The other day, Red Bull dropped a new banger video of Drew Bezanson getting absolutely nuts inside the walls of Joyride 150 up in Toronto, Canada. This video was the next chapter from the original video that blew peoples minds back in 2011 when Drew returned from a heavy head injury. This time around, Drew pushed the limits even further and, with the help of film maker Justen Soule, the video proves it with every single clip.
We figured it would be a good idea to get ahold of Drew and Justen to talk a little bit about what went into making this video happen since it was definitely something that took a lot of careful planning and some long nights to make it a reality. This is what they had to say! Check out the interview below, then make sure you check out the PHOTOGALLERY to go along with this!
Alright, so by the time people read this, the new edit has dropped and I’m willing to bet it’s already on its way to a million views again. What did you guys think of the reaction the initial edit got? Did you ever expect it skyrocket in views like that?
Drew – I never thought the first edit would have done so well. The first edit was just to do kinda of a big thank you to all my sponsors for sticking behind me through an injury.
Justen – The first edit was really crazy, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would get the amount of attention that it did. When the video started to spread out of the riding community to other sports and websites I realized that these videos weren’t just for the BMX population anymore, but rather for everyone. Random people with no riding background where showing up at Joyride asking for a tour to see what Drew had done. Because of that I kind of approached this video a little differently. I edited in a way that was not just for the BMX community, but in a way that could be appreciated by the non-riding crowd as well, which means a lot more slow motion and establishing wide shots to give people a better idea of the setup.
Were you planning on doing another video before the first one dropped or was it something that was like “well, people were stoked on the first one…” kind of thing?
Drew – I had done one edit before with BMXFU at Joyride in 2010, then the edit with Justen at the end of 2011, so then it was kind of the idea to do an annual Joyride edit after that.
Justen – During the winter months Drew is around Joyride a lot, so we normally plan to shoot something. After the previous edit it was sort of a challenge to see if we could one-up it and do even better.
How long did you guys been work on the video? I know I was seeing a lot of Instagram photos and Tweets of some late night filming sessions for a bit.
Drew – I’d say we spent 10-15 good nights of filming on it. I got hurt in the middle of it so the edit took longer then I wanted it too. This one took longer to film as well because I had to set up ramps that weren’t already there in the first place.
Justen – Haha this has been a bit of a long one. We started filming in late January, and between Drew traveling, and then both us getting hurt we wrapped up the filming in April. I then had to have surgery on my wrist which kind of delayed the editing by a couple weeks, so it wasn’t wrapped up until May. It’s unusual to spend that long on a web video project, but it was completely worth it.
Justen, going into this video, did you have any ideas for things you wanted to do differently than the first or was it one of those situations you took it as it came?
It’s kind of difficult to predict what Drew wants to do until he tells you. A lot of the time he’s jumping to other rooms or transferring across entire sections of the park. You can prepare a sort of style or an idea for the project, but until it comes down to the particular line you can’t plan for it. It’s actually a really cool process to film with Drew. Most riders will just focus on a single ramp, ledge, or rail, where as Drew thinks outside of the box and looks to other rooms or parks. You literally have to stand back and look at everything a bit differently just to show what he’s doing.
Justen, what kind of equipment did you use for filming this project? I know you have a pretty extensive kit to work with.
We used quite a few cameras for this one: A Panasonic HMC150, Canon C300, two 5D MkIIs, two 60Ds, and a couple GoPros. Along with a dolly, jib and some audio equipment.
Haha it’s a lot, but again due to Drew’s style of jumping over everything and anything, you need a lot of cameras just to show it and do it justice. A lot of the time a transfer line is a blind clip, meaning Drew disappears halfway through the line, and you need two to three angles just to see what’s going on. We were also shooting a behind the scenes video at the same time, so to get the additional footage I’d usually leave a camera shooting somewhere.
How many people were involved in this video? I know you had a few extra filmers on hand to get those second angles.
DrewThere was a few people that stayed each night to help out Justen and I. Whether it be manning the camera for a second angle to lending a hand setting stuff up.
Justen – For the majority of the video it was just Drew and I, although I did have some Joyride locals and another local filmer (Paul Duck) help with some second angles. I can’t thank Paul and the locals enough for helping run second angles. It takes a lot of time to run around to five cameras and press record for each clip haha.
Drew, going into this video, what were some of the ideas for clips you wanted to do? What trick were you stressing the most looking back over things?
I had a good idea of everything I wanted to do, other stuff just popped up spur of the moment. The tricks I stressed the most were the ones I didn’t get. I didn’t want to back down and not get them but then I came to realize that it wasn’t going to be my last edit and I could save them for another day.
Drew, were there any tricks you got done in this video that you were trying to get done in the first video but it didn’t work out?
There wasn’t any tricks that I didn’t get from the first edit that I did for the second. There were some tricks that I didn’t get that I wanted for this edit. If I end up doing another one next year I will definitely get them for that.
I know you guys did a lot of building for this video. Who came up with the idea for the MASSIVE hitching post? What were the dimensions on that thing?
Drew – It was my idea to do the big hitching post, I don’t know when or where I thought of it. I’ve always liked big wallrides and big sub boxes so why not a big hitching post. It ended up being 8ft tall on top of a 6ft tall, 12ft long box jump. We just put it in the middle of the ramp so there was a 6ft gap to it and a 6ft gap to the landing.
What other ramps did you guys build specifically for this shoot?
Drew – We built an extension for the 9ft quarter which made it 13ft tall and then just a platform I could move around and connect rooms.
You guys would tear down all the setups you built after every shoot so even the locals at the park didn’t know what you built, right? What kind of time went into that?
Drew – It was definitely pretty time consuming setting up and tearing down after every filming session. The park would close at 10, then we would have to wait till everyone was out, set up, get warmed up and then start filming. That would be about a 2 hour process and by that time it’s midnight and you have to few hours to film before I ran out of steam. Then tear down and get to bed around sun up.
Justen – The plan was for the new setups to be a surprise, which meant even the locals couldn’t know about it until the video dropped. There was a bit of setup time involved, but we were very fortunate to have Mark Summers and Ty Dawson do a huge amount of the ramp construction.
Justen, I know you have been on a random fact kick lately. Care to drop 3 random facts about this project?
Haha yes. Fun facts are key.
1. When filming Drew, sometimes 5 cameras aren’t enough.
2. The majority of the clips in this edit were shot in the early hours of the morning. Drew shot his banger clip at 3:00 a.m.
3. We’re going to have to cut a hole in the roof for the next Joyride video.
I know that Joyride has had some changes to the park over the last few months. Drew, were any of these changes made specifically for things you wanted to do or was it just a coincidence that things like the gap over the walkway to the foam pit / resi side of the park worked out now?
Drew– Everything just worked out for the edit or I built a set up to make what I wanted to get done possible. It all just fell into place once we got started.
Drew, there’s been a lot of chatter about the biggest caveman drop in BMX and I’m pretty sure your rafter drop has to be one of the biggest. What was going through your head when you were hanging from the rafters about to drop in?
There wasn’t much going through my head to be honest, just a few things. I was just hoping that my bike and body didn’t give out on impact since it was into a pretty mellow 5ft bank.
Drew, what would you say your favourite clip in the entire edit is your favorite?
It’s hard to say, there was definitely a few clips that I was really psyched on. If I had to choice one it would have to be the thread the needle drop through the little cut out behind the foam pit. It’s not a clip you would expect to see in a skatepark edit.
Justen, what would you say our favorite clip in the entire edit is your favorite?
My favourite clip would be the opposite air transfer from the spine to the 9ft quarter. It worked so perfectly first try that Drew decided to do it again and throw a one footed euro into it. When something that big works so well it’s just amazing.
With the endless possibilities Joyride has to offer… How do you guys decide “that’s a wrap” for something like this?
Justen – Haha that’s definitely a tough one. It usually comes down to schedules, when Drew and I run out of time, it’s time to call it. It’s probably a good thing that Drew’s so busy or we could film forever.
Drew – I decided to call it a wrap a week before X-games Brazil. I had gotten hurt once already in the spring and I missed a few events that I usually do. I didn’t want to wrap it up but there was a lot of other stuff I had to think about. The edit wasn’t for anyone, It was just to do another edit. I wanted to film till I got everything I wanted but then I just ran out of time before contest season. I guess I just had obligations at that point so I called it.
Justen, how much time did you put into editing this one? I know you do a lot more with the editing that people wouldn’t even think of like getting it converted to work on TV, music clearance and everything, right?
I put a couple weeks into editing the entire project. Which includes the riding video, the behind the scenes video and the trailer. A lot of BMX videos are simple two track, dirty/split videos, slapped together in a couple hours and thrown on the web with little attention paid to the technical side of things. While there isn’t anything wrong with a quick turnaround, broadcast standards are really important to meet. Whether it’s something as simple as all text falling within title safes, or making sure that audio and color levels are correct for the media outlet you’re sending the video to, it’s really important to do. As an example, Red Bull requires all audio levels to not peak above -9db, or fall below -18db, and that all colors meet TV broadcast standards. It seems that most people just edit a riding video, crank up the volume so it’s peaking at -0db and leave it at that. If you were to submit a video like that it would be rejected and sent back.
Then there’s multiple versions of each video for different uses, which means you usually need to render out Dirty/Split, and Clean/Split versions of the video with split track audio, should the media outlet need to pull the video apart to change graphics or audio. It’s basically about giving the broadcaster as many options as possible without having to physically go in and change your work.
The musical clearance side of things takes a little bit of time as well. It’s often a bit of a battle to find something that works, that you can also get permission to use.
Any expectations for views on this video? Will you be disappointed if it gets half the views the original one got?
Justen – If people are stoked and they can appreciate the wildness of Drew’s riding, then it’s mission accomplished. If we get more views this time it’ll just be a bonus.
Drew – Wasn’t really shooting for anything in mind view wise. I just wanted to put out a better edit then the first one.
Will there be another chapter to this crazy series or are you going to call it good at 2? Any plans on taking these videos anywhere other than Joyride?
Drew – I still have tons of ideas of stuff I want to film there so you never know. It would be nice to do one every year but they take a lot of time and effort. I want to pitch some ideas to Red Bull about building some bigger set ups and also some dream ramp set ups. Only time will tell I guess.
Justen – Fortunately Joyride is continuously changing and adapting their parks, which means new possibilities and lines open up all the time. I could see another video happening in the future. If Drew has plans, I will be there with a camera.
Drew, what’s next for you? I know you’re constantly on the move with things like X-Games, filming for the Shadow video and everything going on you have a busy plate. Care to share your plans for the rest of the summer?
The rest of my summer is pinned. I have one more X-games and two stops of Dew Tour. Then a few filming trips for Red Bull, a few filming trips for Shadow, Just started working on an Albion interview, trying to spend some time home with the family in Nova Scotia and Red Bull Dreamline as well. I’m sure there will be a few other things that will pop up as well.
Justen, what about you? What’s next? How’s things coming along with your new production company, Endeavour?
Things are as busy as ever, but it’s a good thing. There’s some other projects going on with Red Bull UK right now, as well as some other web videos including one with another Joyride local Ben Kavanagh. Be on the lookout for that one, the little guy absolutely kills it! The production company is coming along well too, and the official launch with the website will be happening soon!
Drew, do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Definitely, Huge thank you to everyone at Joyride 150, the owners, Mark Summers and Scott Bentley, Ty Dawson who builds the ramps, Justen Soule for always killing it behind the lens, all the locals I ride with there. The whole Mraric family, who I stay with while I’m in town and also all my sponsors that allow me to live my dream. Red Bull, Toyota, Fox, GoPro, DK Bicycles, The Shadow Conspiracy, Skullcandy, POC Helmets, Ethika and Ryder Distribution. Also a huge thank you to everyone that watched the video and gave back positive feedback, It’s been unreal and really cool reading everyones kind words.
Justen, do you have any shout outs or thanks?
First and most importantly I have to thank Drew for always killing it for the camera. His gnarly riding makes the video, simple as that. I also need to thank Mark Summers, Scott and Shannon Bentley at Joyride, along with Ty Dawson the ramp builder and all the Joyride employees and locals. Without their help this video wouldn’t have happened, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
Anything else you want to say?
Drew -Stay tuned for the next episode….