I think we might end up renaming Team Robot. We used to do commentary on all things bike related. Trails, bikes, journalism, racing, media, and the end of all humanity, etc, but it seems like all we’re going to be doing for the next six months is just telling you why shitty mountain bike videos suck.
If you make a 30+ minute video, it should probably have a title. That seems reasonable. Arrival, Earthed, Kranked, New World Disorder, no one’s going to get mad about naming a video that’s approaching feature-length, especially when it’s obvious that significant money went into its production. Need is a strong word, but apt: if you have a 30 minute video, you probably need a title.
If you make a 6 or 7 minute video, the bar’s a little higher. Your video probably still needs a title, so I know why the hell I should waste 1/7508571th of my lifetime watching it. But unless we’re talking about some serious production value or a significant, discernible narrative arc, there’s no reason for your title to be anything less than self-explanatory:
“How to corner with Brendan Fairclough.”
“Geoff Gulevich shreds the Swiss Alps.”
“Some interior BC kid in a striped graphic v-neck and a D3 with no goggles does weird turn bar invert things and crashes a bunch of times trying to corkflip a drop.”
Those are all great names for seven minute videos. I know what I’m getting into before I watch it, I can get a little excited, but I also know I’m not getting into some weird, heavy, emotion-laden journey through the struggles and vagaries of life. I don’t want to have to emotionally prepare to watch “Breaking Bad” here, I just want to watch bike riding. Maybe some guy talks for 30 seconds about bike riding, and that’s fine.
If Brandon Semenuk and Trek spend $500,000 building a mini-slopestyle course on top of the Sears Tower in Chicago, they’ve earned the right to use some vague, semi-witty one word title if they want. “Brandon Semeuk: Towering.” There is a chance that I’ll actually remember watching that video 20 minutes from now.
If everyone knows that Cedric Gracia broke his femur, then had to rehab, train, and condition his way back to World Cup shape so he could retire on his own terms at the Vallnord World Cup in 2013, and your video clearly shows that arc using film clips spanning the last 10 years, then game on: use a cheesy one word title like “Cedric Gracia: Determination.”
But if you make a 2 minute, 25 second video of you hitting some jumps in your homies backyard and then you land one good trick all sketchball at the very end, you cannot look me straight in the face and tell me you’re going to title your video:
“Griffin Paul: Redemption.”
Oh, you suffered one of the most common sports injuries, and then you were fine after the prescribed recovery time? And no one knows who you are? Cool.
In the same vein, check out KHS phoning it in and 100% cashing in on the goodwill from Logan’s injury story:
No inspiring words, no tales of struggle, no explanation as to how he’s back riding downhill FOUR months after breaking his femur. Really, no effort put into this video whatsoever. Other than two clips at the beginning and a title, this is just a standard mediocre riding video. You already know what the poorly conceived story arc for the video is, but here’s the behind the scenes look at the making of this video:
1. On Monday, the video guy and(or) Quintan realize that Logan’s going to be in Laguna on Tuesday, and they should probably film something.
2. Monday night Q and the video guy have a five minute brainstorming session about which trail to film, while watching Rob and Big reruns and eating take-out Chinese food. Telonics has been shot to death, but it looks better on film. PG looks pretty boring, but it’s less recognizable, hopefully giving the video a less tired look. Also, the Athertons, Brendan Fairclough, and lots of other people who podium at World Cups have filmed at Telonics, with some of the best video guys in the game. If you shoot on PG, there won’t be any point of comparison to show how much slower Logan is, or how horrible the KHS video guy is. PG it is.
3. Logan’s plane lands at 11:45 on Tuesday. Q builds his bike up for him. Logan snapchats with Kevin for three hours, and instagrams his new bike build with 21 different hashtags. #KHS #soulrider #brobra #whoarewestillsponsoredby @cytosport @hayesbrakes @spank @rebelliousstatusclothing
4. Q finishes building the bike at 5. Load up the car, drive to tacos. Logan hashtags #tacos.
5. Film for an hour in Laguna.
6. On the drive back Logan plugs in his iPod, and everyone agrees Fallout Boy would be sick for the video. Logan takes a photo of the sunset while listening to Fallout Boy and realizes this, bro, is what life is all about, hashtag #epic.
7. All three of them go out that night in designer jeans and their “going out” shirts. Absolutely no one gets laid.