There have been a lot of talk and rumors amongst the BMX community about Cinema over the last year or so, all of which were quickly put straight once the 'District of Cinema' video from Washington, D.C. was dropped, leaving the web editors pretty much speechless in their online descriptions. One thing is for sure, much like a great band in music, you simply don't create these brands out of nowhere; Instead, a brand creates itself as the crew falls into place over time, and the look and feel that each rider brings to the table forms that single cohesive image.
Looking back to the formative years of the Cinema team it seemed crazy that the brand somehow managed to get the best riders together to form a 'Super Team' when in fact it was much more organic than that. With Wil Stroud in place, as a well-versed team manager and filmer, it all seemed to come together naturally over the years. As Cinema grew, Will's vision of the brand shone through as a group of amazing friends who just happen to be some of the best riders in the world joined together on one team. Will still remains as the driving force behind the brand and continues to only add people who he personally believes in, wants to work with, and sees as a friend and family member instead of just another rider.
With the recent change of guard for Cinema, a briefly dimmed spotlight and was turned back on and the lights are brighter than ever giving Will and the riders what they always wanted Cinema to be, a close group of friends traveling and feeding off each other's raw talents. This could never be more clear than now with the team's recent trip to D.C. and the subsequent re-launch of the brand. It was something that had been discussed by the team backstage for sometime and was the light that each member involved held onto during the dark days of the brand and continue to believe in today. The stage lights are back on Cinema with more than just a fresh look and new products but rather a renewed energy and excitement for all involved.
Going into this trip was slightly different than others for myself. For one I had never been on a full blown Cinema trip and on the back end wasn’t sure what to fully expect. Was I jumping into a new Cinema that was going to be a non-stop workhorse or was this going to be something much more than just we need to film as much as possible to help sell as much product as possible? Was D.C. even going to be good for us? We all know the East Coast spring weather can go from snow to sun at the drop of a hat, and the amazing looking spots also come with some of the roughest ground. I've have been on those trips with other brands before and simply don’t care for the bitter taste they leave on my camera, be it weather, too much pressure from the back end for impossible results or spots far from what they seem. Luckily with Will at the helm and having Cinema’s man behind the scenes, Harley Hasket, I had a feeling it would be one that left me and my camera happier than ever. And not to mention the amazing crew of friends and riders I was going to be photographing. I was excited to say the least to see just what this new light had in store for the crew.
From the jump it was clear Cinema wasn’t playing around. They knew what the team and BMX wanted, and provided just the light it needed. I walked into a house full of good spirits; Chad rapping and doing his thing, Dak talkative and more positive then ever, Corey cooking up some food, Garrett sipping on a Modelo and Will with a look of huge relief and pleasure on his face. There was of course one thing missing. Nathan who decided to make a boss move and schedule a 24 hour layover at home after being on the road for over a month (I guess you have to go home and walk your dog every once in a while). As everyone looked through the spots Brian Kachinsky had shared, it was obvious he had been searching hard and spots would not be an issue.
Chad was keeping the spirits high on day one as we all jumped in the van. Shortly thereafter we rolled up to the first spot which proved to be one for the books. We ended up spending the entire day there with each dude feeding off the other and somehow building upon what they had already filmed. Somewhere around late afternoon Nathan ended up rolling up in a Lyft, looked at the spot in amazement, built his bike and after just a short bit of cruising around hopped right into things filming an amazing line. With the first full day spent all at one spot and followed by a night of fun certainly set the pace for the rest of the trip. It seemed we spent the majority of each day at one spot with Dak, Nathan, Corey, Garrett and Chad feeding off one another in between the laughter and good times. Even on the days we went directly to the center of D.C., we ended up going no more than just a few blocks making sure everyone got the time they wanted at each spot.
Really what more could you ask for? BK had some amazing spots, the weather was looking good with the exception of one day and the band was finally all given the light they needed and deserved. Of course this trip like any other brought on it's own battles. I somehow got sicker then I had been in years the second and third day, and unfortunately Will and Dak ended up catching something too, and had to spend the last couple days in bed at the house. The area we were staying in, as nice as it was, simply didn’t know what to think of us as the eyes seemed to open every time we all walked for coffee or dinner. But whats new? We have to face it as BMX riders, we all operate in some sort of grey area others will never truly understand. Maybe that's just what makes it all work and all worthwhile. We are all capable of navigating these murky grey areas, finding the light and making it through any battle the streets may throw at us. Whether that's horrible ground right before a big set up, the blaring sun, being sick or getting stares for days, we let this affect us. On this trip it was always about what fun time or spot was next, as everyone was just happy to all be back on the road together. After all isn’t that what BMX truly is? Working past the battles with your friends to achieve what you see possible on your bike all while having way fun doing it? Looking back on it now all I can think of is what's next. I for one am ready, right this second, to jump back in the van and talk shit while enjoying shooting photos of my friends. -KC