It seems pretty futile to write a review for the Deadline video; you already know it’s fucking ridiculous and you’ve already made up your mind to buy it, or at least see it. I guess this is more of a warning as to what is in store for you, and for BMX as an ever-progressing activity.
Long story short- It’s worth the wait. Filming could have continued into next year and it would still be worth that wait. And I’m pretty confident that had that happened, there still would be little to no issues with clips being stolen or outdated. Director and editor Tony Ennis said the only thing he wishes he could change about it would be to have filmed for it longer (Filming began nearly seven years ago). The actual deadline of the video he attributes to Steve Croteau, who organized the premieres, in effect pulling the plug on filming, just a day before the first showing in LA. With a fair share of injuries (Broken collarbone for Garrett, jacked wrist for Ty, Colin’s elbow and JJ’s back) and some hardware malfunctions (Ty’s first clip), production of the video was anything but trouble-free. You can see Tony holding the eyepiece to his VX in some shots as if it’s about to fall off.
The cameras used (VX1000, VX2000, VX2100, HMC-150 and a 7D) were plagued with issues. “It got pretty bad- we still used cameras knowing they were gonna glitch but it’s what we had… Since the footage was glitchy we just kinda of used it as a theme for the video.” Strategically placed static-y Deadline graphics are used as fillers and segues. Every section has an intro that depicts the rider’s personality or certain skills, such as whistling or starting fights. Second and sometimes third angles are implemented and totally rational. We all know that some setups require more than one camera, and luckily most of the crew are proficient filmers. The video is heavy on ramped slow-mo, but for good reason. If you blink for too long you’d probably miss a barspin or two.
Originally Tony and the crew wanted the video to be available on iTunes for easier worldwide access, but music clearance became a substantial problem, getting quoted at $100,000 for Garrett’s last song alone (Pink Floyd). “Most of the hold up on the video was due to the soundtrack but we are happy with it. I just hope everyone around the world can see the video since its only coming out on DVD at the moment.”
The crew traveled expansively- from their home base in San Diego, they visited the East Coast numerous times, hit locations in the Midwest and flew to Barcelona twice. Some clips are from Colorado, Miami, Arizona and Las Vegas. A couple clips were filmed in China and Russia. More localized travels included San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose. “We were going up to LA every weekend at the end of the video so I can’t say how many trips exactly.”
I’ve watched Deadline probably 20 times since receiving an advance copy at the Brooklyn premiere earlier this month, and each viewing yields a newfound excitement and respect for the video.
The intro is a montage and is full of humorous wordplay, with lyrics synced to shots. I was not expecting the video to be funny, really, at all. I was delightfully relieved that amongst the seriousness of the riding, clever and lighthearted editing keeps spirits higher. The song will get stuck in your head for a few days probably. I’ll put it this way; If the intro were a web video, it would be the web video of the year- hands down.
Ty‘s intro portrays him as somewhat of a madman- laughing maniacally at the tops of rails, punching himself in the head and squawking loudly like a caged eagle. His first line has to be one of the heaviest filmed, ever. The least expected component of Ty’s part, for me, would definitely be the fastplants. There are a couple, one of which, to wallride 180, could not have been done with better style. Newer clips see Ty riding a freecoaster and doing it expertly; The second of two clips on Leslie ledge had me shitting. Earlier on in his part he drops a super clean fakie tooth 180 out. I’m not usually a fan of 540’s but the ramped slow-mo railhop 5 challenged my mind. His last couple clips follow a general rule of “spin to win” off rails, out ledges, hard way over out of uprails. His last clip is huge. You can’t bail out of something like that. Literally eight minutes later, it’s all over and you can’t remember what just happened. And that’s just the first section.
SteveO follows with an introduction filled with weed smoke, manned second angles and general pedestrian bullying. His song could not have been chosen better to fit his attitude and flow (Steve credits Chris Marshall for blasting it in heavy traffic). No 60/40 setup is safe from his ambidextrous skills. I was pleasantly surprised by a freecoaster fullcab clip out of some rail/ledge combo move. He hits a rail with two lesser-done (possibly never) moves at the end of his section. Ender is crazy and almost disastrous.
Augie‘s part was definitely the most surprising. Riding with such a crew must do something to a man, mentally, pushing you to try more and more ridiculous things. I still don’t know which side is his natural grind, because he does ludicrous shit on both sides. Some of the crashes gave me a third-hand headache (secondhand would be seeing it in person, third-hand is watching it in video). His song fits the riding very well. Superman railhop. He is arguably the king of the over-tooth grind (opposite and regular). This one over-L to opposite hanger should win an award- you’ll know which one I’m talking about. His ender is craaaazzzzyyyyyy, and the security guard that was trying to kick them out wanted him to do it again. No fucking chance.
The following montage leading into the friends section is genius. It follows a loose storyline and concludes with probably the funniest clip you could ever get out of a police officer. Some highlights of the friends section include Tammy‘s opening gap to wallride, a crazy halfcab from Miles Rogoish, a wild hanger from Tony Neyer, Lil Jon doing a gap to ledge where he barely even touches the ledge, Dennis Enarson mastery, Bruno Hoffman grind technology and Josh Harrington closing out the section with an NBD on El Toro. Totally fucked.
JJ‘s part I am most psyched on. There are two clips involving fakie wallrides that made me want to leave the premiere immediately and go ride. Unprecedented stuff. Then right after the second fakie wall clip, he mistakes an uprail for a dirt jump and clicks a beauty of a maneuver. He’s possibly the ruler of the hard 180 to grind. Everyone at the venue was severely excited about this one clip- it’s so hard to describe but it’s something like a 180 tooth 180 to opposite smith. His icepick game is impeccable- second to last clip is so dialed. His last clip is as amazing as it is funny. Note the leg technique.
Colin Varanyak shoots large caliber rifles in his intro, a perfect analogy for his riding I think- very aggressive and explosive. I believe he has the shortest part in the video, but it’s still over two and a half minutes long. Within that time he manages to do a few incredible moves, including a wallride to crook and a nollie opposite ice down a rail. My friend says that had his up-railride gap to wallride been the only clip in the entire video, he would have been satisfied. Colin scored my favorite clip in the video- a 180 backwards ice 180 manual 180 out. So smooth and fluid. His second to last clip could have been deadly. His ender is just ridiculous. Perfectly executed on a perfect setup for this trick.
Kevin Kiraly‘s part dumbfounded me, mostly because I totally forgot he was in the crew. I don’t know how that happens, but his section is wildly original. In the title of this review, the “switch” that I mention is due mostly to Kevin’s section. I can’t name many riders doing the scope of tricks he does in an opposite or switch-footed manner. His song is classic and fits his style to a tee. His hair and wardrobe game is on point throughout. Ender would have been prime had it been regular footed, but he does it switch footed and frankly he does it so smoothly that it doesn’t even look difficult. There was little to no struggle.
Garrett‘s part… I dont’ know what to say about it. There are legitimately three songs and not one of them are any sort of chilling or b-roll section. It’s pretty much straight hammers all the way through. I guess you could say the last song is all NBD tricks. His first song is filled with bangers. His second song wins NORA. His third song changes BMX forever. I can’t even start to detail some of the tricks, but imaging playing a BMX video game and just hitting every button at once. Everyone’s jaws were on the floor for the entire duration of his part(s). I laughed, I cried, I nearly shit myself. Your results will probably be similar.
Let’s talk about some of the clips in the credits. Colin starts a line with a truck down D7 (a large, large 7 stair in NYC, Dillon Lloyd trucked it a few years ago, but this is some next level shit) and proceeds to try something even crazier directly afterwards. Garrett lands a backwards rail halfcab whip out. I guess it’s a little sketchy, but anyone in their right mind would have definitely used it in their part. (There is something even crazier than his ender in the bonus reel, but he chose not to include it in his section because it was purely accidental.) Some clips that were slow-motion in the video are played real-time in the credits and take on a new life.
The bonus reel is lengthy but worth at least one watch. There are some crazy clips that didn’t get used in the video and some gruesome crashes that you probably don’t want to see (Colin’s elbow-breaking crash is burned into my mind).
DVD’s should be available next week, but we all know what that means with these guys. They’re probably at some schoolyard in Cali right now filming some bonus-bonus material.
Get psyched, because what you’re about to see will change the way BMX is ridden.