Video Vault: Volume 4

Welcome to Volume 4 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.

For Volume 4, it took around 5 seconds until my train of thought led to Cristian Porras and his 2015 Fitbikeco edit produced by the god emperor, Stew Johnson.

Note - all photos taken from the Fitbikeco page. 

This video is all time. It's a web part that has a standing equivalent to a classic from a full-length video and features the Colombian Fitbikeco rider going to work with Stew Johnson from a trip to Austin back in 2014 (presumable filming for Holy Fit). The first time I caught this dude was via the 2012 Fitbikeco trip/video to Ecuador, subsequently his tenure in my mind ends with his Holy Fit clips. Bit of a shame considering the impact he had and his abilities on the bike. Having said that, he could be shredding as hard as ever and I would never know. 

Let's not dilly dally around though, what makes this video so good?

Well firstly, it was put together by Stew Johnson so you know that shit is going to be a minimum 8/10. However in this one, Stew does us all a favour and murders the quality. In fact, this video features some of my all time favourite clips - in terms of how they're filmed. Take the line at Austin's 'House Park' starting at 0.41 - nothing crazy, just a dude flowing a concrete park but man, the way he looks on the bike is beautiful and moreso, the restraint with zoom, the cuts between long and fish, colour grade and most importantly, how the camera ends as he rides away with almost jedi-level stillness - incredible. The rest of the video features equally great filming and editing, clean, great mix of angles/lenses, variety in terrain and the spice of a South American at his peak powers. 

The song. The song is a left-field for Stew and has aged nicely. We're talking Chester Watson, an American rapper/producer from Georgia having worked away on music for 8 years until releasing his first album in 2020. Since then, the kid has been on the rise with his laid-back style of vocalising underpinned by nu-age Soundcloud-esque production, a hazy combination which layers confidence, swagger and intention. Put simply, think Earl Sweatshirt. Anyway, the track accompanies the part really well, providing a couple of timely pauses to highlight a trick, keeps a helpful momentum and ultimately, sounds really good.  

Lastly, the dude is obviously a highly skilled biker - which seems a little obvious to say when choosing a classic BMX video. You'd wanna hope so anyway. In a more nuanced sense, as mentioned above, I think it's the variety of terrains that work to make this video stand out. For example, there is a trails line which starts at 2.01 (after a bunch of street and park) which is so fresh, the dude does a bunch of basic (in the modern sense) tricks, but is actually hauling ass and clearing huge gaps. I remember thinking that the tailwhip leading into the nothing was crazy at the time, and to be honest, still think it's pretty nuts. This video also allows for some of Cristian's personality to come through, which is probably a smart move when you have a guy from another country in town to film for a project, there is very likely going to be high energy which if tapped into, renders amazing results. 

There are probably more things to note, and better ways to describe it, but that will do for now. I love that this video still gives me the same feeling as when I first watched it. Stew, Cristian and this 2015 Fitbikeco video have barely aged a day and that is something which deserves to be acknowledged. 

As you were.