Tag Archives: Australia

Colony Trip Photo Gallery by Cooper Brownlee

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I spent 12 days driving up and down a good chunk of the east coast of Australia with some of the Colony guys and from the photos it should be pretty clear that we had a blast and rode some good places. Bobbie Altiser made the trip out to Australia for the adventure and snapped a bunch of great disposable camera images along the way. Hope you guys enjoy the gallery…

 

chrisc-flair-backyardChris Courtenay backyard flair on the first day in Brisbane.

 

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clint-no-foot-nose-box-hill_LRWe shot this just for the entertainment value of the hat Millar is wearing that he scored off Ricky Catanzariti mid trip. No foot nose pick over the spine at Box Hill.

 

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bob-over-tooth-whip-LR2 hours in high temperatures took it’s toll on both Bobbie and I but it was worth it to get this clip.

 

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chrisc-handplant-coffsChris Courtenay all the way to the top of the vert wall at Coffs Harbour park.

 

clint-canadian-coffs-LRAs soon as it dried up in Coffs Harbour Millar went to work on the extension as Stretton watched on.

 

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keith-full-pipe-carve-LRKeith Treanor was over at the start of the trip and all he wanted from me was to shoot a carve in Elanora’s full pipe. Job done even with a bit of rain.

keith-full-pipe-LRThe monster that is Elanora.

 

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lukep-table-coffs-LRLuke Parker blasts the corner in Coffs bowl.

 

lukep-tbog-bondi-LRBondi is always a go-to  spot for a trip for obvious reasons, most of which are in this photo of Luke.

lukep-tbog-coffsLuke Parker does good toboggans, good enough to be filmed by people with iPads out.

 

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ricky-rocket-noseAlways coming through with creative shit, Ricky had a broken finger the entire trip but by the way he rode the entire trip you wouldn’t know it. Rocket nose manual in Canberra.

 

tom-fairfield_LRI have no idea what this is called or how Tom gets in and out of it but he does.

 

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zac-ice-fakie-wodThis set up really got slaughtered by Zac… Straight up and down ice fakie in Wodonga.

 

zac-table-wodTable transfer from Miner.

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tom-footjam-whip-candybar-LRLost for words on this…

 

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Video Review: “Thats Whats Up”

It was a rainy Saturday in New York so I made plans with a friend to go to 5050 Skatepark to ride with the LFS crew and friends. They would be showing the promo for their second DVD and some Australian video would be playing as well… Not only was I blatantly uninformed but also completely unprepared for what I was about to watch.

Australia (Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney) seems like some sort of fairy tale fantasyland to me. It’s so far away, so dissociated from the states that I can’t even imagine what goes on there. I feel like the riding scene is completely separate from us and they are doing shit we can’t even begin to fathom- this was partially true.

Play button. The intro is high-energy and fast paced with clips of landed tricks, crashes, closeups, cityscapes, timelapses- really everything but the kitchen sink. The sound bites are well-orchestrated and the song used is a guitar-driven punk rocker. I thought it strange that only three names were listed (but came to find out there are over 60 riders in the whole video). The quick cuts kept my attention and some of the clips cut short had me hopeful to see the rest in the bulk of the video. Needless to say, it’s a spectacular start to a video.

Jerry Vandervalk sets it off and within the first three clips I had witnessed three grinds that I’d never seen done before. Anyone who questions the relevance of the x-up grind in today’s scene- I invite you to watch this part and see that it’s back and better than ever. Moving on from the flat rail tricks, there are at least two clips in this section where a 15+ foot fall is at stake (one of which is really toyed with). The soundtrack is Brother Ali which I was pleasantly surprised to hear and the editing works great with it. There is an amazing mix of big handrail clips and smaller technical tricks, one ridiculous clip where he should have broken through a glass roof and too many other spectacular moves to mention. Not only is his ender the only time I’ve ever seen this trick done down a handrail, I can safely say that a smoother one might never be done. I would not be surprised to see this section as a contender in this year’s NORA Cup.

Will Horan opens the first mixed section with a line ending in a manual to 180 downside whip- setting the bar pretty damn high for the rest of the section. A dude Jason Peterson does a trick on a ledge-next-to-ledge setup that I am psyched on. Jay Wilson makes his brief presence known by folding his ribcage around a pole then crooked grinding a large rail. Jack Birtles– a name in Australian videomaking and crazy riding- has a couple great clips. Calvin Kosovich‘s first clip is amazing in many ways, then a few more clips in he does a ridiculous looking over-to-Luc-e down a rail. Looks deadly. He scores last clip for that mix then without pause, the soundtrack changes with a loud beat, the lenscap comes off and we’re following Marnold through a poppy line. Cooper Brownlee has a few peg-laden clips, a couple dudes do some crankflips, Chris O’Donnell brings back the peg grab in a huge way and Brock Olive closes it out with a number of dialed clips going up and down handrails.

The next mix section sees a few clips from Troy Charlesworth himself- one is a “West Coast grind” to levitator and another a long rail ride. Very impressive. Liam Zingbergs has pretty much the second half of this mix section to himself with an array of tall grinds and one of the longest kinked hubba feeble grinds ever.

The next mix section is where you’ll find clips from Callan Stibbards– who made headlines a couple months ago with the online release of his “Still Bleeding Black & Blue” section– including one of the craziest steep kinked handrails I’ve ever seen done. He almost accidentally gaps the whole section stage. Samson Ross does a perfect Luc-e to whip. Tom Stretton does a death-defying hang five but I’m sure that’s not a surprise to anyone. Ammon Chesworth claims the ending clip with one of the wildest 360s (for a number of reasons). It’s a large 360.

Next is the park section, mostly concrete park riding, lots of Stew-ish rolling fisheye shots cut smoothly with long lens run-ups. Jason Watts steals the show by pedaling mach 5 and jumping huge gaps with grace and style. Dave Dillewaard closes out the section riding some picturesque trails at sunset.

The next section opens with a few shots of a stressed-out Nick Kajewski getting robbed of a couple rollouts and crashing hard on stairs. Once he catches his stride, however, his part turns into a flurry of large rails and turndowns out of things that normally couldn’t be turndowned out of. He’s got a wide array of clips and this section is edited really well. It’s hard to put words to his style because he does a little bit of everything. It seems like every other clip is a handrail hammer and the way he does this one overgrind deserves a trophy.

…And then, out of left field, some dude comes flying off a huge double set, catches an over-ice for a split second then loops out on the landing (into grass luckily- he slides like 25 feet). The last unsuccessful clip in the intro is definitely the biggest gap to rail I’ve ever seen attempted and I applaud this guy for even trying it. The music starts and this daredevil is introduced as Mike Vockenson. His first landed trick is the biggest railhop I’ve ever seen done- taking into account the distance from the launch to rail and also the height of the rail- and could have easily killed him had he clipped a wheel. For one clip he starts a line with a roof drop- the sure sign of a ballsy rider. There’s a railhop clip buried in the middle of his section that could easily be someone’s ender. The rest of his part is littered with beastly gaps and roof drops, huge rails, a caveman fit for Bone Deth and a barspin that Enarson himself might not even do. If Evel Knievel rode BMX, his style would probably be a lot Mike’s. With all the deadman shit he sends, you can tell he’s not just throwing himself down stairs and over gaps by the way he dials rail feebles and laces crooked grinds. It might look like he’s just doing the ol’ “fuck it and huck it” but you can tell that there’s a good deal of calculation in his riding (I could be completely wrong, but what I’m trying to say is that he’s a well-rounded rider with a passion for ridiculous gaps- to flat, to rail, roof to roof- whatever). And talk as much shit as you want on grass landings, but had it not been for some of these rail setups, this video review would probably be replaced by an “R.I.P. Mike Vockenson” post. His ender has to be in the top five craziest things ever done on a 20″ bicycle. FOR REAL. I can’t help but laugh at the severity of it every time I watch it. If I could, I’d deliver the NORA Cup trophy to Mike in person and give him a hug for keeping BMX exciting and untamed.

All things considered, this video blew me away. Initially because I didn’t remember seeing the trailer (probably because it came out a year-and-a-half before the video was done) and had no idea what to expect at the premiere. Even after watching it a number of times, it remains one of the best videos I’ve seen in recent history (taking into consideration the riding, the filming and the editing) and easily in the top three DVD’s I’ve seen this year. Probably top two, quite possibly the best video I’ve seen in a long time. Honestly I can’t speak highly enough about the whole project and definitely recommend picking up a copy (or buying the digital download since it’s much quicker and easier).

There’s already a story on the 2020 site about Vockenson’s ender (even though it’s a major spoiler alert, you still won’t get a scope of it until you see the video), another interview with Troy about the making of the DVD (and this video interview) and here’s the newer official trailer-

Cooper Brownlee Interview

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The Daniel Johnson exclusive edit posted earlier today on TCU was filmed and edited by this man, Cooper Brownlee. In fact, Cooper has had a hand in the majority of the BMX media that has come out of Southeastern Australia. As a filmer, editor, photographer, graphic designer, product designer, art director and team manager (upon other various job titles) Cooper still finds time to ride. I’m actually a big fan of his style too. How does he do it?

Colony web video from 2012

Cooper’s part in the Colony DVD from 2011.

What came first, the bike or the camera?

Definitely the bike, I think I got my first camera about a year after I started riding so I could take photos of us riding our trails, it was just a shitty point and shoot that my mum had but you gotta start somewhere! Not long after that my friend had a video camera and so did my parents so we would use them to make videos via the old tape to tape style. It was such a good feeling going out riding all day, having fun, filming clips then we would stay at our friends place that night and mess with the footage. Everything just evolved from that.

How long ago was that?

I would say like 15 years ago? Not long after I started riding.

How old are you now?

Just turned 32

Focalpoint “Into The City” Mixtape #1 – filmed and edited by Cooper

Do you shoot and film in equal proportions or does one take priority?

It goes in stages but lately filming has definitely taken priority. I still shoot photos a lot just haven’t used my flashes much of late, just really into documenting the lifestyle side of things as cliche as it sounds.

Do you do all the work for Focalpoint? and at Colony?

Yeah video and photo wise I do, along with Division Brand and Academy BMX. We get help from other guys to get clips of dudes in other countries but overall yeah thats mostly my work. With Focalpoint the video stuff is me but photo stuff is a bit of a contribution base.

Do you ever get overwhelmed trying to ride and document at the same time, as well as enjoying the moment?

Not really, sometimes I wish there was another person shooting photos if I am filming but it’s all good. Riding wise, yeah I don’t get to ride as much but I love shooting as much as riding so I dont get too stressed. These days getting clips of myself I find planning it out and just doing it on a seperate mission is working better. On trips I barely get to ride because I really try to focus on filming and getting as much stuff as I can because I know when I start editing if I slipped getting something cool I will be pissed haha.


Alex Hiam 2013 web video – filmed and edited by Cooper

I find that a lot of photographers and filmers ride a freecoaster- when did you start riding a freecoaster?

I’ve had a freecoaster for about 6 years now, never going back! I also run a 23t which is partly to do with having to ride around everywhere with a camera bag on my back.

How often do you go out riding without any gear on your back?

Basically never! We drive to most spots but I always have my bag in the car and will take it in to spots all the time. When we ride the city I usually leave my flashes at home and also sometimes the HPX because it’s dark most of the time we are in there. I would love to roll around the city with no bag but I just know the day I do I will miss something haha.

What gear are you using these days?

Panasonic HPX-170
Nikon D800 – I just recently got this from having a D700 and I am love with it, dialed for photos and filming with it is on point! Filming wise I mainly use it for lifestyle sort of stuff and timelapses as it has a built in function which is basically the best thing ever for someone that is into timelapses! I sometimes use it for fisheye clips aswell but the 16mm isn’t as wide as the Canon lens and I would prefer the $300 lens get hit then the $1,000 lens.
Canon 7D – I use this just for filming fisheye lines, no photos shot with this.

Nikon 16mm fish
Nikon 80-200
Nikon 50mm 1.4
Nikon 28mm 2.8

Canon 50mm 1.4
Rokinon 8mm Fisheye
Eazyhandle for filming lines with a mod on it to hold both my mic and light
2 LED camera lights but I usually only use 1 of them.

Rode Mic
A Hoodman LCD magnifier for lifey shots and some fisheye stuff, which works pretty well I just wish I got one that had a 90 degree angle on it.

3 Vivitar flashes
Pocket Wizard plus2 transmitters

Manfrotto tripod and a shitty $20 tripod just for city missions as it’s nice and light and does the job

I have a Primary deck for my filming board with Penny board wheels on it which are nice and big.


Mick Bayzand 2013 – filmed and edited by Cooper

Tell me a little about the current format of Focalpoint. It’s kinda like a scrolling web mag.

Focalpoint started out as a free print mag and we kept it in print for about 8 years but printing and postage costs killed my bank account so we moved it to online via issuu which was also good but I wanted to do something that was more consistant and had frequent original content from Australia so that’s what we have now and I real, real psyched on it! Like you said it’s kind of got the aesthetics of a mag look to it but in web format.

Which websites do you check on a daily basis?

TCU obviously along with various other BMX sites. Outside of riding I hit up these 2 sites on the regular as they are always posting up good photography/design work…

designyoutrust.com
designspiration.net

Who are some artists/riders who inspire you?

Riding wise… All my friends that I ride with on the daily. Dudes like George D, Will Jackson and Lino Gonzales growing up. I will always be hyped on footage from Alex Kennedy, Daniel Johnson and Nathan Williams. I am a mad flat ledge jibba these days so anyone killing it on the streets and being creative will get my vote.

Artists wise… Jeff Staple, 13th Witness, Ricky Adam and Mike Manzoori

Tom Stretton 2013 – filmed and edited by Cooper

What do you have planned for this year?

Filming a fair bit right now for a Division project we have in the works, the web videos for Colony seem to never end so we always have them in the works. In a couple weeks some of the Colony team is coming to Melbourne to shoot this cool video project we have planned which should be alot of fun and also give Melbourne riders a few new spots to ride as well.

I am heading over to the USA for a month sometime in March to film which I am looking forward to. Hopefully Daniel Johnson will be coming with me. I’ve been trying to travel a bunch here in AUS so hopefully we can keep that rolling aswell.

Anyone you’d like to thank or shout out?

Thanks to my parents for being so damn awesome! Clint Millar for giving me the best job and for supporting BMX so much. My girlfriend Sarah and all the crew I ride with be it everyday or once every few months. Shoutout to anyone that supports the brands and is enjoying BMX.

Thanks to Scott and all the TCU crew for the interview.

hub guardDivision Hub Guard that Cooper helped design

division adDivision ad that Cooper made