DIRECTOR'S CUT - The Story Behind The LUX Aeterna DVD
"Fuck, it was exciting" - MIke Vockenson
Chapter 1: The right place at the right time.
It was around 2009 and a new indoor skatepark had just opened up in Brisbane. One night, myself and Samson (who features in Aeterna and who’s been one of my longest running BMX friends) were having a yarn with Mitch Wood (LUX co-owner) when he excitedly told us that he and a partner were going to start a bike shop in Brisbane and call it LUX. Fast forward ten years and that shop is still here and has expanded—as in, expanded to where LUX is now a huge part of the BMX scene.
Not up until 2016 was the idea of a DVD seriously contemplated. During a team birthday dinner one night, Mitch tantalisingly dangled the idea of a DVD to gauge interest. Obviously, the idea was devoured. I found myself in the right place at the right time and, importantly, with enough motivation to take control of the project. We spoke about logistics, the format, and who would be willing to work on full parts (which changed quite a lot throughout, ha). There was even a travel budget which, at the time, seemed incredible to me. This was the real deal.
Chapter 2: Fuck, it was exciting.
Growing up on Props, the idea of being able to work on a full-length project, having the resources to travel with, and having back-end assistance from Mitch (who is a tech wizard), this project was honestly a dream come true. Plus, it wasn’t just under the Crispy banner, this was for LUX. I had to put on my big-boy serious hat.
Anyway, there are a few things worth pointing out which people may not know or understand about this all.
"This scared the shit outta me, but man, the feeling of riding away is like no other."
Chapter 3: This ain’t no large scale production.
BMX in Australia is healthy and always growing; however, there is hardly an industry to speak of and very few riders who can get any kind of monetary support. What I’m getting at is that, all the guys—especially those who filmed full parts—put in a lot of work. It took thirty months to make the video as we filmed everything by going out one day a week, at best. I have a wife and a house to look after and I work full-time—as do most of the team riders. As a result, we had to make the most of the time we had. Also, I live a couple hours north of most of the dudes. We really hustled. Respect to the undying devotion and passion the guys shared in working on the project—it would have been a struggle otherwise.
Chapter 4: Eye to eye.
It was scary being given the reigns to something which ultimately was not mine. When I make something, I have a very particular way of doing so and I was a bit worried about having to change my style to suit the needs of others. So, after having edited some snippets and showing the LUX guys, hearing them stoked was unbelievably gratifying. It made me feel confident in taking the project in the direction I was envisioning—which was especially important in terms of the soundtrack. I also had the green light to use my shitty old Sonys, as well as (to the slight reluctance of Mitch) Final Cut Pro 7.
" What I’m getting at is that, all the guys—especially those who filmed full parts—put in a lot of work. It took thirty months to make the video as we filmed everything by going out one day a week, at best."
Chapter 5: We travelled.
Australia is a big, arid, and beautiful place. It takes five hours to fly from one side to the other. I don’t know how many flights we took, but the DVD includes footage from all eight states and territories—which I’m really proud of. Usually the trips would be on a whim. I’d group message a few dudes, get the green light from LUX, and voilà, we’d be on our way. It’s such an incredible feeling to be in a foreign place with your friends and working together on a project that is basically comprised of exploring new cities. To make sure I got all places ticked off the list, I even swindled a cheeky clip or two (including the bathroom scene at the start of my part) with my wife on my honeymoon at Alice Springs (the dead centre of Australia).
To close, I feel very lucky to have the strong support of LUX in making this DVD, as well as to have a team of dudes who are equally passionate. This will be something I can look back on and be proud of and there ain’t nothing more I could ask for. Enjoy.
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