Few weeks ago, a refreshing new action video – ‘Keep it Real’ came up on the www. Primarily shot on 16mm, ‘Keep it Real’ features some progressive riding and beautiful imagery. FRM caught up with the new kid on the block, Andrew Young and got an insight on what rolled on behind the lens.
FRM: High five for a wicked film, Andrew! A lil intro about yourself?
AY: Hey everyone, my name is Andrew Young, I am a 21 year old filmmaker from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have been filming mountain bike videos for over 5 years now; I also self-film my own street mountain bike videos for more of a side hobby.
FRM: “Keep it Real” is your first full length action video, how did it come about?
AY: I graduated from film school wondering “what the heck am I gonna do with my life (like every young person)”. Riding bikes has always been a passion of mine, I have seen it change and progress over the years. With digital cameras being accessible to every single person these days, naturally, the amount of videos has multiplied tenfold over the years. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse. Anybody can get their hands on a camera and create something super rad, but it makes it much harder to create original, authentic content that is new and fresh. Oddly enough, I decided that the realest content I could make, would be a bike movie shot on super 16mm film. More than half of “Keep it Real” are images formed with light sensitive silver crystals on emulsion. Film has a specific look, whether or not people care doesn’t matter, but that was just my creative decision.
FRM: Who formed the core team behind the film?
AY: I filmed and edited the entire project myself. My girlfriend Shelbi Bartlett helped me produce the project because I’m terrible with numbers and organizing. My good friend and fellow filmmaker Scott Secco gave me tons of support when I needed it.
FRM: You’ve blended 16mm film in times when action sports videos are sliding further towards 360degree view, 4k and extreme slo mo.
AY: I chose to shoot on 16mm film because it was so important to me that this project looked different from everything else you see these days. Because digital cameras are so accessible, I wanted to film on an expiring format that almost nobody uses anymore in action sports. That was how I decided to set myself apart. Fortunately one place still exists in Canada to develop film, I sent all of my film to Niagara Custom Labs and they developed the film and transferred it to a digital file.
FRM: Most of the riders in “Keep it Real” are up and coming rippers from Canada. How did the rider list build up?
AY: Mostly people that I already knew. It is my first big project so I don’t have many contacts yet. I was stoked to have Matt Macduff in my movie, he was so stoked to shoot on film because he religiously watches old NWD movies.
FRM: Any instances during the filming sessions that stand out?
AY: Man, the list goes on. I like to leave a lot of the stories in the past, otherwise they just bother me still. Endless technical errors using camera equipment from the 1970’s. Reilly Horan’s flat drop flip took 2 months to film one shot. After crashes two times, he was too hurt to try again, so we both drove to our hometowns. Two months later we linked back up in Kamloops to refilm the monster backflip, fortunately he landed it. Matt Macduff flew into Calgary, the next morning he hit the biggest stairset in the city, and broke his frame on the first clip of the film shoot. We ended up partying all night long to try and forget about how crappy the situation actually was. Fortunately a new frame got express shipped in two days and we managed to still film a full segment.
FRM: “Keep it Real” was mainly shot in B.C, Canada. Any location that stands out?
AY: Everything in B.C has its own flavor. We mainly filmed where the rider’s felt most comfortable. I didn’t want the riders to feel the need to try anything they didn’t feel like. So I just let it happen.
FRM: What is brewing for the next season? A sequel to “Keep it Real”?
AY: That’s a future problem. Definitely keep your eyes peeled though.
FRM: Shout out to folks who made this film possible.
AY: Every single person who gave me positive vibes during this project deserves a shout out. I thrive off positive energy. My family, and close friends gave me more support than I could ever need to pull this off, thanks a bunch!