Éclat 'Salvation' - The DNA Of Web Video
Breaking Down The 1's and 0's
Words and photos by Éclat TM Paul Robinson
If you trace the DNA of the BMX web edit right back to a time when a QuickTime video file embedded in an iframe was everything then you may remember that it was also the dawn of an era of ‘boring titled’ BMX videos on the internet. We came from VHS, we adopted DVD and then we didn’t really know what to do with the web. I think it went something like; you take the name of the brand and the name of the country or city you visit and throw in the middle the word ‘In’ and then you have your video title. It’s just like riding a bike.
Back in those golden days you could visit those countries and you could create original videos because they were still relatively fresh ideas or locations, the internet was not flooded with millions of BMX videos and you could still stand out and make an impression by going to somewhere like Japan, Iceland or China for example. I’ve known for a long time that BMX trips are so important, they don’t just improve team moral, or transport the riders to new spots and form new memories but they also generate the content you need to promote whatever it is you are doing. So everyone’s happy.
"It’s fascinating to think of how the web changed everything, I am often a little too obsessed by it all to be frank."
- Paul Robinson
It’s fascinating to think of how the web changed everything, I am often a little too obsessed by it all to be frank. One of the first trips I went on as a team manager was to Tenerife, after the trip I remember thinking about a title for the video and how I didn’t want it to be boring. We ended up using a random title and I felt at the time it sort of separated the video from everything else that was online at the time, gave it some substance I guess. As soon as it hit the media though everyone just titled it pretty much along the line of the brand that went to Tenerife. There was no escaping that one.
So do the viewers really care anymore where riders go? Are they thinking “Damn I want to watch that new Devon Smillie edit because he’s in Scotland”, probably not. It’s still concrete under his wheels you know? Brands travel though, its what we do, and if your project is a full length or something unique then you need variety in your final video, that makes sense. The web changed a lot of things though and it’s only when you think really hard about it do you realize it’s totally changed you as well.
"You take the name of the brand and the name of the country or city you visit and throw in the middle the word ‘In’ and then you have your video title. It’s just like riding a bike."
- Paul Robinson
Back in February, when it was cold and we needed to get out on the road to anywhere that had sun, I started to think of places we could go and every place I thought of I realised someone else had been there, of course they had, it's 2016, what was I thinking!? Then I thought about how we always think about where we are going and not actually about what we are doing. To me it’s about always doing things differently, even if its doing it in a place that’s been done to death. I used to hate the thought of going to Barcelona because every crew and rider ever has been there but actually it's not where you go it's what you do and that only changed because I stopped seeing a point in creating these trip style videos. The web helped by giving us more options when it comes to distribution. When the web started to really change things was when it gave us streams and avenues of reach, it gave us incredible ways to promote our brand through digital channels, but in a very basic and human way we went through the motion and carried on doing what we do, which is get on a plane and go ride a new country. It’s like built into our genes.
Phoenix is a city that has been hit by the hardest of pro’s over decades, it’s no stranger to peg abuse and as it’s kinda on the doorstep of Cali it’s a perfect place to go tripping. Years ago I might have said no, but since the web changed things it also changed the way I think about traveling and doing projects with riders. Together with the crew we started to plan a video series, we started to think about what we needed and we thought about a topic and a style and before we knew it we didn’t even care where we were going. I don’t think you should always care about where you go, just care about what you do there. - PR
"We came from VHS, we adopted DVD and then we didn’t really know what to do with the web."
- Paul Robinson
" I don’t think you should always care about where you go, just care about what you do there."- Paul Robinson
Welcome to Miami! Sort of...