Everyone that has ever been part of the long and strenuous process of making a DVD/Full Length video with your crew or sponsor will understand the pain and torment of fitting the pieces together for your own part, from getting that all important ender to planning out every single clip. A video part ender can seriously haunt you, it can be misery to film and endure and at the same time – but when the dust has settled, it can cement your name in BMX history.
Riders always handle the ender in various ways, some like to get it out of the way and concentrate on the rest of their section, while others leave it sitting on their shoulders for months and months. Building up the courage and battling the mental issues to finally do it. But you know what they say - the sweet is never sweet without the sour.
We asked the Common Crew to talk about their experiences that came along with filming for Monster Mash, their first full length DVD.
"I knew I wanted my ender on the Hollywood 16. When the day finally came to handle what I had in mind for weeks we got word that the set was chained off at the bottom. This school actually lets you rent the stair set/rail as a Hollywood movie set so instead of ever capping it they just chain it up until someone pays for the filming rights for a day. The plan was too engraved into our heads; nothing was going to stop us. So we got bolt cutters and a construction kit (to make it look like we belonged there with bolt cutters) the day of and headed there. There were multiple chains to cut and a valet officer watching us. In between him parking his cars, with Scott Marceau as our double angle/look out - we cut the chains as secretly as possible one by one. He eventually understood what we were doing and called the cops. While that was happening I was at the top of the set looking at the rail to see if I can do what I was planning and decided ‘alright let's do it’. I was up there for probably 15 minutes being a pussy and made a bet with some skater that was trying to ollie over the fence that if I sent it right now that he would too. I went back, peddled, and handled the clip. Moments after, the cops show up and ask us if we cut the chains and we said that it wasn't us and it was 'probably the skaters' because it was coincidentally Go Skateboarding day. They let us go and then I lost the cutters." - JA
"The day that we went to get Ethan's banger, we had to make it quick so that Ethan could get back to Huntington in time for work. The spot was about 40 minutes away with 110 degrees of heat outside. We took two cars out to the spot, but on the freeway my car started billowing smoke due to a blown radiator and we had to pull over and wait an hour while Denim worked in the heat to patch the issue so we could make it to the spot. We barely made it without the car overheating again and Ethan was stressing pretty hard about sending himself down this colossal handrail. Knowing Ethan, he pulled it together, grinded the rail twice warming up for the actual move. Third go laced it perfectly and made it back home in time for work." - CE
"Denim's banger takes place at an iconic, heavily trafficked flat ledge spot right in the heart of our hometown of Huntington Beach. Denim doesn't really ride ledges but next to the spot is an absolutely monstrous 13 flat 13 stair fully equipped with several kinked rails. Hundreds of riders and skaters have walked up and down the staircase but I've never heard as much as a rumor about anyone looking at the rails, let alone grinding one. Around 2013-14 the setup began calling his name and when this type of thing happens with Denim, he has a very hard time saying no whether he's scared or not. He knows the spots asking for it and he's just got to get her done, so after a million speed tests and a boat load of peer pressure he decided he was ready to try his move. The run up wasn't exactly ideal back then (you had to dodge a bench and pedal through some grass if I remember correctly) but he had dealt with worse in the past, so he wasn't stressing on it too bad. That day he went for his trick, clipped a rail support/upright and went 26 stairs to his chest, miraculously he had no serious injuries but walked away swearing he was never touching the spot again.
Fast forward 2-3 years and we're back at the same school filming with Tak Kamihagi on a different setup just a few hundred feet away. Denim just so happened to roll by the rail and notice that the grass and bench (the two key things making the run up sketchy) were all gone. As fate would have it, the school put in a perfectly paved cement runway just a couple months before we planned to wrap up the DVD. Denim already had a banger but here he was again, standing at the top of the set while it called out his name. The Universe wanted to see him conquer this goddamn rail and he knew it but believe me when I say he wasn't excited. Matter a fact, he was visibly angry after he saw the perfect run up (remember how I said he can't say no in these types of situations). This time around it didn't take much convincing, after strapping a helmet on and roughly 15 speed tests (both uncharacteristic of Denim) it was game on. He charged the rail and sent it, got on and rode it out first try but came off the bottom kink just a tad bit sideways. It wasn't perfect but even with our high standards it was 100% useable. Everyone lost it, we absolutely could not believe what our eyes just witnessed, we all chased after him to celebrate but without saying a word he turned around, rode right passed us, ran up the set and did it again. This time it was 10/10 and he had landed it flawlessly. Battle over. If you've seen the video, this clip is without a doubt engraved into your brain. If you haven't, buy a copy today because this clip alone is worth the $12. Shout out to Denim for handling the spots nobody else wants to and giving them exactly what they're asking for." -SAUCE
Denim and Julian working out a trick for trick deal on this rail we randomly found. Denim's hanger for Julian's feeble (both seen in the Monster Mash trailer). Denim had a couple hilarious mess ups that thankfully didn't result in any injuries, then he got it. Shortly after Julian handled his feeble first try after we convinced him it was cool enough to film. THEN once the trailer went live Peep Game lord Steve-O called Denim out (in good fun) on twitter for that hanger being a BK ABD. We didn't know, we suck at BMX history. His part was already formatted, edited, and flowed. His song ended right at the perfect time and I wasn't gonna change that. So taking it out would have pushed forward the editing deadline, resulting in no DVD's for sale at our premiere. We couldn't have that so instead I snuck in a BK shout out during post production right as the hanger is happens. I'm sure if you watch the video enough times you can find it. - FC
"My dentist and I are real tight after he's seen me go through twenty facial stitches, four destroyed teeth, and several nice concussions. I was probably his most valuable customer up until the insurance company dropped my ass after running through a years worth of benefits in a few months. On a spontaneous post Christmas Arizona trip I took out both front teeth first damn try - first damn day - on what we later figured out was a Garrett Reynolds ABD. There was really no time to even look at the spot and think about if anything had been done before this fucking ASU coach asshole started screaming at us before we even saw him. In spite of the guy, Frank and Sauce whipped out the cameras and I started cranking at this wall kinker and did a lazy ass hop to lazy ass ice that sent me OTB straight to my front teeth. I think we found one tooth and the tooth fairy gave like six bucks for it or something. Haha, good times." -DC
"Me and Francis decided to go on a solo mission but the problem was, it was a weekday. We agreed to try to ride UCLA and packed up my drop top Miata and drove straight there. We parked in a neighborhood of frat houses that was full of hills, so I was already excited to get out and bomb them. We get out and I realise that Francis only has a penny board to cruise around on and he wasn't down to bomb all the hills on it with all his camera gear so I just hopped on it and sent it. I ate shit really hard, it was funny. We cruise in the campus and immediately found setups I was stoked on so we got to it. I ended up getting about 5 clips for the DVD that day that I was super stoked on. You can actually tell in the video what clips are from that day because it was about 110 degrees, so I have 5 shirtless sweaty baldhead clips in a row. Me and Francis really work well together in situations like that. We like to pretend we're Garrett Reynolds and Tony Ennis, LOL". -EC
"The day Denim got his pre banger was insane, we all drove out to long beach and went to this gap wall he's been wanting to do. Two people had attempted this wall ride in the past (Devon Smillie and Dan Kruk) and it didn't go so good, so we were eager (but confident) to see if the third try was the charm. As Denim eyed up the spot the building manager comes out and bitches for a bit then gives the classic "I’ll call the cops" so we all went back to the van and talked for a bit about how we should handle the situation. Z and Krejmas had met up to help film/shoot a photo so the squad was rolling pretty deep. As much as everyone wanted to be there to cheer Denim on we decided it was best for everyone who wasn't shooting a photo or filming to stay behind. Denim, Z, Krejmas and Francis proceeded to go back to the spot. It was about 15 minutes of waiting before we hear a victory scream come from around the corner. Denim had pulled it- first try! We all got in the van, reviewed the footage then got the hell out of there." - JC
"I first met Francis at a Full Factory jam about two years ago. One day Francis randomly hit me up and asked me if I wanted to me meet up out in Huntington and film for a web video, so that weekend me and my bud Chris drove down and met up with THEE common crew. We had to wait for the rest of the boys to show up, so Francis showed us all the sections in the DVD and I was blown away. We started meeting up every weekend filming for this web video and one day Francis asked me if I wanted to have a section in the DVD and after seeing everyone else's footage, I was honored to be tossed in the mix. I told him I was down, not knowing that filming for this DVD would give me some of the most memorable experiences of my life." -AS
One of the deals that stands out to me the most was between Alec and Julian. There is this spot- pretty semi famous, not too far from my house that I thought would be perfect for Alec to switch whip. The spot isn’t exactly 'forgiving' so its safe to say Alec wasn’t immediately down. It took some forceful convincing and some out-sourcing. I asked Alec 'what if I convince Julian to fakie hop the same set in exchange for your switch whip?' After that was said he was leaning more towards a yes but deep down he wanted to say 'fuck off Francis I ain’t doing that', after all it is way easier to just not switch whip a spot your semi-afraid of. Within a few seconds of Alec’s sorta deal approval I called Julian and said 'yo Alec just promised he would switch whip this spot if you fakie hop it'. I was lying, Alec was nowhere near close to a promise, but hey it motivated Julian to say yes. Alec was in the room with me for this phone call so that was pretty funny. Once Julian agreed Alec had to jump on board for the sake of not being pussy. I kind of lied to motivate them in their own ways but oh well, it was worth it haha. Shout out to both my boys for being savages and handling the spot with ease. - FC