50 is the newly released short film on Motocross racer Wyatt Avis which gives a look into the riders life, his career, the people behind the scenes and his riding style. Lloyd Ramsay is the man behind it all and for once we decided to interview the creator instead of the star in the film.
Watch the awesome film and then get an in depth idea of what Motocross superfan, Lloyd wanted to create and capture in 50 in our interview with him:
50 – The Motocross Short Film:
50 – The Interview:
Tell about the short film “50”, how did the idea come about and what did you want the outcome to be?
Its a short format film shot at 720p with a somewhat linear underlying narrative about a Motocross racer. From the outset I knew what I did not want to make, another pointless Motocross video using that same song you have heard in a dozen other videos. The intent was to give it a bit of soul and really learn something about Wyatt from his stories and experiences indirectly. I also wanted some solid riding in because 16 minutes of people talking is boring. I made a film I would enjoy to watch. That was the goal.
Do you think you captured what you wanted to in the film?
Definitely. I had an idea in my head that I was working along to the whole time and Wyatt placed faith in me that I was not going to make him look like a hacker. Since I am a very visual thinker it is difficult for me to articulate my ideas verbally. In regards to the interviews you see in the film I have a process that I don’t make my subject aware of. When the timing is right I pressed record. Sometimes we would sit around talking crap for 20 minutes and then film 1 minute of footage because I had got that person at ease and in the frame of mind that I wanted to capture. In regards to the actual filming, I hate filming. I would rather be editing and not getting roosted in the sun but my shots pretty much all came out exactly as I planned them.
What made you decide to do this film on Wyatt Avis?
This film started out as a conversation in the pits with Wyatt about making a web edit. Something turned over in my head at some stage and it grew into 50. This film was not planned. I had always wanted to make a project like that but had yet to find the right rider and circumstance.
At what tracks and locations was 50 filmed at and how long did it take?
The film took 5 months to complete. The main reason being that Wyatt is a busy guy. There seems to be a “party boy” image somehow portrayed of him but he barely had a spare hour in-between working and riding. An injury late into filming slowed the process down. Post production took me over 100 hours I would say. We shot for about 13 days at various places: Springfield, Teza, Hammersdale, Hooked Up Motorsports and Wyatt’s house.
What was it like hanging out with Wyatt Avis during the filming of 50 and what is your impression of the rider?
I have known Wyatt since he was about 10 and racing 80’s for Honda. He is younger than me so we never hung out but he always stuck with me from an accident he had during a race where I like to think I was one of the people who saved his life. He was pinned under his bike with a broken femur in a section where nobody would notice him so I dropped my bike and ran over to help him. Later in the ambulance Wyatt’s heart stopped for a few minutes. Years later we met up one day and Roger Bergstrom from FCR Suspension suggested that I make a video with Wyatt. I really enjoyed working with Wyatt and was a bit sad when 50 was finished. His support, faith in me and calm demeanor made him very easy to work with and I appreciate that having worked with some walking nightmares before.
Which part of the film is your favorite and why?
I would say the intro section is one section I like because it looks like a still shot slowly coming to life. The riding section and then the lead-in to Mark’s section is by far my favorite section though. Technically I like that section because the two parts have an opposing editing style: from short cuts and high action to slow cuts with a tail to give space and sedate pacing.
Who were some of the interesting people you met during the process of filming?
Dustin Motzouris was one. Always very inspiring to meet any world champion. You listen and watch and try figure out what it is that makes them the best in the world and in Dustin’s case, I believe it is his unrelenting desire to win above all else. Mark, Wyatt’s mechanic, was by far the most interesting guy and I wanted him in the film because the guy cleaning the air filter never gets any attention. A long distance truck driver by profession, Mark had ended up at Hooked Up Motorsports as a bike mechanic. Such a humble hard working guy. The amount of effort he put into Wyatt’s race program was substantial.
How much help did you have with 50 or did you do everything yourself?
The entire project was done by myself from cover art to sound design to editing. I have friends around the world who are sound engineers or 3D modelers or designers and I wanted to get them involved to dilute my style. Having a vision and your own voice creatively is essential but there comes a point when you have to diversify. Unfortunately this time around everyone was busy so instead of waiting around I went ahead and put the film together myself.
Do you have a passion for motocross? Explain?
All throughout high school I was made to think I was below average and had no hobbies. My brother got a dirt bike one day and after a while I liked the idea of riding so asked my parents if they would buy me one as well. We found a decent 1991 YZ 125. At first I started racing off-roads but never finished a race and hated it. It always occurred to me that there was an ambulance at the race but it would always be miles away. It all ended when someone hit me top gear pinned. Somehow I came out without a scratch but the other rider had broken his leg really bad. After the race he was claiming I took him out on purpose which was not the case at all. I was in front of him anyway and he T-boned me as I turned. He was in pain. I would have been pissed too. Tried a Motocross race after that and loved it. To me it was safer, the skill level was higher and it was more enjoyable. I kept riding and trying my best and then one day I won a race. It blew my mind. For 12 years I was told I was below average yet I had just won a Motocross race. So Motocross is a passion in that it defined me and gave me purpose as well as confidence to tackle anything in my life. I made a lot of friends through racing and the few amateur races I won keep me fired up still to this day. I barely ride much anymore since I am a MTB/BMX guy now but I am a Superfan for sure. Bercy Supercross, AMA Supercross, Hangtown National, X Games…I have been to them all as a spectator or as a photographer.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
For the past few months I have been working on a web video with Jaco Kapp the surfer who is another Rockstar guy. Hopefully we can get that finished in the next month or two but it all depends on the weather. My next short film I plan to do something outside of Action Sports and am in the process of writing the script and production notes. I started it out with a solid idea and that’s the foundation you need. Your sound can be a mess and your picture grainy, but if there is a solid idea at the heart of a project it will carry it through. Wyatt and I also have a web series planned for 2014