Countdown to 'Black Friday' begins
Metal Mulisha's much-anticipated freestyle motocross film "Black Friday" will be available on January 6 via the iTunes store and a limited DVD release the following week. The film, directed by Jay Schweitzer, is the first full-length feature from the Metal Mulisha team in more than four years.
"It was something I wanted to get back to," says Brian Deegan, co-founder of the Metal Mulisha and one of the stars of the film, along with teammates Rob Adelberg, Wes Agee, Nixey Danielson, Nick Dunne, Julian Dusseau, Ronnie Faisst, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Josh Grant, Derek Garland, Taka Higashino, Jimmy Hill, Larry Linkogle, Todd Potter, Cam Sinclair and Jackson "Jacko" Strong. "Freestyle motocross started on videos before it was ever a sport, and those first videos defined the sport. I feel like that's kind of the roots of freestyle, and now that Mulisha is growing and growing, just blowing up, we just said, 'Let's do a video. Let's go show people who we are again, let 'em know we're still the Mulisha, we're still keeping it core, and we're still defining FMX and moving the sport forward."
Moving forward indeed: This year Australian rider Jacko Strong, the youngest member of Mulisha's international FMX team, won Moto X Best Trick Gold at X Games 17 with the first front flip ever landed in competition. Meanwhile, Deegan helped push the Mulisha brand in new directions after winning RallyCross gold at X17, winning both the Pro Lites and Pro 2 truck racing classes on the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, winning the 40th anniversary Borgwarner's World Championship Off Road Race at Crandon International Off Road Raceway in Wisconsin, beating BMX star Dave Mirra in the EllisMania 7 boxing match, racing with Travis Pastrana in the Race of Champions, and announcing his intentions to compete in the Monster Jam monster truck series in 2012.
"2011 was the best year I've ever had as far as competing, hands down," Deegan says. "It will be really hard to ever top the year I just had, but I'll be back in 2012 to defend all that stuff. I'm also looking forward to building up some new segments of the Mulisha brand." As a teaser of things to come in 2012, earlier this week Mulisha announced it will be sponsoring the Valli-Star Rockstar Yamaha Supercross and Motocross team -- lead by Ryan Sipes, Kyle Cunningham, Austin Stroupe, Gareth Swanepohl, Nico Izzi, Ryan Morris, and Kyle Peters -- in a return to roots for Deegan, who started his own Supercross career at the age of 17 before shifting his focus to freestyle.
On the freestyle front, Schweitzer, who also directed the iconic freestyle motocross films in the "On The Pipe" series, says the biggest surprises in "Black Friday" will come from Wes Agee and Todd Potter, Mulisha riders who rose to the occasion to shoot some of the biggest natural terrain backflips ever filmed.
"Wes did his first natural terrain backflips at the beginning of the year at about 90 feet and within three months he was flipping 190 feet, which is just ridiculous," Schweitzer says. "He and Potter were really pushing each other out there, and there is no other freestyle motocross footage that can compare to the quality and straight sickness of riding that we have in this film. There just isn't. It's the best filming, the biggest jumps, and the most technical riding that exists, and there's not another film out this year or anytime soon that can even come close. If you want to see the level that FMX has risen, to then you need to buy this film, straight up."
Black Friday will also feature a special tribute to fallen Mulisha team rider Jeff "Ox" Kargola, whose death in May interrupted a career very much on the rise, as well as never-before-seen footage of Jeremy Lusk, another Mulisha star who fell before his time, in 2009.
"Ox threw down the biggest whips I've ever seen out at Danimal's Domain in Santa Ynez, Calif, in what turned out to be the last session he ever filmed before his death in Mexico," says Schweitzer. "He came into the huge 190-foot jump with his 450cc pinned and was just leaning it over, throwing these massive whips. Ox had a great time out there, and I think he really earned everybody's respect that day as one of the baddest freestyle riders in the world. Looking back and seeing those shots of Ox and some of the new footage of Lusk we uncovered, it really makes me feel lucky to have been able to document these guys at their prime and to be able to show the world how great these guys really were."
Deegan says he hopes "Black Friday" will go a long way towards cementing the legacy of each of the fallen riders, even if he personally finds their parts in the film difficult to watch.
"It's hard for me to watch that stuff -- it almost makes me sick to my stomach to reflect on how much we've lost -- but I felt like it had to be in there and that people had to experience the excitement and see what those guys brought to everyone with their lives and with their riding," Deegan says. "That's something we wanted to express one more time and it's definitely a huge part of the movie."
"Black Friday" will be available for download from iTunes on January 6 for $9.99. To order a copy on DVD visit MetalMulisha.com next week.
"I want everyone to check it out and tell me what they think," Deegan says. "Hit up Facebook and Twitter and all that and let us know so we can make the next one even better, because I think we're back in the position to be filming all the time and keep it going."