Video Vault: Volume 3
Welcome to Volume 3 of the LUXBMX Video Vault where we highlight a project from the past which deserves more recognition than it may have otherwise received.
The selection process for this video vault feature is simple, I sit down and let my mind offer up whatever BMX video (past and present) decides to rise to the surface. While this might seem lazy or careless, from my perspective it is an authentic method of weeding out the best of the best. I would consider myself qualified to follow this process in that I’ve been watching BMX videos religiously for roughly 20 years. For this version, after moulding an ass shaped dent in the couch, we turn to Justin Burns and his 2011 web video for ‘Verde Bikes’.
It’s strange to think that my subconscious made a connection to Justin Burns in that the dude is certainly not a big name, nor spent much time in the spotlight. As made evident by my research for this piece, there is little to no web breadcrumbs on this dude, however his web video output at the turn of the 2010s has made enough of an imprint to remain to this day. Hopefully the qualities which stuck with me, resonate equally with a modern audience.
So what makes this 1 minute 40 second long video so great? Firstly and most discernible, both the dudes' riding style and the editing are casually impactful. What do I mean by this? Take any production from CEO level filmer Ryan Navazio or Tony Ennis and you get a sense for casually impactful, buddhu level stillness from the heights of Nepal, both fish and long. The skill is visualising the shot and not going overboard with zoom or unnecessary fish jabs. I wouldn’t categorise the filming of this video in the same bracket, although it does give me the same feeling. Notably, this video was filmed by hair gel assassin Kevin Kiraly of ‘used to be highly influential’ fame.
Equally, there are a bunch of aspects about Justin that give off a ‘cool, calm and collected’ atmosphere, feeding the sense of understated confidence. Let me give you some examples, like the way he half-cabs without moving a muscle at 1.18, the mild facial expression at 1.03 (before crunching a well placed over pegs), the various flannel and snapback combos and the simple trick selection. Furthermore, the dude just looks good with his stance on a bike. I know this might sound derisive in the context of having put in work for a video project, but it matters. It looks like he picked up a bike one day with the natural grace of flowing water, shunning the years it takes most people to become comfortable on a bike.
Let us not avoid touching on the track ‘This Plane’, a mellow Nipsey Hussle gig which does well to accompany the feel of the video as above-described. It would be hard to not make this work with the enjoyably repetitive mid-tempo beat, perhaps the skill is simply the selection as opposed to the technical aspects of editing to a track. For me, the song and biking come together with the most influence at 1.05 until end, starting with the over pegs to the drop and extending with a killer 180-toboggan into that delicious pedal 5 to manual 180 line. Like a maple drenched stack of pancakes, it’s lovely to consume.
There ain’t much left to say at this point. Maybe I’ll point out the dudes support in Verde, who at the time of release were on the rise and backed with an awesome team including Brian Yeagle and Dave Thompson. Run by old DK dogs Steve Buddendeck and Cory Muth, the brands output and image was amazing when Will Stroud was involved, however it would appear that video content has slowed lately which is a damn shame.
Unashamedly, I’ll back this video for Volume 4 of the LUXBMX Video Vault feature. Take it away Justin Burns.