First off, let’s welcome HUCKER to the Vans team. Yep! Makes total sense. Congrats dude.
Second off, click below to check out his welcome edit along with a Q&A with Justin Kosman (who produced it). Now!
Q&A With Justin Kosman:
So… Hucker and Vans! Makes total sense. What was your reaction when you first heard about this, considering you will be working with him more now?
When Badders told me the new deal, I was psyched for sure. Dak and Hucker are perfect examples of the Vans lifestyle image. Surf, skate and BMX. I’ve known Mike for about ten years, from the days at Sheep when I first moved to California and now to him being on Red Bull, Skullcandy, S&M and Vans – he’s a legend for sure. He’s always been great to work and he’s earned everything he has.
I think everyone loves Hucker. Got any good stories about working with him?
I think the best stories about Mike are the ones that he tells you on long road trips. On his bike, I saw him charge a flip whip to oppo 7, to regular 7 at the old Hidden Valley Trails and then him telling me that oppo 720s were easier for him. I’m sure I shook my head and was just confused at that statement. But when you take a step back and look at his influences of surfing and skating and riding sheep with BMX legends in the 90’s, it all kind of makes sense. I’m a firm believer that people are made, not born. I’m sure he was a sponge back in the day just like every other kid, he just happened to have Butler, Barspinner, Miranda and Nasty as his influences. And I have to mention this as well- he’s got a solid family. I’ve got to give them props for trusting me to bring back their son in one piece from every shoot and letting Mike follow his success while he’s still living at home. It’s pretty awesome that they get to experience Mike’s adventures along with him.
You were in charge of his “Welcome” edit, which I liked very much! Feel good vibes and was very much HUCKER. Most “welcome” edits are a barrage of riding, but this was different. What was your approach heading into it?
As awesome as our sport/culture is, I really don’t get the chance to do something this simple and authentic very often. When Badders asked me to put something together for Hucker I had an idea of what I thought would match his personality. I picked him up at 9am and we rode over to Beach Break Cafe in Huntington and I put a microphone on him while we ate breakfast and I just had him tell me about the beginning- from growing up in Orange County, riding Sheep, fishing, his family, surfing. He was so happy. At this time in his life having just won best rider at RB Roast It and getting on Vans and riding for the people’s brand BMX frame- S&M. Of course we’re going to film him doing bar rides all around HB- that’s what he does. That’s where he grew up. That’s what BMX is to him. BMX is simple.
Tabron and I have this reoccurring discussion about simplicity being a worthy goal- because once you take away all the whips and barspins, what are you left with? Some might call it style. Of course there is a time and place for contest tricks and back-to-back bangers, but it is interesting to see what’s left when you start taking things away. We had plans to get some dirt jumping as well in the afternoon and we were split between checking out Sheep or going to Riverside. Even when Sheep Hills is “good” it’s never really “good” haaha. After everything that we had shot and talked about that morning it became more and more important to shoot the whole thing in HB and get his riding at Sheep Hills. Thank god “Tits” was running and we were able to film Mike riding his childhood trail spot. Sheep could be gone tomorrow- and it’s easy to forget because it’s been around for so long.
Did Vans just let you run with whatever you wanted to do, or did you have to pitch the idea?
Since this was a project for the BMX site, I just went at it on my own. I sent in a sample and ended up taking out a couple bar rides and adding in the 360 can-can x-up for the final version. But it’s 90% of what the rough cut version.
Was it difficult getting certain shots around HB?
I was in HB the week before getting some stuff sorted out with a new rc helicopter pilot and ended up scouting and shooting b-roll of the beach, palms trees, and murals around HB that afternoon. When Mike returned from NZ I had a rough game plan and some establishing shots so we could keep moving all day and get the meat and potatoes without waiting on me to shoot from flags in the wind. I had just one backpack and we rode out bikes to all the spots.
What equipment did you use?
I used the Sony FS700 and the Canon 5Dmk3 for a couple shots. A lot of it is mixed 24p and 30p and one 60p clip in there too. Lenses: Canon 16-35, Rokinon 8mm, Sony 50 1.8, and Canon TSE45mm.
Thanks Kosman! Anything you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
I’d just like to personally welcome Hucker to the Vans team – he’s one of the riders who always seems to bring everyone together for whatever reason so there are only good things to come.
Bonus question – Likeliness of Hucker doing a bar ride right now?
He’s either zooming a bar ride or fishing with his brother.