIRST VIDEO IS PRETTY IMPORTANT. DID YOU APPROACH THIS LIKE ANY OTHER PROJECT, OR WERE YOU MORE MOTIVATED TO GET STUFF DONE?
Well, I knew right away that I wanted to do a video, but there were some growing pains with team changes, finding filmers and just motivation. Motivation started to kick in at the beginning of 2008, Barcelona went well and we had a good unique video title. There wasn’t drastic amounts of filming to do, basically it was in reach.
What was really motivating, was having some of the young guys on the team who just out and out kill it on a daily basis. Jake, Alex and Eric really were motivated and did a bunch of work. Then you add in Aaron, and he’s more motivated than anyone. The rest of the guys handled everything so well, that it really brought things together.
WAS THERE ANY KIND OF FEEL OR DIRECTION YOU WANTED WITH THIS VIDEO?
Nothing too crazy, just a relaxed and fun feel without being epic. No attitude either. I hate the whole wizard of oz thing. We are just guys on bikes. I dislike the whole fake imagery of some stuff in BMX, and it puts a horrible distaste in my mouth. It makes me just want to do plain videos.
WHO HAS PARTS IN THE VIDEO?
Mike Taylor, Aaron Ross, Alex Magallan, Ian Schwartz, Jake Seeley, Eric Lichtenberger, Kurt Rasmusson, Lee Dennis, Joe Cox, Stephen Savage and myself.
WHERE HAS FILMING TAKEN YOU GUYS?
We’ve been all over, some of us more than others. Did the whole Barcelona thing which sounds cliche, but if you went there, you know why we went. Did Guadalajara Mexico when Chad was fleeing the country and sought refuge there? A few of us met Joe Cox and Mike Taylor for a week in London. Besides that, everyone went on random trips throughout the US. Stephen Savage filmed a bunch in his home country of South Africa too.
ANY MAJOR HEADACHES ALONG THE WAY?
Nothing too crazy. Ian got attacked by a bouncer in London for no reason, so that was a mess. I ended up getting surgery on my ankle because of a crash or something in Estonia. Eric Lichtenberger messed up his knee first trick he filmed for the video. We were all roughed up in a way. Thankfully no bikes were stolen and no camera equipment was lost.
IS THERE A SINGLE MEMORY THAT STANDS OUT FROM MAKING THIS VIDEO?
There is one really good one. It was the last night of the team trip to Barcelona, and we were celebrating how well the trip had gone for us. We were all really tight on the trip, no fights, no attitudes just this willingness to ride, film and discover Barcelona together. It was honestly the best trip I had been on because literally nothing went wrong. I swear every trip prior and after somehow something messed up happens. Whether something gets stolen, someone has to eat only at McDonald’s cause they’re afraid to try anything else or there’s just too many cooks in the kitchen, something always happens. That night we all sat around discussing how well the trip went and how we were shocked and surprised by it.
DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT TO PICK A SONG FOR YOUR OWN PART?
Yes and no, I swear all of my songs I’ve ever picked just come out of nowhere. On my first video part, Glenn Milligan said that we could use anything from Dischord Records, and I was thinking it would be all hardcore music. I was sort of bummed because it isn’t me, but when I saw Jawbox on there, then I knew instantly it would be on one of their albums. So that song sort of popped out of nowhere. To be honest, I’m always thinking about possible songs. My only issue is that it seems like most of my stuff is early to mid 80’s, so I sort of need to change it up.
SPEAKING OF, WHAT MUSIC CAN PEOPLE EXPECT IN UP UP AND AWAY?
We are all over the place, I don’t want Sunday to be pigeonholed into anything. I let the guys come up with their songs, but I held a guiding hand over some of it. I didn’t want them to pick a song that isn’t timeless. Like in the Odyssey video, the MGMT’s song Electric Feel works so well in the outro, but now that band has blown up. The song is everywhere, so it sort of loses its luster as being specific to the Odyssey video. I tried to make sure the songs would be more timeless, although I am worried about one of the songs.
WHOSE PART TOOK THE LONGEST TO COMPLETE, AND WHO HAD THE MOST FOOTAGE?
Probably Ian’s took the most time, just due to the fact that he has been on the team the longest. He had a chance to film more than the other guys. He’s a unique rider and likes unique set ups, and that is way more difficult to find than just a stock 10 stair rail. He had the most footage out of everyone, although Alex Magallan had quite a bit.
A LOT OF COMPANIES ARE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER WHEN IT COMES TO DVD’S THESE DAYS. WHAT PREVENTED YOU FROM JUST PUTTING OUT SOMETHING FREE?
That’s a tough topic these days for sure. Right now as I type this, I feel that web videos are really good, but they tend to get lost and aren’t as memorable because they get “lost” quicker. I see them as the future, a company can reach a country that they don’t have distro in. Think of all the Russian videos we’ve seen lately. If there wasn’t the internet, than it would be so rare to see any of the awesome riders out of Russia. Free DVD’s are useless because they cost money to duplicate, and your distribution is limited by your supply and distro channels. You might as well save the duplication costs and put it on the Internet. Plus when we would get them at the shop, they were sort of held up as inferior to a regular DVD. It was never expected for it to be good, but you were delighted when it was good. A paid for DVD seems more traditional and timeless, which is what should be done for a company’s first DVD.
THANKS! ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD BEFORE WE WRAP THIS?
I went and hung out with Ian for the day last week, and my last words are actually taken from him. He said to me, “I’m psyched to see the video because all the guys on the team are unique. No one is a stock rider.” I share his same feelings. I’m really happy the way the video turned out.