Interview: Ryan Navazio

Courtesy of Mark Losey/Gatorade

For you personally, what are some of the downsides, or least favorite aspects of being a videographer/editor?

I think the biggest issue I deal with making BMX videos is the whole bro-cam/unusable footage thing. It’s really difficult not to have reliable filmers and I always end up seeing stuff where I’m thinking I wish I could have been there to film that. If something is filmed bad and I have to use it, than I’m not happy, even if it’s something I fucked up. If 1 or 2 clips don’t look right, it will just bother me even if the rest of the footage is perfect.

Also, it seems some BMX brands don’t consider filming “work” or a “job” and they don’t really feel it’s necessary to compensate filmers for their effort. This has definitely gotten better in recent years, but it still goes on and it’s still bullshit.

Other than that, just the normal things you run into when filming BMX. You might have some awesome shot you wanna get or something, but the spot is a bust and you gotta get in and get out, so you just go with what works. I feel like that happens to me constantly! It’s just really difficult and doesn’t make sense to turn BMX videos into a “production”. A lot of times you’re doing shit that’s probably illegal in the first place, so setting up the crane and the dolly tracks might not be the best idea.

I’ve heard or read somewhere that you labor over music selection. Is this so and how do you go about finalizing music for videos?

Yeah, it’s just something I obsess over, finding the perfect song for a section. Finding a song that not only sounds good, but fits the riders style, the pacing is right and there are variations in the song that suit variations in the riding. It really helps to have an overabundance of footage to make a song match a part really well. If I have 1 minute of footage and I need to make an edit for the web or something, I’m a lot less picky about it though. Sometimes it’s fun to use a song you might not normally use and try to make it work. I definitely try to think outside the box when it comes to music because a lot of songs you might not think would work, end up being perfect.

Was there a song that a rider wanted for a part that you just had to protest? If so, who and what?

If a rider picks a song and I’m not really into it, than for the most part I will still give it a try. Take Rob Wise for example, he rode to a Faint song in Left/Right which was completely his decision. I’m really not into that band or their music, but he was psyched on the song and I thought it fit the part really well and it worked out. Mike Brennan riding to “Eye of the Tiger” in Insight is another good one, he jokingly requested to ride to that song and I thought it was funny, but really didn’t take it too seriously. I pretty much didn’t think we could clear it but I asked anyway and we got the song. Mike was really happy with it. After killing himself for that part, I was fine with it, even though we had to pay a little more to get it. Davey Watson had some crazy requests for his part in Insight. As much as I wanted to entertain the idea, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have gotten clearance on either REM or Little Wayne.

True or false. You guys ran into some issues with Insight footage and dudes had to re-do some stuff. Elaborate?

Yeah, basically I got robbed for a whole bunch of camera gear. There was also a bunch of footage on the tapes the got stolen in the bag. Such a nightmare, I was feeling the effects of that for a long time after it went down. It’s crazy to basically have everything you own and the things you’ve worked so hard for taken from you like that. I remember hearing that Metallica wrote “fade to black” after having all of their instruments stolen, and it made so much sense. It was the kind of situation that I had to remind myself, as bad as it was, we were still lucky no one was killed or seriously injured.

You’ve captured a lot of riding over the years, do you have any standout moments where you couldn’t believe what you were seeing, or what was about to go down?

Last year we were in Austin and riding with Chester Blacksmith, who was filming for We The People and had a filmer with him. We went to this one school and he ended up wanting to gap off this roof onto this rail. I wasn’t there to film or anything, and I was just going to watch because it was handled and Chet didn’t seem to concerned with getting a second angle or anything. But after he decided to do it, I physically could not just sit and watch, even if my footage wasn’t gonna be used or anything. It was just something I had to document because it was so crazy. I’m just consumed by filming shit, I get a crazy satisfaction out of it and it would be weird not to film something crazy like that.

A lot of the stuff people like Butcher or Tom White do standout in my mind. Last year we did an Animal trip to Europe. Butcher showed up in Paris at the end of the trip. He had a broken hand and his fingers were basically taped together, but he still did 2 of the craziest things of the whole trip. Tom White always has the craziest ideas for shit and it either goes perfectly or he ends up getting killed. That one smith grind he did in Insight that was on the cover of RIDE was insane. Those 2 are really similar in that way, and it’s just exciting to see them go for shit.

  • nice interview. navaz works so hard!

  • jon

    That was good.

  • Andy Persing

    Good stuff, i enjoyed hearing it.
    Can’t wait to buy my camera now and really produce some good quality videos.

  • Such a great interview. You guys never disappoint. Definitely motivated me to step up the game and get everything on point.

  • So rad.


  • stoned kyle

    id still rather see a defgrip orginal of this guy over that douche bag cunt from the come up, whats his douche bag name? the guy you cant ride but has a cult following of 100000 tight pant wearing sissy 16 year old kids. come on dg, think.

  • JD

    mad props dude.

  • Franco Balducci

    wack ass dude

  • chase d

    who the hell is franco balducci? never heard of you guy. navaz is the truth, best/hardest working filmer in the game hands down.

  • Tony ‘sweet peppers’ Pelligrini

    listen buddy. do us all a favor and just manual bonk yourself into the delaware .. sweet peppers, out.

  • chase d

    hahaha. yo, i would never dis-respect an og like that, my bad peppers.

  • John Y


  • oli

    navaz upload jersey riding vids for those like me that never seen them please?

  • brian tunney

    Great interview, despite Navaz’s saltiness.

  • Will Stroud

    Much respect for Navaz. One of (if not the best) my favorite filmers.

  • LandonP

    Good read, easily the best filmer/editor in my opinion. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I get a Navaz video!

  • Tony Archibeque Jr

    Thee best! So salty and I love it! Don’t settle ever!p.s lets make a vid together haha







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