Time Will Tell: Elliot Van Orman
Back in 2004, a video dropped into my office out of the blue from none other than Elliot Van Orman. Later that day, we hit play on "The Day Is Over," and that's when it all started to get really interesting, really quick. Even if you've only been riding for a few years and this video is somewhat before your time, you'll still have been influenced somewhere along the line by a certain street section from Steven Hamilton. Here was someone who wasn't afraid to pedal his cranks off and hit stuff at a legitimate speed -- it was like a breath of fresh air to watch a video part with someone going full tilt. This was the real deal. "The Day Is Over" set a new standard, and it wasn't just Steven's riding -- all the parts were amazing, and it was a pretty pivotal video despite the fact that it was independent, featured riders you may not have heard of before, and produced on a shoestring budget. Its creator Elliot Van Orman definitely pulled this one out of the bag. Now it's 2010 and following a degree course in film and video, Elliot's back with a new video release scheduled for this year. The full-length release of his new BMX DVD "Time Will Tell" is due out this year, so we caught up with Elliot to talk about the old, and the new.
ESPN.com: So what's a day in the life of Elliot Van Orman like right now?
Elliot: I graduated from Columbia College in Chicago 2008 with a degree in Film & Video. Ever since then, my days have been focused on getting my "Time Will Tell" DVD finished, while working on other side video projects. I am very focused on my goals, I usually end up working until the end of the day trying to complete them all.
Let's wind the clock back to 2004 and "The Day Is Over." What are your memories from making that video?
It was a fun time. I remember just filming every day and sitting down every night to put all the pieces together. I had a lot of fun making it. But I wasn't happy with the video when I released it. I wasn't content with the sound mix of it and actually spent a lot of time trying to remaster it, but along the way I lost track of everything and eventually decided to put it down for a while and work on something else, and that is when I began making my next video. I eventually went back and fixed the sound work on "The Day Is Over" just to have a finished version of it for myself. But in the end there is no finished movie. One of my favorite quotes is from George Lucas and it goes, "A movie is never finished, only abandoned."
Who were the outstanding characters from "The Day Is Over"?
I think the main stars of the film were Steven Hamilton and my brothers Ted and Beeler. They had the parts that most people talked about afterwards. I know Steven's part really helped my video get known.
So what was it like filming with Steven Hamilton back then? That was an epic part.
It was great, it was right around the time he was blowing up, and I knew making a part with him would be a big hit and it was. Steven's a really interesting character, and he has his own style nowadays and I'm glad he does things his own way.
Did you expect his video part to have such an effect on the scene?
I had a feeling it would be something people would talk about. And I was glad to see it went beyond that in a way.
So how's work going on the new video?
The editing is done, the sound work is done, and the color correction is just about done. I'm about to begin the DVD authoring of it to get it shipped off to the replication house in Chicago to get the DVDs made. It will be released sometime in 2010.
What's behind the name?
I was walking around Chicago one day and started singing a song to myself and somehow the words "Time Will Tell" were in it. I've always loved things based around time, so I found it be a good fit.
Cool. So who and what can we look out for on the new one?
A lot of the same people that were in "The Day Is Over" plus a whole new group of riders. A lot of filming from The Northwest Trail scene, Vancouver, Michigan, Chicago, the Midwest, the East Coast, and some footage from over in Europe and Taiwan. A lot of different locations and riders, all street and trails with a few ramp shots. Some new faces include Paul Kintner, Darin Read, GJ Nappo, Mike Hoder, Billy Graham, Jason Teet, Jordan Hango, and many more. There are no parts, instead each section is based around a theme. For example there's a traveling section and a trails section and so on. Each song fits the riding and images in a special way. The movie is not short. It is an 82-minute journey. There is also a 40-minute bonus comedy movie I made with footage and skits I shot throughout my college years in Chicago entitled "The Other Times." It will bring people a laugh; there's some funny stuff in it. It's an added bonus feature that I wanted to make.
What's your take on modern day video viewing? Web edits verses DVDs, the life expectancy of DVD as a format, that sort of thing.
I've lost my interest in the mainstream scene of BMX over the years. I still love riding with all of my heart, but keeping up on this and that, I just don't want to and don't care to. I've kinda gone my own route on everything, and I think that will show in my upcoming DVD. As for modern day viewing, I think the Internet is great in many ways and also bad in many ways. Things like YouTube hurt DVD sales, which sucks for the video maker. But in life, sometimes you must regress to progress.
So when "Time Will Tell" comes out, what next?
I'm trying to figure that out for myself. Whatever I do next will not be as large of a scale as my "Time Will Tell" DVD had become. I'd like to take on smaller projects, whether that be in BMX or music videos. I'd like to build my Elliot Van Orman Productions company up more and invest in a very high end HD camera and other equipment very soon. As for my future, only time will tell.