Friday, 14 January 2011

The internet revolution debate-part one

As 2010 drew to a close, there was almost a flood of old videos that many of us regard as classics like e-clips,intrikat "Blend/Connect/Landescape A/B", Allied Loiter,Focus, Ring the Gack and many more that began being released on you tube,this is amazing for all those who would never get to see these videos or like most of us, we watched these on VHS and had no way to watch them again, I was however beginning to feel guilty posting them all up on flatmatters, so I thought this would make an interesting article. I asked the following question to a whole bunch of different people involved in someway within this debate.More to follow next week.

"As the proliferation of “video classics” floods the internet, I ask the question, what are the positives and negatives of this situation?"

Brian Tunney: (Rider, filmed parts for same thing daily, props groundwork, journalist for ESPN)
I think classic is a relative word, especially on the Internet. For me, a classic might be the Dorkin' Series or any Baco video, but on the Internet, I feel that the word "classic" could mean anything that's just a few years old. That's not necessarily going to the solve the problem, but it is something I've noticed over the past 2-3 years.
But for the older, more established "classics," I think getting from VHS or DVD and onto the Web is an important means of actually preserving the form of media in a digital form, for safe keeping, for posterity's sake, and for future generations to view.
I'll use Chad's section in "Ring The Gack" as an example. Those Ells videos are never going to be available again on DVD, and VHS tapes don't last forever. If a younger audience is given the chance to watch Chad Degroot when he was at or near the top of flatland riding, then by all means, we should want that to happen. Chad is a street riding father of two in his mid 30s that lives in Florida and runs a bike shop. Younger generations of flat riders might see him in the occasional Profile ad, but that's about the only current exposure Chad gets (unless he makes his own Web videos). If more people know that Chad was and still is a flatland legend, that's a good thing for all of us. Besides, the tricks he does in that section are just as good today as they were in 1994.
I guess the other side of this would be if a "classic" video producer was planning on releasing a box sets of former releases. Then I might say, let's respect the media, keep it off the Web for the time being and buy the DVDs, but I don't know of anyone doing that right now.
In general though, I would think that everyone who is a die hard flatland enthusiast would want to know the history, and if we can make that available on the Web (which we can), then we should.

Martti Kuoppa: (rider/artist: famous for his intrikat parts, contest achievements, groundtactics, solo dvds, where do you stop...)
Most of the videos that are shown on internet at the moment are not available on DVD format and they are impossible to get as VHS copies even if you wanted. So, that leads to a situation that the younger riders would not have a change to watch some of the riding that is actually the roots of their current riding.
These video clips are giving the new generation a change to study more of flatland and how it has progressed (?) throughout the years. And where does certain things come from and what tricks have been done and never repeated again.
When I saw Chases & Brandons e-clips I was blown away again, because it was years since I saw it last time and I completely forgot everything in it. And that video is old, and the level of Chases riding in it is untouchable even today.
So that was a really positive moment for me because it brought me inspiration and motivation and it was a good day because of that.

I guess it would be that these "pearls" are so easy to access now that it looses some of the glamour they have earned along the way. There is lot of soul and blood donated in there... Maybe you´ll understand it maybe not, afterall I am just glad to be part of the VHS generation.

Bobby Carter: (Rider, owner/editor of Diversion Tv).
Well, first of all, welcome to the information age. We are in the middle of a digital revolution. An era where information flows around the planet more swiftly than the air around us.
The positive side of all these videos going online is that people around the world can witness tricks and techniques of years past.
Flatland has been around long enough to have a history that can be lost due to lack of access to videos. If you've only been riding about 6 years, there's only a slim chance you've seen videos from the 90's. There's a whole lot of flatland techniques out there that you can dip into and bring into your own style. You can "dig into the crates" for those rare clips and tricks to sample and develop.

The negative is that some of the videos are professionally made and the producers may not know that their work is being distributed around the net.
They may or may not want their videos on the net.
For dudes making web edits and filming some local stuff it's not much of a problem. The real issue is when a filmmaker needs to spend money on plane tickets, etc. to get a video made. You spend a few thousand dollars and the video is available for free. Sponsorship may be one answer to this issue. Get a sponsor to foot the bills, make the video, and put it out there for all to share.

We shall see where things go and what new technologies come out to help flatland get the exposure it deserves!

Chad Johnston: Rider, owner/editor of Intrikat. 
The first positive aspect thats comes to mind is the fact that the information is out there, available to nearly everyone. More people that see it equal more possibilities to motivate. It dates and archives progression as well. I don't see a negative, unless the person that was uploading the video did a poor job, like if the quality interrupted the content. So far the Intrikat videos that have been put online have been done well. I like how Kala Yasuda did LandEscape and Connect with the proper chapters and credits. I also like how fatboy972 did Blend, two sections. I had thought about how I would do it and would soon forget about it,because it's not edited in rider sections, it's all blended together.Uploading it in two sections works great and the intermission is placed well. I trust the other titles that are uploaded to Youtube are done with respect also. Thanks to the people who have put the time in to doing a good job.

Chad Degroot: Rider/artist hugely influential in the baco days, runs Deco Bike co.
It can go both ways. I believe videos are made to stand the test of time and also to be watched. Right? So you can hate on people posting old videos and reliving their glory days, is that really a problem? Maybe a bit if they are charging for them or getting big headed like they were the shit. But truthfully a lot of riders nowadays don't know or care how or why tricks came about and who did them. Videos back in the day used to be on top of that. We couldn't wait till a video came out to see all the new tricks and what can be done. Posting vids is just a part of technology and moving forward to archive it. If you don't want to watch, don't. Some I do watch, but most I don't. So if your an online junkie that has to watch all videos, good. Get some knowledge while your doing it. Yes the tricks now are insane, and seem like video game tricks, but that is what it's getting to. They started somewhere then built to what you see today. I guarantee some shit Osato, Freimuth or The Beast did people still won't be able to do. Try it. Lastly, you can't flood the internet. It's a day to day thing. People want the news or edits now....the internet gives you them now. So that is a positive thing. The only negative thing is the shit talking, but truthfully if you don't talk shit then you are not human. It's way easier to type shit than talk shit.

What do you think? Have your say below in the comments..


Carlos Ferreiro said...

I'm happy that my videos are safely archived online now - they are way past any commercial stage and it is nice to think that people still like to see them.
They were never really very "commercial" anyway, more like the early stages of VHS, where people made a few copies of a video to send to their friends, which is maybe a bit like the situation we've come back to with web edits, just with internet distribution now.
The one thing I don't like is finding one of my videos uploaded by somebody else, especially if the quality has dropped, or the worst, if they have dubbed different music over it.
Grrr! >:(
There was lots of work to edit it to fit the music!! ;-)

flatmatters said...

Firstly thanks to everyone that got back to me for this first article, Tunney, Degroot, Chad J, Bobby Carter... one of the interesting points is that a lot of these videos that have been put online are over ten years old, it's not like they just came out, and many of you reading this, may or may not have seen them, so they are educational. In Part 2 next week I interview some of the guys who post these videos on youtube, to get there perspective (Kalu and Clayborn). So far the reaction to my question seems 90 percent positive.

flatmatters said...

So if the producers work is left as it is, it seems fine, for the most part seems that way, as it was intended to be viewed for the most part right colin? :)

Carlos Ferreiro said...

Yeah, for me it's great if people can still see your work as you made it - not so great if it gets re-worked too much.

Johann said...

Great feature here E. Some really good points. I don't have much to add, except - I think it's disrespectful when people post online videos of new releases when they don't own the copyright. Especially if they make money from youtube advertising.
On another note: I had an old video session over Christmas. Did I see a 360 X-up jump out the bowl at Sounthsea by a young flatmatters on an old Backyard video, or did I drink too many Baileys?

flatmatters said...

Couldn't agree more Johann, on new releases that sucks!That happened recently with the united dvd. That brings me to a point I just thought of, at what point does it become ok to post a "video" online. Wheres the line?
To answer your question Johann, I was on the backyard video, no footed 360 as i remember at southsea. Baileys might have gone to your head.:)

5-7-5 said...

I think putting the older videos online is great. The producers have probably (I hope) recouped their production costs and made money for their efforts. I think if someone did have an issue with their work being online they should be able to request it be taken down with no push back.

I think people ripping the new videos and putting them out on bit torrent is lame, that is, IMHO, piracy.

Give the artists some time to recoup costs and live before it gets "archived" online.

Howard said...

Respect to the old vids online and the guys involved , top stuff .

flatmatters said...

Chad D's comment that the internet is a day to day thing is very relevant to this debate. I post 5-6 videos almost everyday all year round, information is readily available from the whole globe. Ride the wave.
5-7-5 comment seems to be a general feeling amongest everyone.
The other point thats come up, is respect the original producers work, and post the video in as good quality as possible and don't change the music.
Good points people, keep them coming.

Howard said...

Entertainment and viewing pleasure are key points here as the internet ( You Tube,Vimeo etc) can enable others to view video's they have never seen before and therefore broaden their outlook and perspective in general, this is an education in itself and life is about learning and living .
Either you benefit from it or you don't ,opinions differ i think you can learn from the past and project any knowledge into current situations not just riding in life itself.
in regard to piracy and copying video's and soundtracks others have produced that is a total violation and an invasion of privacy and shows disregard for others hard work ,that said we do live in a internet society now everything is there at our fingertips so you have to expect some negative action on both sides of the scale.

jm said...

Does anyone know if the general acceptance of uploading old videos holds true for videos from other countries; namely Japan? I'd be interested to hear a perspective from a Japanese producer or rider on that.

flatmatters said...


Im working on getting some feedback from japan right now actually, for part 2.

flatmatters said...

Kalu just dropped Linkt online!!

Steve Laps said...

I think posting the older videos is fine. But to a point. If you are posting up stuff from still relevant producers, ie chad and bobby... then I think they should be the ones doing it (if that is what they want to do) or at least approving it. As far as some of the movies "out of production" I am all for getting those online!

flatmatters said...

I hear what you are saying there steve, to a point I guess thats why at one point I was feeling lil guilty posting up these videos because they were pretty relentless at one stage, if they were brand new I wouldn't post them.

Nick Hayday said...

Guess we should pipe up on this article, we run the BMX Movie Database, and we've uploaded close to a 1,000 sections of old videos. For around 90% of those we have asked permission from the original authors, on the most part people are stoked we're willing to spend the time doing the uploads. We've been asked to keep certain videos offline (Pretty much all the Anthem bonus disc, Parricks stuff, Ride USA) and are happy to do this, they're not our creations, so we have to respect what people want. We'd love if people want to add the flatland stuff to the database, we're just not knowledgeable enough about the subject matter to do it justice (recognising the riders mainly). Couldn't agree more on the ripping of new video's, we buy as many new DVD's as we can, if we don't support future BMX movies, who else is.

flatmatters said...

Thanks Nick! You guys are most def doing it right!