You may or may not have watched the below Chronic Bone edit of Samson and Mac. While I’m biased, I would suggest watching it, for many a reason, the original riding, the kooky editing, the lols, the vibes, the memories, the friendships, all of these things. Going into this project, I’m sure James thought he would be able to smash it out in a a few months, maybe 6 months, but he didn’t understand that he was filming Samson and Mac, notorious cynics and obstructionists.
What eventuated was a gruelling 2 years of pain, torture, relentless delays and tiresome encounters, a real strain on the friendships involved. James is now retiring from BMX and has debilitating psychosis and Samson and Mac don’t talk to each other, preferring to ignore the last 2 years altogether, a distant, shitty memory. It’s a shambles. Nah, that didn’t happen. But I’m sure it was frustrating to say the least. But hey, all worth it when you can sit down and watch something like this, which is essentially just a bunch of mates hanging out and doing dumb shit. Maybe that’s why so many people can relate to Chronic Bone videos.
Anyway, to get an inside perspective on the video and the behind the scenes detail, I spoke with James. He also provided the photos. So enjoy!
This video has been a long time in the making, not that you ever set out to make a 7 minute split as it exists. What has been the process for making this video and is it how you anticipated it would be in anyway?
Haha yeah it has been a long time coming that’s for sure. Looking at the files the first day we devoted to this project was in March 2015. The boys came to me with an idea of doing a video entirely of double clips, clips that would feature the pair of them and I thought it was a great idea. I had a strong vision for a very progressive ground breaking BMX edit, but maybe after the fourth or fifth weekend that I found myself driving home from Beachmere bleary-eyed, the taste of beer in my mouth and about 2 useable clips I started to think it wasn’t gunna be exactly what I had in mind.
I still knew it was gunna be great! No doubt, but I knew it needed a lot more clips from both riders. The original motivation that we all had fell off and I ended up filming a fair bit more solo clips and a lot more with Samson then Mac. I kept pushing that we need to film more and more but being unable to get both boys together at once led to the rest of the motivation kinda falling off more. Basically Samson kept sending me passive aggressive/ sad, guilt fuel messages until I edited out the final product.
Having filmed a lot of different people myself, I know that some are easier than others. What is it like filming Samson and Mac? It’s particularly rare to see this much Samson footage.
Fucking dreadful, those boys have a way of breaking someone down. I feel like the entire experience is comparable to a crackhead family in the line for Centrelink. You got mum with a ciggy in her mouth antagonising security (Big Mac), Dad wired as fuck and angry as all shit at the world who is about to fucking explode due to having this crack head bitch in his ear all day (Shwang). And me, there unwanted crack head accident baby who they both resent but keep around for the small amount of welfare they collect (the edit).
Haha nah we had a ball making this! Both dudes did get serious when it was time to get clips! We all seem to have the same kind of outlook with BMX and life in general so we did fuck around quite a bit and spend hours in pubs, there were some weekends we didn’t get clips at all.
It was mainly just hard to get Big Mac to come film and I think the trick with Shwang is to entice him by making plans of going to the pub all weekend and before he knows it we are in a school and I got my camera out.
Can you expand as to the background on some of the clips in the video, maybe the intro shit, what was going on there?
Haha those are the A grade clips right there! The rest of it is just bender B roll! I always try to capture all the good times we have together! Samson did work hard for a fair few of the clips towards the end of the video. There is a clip where he smashes a downside whip and crankflip on a big concrete bank spot. That was a really dope day and we drove out in the bush to find something he had seen from the train when he was a lot younger and we ended up turning it into a spot! Shit like that gets me real stoked! One of a kind spot that you know no one else has done shit on.
Have you got any other video projects in the works with Chronic Bone?
Yeah actually! I’ve got a small lil welcome instagram edit for Denby Chandler coming real soon. Just a bunch of stuff we filmed in a day. There is another project that I have put on hold that I really wanna get happening again with Vocko, don’t know if you know him.
When you’re editing, what is the goal with your viewers, what do you hope to achieve out of making a project like this?
I guess even when I’m filming I’m kinda really focussed on who that person really is. Like I love getting dope riding clips but I’m also really interested in capturing a lot of the person’s character and personality. So when it comes to putting it together I like to show as much of the people involved as I can because I feel viewers can connect more with peoples personality’s or things they do and say rather than there riding. I also like to get reactions out of people and keep them guessing so I often re-edit parts over and over again trying to make it feel more disjointed or disruptive.
For this project I really wanted to put out a video that would show people that Chronic Bone is fun and that riding is fun but as we worked on it more I started just really wanting to make something cool for Mac and Shwang. As long as they can watch it and laugh and say that it was dope I’ll be happy!
Any other stories that you wanna share as a behind the scenes for the video?
Haha umm, I’ve had a few people ask me about the motor bike clips at the start. That was basically just a night out camping and fishing when we all got a lil wild. I’d have to say during the filming the gnarliest most memorable weekend was the Queen’s birthday weekend when Samson broke his dick on that rail. We went to a lot of clubs and pubs that weekend and Samson found himself only just blowing under when trying to start his car with his court ordered breathalyser at 6pm on the Monday night. While Simmo ended up freaking out in the toilet at a kids house he was tutoring. Haha wild times! Wild dudes!