This came as a bit of a surprise to me. Through the magic of Facebook, a nice fellow by the name of Nick Hayday got in touch to let me know about a new project he was working on called BMX Movie Database. Essentially, BMX Movie Database is just what it sounds like: an online database for BMX videos, including rider info, production info, music credits and much, much more. And if that doesn't sound great enough, well, it's open to the BMX public, meaning anyone can add to it. Since this interview is a bit lengthy though, I'll let Nick do the explaining.
Can you explain the impetus behind BMX Movie Database?
I love the Internet, I'll Google anything and everything to find stuff out, and even though I don't watch many mainstream films, I love the IMDB for telling me who was in what and when. So after reading the umpteenth comment about song jacking on TCU and seeing more and more companies upload sections of their old films, I thought I'd love to have the IMDB for BMX.
How long have you been working on it?
I started sketching it out about seven months ago, but then another project came up, so I've probably been coding for about four months. I've had help though: Fraser Peek did all the logos and visual design work, and Greg Short has done all the testing and entered most of the films we have on there so far, and he doesn't look like he's stopping soon.
What is the process for compiling the database?
Manually to be honest, Chris Hill-Scott was kind enough to give us the raw list from his video music list but unfortunately we couldn't find an easy way to translate this into our database. Greg's been going through that list, and then we've just been asking people we ride with about their favorite films, and adding those.
What song is that? And who else was in the video? Check BMX Movie Database.
How far back in time do you intend for the database to cover?
As far back as BMX videos go? The oldest we currently have is GTv from 1986. When was the first video made? We'd love to have that video listed, if anyone knows the answer to that then they are more than welcome to upload the information.
Can anyone add to the database? How does that work?
Definitely, in fact, its encouraged, entering the thousands of videos between the three of us would take forever. All you have to do is register a name and an e-mail address (and verify the reply), and enter away. Every video will be checked manually before being displayed on the site for everyone to see. Our knowledge of BMX videos only goes so far, so of course we need a little help from people. We're really going to need help in the flatland and racing areas.
Do Web vids count? Or is this strictly for videos that have been released on VHS or DVD?
Web videos are a funny one, there are so many Web videos dropping every single day that adding all of them would be a mammoth task. What we are asking (or hoping for) is that anyone who actually makes a video (Web OR physical), can upload the information themselves as the video is released. That way we ensure correct information and you ensure your edit/film is archived.
Why do you feel that a database is necessary?
Necessary is probably stretching it a bit, but it would be good to have, and those VHS tapes aren't going to last forever. If it encourages producers to upload their old content, or even re-release their old videos (Parrick, hurry up with "Dirty Deeds" already) then all the better.
How do you intend to avoid pirated videos that have been uploaded to the Web?
That's a problem we've been wrestling with throughout the project, and we're obviously going to apply some common sense and not post rips-offs of current videos. But where do you draw the line at a video being old enough? The ideal scenario for us is that the companies themselves get involved (some already have.) They can give us all the details of the videos and tell us what they don't mind us posting, then we can lock the records up, and no one can challenge the details, or sends us links. We don't want people to rip other company's videos. We feel the site's still relevant without the video links there, although video links are obviously a huge draw.
If anyone wants us to removes link we're more than happy to do so, but there has to be some self-policing as well. If your award-winning video came out in 2008, and the whole thing has been posted to Vimeo for over a year, and is also on the first page of a Google search, where do we stand?
Chris Doyle in a DK video? What was that called again?
Anything else you'd like to add?
One thing we haven't covered is our challenge system, we're obviously not going to know every detail of every video, so anyone who signs up for an account can challenge the details of every section, send us links, give us song details etc. Then we will try our best to confirm the details, and change the record.
BMX Movie Database is now live, so head on over and check it out.