If you have found this site, then I am willing to bet you have seen at least one of Will’s videos he has filmed or edited. Why? Because his videos are some of the most popular videos out there with the weekly videos for Levi’s or the dvd’s he has made. Will is very talented at what he does and there was a need for an interview. After your done be sure to check out Nine To Five Films
Greensboro, North Carolina
When you first got into BMX were you into filming and editing or did that come after?
For the first few years I just rode. Then one day I just randomly picked up my grandma’s old clunker VHS-C camera and brought it to the 401 trails where we rode everyday. I had no clue what I was doing but I would just film all my friends when I was hurt or not riding. Eventually, Doyle got on DK and needed footage for the first DK video “Damn Kids”. So Chris asked me if I could help film for his part. It’s so funny now to watch footage from back in those “good old days”.
Growing up in Ohio I imagine you were riding with Catfish and them at Section 8 or were you in with another crowd?
I actually grew up in Raleigh, NC. I did live in Dayton, OH for a year but my roots are in NC.
Now that your living in North Carolina where are you more commonly riding?
It’s kind of sad to say but I rarely ride when I’m at home. This year I have been traveling like crazy filming with the Levi’s team for the team DVD and the weekly web videos. So I’ve actually ridden more while on trips as of lately. I don’t really push myself to learn new tricks though. I just enjoy nibbling around more than anything.
When you first started riding BMX did you ever you would be making a living off working in the industry?
No way. I had no idea that I would ever have all of these opportunities. It’s pretty sweet to have my dream job!
Being a very busy dude with Levi’s and other video projects, do you find much time to ride?
Like I said before, not really when I’m at home. The closest skatepark to my house is over 100 miles away so it’s not very convenient and I’m not much of a street guy. There’s talk of a public concrete park being built in Greensboro, but I’m not holding my breath.
If you could go on a road trip just to ride, no cameras, what 5 people would you bring, where would you go, and why?
That’s a good question. I would do a trip in an RV and drive all around Germany or Spain with my brother, Chris Doyle, Ryan Barrett, Cory Muth, Steve Buddendeck, and Biz. I know that’s bringing 6 people but that would probably be my dream trip.
You have had the opportunity to travel a lot because of your career, where are some of your favorite places you have been?
Barcelona, Vancouver, New Zealand, Shanghai, and the Philippines.
Where are some places you would really like to go?
Africa, Eastern Europe, Australia, Russia, South America, Thailand, Vietnam, the list could go on forever.
What is one trick you could never get sick of doing?
360s, backflips, or turndowns
What is one trick you get sick of trying to figure out?
Barspins and tailwhips
How do you feel about the current state of BMX, being in the olympics, nearly being removed from the X-Games, kids talking shit on the internet, videos being ripped, just everything in general?
I try not to take BMX too serious. I am happy that I have my place in the industry and I try my best to stay on good terms with everyone. It seems like BMX is changing a lot over the recent years due to the internet. It’s a good thing overall how accessible a mass amount of fresh content is on a daily basis. Of course the bad side would be video piracy and shit talking. I try not to get too involved with the internet though. I do hate the fact that it’s so much harder for BMX companies to justify doing team videos anymore. It costs so much money and it’s way easier just to put out mediocre web videos, but I really like holding a DVD’s packaging and watching videos on a real TV with good sound. I’ll choose quality over quantity any day of the week when it comes to videos. But in general, I think BMX is growing and hopefully the industry will continue to get stronger and allow most brands to stay in business.
If you could change anything about BMX what would you change and why?
Like I said before, I try not to take BMX too serious. I guess it is what it is and I wouldn’t change anything.
Obviously you and Chad Shackelford are the guys behind 9 to 5 films, what are some current projects you guys have going on?
Actually, Chad and I have parted ways and he’s starting his own venture called The Anamorphosis Laboratory. I have continued to run Nine To Five as an individual. We are on good terms but we just decided to do our own things. Chad is still producing Shook and the new Sunday video. I am working on the Levi’s DVD which will premiere at this year’s NORA Cup in Vegas. I am also in charge of producing the Levi’s weekly web video series for Levi.com/BMX and Vitalbmx.com.
How is the Levi’s DVD coming along, I imagine it is hard since you have to take a lot of clips to make the weekly videos for vital and other places?
I am really happy with how the Levi’s DVD is coming along. We found out in January that we had 8 months to film a full length team video to premiere at NORA cup and we have been filming like crazy ever since. I have been working on filming for this DVD full time this year and it’s coming along nicely, but I wish we could have a few more months so we could squeeze some more trips in. But the great thing about the Levi’s DVD is that it will be 100% free! I’m so happy that they decided to make this a free promo and it’s going to be a legit full length team video. My biggest challenge is that I am responsible for producing 40 weekly web videos for Levi’s alongside of the DVD. So I have to be really careful about what clips I use for web and what clips I’m saving for the DVD. The DVD will be 95% exclusive footage that hasn’t been seen on the web and the riding is top notch. The purpose of the weekly web videos is just to have fresh content constantly, but I have been saving the bangers for the DVD. We have a joke going on while on trips after we film a clip – we ask each other if the clip is “theatrical” or “non-theatrical”? Theatrical meaning it would be good enough to save for the DVD or non-theatrical would be a web clip. I have to give Dakota credit for that one!
What are some trips you have been on this year for filming so far?
So far we have done filming in China, Spain, Hawaii, SoCal, NorCal, Vegas, Texas, Woodward, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Portland, and Phoenix.
How do you usually go about picking songs for videos, do you have a certain type you look for?
I usually start off by making iTunes playlists of music that I’m into at the time. I think it’s really important to match the soundtrack to the direction of the video. It’s crazy how important a soundtrack is for a video. Usually I spend a few months searching for the right songs that work best in whatever project I’m working on.
Did you go to school at all for filming and editing?
Yes, I went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and graduated in 2003 with a BA in Film and Video Production.
Who are your favorite people to film with?
There are so many but I really enjoy filming with Chris Doyle, Ryan Barrett, Corey Martinez, Morgan Wade, Jamie Bestwick, Dave Mirra, Dakota Roche, Nathan Williams, Jeremiah Smith, Jim C., Aaron Ross, Gary Young, Taj, Biz, Josh Harrington, Ryan Nyquist, Corey Bohan, Jim Bauer…..the list goes on…. I mostly just enjoy filming with people that are fun to be around and have a positive attitude in general.
Out of all of the videos you have made, what are some of your favorites?
My favorite video that I’ve done so far would probably be the SYSTEM video and Stock.
Outside of riding and filming what are you up to?
Outside of BMX I’m just enjoying life here in NC with my wife, family, and friends.
I had heard you and your wife were expecting?
Yes, we are excited to become parents this year! We are having a boy and he should be here sometime around August 16th. I am really excited about becoming a father this year. I know I have a lot to learn about being a parent but it will be an adventure…..
What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next few years?
To be a good father and husband and to continue working in BMX or whatever else makes me happy.
If you could spend the day with anybody, alive, dead, fictitious, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend a day with “Dude” from The Big Lebowski.
What would you do with the cash if you won the lottery?
I would love to take an insane trip with my closest friends and live it up for a while. But I would want to save most of it and try to make some smart investments.
What kinds of music are you into? Any you would suggest?
I like a really wide spectrum of music. I spend a lot of time on the iTunes store surfing around and finding new music that I’m into. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of British rock stuff.
What is some of the best advice you have ever been given?
I don’t remember any specific words of advice but my parents always encouraged me throughout childhood that I could do whatever I wanted to do in life if I put my mind to it. They were very supportive of me and my brother getting into BMX and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without their support.
What kinds of advice do you have for kids just getting into BMX?
Just be yourself and have fun with BMX.
What about advice for people getting into filming and editing?
Learn from your mistakes, ask questions, work hard, and keep shooting.
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
My wife Cristi and my son to be, my parents & grandparents, David Stroud, Kathy McGrath at Bird Marketing, Megan & Marisa at Levi’s, Cory Muth, Steve Buddendeck, Chris Doyle, Ryan Barrett, Chad Shackelford, Dave Jacobs, Justin Kosman, Dave Mavro, Ilana Taub at Red Bull, Kyle Carlson, Jim & Nuno at Odyssey, Mark Losey, The Mangler, Jamie Bestwick, Corey Martinez, Morgan Wade, Nathan Williams, Dakota Roche, Brett Walker, Biz, Heath Pinter, Jeremiah Smith, Ronnie B., and everyone else that’s ever helped me out in any way. Sorry to anyone I forgot!
Anything else you would like to say?
Keep it real.