Photos: Ross Penny and Sam King
Mike King is one of those guys who has talent in front and behind a camera. This past year he has caught my attention time and time again with his edits and riding. I highly doubt you haven’t seen one of his edits if you keep up with the daily videos that pop up. I figured after the edit that dropped the other day that it was time for me to get ahold of Mike and ask him a few questions. Check out what Mike has to say, some photos and a bunch of his edits. Don’t forget to leave some love in the comments too!
Name: Mike King
Location: Guildford, UK (just South of London)
Sponsors: Amity Bike Co.
Years Riding: Hmmm, like 8? Jeeeez.
Years Filming and Editing: I guess I started taking it “seriously” about 3 or 4 years ago.
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories come to mind?
There were some trails that got put up a stones throw from my house. There were some older kids down there that used to make me try and jump them every now and again, I had a mountainbike then and I just used to eat shit every time. I blagged my parents into buying me a cheap bmx for Christmas, but I ended up skateboarding for a year or two after that, and more than anything wanted to be a pro at it, before eventually coming back to riding and just got hooked. I loved it more than anything I’d ever done, and definitely never saw it as any kind of “career path” or whatever.
What about filming and editing? Was it something that came about because of BMX, or was it another interest that you tied together?
I found my passion in filming solely from riding actually. My dad had a little digital camera that I used to beg him to let me take down the trails. He got me a cheap camera for Christmas one year and when I finally got
“old enough” to get on the train by myself, I just found myself down the skatepark every single weekend with it. If I wasn’t riding I was trying to take a picture or record a video clip.
How are things going with Amity these days? Care to give us a little info about that brand since it’s fairly new to a lot of people?
Sure, man. I joined Amity in May. I already got on super well with everyone on the team even since I was riding for ZEAL. The company was still relatively new but I liked the stuff and got on well with Marc, the guy who runs the company. He used to BMX back in the day before starting up a few businesses and getting super involved with dirt bikes, then he finally found time to start his own bmx company, and even get back on the bike from time to time too. It’s cool working with him and having someone like that run a company, he knows what’s up on the business side of things and is super passionate about what he does.
I know you have been doing some traveling and what not with the team to film. What does Amity have planned here in 2011? Will there be a DVD, team trips, or anything like that?
We did a few Amity trips this Summer which were an absolute treat, but they were just a great reason to get the team together, shoot a video and have a good time. I think that’s losely what we’ll try to do in 2011, needless to say it’s super important to have a tight team and trips are just a perfect way to get a shit load of material and bring the team closer; we have a couple of new guys so I think there’ll defintiely be some trips next year, we are just starting to look at moving into America too, that should be pretty good. I think it’s still early days for a DVD.
I think it was the FFWD site you run that I first started taking notice of you. What’s that site all about? What can people expect when they check it out?
The site really just started as a place for me to dump the videos I was becoming more and more interested in making. As the site’s traffic started to go up and people started talking about it I guess I just got super motivated to keep doing edits, and update it every day. I was getting good feedback and didn’t really have anything else to do! It just kinda became routine for me, I’d sit down every morning and watch whatever was on the web anyway, so it wasn’t much effort to then throw what was good on FFWD. People enjoyed the videos and checking out the site so that just gave me a buzz to keep putting more into it.
Nowadays I try to keep the site updated with all the stuff I consider to be worth watching, aswell as fresh content when I have time to do so! The site has already grown way beyond I could have ever anticipated, so I couldn’t be happier.
Until I was doing a little stalking for this, I didn’t put you and Sam together. Is film something that runs in the King family or am I just imagining things? Do you have any relation to Dave King who also kills it behind a camera as well?
Hahahahaha. Don’t quit your day job to join the C.I.A, Kurt! Both Sam and Dave are completely unrelated to me! I’ve never actually met Dave, but it just so happened that Sam lived close by and was a whizz at photos and web design, so we got together to make FFWD. Sam has had his own site for quite some time now, in fact, pretty much all the contributors to FFWD have their own sites/brands/projects nowadays, it’s worth checking out what they’re doing on the “Contributors” page.
This year seemed to be real successful for you travel-wise. Where were all of the places you had the chance to go? You made a random trip to California recently, right?
Yeah man, I’ve had a blast. Travelling has always kind of been a thing my group of friends did. It started with going to to Masters in Germany when we all finished school, it was a massive deal at the time, kind of like our first holiday! But it was so much fun it just became an annual tradition, hahaha. After that I guess we just started to go to more and more things in Europe. We couldn’t get enough of it!
From May, I wasn’t tied down by any “9-5 job” so I got away as much as I could afford, filming bits and bobs for what I eventually put out as “Fast Forward – Summer 2010” edit, but just really to enjoy myself and ride. I was lucky enough to visit a bunch of places in Europe and go all over England.
Ha, well, the Cali trip was certainly a last minute thing! Cam Hady has been working super hard on his signature frame and bars with Amity, for months we began arranging numerous trips to Europe to shoot an edit that would launch along with his parts, all of which fell through and kept on getting pushed back, so Cam’s stuff was set to arrive in 10 days time, we still hadn’t done a video and it was December! So Marc told me to book us flights to America, where the weather was a little more promising, I was like ‘Ermmmm… Okay!!’
What’s the plan for 2011? Anywhere in particular you really would like to make it to?
I just wanna continue traveling as much as I can, shooting and riding as much as physically possible! I’d love to go back out to the states for a little longer and see a lot more of it, maybe that’s my plan for escaping the English winter next year! But if I could out do this year, I’d be pretty overwhelemed!
You’re given a van and a big budget. The only rule is you can only bring 5 people. Who do you bring, where do you go, and why?
Ahhh man, that’s tough, aside from all my homies at Amity, I guess it’d have to be Ollie Burston, Josh Wyles, Eisa Bakos, Isaac Lesser and Billy Purcell. All these dudes rule, funny as hell to be around and get a session going anywhere at all! I could laugh all day long with those boys! And I’d probably drive across Europe, as far as the motor can go! People in England bitch 24/7 about it here, but I don’t think there’s many places in the world where you can drive for 3 hours and be in a totally different country, and experience a different culture altogether. I love Europe for that, and I’ve hardly seen any of it!
I know you have had the chance to film for a couple different brands lately. Who all have you done work for? Are you looking to work with more brands at all? How would somebody go about getting you in on a trip or something to film?
Man, it’s always cool to shake things up a bit, and work for new people, the more the merrier! A lot of the time in the past I’ve just been helping friends out with their sponsors, so that’s cool to do. I’d love to work with as many people as possible. This is my life, and the only thing I know how to do, there’s no need for my experiences to stop at Amity. I guess if anyone wants to know what’s up they’ll hit me up on [email protected].
It seems like you have a pretty solid supply of places to ride. Where can you usually be found riding these days?
You’d be suprised, there’s really not a lot to do here in the winter, I’m not always to keen to ride indoor skateparks at weekends, I’m quite happy to just meet up with some bros in the week, then chill at the weekends. But the usual spot seems to be Bay66, the only skatepark less than 2 hours away! Which is currently under threat to be turned into a garden centre… Way to go England!
Who are some of the people you get to ride with the most? Any up and comers you think people will be hearing about soon?
I ride mostly with the names above, a few others too, Dan Boiski, Joe Boy Smith, Warren Daniel, Billy Cooper, Timmy Docherty, Vinny Mayne, they’re all sound guys and a couple of them are hooked up. I haven’t seen a lot of people in a while as the local is wet 24/7, but there’s definitely a few kids who are gonna be popping up a bunch this year! Eisa Bakos is gonna blow up this year! Did you see his “Power Hour”!? Sheeeeesh!!! Hahahahaha.
Who are the top 5 people you like filming with the most?
Again, all the dudes listed above are really helpful and patient with me when I wanna film something. I love filming with pretty much all the Amity boys too, they’re always in high spirits and have a rad style.
I won’t lie, I feel like you are steps above about 90% of web videos that come out these days. Who are some of your influences and such for doing what you do?
Dude thanks, that means so much. All the people who’s edits I watch nowadays and while I was growing up get me motivated to shoot, and I guess I take some kind of aspect from the way they do things and apply it to my own instinctively. Matty Lambert, Darryl Tocco, Charlie Jobling and Will Evans. All those guys are super nice, compeltely unique and never let anyone down with a smashing edit.
What kind of a setup are you working with? What is your dream setup to be working with?
I replaced the dinosaur (Sony VX2100) some months ago and jumped up to HD, fully aware that my PC would not quite be able to handle it haha, so it often takes me a while to edit stuff! I suppose a computer powered by NASA in the near future wouldn’t go a miss. My current set up is a Canon 550D, 55mm 1.7, Tamron 28 – 200mm, Samyang 8mm Fisheye, I’m prettyy happy with it, I don’t feel I need to change anything or try and keep up with what’s trendy, my stuff does everything I need it to.
What do you think you would be up to if you never got into BMX?
Probably still be playing ice hockey… No joke..
What are you up to when you aren’t riding, filming, editing, or anything like that?
Probably asleep! Haha. Or I guess hanging out, chilling or partying!
Music seems to be something you have a good ear for. What are a few of your favorite bands? What’s your secret to finding new music?
Ha, tell that to the nice people who comment my videos on the come up! I don’t know really, I never listen to the radio so I’m actually usually behind on new music! I tend to like just one or two songs from a long list of artists, so I really couldn’t give you a favourite. I genuinely listen to everything (besides screamo.. Eurghhh) but the first thing I’ll think of when I hear a new song is whether it’d be good in an edit or not, all the music I use in my videos are favourite tracks of mine… Untill I’ve finished editing, by which time I’ve heard them 50,000 times and are pretty sick of ’em.
What’s the last movie you watched, website you visited, and song you heard?
I watched “Into the wild” last night, (come on, let’s face it… It’s awesome) website was www.shootin.it! And song was “Your song” by Ellie Goulding.
Do you work or go to school at all, or is BMX doing it for you right now?
BMX and FFWD just about do it for me right now, I don’t really live an extravagent lifestyle so I get by okay.
What’s something you don’t own, but really want?
I’d have to be childish and say a nice car, a mad VW Golf VR6 that would scare the shit out of old ladies, if that’s not in stock, I’ll take an around the world plane ticket…
If you could be sponsored by any brand outside of BMX, who would you pick and why?
Hahaha, Arizona Ice Tea! It is IMPOSSIBLE to get that stuff in England, and it rules. Or ANY shoe sponsor at all, heck, I’d take reebok, I’m so bored of shoes with holes in ’em! Starbucks would be good before I go into a coma.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
That’s a scary thought! Probably right where I am now, but with more good memories. As long as I haven’t grown up I’ll be happy.
What’s the best advice you have for the people out there looking to get into film?
Do it because you enjoy it, not because you see a future in it! Take your time with a shot and try to get creative. Don’t bite someone else’s style. Either you have an eye for it or you don’t, and remember… Only in doubt should you get the fisheye out!!
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
My parents, my friends… You know who you are! Marc and everyone behind Amity Bike Co, Ben Green at www.purplbrand.com! Kurt for hooking me up with this interview! And everyone that has ever sent me a video for the site, left a comment (good or bad), sent me a message, visited the www.ffwdbmx.com, hooked me up with a space on their floor, let me film a clip of them again, given me a spot in the car or in any way, shape or form helped me live my dream… Now let’s party.
Anything else you want to say?
I can probably say anything I like for this one, I doubt anyone has read this far… If you have, congratulations! Haha, peace!!! – www.ffwdbmx.com
Hit Mike’s VIMEO to see more!