Mark Losey has been working on a documentary called “Pro Town: Greenville”, which revolves around the scene in Greenville, NC.
I threw some questions at Mark about the project and he hooked up a few screengrabs from the Documentary. Click below to check that out, as well as the trailer.
What spawned your interest in making this documentary?
I’ve been going to Greenville since ’98, and it always blew me away how much incredible riding and how much fun went down in that town. When I was the editor of Ride, I remember coming back from trips to Greenville and people would tell me that Greenville was nothing but training—the misconceptions made me wonder if we were talking about the same place. I wanted to show people what I saw when I went to Greenville, and it wasn’t just the riding. There are so many interesting stories in that town; with that many personalities there has to be.
How long has it been in the works?
I officially got started last December at Mirra’s “King of the Animal House” contest. There were a lot of Greenville riders from over the years in town, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I thought that if I got enough of the interviews done early, I could spend “free time” over the next year working on it. So between the other projects I juggle, it took just shy of a year.
What was the most difficult thing you came across while putting this Doc together?
The amount of content I wound up with was the hardest thing to deal with. I was very lucky to have so many people contribute footage and photos for the film, and it just kept piling up. Then every time I would do an interview, there would be four more incredible stories that came up, so I literally had hours of interviews. Trying to whittle everything down to 45-minutes was not easy. There were times when I’d be editing on a laptop on a plane with 3 external hard drives hooked up—I looked ridiculous. I’ve got plenty of content for bonus material, that’s for sure. And I’m very grateful that Final Cut Pro handles so many file formats easily now.
You’ve lived in NC for a while and have seen lots of people come and go. What do you think attracts people to Greenville?
The riding and the riders are what bring people to Greenville, but it’s the overall vibe that keeps them there, in my opinion. It’s seriously a BMX community—you literally see riders everywhere you go. The town is affordable, too. If you check housing prices in different spots across the country, you’re going to be pretty happy with what you find in Greenville. This is all covered in the film, with a lot of different riders giving their perspectives. The two main things to do in Greenville for a BMXer are riding and partying, so that’s not a bad life.
Considering all the riders and history there, It’s obvious why something like this would eventually be produced. Did you get everything you wanted for it, or was there something that couldn’t come together?
There were some stories that simply couldn’t fit, but I’m really happy with the film. I was very tentative about the Colin Winkelmann section, but everyone really opened up, and it’s one of the most powerful segments in the movie. Same with Mirra and Nyquist when they talked about the falling-out that they had. One other difficult thing was knowing when to say “stop,” as far as the story goes. There are so many riders moving in, moving out, skateparks in flux… Greenville is a moving target. The story is constantly evolving.
Some people consider Greenville a “training ground” of sorts, or try to clown it for that reason. Do you touch on that or try to dispel that at all?
Yeah, that’s covered in the film really well. The guys may ride a lot, but in all the years I’ve been going there, it’s never seemed like training to me. If people had all of those amazing spots to ride, I’d imagine that they would ride a lot, too. But if you think the ramps get sessioned hard in Greenville, try the bars at night. Everyone in that town can party like crazy.
Any idea who coined the term “Pro Town”?
I think I get the blame for that one. I was doing a scene report on Greenville in the March 2001 issue of Ride, and I remember staring at the photos trying to think of a title that would work. It made sense at the time.
When will Pro Town be available?
The premiere is happening on January 7th in Greenville, and hopefully there will be an all-ages showing the next day. There will be copies for sale at the premiere, too.
Thanks, anything you wished to add before we wrap this?
I’d just like to thank everyone who helped out on this project. So many people helped out simply because they wanted the story told, and told right, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of the help.