Why hardcopy matters, with Dillon McClain
In todays modern world Instagram and web edits rule the video space of BMX, and its not very often you find anyone from the younger generation that has the attention span to watch a full length video. However for some of us, hardcopy DVDS hold a special place in our hearts, whether it be the fact that you now own a piece of bmx history (small or large), or that feeling of excitement you get placing the disk in the dvd tray, wondering what lies ahead. On top of owning a physical copy of your favourite DVDS, you can start to build a collection that shows your taste in filming, editing, and of course, the riding.
I sometimes find myself thinking about how crazy it is that there are copies of "SPACEGOATS!" and "FUCKASSES" all over the world, and how each person bought a copy because they were genuinely stoked on what I had created with my friends. A bmx rider from Texas, Dillon McClain, has supported bmx crews all around the world by collecting dvds and will be passing over 1000 dvds in his collection very soon! I first spoke with Dillon the day after the release of "SPACEGOATS!" he asked about buying a copy of the video, and let me know that he had been searching for a copy of "FUCKASSES" for close to 2 years. At this point I'd sold out of all the copies of "FUCKASSES", however I managed to find a copy to send him. We got talking about DVDS and how big of an impact you can make in the world of bmx just by releasing content with your friends in a physical form. If there is such a thing as a BMX DVD Expert, that would 100% be Dillon. The knowledge he has when it comes to videos is like none other. I've asked Dillon to share some of his wisdom with us today, lets jump into this!
How did you get into collecting bmx DVDS?
I was away from Bmx from the year 2011 through 2017 due to an injury. When I came back I wanted to see what I had missed out on and how bmx became what it is today. I was shocked with how predictable and played out street riding had become. Everyone running 4 pegs and free coasters and doing all the same tricks. It was really sad so it made me value the older stuff even more and that turned into wanting to see everything I could get my hands on. So hit me up if you got videos you’d part with. Might be something I’m hunting for.
Can you remember the first dvd you ever bought?
Yup, I bought Animal's "Can I Eat?" at Empire Bmx in 2004 after a friend that works at another bike shop had told me how bad ass it was and said I’d really enjoy it. He was right. I still love that video and I have my first copy, it won’t play anymore but it’s cherished nonetheless.
How many DVDS are you at now?
949 not counting doubles. And always searching for more. Hit me up. I’m happy to help others find stuff they are searching for.
In your opinion, why does hardcopy matter so much?
Web edits are forgotten plain and simple. If you don’t have an internet connection then you don’t get to see them. So having a copy becomes really valuable to people who may not have internet at all. Another aspect of why hardcopies are better is, you can’t get a web edit autographed. Some might not care about that stuff but I personally think it’s really rad and I’m very grateful to all those who have signed DVDs for the archive.
Top 5 videos of all time?
I don’t really have a definitive top five list because I have so many videos that are so good, it’s hard to remember. I can list a few of them that I definitely love, Bsns2, Animal's "Can I Eat", Strangeways 2, 90east public property, all city, facad, rude’en side a, the t1 video, the list goes on.
What are a few of the most underrated videos you own?
I can’t really speak on that because I don’t know what others think of videos. There’s not really any platform where people talk about bmx DVDS so you may be able to figure out what’s underrated or not. I could speak on videos that have a high rating though I think they aren’t good but I don’t wanna speak poorly about peoples' work.
When it comes to the packaging on the case and discs, how much does that matter?
Well to someone like me it matters a lot. I think the disc and case graphics are a great opportunity to provide images that may speak to what the video is like, or what the crew dynamic may look like. For example if the crew is made up of dudes that are more interested in having fun vs. trying to be all badass cuz they can ride well, they may want to put some funny shit for the graphics. If your more interested in being professional about your work, the editor may choose a simpler more refined graphic. Also it’s a good way to make the video standout more when it’s on a shelf with other videos. So perhaps your buddy comes over and spots it, maybe he wants to see what’s it’s about cuz it “looks interesting”.
Where are the best DVDS coming from? USA? UK?
Well that’s definitely a question of opinions and In my opinion you can’t really say one country has the best videos but I can say that most of the stuff I see from Australia is wild. Those dudes fucking send it. If your more into “have fun” style videos Canada does that well, but there’s plenty of videos from every country that accomplish those categories well. If I had to say something about UK stuff, I’d say those dudes tend to be more precise with their riding. Not to say they don’t send it, it’s just less common to see the wild man style of riding coming from the UK. Not saying they don’t exist, just saying my impression of UK street, is more refined and proper as opposed to the wild shit I see in lots of Aussie videos.
Is there a few DVDS that the riding, filming, and editing really spoke to you?
Yeah sure, Business Two is fucking amazing. The way Ian put that together makes the whole video feel so good to watch, it’s got it all. Fun times and wild tricks/ setups all pieced together in a way that makes the whole presentation really easy to watch. Some videos that are an hour long feel like they go on forever, but his video is really easy to loose track of time watching because you’re enjoying it so much.
What were some of the hardest DVDS to find?
Anthem Two before they just rereleased it, the Terrible One video isn’t easy to find. I’ve got a list of videos I’m hunting for so if anyone reading wants to know, I invite you to reach out. You might be able to help me cross some off the list. To which I’d be truly grateful.
Do you also collect zines or any other form of bmx media?
Nope. Just DVDs and some VHS. I’m not a big reader so zines have never been my thing. Still images can sometimes be really amazing but I’m just not into spending money on things like that. Although if a dvd comes with a zine it still counts as an extension of the video so in that regard it would be something I collect.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen in a video. Well if you know the “LSD riderz” then you know there’s some seriously fucked stuff in that. But outside of that video the most wild thing I’ve seen was in a video that I can’t recall the name of (wish I could) but these dudes take one of those water toys, the ball that absorbs water so when you hit someone with it they get all wet. Well these guy to it to the extreme. Instead of water they use gasoline. Two man team. One guy get it primed and holds it back over his head ready to throw. The second guy lights it. Then dude beams a guy coming out of his house. The dude tried to dodge it but just ends up turning so it hit dead center on his back and you guessed it, he becomes a fucking ball of fire. Dude immediately drops to the ground and rolls the fire out. Giving you the feeling that this isn’t a new experience for him. If you know this clip and remember the name of the video please reach out to me. I definitely don’t recommend anyone trying this. It’s pretty fucked up honestly. Dude could have missed and hit the house and ended up with a hard arson case.
For all those wanting to get into collecting DVDs, wheres a good place to start?
I'd say start by finding your favourite videos first, call up your local bmx shop to see if they have anything made locally. If you're looking for something in particular, just ask me for help. If your searching for a specific title I can post a “wanted poster” for you in the instagram story for other collectors to see and try to help as well. I wanna give a huge thanks to Dillon for taking the time to do this, and make sure you give him a follow on Instagram @hardcopy_bmx_archive.