Q&A: Stew Johnson / Holy Fit

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HOLY FIT is upon us. 3 years in the making, head up by Stew Johnson and loaded with FIT’s cast of shredders and legends. Buy this video.

As always, Stew Johnson was kind enough to take some questions from me, so click below to read what he has to say about HOLY FIT. He also whipped up a new trailer to go aong with this.

Click below for Q&A and trailer.


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Stew, congrats on completing another full length video. How many does this make it?

Thanks, Nuno. I’m not really sure how many full length videos I’ve done over the years, I guess it depends on if you count Props issues, Passports, special releases, etc. I’ll just say lots. If you don’t count Props stuff, then I’ve probably made about 10 full length dvds.

Let’s start off with the title of this bad boy. How did the name “Holy Fit” come about? Who coined it?

We had been searching for a name for this DVD ever since we started filming, and nothing ever really clicked. There was a group text making the rounds for a while, and a lot of terrible suggestions were tossed around, mostly joking, and Holy Fit was one of them. Then, for some reason, it just came back around and stuck. I don’t actually remember who suggested it. The idea was that people would hopefully say “Holy shit” when they saw some of the moves that went down in the DVD, and obviously that play on words gave us a lot to work with.

I assume that art direction and branding was a no brainer once that name popped up. Did the name help you?

The name definitely dictated the art direction for this project. It also gave me a theme to run with as far as the trailer and intro to the video, which was really fun to work on.

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How long has this video been in the making and did you see it all the way through?

We started this project in the spring of 2011, so we’ve been working on this thing for approximately three and a half years. Van was really anxious to start another FIT full length DVD, and he convinced Moeller that I should be the guy to do it. It was a little intimidating getting asked to make a video for a hugely respected brand like FIT, who has some of the most legendary riders in BMX, but it was an exciting opportunity that I immediately said yes to. I’ve been in charge of the project from the beginning, but I’ve had a lot of help with people contributing footage, which is always nice because you can’t be everywhere at once.

Did you approach this video any different than previous projects?

I don’t think that I necessarily approached this video any different than past projects that I’ve worked on. Basically, you just start planning as many trips as you can and just get out there on the road and put in the miles and the hours and keep at it. As you get more and more footage under your belt, the personality of the video will start to become more apparent.

Eventually, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long haul for sure, but the final result is always worth all the hard work.

Who has full parts?

Shawn McIntosh, Jordan Hango, Ben Lewis, Dan Conway, Jack Elkins, Justin Spriet, Van Homan, Brian Foster and Tom Dugan all have full parts. Justin Inman, Mike Aitken, Cristian Porras, Florent Soulas, Pat King, Jared Swafford, Brandon Begin, and Matt Nordstrom all have a substantial amount of clips too. And that’s not to mention more of the flow team. FIT is a big family and I think this video represents it well.

Any major ball ups during production?

The only major ball up during the production of this video was when Van broke his leg. But that wasn’t even on a FIT filming trip. Luckily for us, Van is extremely motivated and he had a lot of clips in the bank before the injury. Upon his return, he got some of his heaviest clips, without even skipping a beat.

I’ve seen the video, and you can tell the dudes put in work. Who racked up the most footage?

It would probably be a toss up between Dan Conway and Shawn McIntosh. Those dudes are so productive and would come away from each trip with more than enough clips in the bag. We made good use of all our extra footage, coming out with plenty of web content along the way. More leftovers will be trickling out via the FIT Instagram over the next couple of months.

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I can’t get over Van Homan’s part. It’s incredible and the song works so well. Van’s legacy is already cemented and this is just icing on the cake. What else is there to say about that guy?

There isn’t much to say about Van that hasn’t already been said. He’s a BMX icon for good reason, he’s been in the game forever and is still riding at an insanely high level. He has an amazing work ethic and he still enjoys riding bmx as much as he ever has. Van shows up on time, handles his business and is a total professional in every aspect. He loves BMX and appreciates all the opportunities that have been given to him. He’s driven and he’s passionate, everything that you’d want from a rider that you’re working with on a project.

This video has a classic Stew Johnson soundtrack. Did you pick all the songs or were some suggested?

I’d say that I picked about 80% of the soundtrack, but some of the guys came to me with suggestions and we hashed it out until we came up with something that we could agree on. As far as I’m concerned, music is almost as important as the riding itself. Obviously, music tastes are subjective, but I hope that everyone is into the soundtrack as much as I am. I think it works well and has a great feel to it.

How will the video be packaged?

This is going to be a physical DVD, sold everywhere that FIT products are sold. The packaging itself is amazing, the DVD comes housed inside of a hardback Bible complete with 200 pages of color photographs taken from our filming trips. People are going to be stoked on this thing!

Would you say this video is sort of FIT’s “coming back” party? Not that it ever went away, but this video will put the whole crew out there in a big way. People will get to know the new guys better and enjoy OG guys at work in a new video.

The FIT team has had some big changes over the last few years and I think that people will be stoked to see a new FIT release that showcases the newer guys along side the classic FIT team riders. In my opinion, this crew is one of the most diverse teams in BMX and they killed it on all sorts of terrain. I feel that Holy FIT really shows what the current FIT crew is all about and it solidifies FIT as one of the most respected teams in BMX today. It’s definitely a big moment for the FIT brand to show the world that we’ve been out here all along, still riding hard and having fun, doing what FIT’s always done.

Thanks Stew, anything you’d like to add before we wrap this up?

I’d just like to say thanks to Van Homan and Chris Moeller for giving me the opportunity to work on such an awesome project. It truly is an honor. Also, thanks to everyone who was involved with this video in any way, from the riders to the contributing filmers and all the people that showed us their spots and gave us a place to sleep. And lastly I’d like to thank everyone who works at FIT. Moeller has a solid crew over there and they do a kick ass job behind the scenes. Thanks!

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