Vans just released their first mixtape style BMX video, Shimmer, featuring an all street cast including Ty Morrow, Dakota Roche, Sean Ricany, Calvin Kosovich, Bruno Hoffman, Travis Hughes, Andrew Castaneda, and Lewis Mills. Vans Pro Calvin Kosovich is the man behind the project, from concept, to filming and editing, so we hit him up with some questions about the video.
Would you mind explaining the meaning behind the title, Shimmer?
There’s no real meaning other than being a visual expression of BMX. Just a simple one -word title. I had it in mind from the start and everyone was into it when I presented the name “Shimmer”, so it stuck easily.
Other than Bruno Hoffmann and few clips of Lewis Mills, all
the riders in Shimmer are SoCal based Vans street riders. Can you
explain the general concept of the video?
The video was designed to be trip free and local link ups with the guys. I tried to make it as painless as possible and keeping it local and free going made it feel really organic. Although we did travel for this video to Barcelona, San Francisco and Sydney, 80% of the footage is right here in SoCal. It’s a weekend warrior style mixtape from your favorite Vans Pros.
The video opens with Dakota’s section, who arguably has better knowledge of California
street spots than anyone else in BMX. Being that Shimmer is predominantly SoCal based,
beyond your solid grip of spots,
how often did Dak’s street Rolodex come into play?
Dak knows these streets better than anyone in SoCal. He’s constantly on the grind for not only himself but others. He shares a lot of spots with people he is close with—and to be handed SoCal spot gems on a regular basis is a blessing. Fortunately, the guys in the video have really great spot/trick selections and handled a lot of that on their own. Nothing was forced for the sake of quantity. Less is more.
You came into this project with plenty of history filming
with Dak, Bruno, and Ty for Illustrated, but what about Andrew
Castaneda and Travis Hughes?
For sure, I’ve actually filmed a lot with all the guys in the video. Kink trips with Travis and a lot of Animal footage with Andrew. The video was meant to be with friends and not just the best in the business. But these guys are the best in the business and my friends!
There’s an abundant amount of Super 8 footage, was this your
first time shooting on that format? And for those less familiar with
Super 8, would you mind explaining what goes into the process with that
I’ve been using super 8 for a while, but this was the first time incorporating it with multiple riders and memories. Simple process, find a camera, shoot a roll, see if it came out [laughs]. It’s trial and error, but once you figure out the camera they are really as easy turn on and shoot. For the record, there is no film app or filter used—everything is real scanned film. All light leaks are natural not added in.
Speaking about Super 8, it’s typically reserved for B-roll or intro footage, but you caught Lewis Mills sending a banger down a 10 stair—that might be the most gnarly BMX trick ever documented on Super 8…
It was financially not the smartest to burn through super 8 filming actual riding tricks. But over the course of the filming I managed to film at least one full super 8 riding clip of each dude in the video. Definitely was stoked to make that happen.
How much time did you have to film Shimmer? And how stressful did it get towards the end?
We had more than enough time, but it was just weekend to weekend then trips in between. The last month was the most productive between everyone and the mixtape came together really nicely. I’d say 24 weekends in total plus 20 days on actual trips. LA is the toughest place to be productive, but has the best spots in the world.
Filming a video is never easy, what were some pitfalls along
It’s always tough no matter how big or small, filming a street video is like watching a clock tick at school and there’s blood dripping from the hands. The current level of BMX is so insane it’s nearly impossible to maintain a rhythm of consistency, quality takes time. It’s slow and painful, mentally and physically. The glory only appears when it wants to and when it does it feels like Christmas.
Vans is much larger than any BMX bike brand, is making a
video for them any different than what you’re accustomed to?
They have corporate rules and guidelines and teams of people that help us achieve videos like this on an office level. Other than that, it’s basically the same feeling as any other video, just get out in the streets and get it. Videos like Shimmer don’t get done by waving a magical wand. No one asked us to make this, we just wanted to and Vans backed us. Thank you, Jerry [Badders] and Vans!
Would you please tell the story behind Ty’s last clip…
[Laughs] That should have been handled easier than expected. Basically, it was street parking that would not open up for the trick to be handled. Either the run up was blocked or the run out, we had one time it was open and it literally started to rain. Ty even tried putting up LA “No Parking” signs to try stop people from parking and it did not work at all. We kept driving by up until the last week of filming and it finally was open some fucking how. After a couple hours of battling, Ty handled it perfectly.
Do you remember the first clip filmed for the video? Can you recall what you were thinking at that point? And I’m sure you remember the last clip, and what was going through your mind then…
I think the first clip was with Andrew, that fast plant over the stairs with the banks. Definitely a good way to start the video that’s for sure. The last clip was possibly Dak’s nollie pegs manual to nose 180. We went out to get one last trick, but got kicked out by a police officer, luckily he was a BMX rider and didn’t stress the situation at all. Dak rolled up to a gem that he had on his phone and made a dope move happen.
Photos: Jeff Zielinski
In case you missed it, or just want to watch it again, Vans Shimmer…