Vurbmoto pushes limits of moto media
Vurbmoto is one company that truly gets the meaning of being passionate about their work. Owners Wes Williams, Brent Stallo and Andrew Campo started Vurbmoto with a sole purpose to make a living being a leader in the motorsports media frontline.
Being enthusiasts themselves, they bring a sense of pride to every film they produce. From their signature "Unplugged" or "Platinum" video series, to the recent Red Bull Signature Series projects and the "James Stewart: Outsider" and "The Road to Loretta's" web series, you can most certainly feel something more they bring to the table.
Being passionate about natural terrain riding myself, I can proudly say that when they come out to film the hills nothing beats having someone that eats, sleeps and breathes the same thing you do. It's a real luxury to have someone capture the riding and turn it into the art we all see it as.
In between their very busy schedule of shooting all things motocross, I had a chance to catch up with Williams, the executive producer there at Vurbmoto. Here's what he had to say:
ESPN.com: Who makes up Vurbmoto?
Williams: Vurbmoto is essentially a group of very passionate ex-dirtbike racers, all of whom once had the dream of standing atop the Supercross podium, but eventually came to the conclusion that the motocross dream wasn't a very feasible reality for any of us. We're a bunch of haggard, washed-up B classers with an overload of broken bones who picked up cameras to try to pick ourselves up out of the injured-reserved doldrums.
Somehow our crew of, now, about a dozen attention deficit left-brainers came together with a stack of unique abilities and empty bank accounts to build something from nothing. Our collective experience is all over the map - from video production, graphic design, marketing, web development and copyright, we have been fortunate to ultimately save ourselves from a life of rough construction or burger flipping.
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the majority of us have had to take on such jobs throughout our short five-year stint in the motorsports world, but it's safe to say we're all pretty lucky to be in the position we're in. It was a tough road in the beginning, but now we're finally able to say we've become a viable player in the media world and we strive every day to push the limits of what's possible in the sports we involve ourselves with.
We want to deliver the best, the coolest, and most unique content in any venture we take on. … Building our brand and creating enough revenue to help us live our dreams is really the icing on the cake.Wes Williams, co-owner of Vurbmoto
How long have you been in the business of making videos?
As a 16 year old dirtbike racer, I was a pretty nerdy kid that always had a video camera in hand. My first payday came in the form of a crisp $20 bill in November 2002 as I was making videos at local tracks in my area. Since then, I've never looked back.
While I produced many motocross DVD titles in the years following, I can't say that I ever really knew what the hell I was doing until around the time we started Vurbmoto. I was just a kid running around with a camera that had a mad passion for motorcycles, and I was willing to do just about anything to be at the races on the weekends. I made enough money to support that hobby for the five years in between my start and beginnings of Vurb, and luckily we've now grown to the point that we are the ones leading the charge to the "bleeding edge" of motorsports media.
Is that all you do or do you produce for other entities as well?
In an effort to put peanut butter and jelly on our plates for the first few years, we did anything and everything we could for companies that would earn us a few bucks. Hell, we pretty much still do that!
Our group handles anything from social media channels for companies in the industry to turn-key TV production. We have such a broad group of talent underneath our umbrella that the possibilities lie only within the extent of our imagination.
From companies like Red Bull, Toyota, American Suzuki, and Volcom, just to name a few, you can see a long list of our work in a variety of places. This summer in particular, [we've built] the "Road to Loretta's" and "JS7: Outsider" video series for Red Bull, as well as building multiple television shows based around the 2012 AMA Amateur Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn's, including the NBC Red Bull Signature Series.
What is Vurbmoto's mission?
Plain and simple, we want to deliver the best, the coolest, and most unique content in any venture we take on. At the end of the day, building our brand and creating enough revenue to help us live our dreams is really the icing on the cake. Typically, if it's been done before it's not much interest to us. We want to push the envelope, we want to set boundaries, and in the end look back and know we've done everything we could.
To us, it's not the YouTube views or ad impressions that matter; it's about drooling over the epic shots we've captured, the memories we've created, and most amazingly giving a product to the motocross world that leaves them in awe. That's what stokes us up the most.
As you know I eat, sleep, breathe natural terrain riding and I can't tell you how much it means to us guys in the hills riding to have someone behind the camera who shares the same passion!
While I could never in my wildest dreams throw down as dirty as Twitch or yourself, that's almost what propels me, personally, to capture the shots I envision. Documenting what is otherwise unseen while completely nerding out on camera settings and lenses has become my life, and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I get the butterflies each and every time I get that shot or put up a well-done edit. My emotions are equivalent to a 9-year-old kid's on Christmas Day when the magic is happening.
How does the future look in your eyes as far as filming videos? Do you think it's come full circle again where it's not about ramps, huge gaps but about all the images along the way on, off the bike?
For me personally, I'd say film production has just been projected into a whole new universe. With technology that's available to us, literally anything is possible. With RED and Phantom cameras, to cable cameras and RC helicopters, it's not really about having a cool song with decent footage anymore. It's about every single shot being insane and jaw dropping, while at the same time having a functional storyline around all of it.
Even looking back at titles 10 years ago, you can see how amazingly far film production has come in all of action sports. Sometimes, I think it takes away from the personality and fun that used to be portrayed in movies, but I think that's really just part of the evolution.
In this new age with social media, iTunes outlets, do you feel that with the right plan, there is a way for non-competition guys like Ronnie Renner, Jeremy Stenberg, etc. who are still some of the if not best guys in the sport to be successful without doing X Games?
Just like other facets of action sports, there are "comp guys" and "freeride guys." A big part of what drives those camps is the industry, from athletes to media to viewers that support it. Even the best day of riding in the hills isn't the same if you can't share it later.
The thing is, in just about any other action sport, athletes are paid to get spots in magazines and movies, all the while most don't even do competitions. Motocross, on the other hand, is all about being at events, racing, or doing competitions. No one, in any genre of motocross, has the time or luxury to go out to ridiculous locations for weeks of filming. If it were to ever work out so that was possible, you'll certainly see the most amazing places and concepts come out of this crew. That's what we dream about!
In a perfect world how would you see it?
Perfect world I see a professional motocross racer like Trey Canard, who has incredible skill and style on a dirtbike, with a guy like Twitch in the hills of New Zealand on custom-built tracks with helicopters, cable cams, phantoms, and REDs all over … and two weeks to film it. Just one example, and certainly a pipe dream but, hell, we're dreamers and that's what has got us to where we're at right now.