OH WELL: How to Half-Ass a DVD... in a good way

"You see, I have a personal distaste for web videos..."

28 Oct 2014

Zack Gerber BMX OH WELL CM-1

There’s always a first time for everything. Zack gets 2 first times with his first triple kink ice.

Photos by Chris Marshall Words by Zack Gerber / Jakes Coulson / Alex Hetrick

Zack Gerber

I've had quite some time to think about how to start off describing “Oh Well" but it's still something I can't describe. Maybe half assed with good intentions would be the best way to put it. That's probably the closest I can come to describing what our motives were. Probably explains why we called it “Oh Well."

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The beginning of the ill-fated DVD began in New Jersey. It honestly started when I front flipped the rail at Rutgers. You see I have a personal distaste for web videos. I feel they aren't something that'll last. You get your few hours of shine, and then it's on to the next one. I may be dating myself here, but I like tangible things. Something I can show someone without being connected to the Internet. With Jake Coulson and Alex Hetrick already there with me, we decided from that point on to make a DVD. Essentially, it was a combination of wanting to create something, despite being half assed, we could look back on and enjoy, and also not wanting to let a clip of that caliber go to waste on the internet.

Zack Gerber BMX OH WELL CM-3

Zacks’ got smith pop outta’ the ass. Smith to rail hop.

The next year proceeded to be the most feeble attempt at making a DVD I could imagine. Originally, Hetrick used to live with me in Columbus, OH. However, within a few weeks of returning from NJ he returned home to seek greater career opportunities. As you can imagine, having someone who originally was supposed to have a full part in our video was now living five hours away made filming difficult.

It wasn't until Chris Marshall came to stay with me for a week that anything got done. Hetrick made the drive out to Columbus, and our other friend Eric Umbarger really didn't go in on anything until Chris was here. Maybe he needed that Kodak courage. Either way, that one-week was when a majority of clips were filmed for Hetrick, Eric, Jake and myself.

After Chris left, Hetrick went home, Eric spent more time hanging out at spots and while we all filmed each other, more times than not Jake and I would have to film each other. From the beginning, none of us were experienced with the finer points of videography. It was more of, “hey, point the camera at me and press record" kind of thing. This is obvious. It's filmed terribly, and only Jake and I have full parts. While we were supposed to film for a year, it ended up only being about a five-week effort. One week in NJ, one week in OH, and two weeks in FL. The other week was miscellaneously spent filming throughout the summer. Holes in sections were just filled with random clips of friends I had acquired while out riding with friends or on road trips.

Zach Gerber BMX OH WELL CM 1

Before the 50/50 skatepark premiere the crew decided to ride Staten Island. Unfortunately we got rained out but Alex Avilla came through with this amazing covered spot. Zack ‘jibs’ around with this fakie hop suicide.

"I admit it was egotistical of me to put myself last. That's an ass move but it was either that or have my section first and then the flip as the ender of the video. That seemed a little weird." - Zack Gerber

Now you know we don't have a budget. We aren't a team. We're just a group of friends trying to make something together. We all had already knew that “Oh Well" wasn't going to be anything, so we kept it cheap and we kept it local. Jake and I burned copies of the video out of my Mac. We joked about buying DVD + R's so people could burn over the DVD. We stayed up to about 3am burning copies. About a third of them didn't work. I had to go through every copy to see if they worked properly. A local bike shop asked us to do a premiere, so we decided to do a little jam, too. We brought down some ledges and rails, and setup up in the parking lot. I was surprised how many people actually showed up. We didn't expect anyone to show. Thankfully with a little help from the dudes at The Daily Grind we had some product to give out, and we bought some food to cook, too. The jam and premiere turned out pretty successful. We made enough money to pay for the gas to our second premiere at 5050 skatepark in Staten Island.

The 5050 premiere was awesome, we also managed to film a few clips out east, and over all it was a pretty good learning experience. As half assed, unorganized, terribly filmed and put together our video was the end result was still what we all had hoped for. A home burned DVD+R video that we could hold onto and share the memories for years to come. At least we can always look back and get a good laugh out of the video. - Zack Gerber

Jake Coulson

Jake Coulson BMX OH WELL CM-1

Only sixteen at the time Jake Coulson comes through with his first crank arm on a real handrail and his banger from ‘OH Well’.

"Zack and I stayed up late one night burning the video onto 50 DVD's and writing dumb shit on all of them." - Jake Coulson

As Zack says he whole thing for the 'Oh Well video' came up basically after he did that crazy fucking front flip over the rail in Jersey. Pretty much 15 minutes after he did that we got back to Marshall's car then as we were pulling out of the parking lot Zack said we should do a video. So all the stuff we filmed out in Jersey on that trip became the beginning of 'Oh Well'. At one point Zack got some sick camera he was originally going to start using for a capture cam but that never happened. So that camera became some Dad cam that we would bring around to film B roll when we weren't riding. When Zack finally started editing the video, that took probably like a day. We went and bought all the DVD's and then Zack and I stayed up late one night burning the video onto 50 DVD's and writing dumb shit on all of them. I'm pretty sure like 15 of the DVD's got ruined in the making. - Jake Coulson

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Alex Hetrick

Alex Hetrick BMX OH WELL CM

Alex Hetrick fires out a gap to switch crook to pop out 180. Oh Well...

It's hard for me to explain something that is not just a DVD but a section of my life. It was more or less just having fun with old friends and getting wild with some new ones. What you guys got to see is like eating one slice of pizza, but me I got the whole damn pie! It was pretty sick filming for a DVD. I never really put out web edits because they are basically used for people to tell you what your doing wrong. I was into filming for something that was actually real the fact that I can hold our work and good times in my hands is a lot more true to me than some video that I open on a page online. It gives me something to look forward. I learned a new appreciation for filming for sure. Wait till you see what's next. Keep 'ya eyes peeled! - Alex Hetrick

"What you guys got to see is like eating one slice of pizza, but me... I got the whole damn pie!" - Alex Hetrick

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