Interview by Mark Noble
Photos by Matt Lingo
One of the most prolific filmers in the industry, Dylan Pfohl’s video output is clearly on a level that is higher than most – he has an eye for detail, a creative edge that makes his work stand out from the crowd, and a portfolio of work that most people who kill for – riders know that if they do something with Dylan, it’s going to be done RIGHT. Dylan’s on top of his game.
Like most riders who have been around for a long time, Dylan’s early days were quite different to how most kids see BMX these days – “Looking back on it, BMX was so simple growing up. We liked jumping our bikes so we built jumps. That was it for years, no magazines, no videos, no internet. I didn’t ride a skatepark until I was 18 years old. I’m pretty thankful I always had the camera out, even when we were just learning to ride. It’s so awesome now to go back and see where we started.”
2012 was a very busy year for Dylan and it seemed not a week went by without something popping up out of his hard-drive and venturing online, but what about right now? “For the first time in months I don’t have any major projects going on, so I’m taking the time to finally work on my Best Of 2012. I probably won’t call it that though, since it’s pretty late. As for what’s next, I’m moving to Huntington in a few days so I plan on learning how to surf. Other than that, just keep doing my own thing.”
Let’s get stuck into finding out a new FIRSTS with Dylan.
First BMX bike you had:
A Chrome Mongoose Hoop-D from Walmart, Christmas 2001. I wasn’t attached to it by any means, just something else to mess around on. I didn’t even keep it inside the house. It was so rusty by the end. I think it was a tramp bike for a while as well.
First BMX Video you watched:
I know I saw a lot of BMX on TV with the X Games, Bluetorch, 54321, etc. but the riding level was so far above my comprehension it didn’t have much of an effect on me. When I got that first Mongoose I was also really into wakeboarding. I distinctly remember an article about my favourite pro Shaun Murray riding BMX in his down-time. There were pictures of him building a track with 3-foot jumps in his backyard and that I could relate to. Spring of 2002 my parents went on vacation and I started digging up the yard. They played Expendable 3 a lot in the early days of Fuel TV, so that was probably one of the first actual videos I saw.
First BMX event / comp / show you went to:
Sometime around ‘99-2000 the Airwalk team did a show at my middle school. If you sold a certain amount of magazine subscriptions in the fundraiser you got to go. None of my friends sold any and I thought they were crazy for not wanting to get out of class for something like that. I wish I could remember a single name or face from that show, but it’s just not there.
First Video you watched and thought, ‘I’m doing this’:
Around 98-99 my buddy Luke Willoughby, his brother Spencer, my brother Taylor and I started making random little short films. Such classics as Saving Private Jeffery, Jim Blond 0007 and Attack of the Killer Tornado. We’d all film, we’d all act, no editing, if we messed up rewind the tape and try again. So when I started riding and building jumps in the yard it was just natural to film it.
First Pro BMXer you met:
I believe it was Jon Chin. We met at a jam put on by Th’Link zine in 2007. He gave me his number to film sometime and he ended up hooking me up with Brian Gavagan, AJ Anaya and the rest of the Yellow Designs Stunt Team.
First camera you bought to shoot BMX:
It was a Canon ZR60 in 2004. I actually switched to mountain bikes around this time, so my first ‘full length’ project was 30 minutes of my friends and I jumping off 2-foot cliffs on Trek’s. Now I have an FS700 with Canon glass.
First rider you photographed:
John Bican and Spencer Willoughby, in Spring 2002. – link to video
First trip you went on to photograph or film BMX:
For years, our Parker crew had the best time ever going on little day trips to various local spots. My first trip out of Colorado specifically to film was to the 2009 Dirty East Contest at the Flow skatepark in Ohio with the Denver crew. Something we still laugh about, we got to Louisville skatepark at like three in the morning and I spilled AJ’s giant bag of M&M’s getting out of the van. He was pissed so he fed the rest of my lunchmeat to a stray cat in the parking lot. I don’t think we spoke the rest of the trip.
First professional job for BMX photography or video:
Filming Yellow Designs shows. It was so rad hanging out with those guys, causing mayhem, hearing stories from past roadtrips and just all around doing whatever we wanted.
First mess up:
On the first day of video school one of the instructors told us, “No zooms while filming. It looks amateur.” Well, I wanted to be an absolute professional so from 2005 to around 2010 I did not zoom my camera while recording. That may have been a mistake.
First video published / featured:
AJ Anaya’s S&M flow edit. I recently wrote a flashback Friday post on my website about it: DylanPfohl.com
I have to thank my mom, dad, brother, aunt Kate, John Bican, Luke Willoughby, the Parker crew, Yellow, Aj Anaya, Joey and Matt Cordova, Kris Fox, Mike Peterson and everyone else that has ever let me film them. Your help doesn’t go unappreciated. Also huge thanks to Mark and BMX Union for this feature…