Why This Street Innovator Is Still Doing It His Way
Ian Morris Talks Still United
Photos by Fred Murray
In this day and age sending your whole team and a filmer abroad every 2-3 weeks for over two years to film for one end result is probably not the smartest financial decision for a bike company. However, would as much amazing stuff have happened in the past 30 years of riding if everyone had been too scared to push the boat out a little? If we all made decisions that revolved solely around a financial situation then we'd no doubt live in a much more boring world, and that world would probably consist of very few full-length videos. Ian Morris has been at either end of the company owner / pro rider spectrum, pushing street progression and doing his own thing early on, to starting and guiding United through its ten year history. Needless to say someone with that kind of drive knows what they like and luckily for the BMX world that is DVD's! We caught up with Ian and threw some questions his way about the importance of full-length's, what it means for the brand and its riders, the decision to call upon Peter Adam and more.
Why do you think it’s important to put so much time effort and money into a project like this when many other brands go for an continual stream of 3 minute edits?
It’s what I’m into to me it’s what the brand is about I personally feel these 3 minute edits get lost in the mix it’s just another scroll down on your phone or ipad. I really like the fact that the team travel together for over 2 1/2 years hang out in different countries supporting each other to get clips. It’s cool.
How much do you reckon the project has cost to produce? It seems like a pretty major project that flies in the face of the continual doom and gloom predictions for BMX. (We all know those predictions usually come loudest from people who only got into BMX to make money but this time round it’s definitely felt like no-one has escaped it.)
When we started the project a few years back BMX sales were pretty strong but as we got deeper into the project things started to slow down. This made it hard to keep on sending dudes on trips every month.. Imagine 5 riders, a filmer on the road for 10 days every month depending on the location you don’t get much change for $10,000. Flights, van, fuel, food, accommodation etc it soon mounts up.
"... these 3 minute edits get lost in the mix it’s just another scroll down on your phone or ipad."
- Ian Morris
As a brand thats’s always been very loyal to local shops and local scenes does all of the recent online drama give you continued confidence in the path you’ve always taken with United? It seems that you’ve always put integrity ahead of profit. What’s your take on that?
To me it’s important that we support local shops/scenes as that’s where we find our riders for example Jimmy Rushmore through John Dye at Cyclone Cycles back in the day then Harry through Tim Ruck at the Boarding House in Exeter. Getting a rider recommended by shop is a lot more legit than watching a web video and saying we’ll pick him. Every rider is good these days but you need to know if the dude can travel with everyone in the van etc. I really don’t pay any attention to the online drama I’m too busy focusing on what we do as a brand. I’m confident in what we do a s brand so I don’t need to look at what other brands are doing. Every company needs to make a profit otherwise you won’t survive in business but I think integrity equals profit in the long run. Riders can see through brands who don’t have integrity…
You seem to have great loyalty with your crew. Is that part of the thinking behind the ‘Still United’ title?
In the 10 years United has been around the team has stayed 50% the same. We have had some riders go to leave for other brands or a new direction in their life. I’m not looking for constant content from these dudes, I believe in the Less is More theory. I don’t want United to be a revolving door for riders, one in one out kind of deal. I want people to think of United then be able to name the riders on the team and like wise with the riders.
What made you choose Peter Adam for the project and how has it been to work with him?
Originally James Cox was going to make the video as he done most of our videos for the last 6 years including ‘This is United’ but as we started planning the video James decided he wanted to open a tattoo shop with his wife so he couldn’t commit to the project. He did help a ton with the motion graphics and authoring the DVD. My obvious choice was Peter Adam as I’ve been a fan of his work plus we’ve spent sometime together on the road over the years so I knew he was good to travel with. I want to take this opportunity to thank Pete as he put everything into this video and he was a pleasure to work with.
That’s the plan for the release. Will there be a digital download available?
We have our World Premiere at the new Source Park in Hastings this weekend, March 5th then premiere’s are happening all over the world after this. The Building Distribution March 12th, Crying Wolf Bar Nashville March 18th then the Tender Trap in New York March 26th. We also have premiere’s through our distributors all over the world Amsterdam, Lyon, Montpelier, Paris, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Tokyo. Keep an eye on our social media for dates. DVD’s will be on sale worldwide from March 7th through our retailers and distributors. You can pre-order the DVD on our online store as well. A few months down the line you will be able to purchase the video as a digital download.
Anything else you want to add?
I just want to thank the team, Peter Adam and everyone involved in this project. Everyone put in 100% to make this project a reality… Thank you!
The awesome STILL UNITED is available to buy here here on DVD or Digital Download.
Peter Adam and Still United
"BMX will never owe me anything..."