Road Fools wrote the book on BMX roadtrip videos; now get the full series in one amazing box set.
When Props (launched as a BMX video magazine) released the first Road Fools roadtrip video in 1998, it changed the game. The personalities of the pros were on entertaining display along with their riding skills, and BMX riders everywhere ate it up and couldn’t wait for the next edition. And why not? Each Road Fools was filled with crazy riding and even crazier antics.
The Road Fools franchise eventually grew to 18 editions, and fortunately for us, Props co-founder Chris Rye recently assembled the full series into one box set with a huge amount of brand-new bonus features (watch the teaser above). A massive undertaking to say the least, so we checked in with Rye for a little backstory.
redbull.com: When did you decide to create the box set?
Chris Rye: Pieces started falling in place right at the beginning of the year and I dove in full-on around February.
What made you decide to take on such an enormous task?
I had actually been working on another project -- a Road Fools book -- and in contacting riders to write stories for the book I found some couldn't remember a lot about what happened on some trips. That led to getting all the RF videos together for the first time so the dudes could easily watch them to refresh their memories for the book.
Having them all in a single folder for the first time is what sort of kicked off the box set project, but it ultimately ballooned into a lot more with all the bonus sections and new material.
You must have had a memory overload watching all that old stuff. Were there things you had completely forgotten?
Oh yeah, tons of stuff I had forgotten about. The trips were always a blur because everything was happening so fast. It was great getting the chance to delve into this material again, and I think people who get the box set will agree.
What was the hardest or most time-consuming part of this project?
The Blu-ray authoring, by far. There were all kinds of problems with the software I started to use -- which I spent a month learning, and then had to completely ditch due to technical limitations. The things I wanted to do with some of the menus ended up needing a more hands-on approach, which forced me to learn manual Blu-ray programming and coding.
Why is the box set on Blu-ray only and not DVD?
The 35 hours of content in the box set is an insane amount of material; it would take 25 DVDs to hold it all. To author 25 DVDs, manufacture and package them would take an inordinate amount of time and money, and is just sort of silly. Blu-ray holds everything nicely in three discs, the financials are much more doable and it's still a small, clean package.
I don't think I'm alone in feeling that something's missing from the sport these days.
What's been the most rewarding part of the project?
Seeing Instagram light up when people received their box sets in the mail. I'm really glad I decided to create this project; everyone seems really excited about it and it's just pretty cool having all the videos together for the first time in this tight little set.
I’ve always loved commentary on DVDs so I was pumped to see you did that with Road Fools 1. How did that come about?
Taj [Mihelich] was on a road trip and happened to be in my area in Wisconsin. Dave [Freimuth] lives less than two hours from here, so Taj and I drove up to Dave's place and I took my recording equipment along and set up a comfortable little viewing area in his living room. We had a few beers, then sat down and played the vid with the microphone recording to my laptop.
Neither Dave nor Taj had seen the video in a good number of years, so a lot of what was recorded was them remembering things as they were seeing them. It was fun sitting and reminiscing with those guys!
How are the sales going so far?
I really had no idea how this would sell or what the demand would be for it, so it was sort of a risky business venture. It's been going well; it beat my expectations and people are still ordering it. This is a limited-edition release, and once they're gone, they're gone. It's too expensive to run small batches to replenish stock, so if you’re interested in this, get one now before they sell out.
Now that this project is behind you, what’s next on your plate?
The trick going forward is coming up with projects that can't be replicated on the Internet and still utilize the creative elements of filming and editing that Props is known for. I don't think I'm alone in feeling that something's missing from the sport these days. It's hard to place a finger on it exactly, but I'd like to do projects that focus on the personalities of riders and tap into the actual soul of the sport. I'm not entirely sure what lies ahead, but hope that we can come up with some good projects.
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