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2021 World of Echo Film Festival: Short Form

Stacked with new talent and seasoned veterans, the Short Form division of our 2021 Film Festival kept the judges on their toes. Mike LeGrand and his crew of lovable misfits remind us all why their legacy stands so tall.

When it was ultimately decided to launch a film festival back in June, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, outside of a few close friends, nobody even knew this was going to happen. I was undeniably alone in this endeavor, meaning I promised all that I could at the time of the announcement: my time, a bit of money, and a place to host your films. There were no guarantees of sponsors, judges, or (most importantly) participants.

Thankfully, through a network of trustworthy friends, colleagues, and companies, we built a small yet mighty team worthy to represent the motocross films yet to be made. The only missing part was you, the filmmakers. And man, did you guys come through!

All told, we received nearly 40 entries into the festival when all was said and done, an entertaining and eclectic mix of films from across the globe, ranging from short works 2 – 10 minutes in length, to 25, 35, even 45 minute full-length features worthy of praise and recognition. With over half of those entires coming the night of the deadline, y’all had me sweating. I was not to be let down, though.

Thank you to our sponsors: Brian Garner at Atlas Speed Factory, Mike Schalkoff at Monster Energy, and Wes & Leslie Williams at Vurbmoto.

Thank you to our judges: Tom Journet, Brett “Donut” Powers, Mike Emery, Jordan Hoover & Rain Henderson, and John Fox.

And last, but not least, thank you to everyone who submitted films, the friends that joined us for the festival showcase, and those who are visiting this page now. It wouldn’t be possible without you.

Now… onto the Short Form submissions!

Excerpt from Mike: “Something toxic is looming in the rural backwoods of Pennsylvania – The Viewing. We’re here to ask for forgiveness, not permission as the van blows by No Trespassing signs with no remorse. When we rolled into the cornfields once known as Steel City Raceway, we could hear the sound of Mad Mike’s two stroke echo through the valley. After days of rain, we scouted for land we could contaminate with two wheels next. The old slag mines took the win. Sit back and enjoy the lands known as Pennsylvania Poison.

Excerpt from Nick:It’s Worth It is the result of approximately 500 hours worth of work and contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 unique photos. It ups the game from previous Mechanimations videos to include a storyline, characters, and an original film score. It’s not a tutorial, but you might learn something from it. If you don’t learn anything I think you’ll still be entertained. And if this video makes you want to go spin a wrench then I’ve achieved my goal, and the effort was worth it.”

“Special thanks to Nicholas Alan Nelson for the original score, Race Tech, and Wiseco Pistons.”

Excerpt from Sam:Four Thirty One is a short film about RJ Cook dedicated to Daniel Baker. I wanted to make something meaningful. Not a grind, or sacrifice everything type of video, not that I have anything against those. I guess I just wanted to make something I wasn’t too sure about, maybe something I am slightly uncomfortable with. I think the theme of the video is personal growth and finding happiness in life.”

Excerpt from Ryder: “While off of school for Thanksgiving break, Chance and I met at his house and carpooled to a local track in his iconic red van, but I only really planned on throwing together a insta banger. It was on the second day when I snagged some moody driving shots that I was inspired to make this into something more. We shot for one more day, I snagged some voice over in his garage, and I got to cutting!”

“I’d like to thank Chance for giving me his time and effort, and buying me (a broke high school kid) a burger on the way home from our shoots. He’s supported me since day one, and would do anything if it meant it would help me out. I wouldn’t trade the experience of making the films for the world and hope for many more adventures with my good friend, Chance.”

“Spin @ Beans” by Jack Bierbower of bush.moto

Excerpt from Jack: “Ahh we all remember our first time. It was awkward, we didn’t know what to do and it ended too fast. So here it is – the first time I ever tried to make a motocross video. This project was a roller coaster of nerves for me. Publishing your work is not easy – I have gained respect for those that do this for a living. Now that’s it’s over I’m relieved and proud of what I learned along the way. Without World of Echo’s deadline this thing would have never left my own computer, so for that – thank you.”

“Even with all the nerves about putting it out I’m proud of it – it’s a video I would watch and get stoked to go ride my motorcycle. It’s my style through and through. I used the equipment I had and made a video. That’s the coolest thing about motocross.”

“‘A motorcycle is whatever you want to make it, turn one on and you can give yourself a real thrill.'”

“There you have it folks, a nearly perfect bush.moto motocross video.”

“A special thanks to Beans Bike Park and Brock Sellards – it’s hallowed ground in the Ohio motocross scene, they take care of the local pros and give a premier track every weekend for all. I also want to thank my friends, my wonderful girlfriend Abbey and my 2 year old beagle dog Millie. Couldn’t have done it without y’all.”

All In… The Richards Family” by Karl Bohn

Excerpt from Karl: “Canyon & Brighton Richards… Meet the Richards Family, a Motocross family to the core. It takes more than riding talent to make it in this sport. The family sacrifices are often talked about, and each are unique. The property they have is top notch. They have reinvested all that they can into it. One goal is to have fun and then see what happens. Follow along their journey as the kids try to become professional racers.”

“On My Own Dime” by Cullen Boswell of The Moto Lens

Excerpt from Cullen: “So first off, I have no background in filming, editing, or really anything with a camera. I’m active duty in the U.S. Air Force, so that really takes up all of my time. With the little time I have left to spare, I have tried to learn everything I can. Growing up racing motocross, of course I saw all of the TGO films, In The Ranks, The Beginning, Terrafirma, etc… that either sparks someone to want to perform in a film like that or make a film like that. I instantly wanted to make something of my own that captured the essence of moto culture. It was a winding road with a lot of detours, but I’m here now.”

“I created The Moto Lens with the motto ‘Doing It For The Culture.’ To create, not for money or fame, but to capture the beauty of motocross. Whether pro or amatuer, young or old, I set out to project it the best I can because of my love for the sport. That passion is what really fueled this project I did with privateer Brett Stralo”

“Brett is a U.S. Army Veteran that works 5-6 days a week still with the dream of racing pro motocross. I’m typically a little more inclined to try and help out veterans, given that I am one myself, but when he told me his vision for the season I knew I had to help him. Aside from showing his determination to do his early morning workouts before work or motos in the brutal Arizona heat, it was his plan to help fellow veterans at each national he goes to that really made this project important.”

“Since the release of this project, Brett has been able to work alongside Veteran MX by helping bring combat vets trackside and get them into the action: attending the pro nationals, touring the rigs, and visiting their favorite riders. These veterans have faced a lot in their past and many are still facing some uphill battles, so it was really awesome to see what this project has done, beyond just a typical moto edit. After countless hours on YouTube getting editing tips and filming tips, I was able to produce this piece.”

“Jayden Clough @ SSR Training Facility” by Logan Dubbs

Excerpt from Logan: “Here is my submission for the contest! The video is Jayden Clough training at SSR training Facility right before Lorettas!”

“To Ride and Die in LA” by Patrick Evans of The Viewing

Excerpt from Patrick: “In August I had 32 freestyle shows over the course of four weekends in Los Angeles. Two shows a day from Thursday-Sunday. In one particular week I also raced the 22nd annual Surfercross event on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was pretty surreal riding and racing dirt bikes six days in a row all while partying on the Sunset Strip and staying in the Hollywood Roosevelt. I wanted to make a piece that captured how those six days felt to me, good and bad. I wanted to show the circle of riding, partying, ride hungover, repeat.”

“Filmed by: Nate Jones, Brendan Lutes, Black Raven Ariels, and Ryan Ritter. Edited by Patrick Evans.”

“instagram is overrated” by Nick Girgenti of Octane Co.

Excerpt from Nick: “I was tired of cropping clips vertical and jamming thousands of videos into 45 second edits. Let’s see how long we can keep this YouTube thing going, ay?”

“MOONROCKS” by Owen Gorsuch

Excerpt from Owen: “I ride enduro, out in the woods of NorCal. I’m president of the Chico State Dirt Riders and since I’ve joined the club my life has changed for the better, finding a new passion in film and photo while enhancing my love for moto. We do a club trip to Moonrocks in Nevada every year and it’s always a blast, this is my tribute to the highlight of the year for our club and my favorite piece of work yet.”

“The Southern Bois” by Thomas Greenaway

Excerpt from Thomas: “My name is Thomas Greenaway. I’m a 19 year old university drop out. I left to follow my passion for filmmaking. My favorite type of filming is moto but unfortunately in New Zealand, moto isn’t bug enough to make a living off filming it. What pays the bills for me is filming hunting which is also dope asf to film!”

  
“This video below was filmed in a little town called Gore in the south island of New Zealand. I’m pretty sure this race is located closer to Antarctica than it is to you boys over in the States. This is the type of racing that we have down in New Zealand. A large majority of it is held on farms. The farmers build up a few jumps, hop in the tractor and rip a track!”


“Not really too fazed if this video gets considered for a prize or anything like that! Just want you boys to see it and try to get my name out there a bit! Ya know, just to show that we do cool moto shit in New Zealand. We don’t just fuck sheep. 
Cheers boissss!”

“Disparate Youth” by Jacob Hantis

Excerpt from Jacob: “Since I started taking a camera to the track with me, Ryder Kingsford has always been a stand out in his age classes. No matter what age, he would always be winning some big race wherever you went. He also had a strikingly American/Euro-like style that I noticed from a young age. He just seemed so disparate compared to other kids he raced against, his style and path of success that he was setting out for himself seemed to me like the perfect film subject. This disparity that I and many others saw in Ryder led me to want to capture as much as I can of his junior racing career, even when I was 12 and would film on an iPad at the track with no clue what I’m doing I noticed he would be one to look out for in a few years time. I was right. Ryder is going pro for 2022 and onwards, and has left a good mark in Australia’s junior racing scene, which I wanted to capture through Disparate Youth.”

“The film features clips of Ryder dating back to 2018 until now, in locations all across Australia, ‘Disparate Youth’ highlighting the disparity and excellence of Ryders last years as a junior, which he dominated with multiple state and national titles. There are hundreds of stories to go along with the thousands of kilometres of travelling that accompanied me while filming these clips. Spending weeks digging through hard drives and sorting through the archives of Ryder was a really reminiscent and fun experience for me. I got to relive a lot of memories and go back to some cool places. I hope you guys enjoy!”

“Nerves” by Joe Hedges

Excerpt from Joe: “I made this short film because I think that moto or other hobbies in general can help with people suffering with mental health. I think being able to put effort into something and seeing results gives a feeling of accomplishment and clears your mind in the process of doing it. It was just my mates and I asked if they could help out and over a couple of weeks we started making it.”

“There’s a bit of a story from making it, not that funny but the best I got! My mate Hamish dropped me off so I could get a shot of him and my other mates in the car pulling up, the second I got out it started pissing down rain, so I waited there for a bit with these builders that were working on a house looking at me like what the fuck is this guy doing, then after a couple of minutes they came back, the lens was already covered in rain by this point, but I still put the shot in!”

“WHAT I HAVE BEEN UP TO” by Barrett Henderson

Excerpt from Barrett: “My name is Barrett Henderson, I am 19 years old from Baltimore, Maryland. I know that this is not my ‘coolest work’ visually. However, I feel that this piece covers all of the coolest aspects of my life. I called it WHAT I HAVE BEEN UP TO because I ride, I am a firefighter, and I love making memories with my friends and all three of these pillars of my life are touched and I just thought it looked cool.”

“I know that a lot of the other submissions were going to be strictly moto and following a story, however I wanted to do something different because for 1. I have close to no friends who are big racers 2. I wanted to stand out and be unique because yes these other contestants may be better behind their cameras and better at editing but, are any of the other contestants running into burning buildings with their cameras?”

“Existence is Musical” by Ian Howes

Excerpt from Ian: “I’ll start off by saying it’s been a busy year for me. I had planned to take most of September and October to make a film for the festival.  Fortunately for me, I had a bunch of last minute work that popped up the past two months that consumed my time. So, I’m not sure if it’s against the rules of the festival, but I would like to submit my video called Existence is Musical that I made last January. It’s blocked on everything except IGTV. I hope this winter I’ll have time. It’s been awhile since I’ve stimulated that creative place of insight.”

“ButtSniffers Vol. 1” by Jack Lane IV

Excerpt from Jack: “Unfortunately I broke my wrist a few weeks back so I’ve been capturing and the homies and doing all my editing one handed on my phone. I have no real film or photography experience, but always been moved by it and being able to capture my crew and our memories for us to look back on when we’re old and unable to go as hard as we’d like. I cooked up an edit of my friends doing hoodrat stuff from the past year on iMovie this morning. Real grassroots business.”

“My submission is basically a 90’s moto segment cut down. We’re all 90’s kids from Minnesota in our crew and we were raised on that shit! Terrafirma, Crusty, Pastrana (pre-Nitro), MM, On The Pipe, you know, the goooood stuff! It was fun to toss an edit together for the contest, which got me inspired to start a YouTube channel and post more once I have my last surgery and get out of a cast. My dad, who is 60 now, raced the 125 expert class at the first ever LL in 1982. Him and I attempted to qualify for Loretta’s this year, with no real moto experience to speak of. (He switched to off-road in the 90s and I was raised racing in the woods.) We made it to the regional, but no further.”

“I’m looking forward to capturing more of my homies and the spirit of two wheels in the Midwest for anyone who wants a peek. Thanks for checking us out and giving us a go. I don’t hope to win anything either, just want to share the spirit of moto with some fellow rippers!”

“The Birth of E” by Christian Miller

Excerpt from Christian: “My piece is a short film about electric dirt bikes and the average American’s reaction to them. In particular, why are e-bikes so hated? Is it because people are resistant to change or do motocross fans only like the sport for the sound? I hope to hold a mirror to motocross fans and make them question their arbitrary views. Every aspect of the film revolves around sound- after all, dirt bikes are pretty loud. Would motocross not improve with quiet e-bikes? Local tracks could prosper if the possibility of noise complaints vanished.

“I have had the idea for this film in my head for over a year now, and WoE encouraged me to pursue it. It morphed and changed drastically during the process of making it (which you’ve all probably experienced before). Overall I am happy with it. I gave it my all and I tried my best to make up for my lack of movie making skills!”

“125 Dream Race” by Benjamin Moore of Moore Moto Films

Excerpt from Benjamin: “Here’s a film from this summer with my buddies at the Washougal mx 125 dream race! The party went down, 125’s were railed and the good times were captured here at MOOREMOTOFILMS!”

“searching for the nothing” by Motosloth

Excerpt from Sloth: “Thanks for making me think about why I ride, you have made me more appreciative by creating this space to think and do and try.”

“Almost Like Bliss” by Jared Nelson of Comp Collective

Excerpt from Jared:Almost Like Bliss documents female motocross athlete, Lauren Thompson, and how she attempts to describe the feeling of racing motocross. Shot on two rolls of Kodak Tri-X 16mm film for Comp Collective.”

“‘When you can’t hear anything else and the only thing you see is what’s in front of you, and man it’s such a hard feeling to explain, but it’s almost, it’s almost like bliss… It’s like I’m a totally different person when I’m on my bike, just patience and being able to not overthink and just putting things together so easily. I, I think that’s the best way I can describe it.'”

“Special Thank You to Mike Corral, Bradley Smith, and Raegan Spencer.”

“South Sask Moto” by Joseph Pilsner

Excerpt from Joseph: “First things first, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. After the festival was announced my brother pulled an old camcorder out of the basement. The disc inside could only hold 14 minutes of footage so we weren’t working with much. After messing with all the settings and deciding to leave them default because I don’t know what they mean anyway we took it out to the track.”

“In the beginning I had no idea what my film was going to be about. I was planning on getting only clips of myself and throwing some Remo Drive in the background then titling it “dirt bikes”. I really started to fall in love with the way the footage came out and got obsessed with staying up till 3AM editing footage only to scrap it and restart the next day. But after a few months of riding, filming, camera problems, editing software problems, and spending far too many hours trying to come up with a decent title with the help of Smidly only to settle for something generic, I have come up with 9 minutes of crap where a third of the video is the outro.”

“All in all I’m proud of how it came out. This is the first time I’ve attempted to make any kind of moto edit or film and you can see the progression in quality throughout the video. My only goal coming in was to not have the worst video and I think it’s good enough for that.”

“Next year I’m hoping to film every round of the Saskatchewan series on a VHS camera and put a full length movie together.”

“Some Kind of Monster” by Wade Raynor of Victory Lap Productions

Excerpt from Wade: “So I made this film about a friend of mine named Tyler Stepek. I met him a few years ago and he has been nothing but nice to me and basically every kid who has come up to him at the track. When I was looking over who to attempt to make this film about I had no hesitation when I chose Tyler.

“Last year in August he broke his neck racing in the northeast about 8 hours away from home. I remember hearing about it and was immediately worried for my friend. This is like every rider’s absolute worst nightmare. He ended up making a full recovery thankfully but I still wasn’t sure if the rider I knew before would be able to comeback. But against all odds he did and had his best ever season thus far in his career.”

“I do not mind if this film doesn’t win, I think this story needs to be told either way as this is something that happens way more often than we hear about and it does not get talked about often.”

“Expiry Denial” by Jordan Roberts

Excerpt from Jordan: “Not a video guy.”

“I Love a Sport” by Jesse Smith of Jesse’s Photos

Excerpt from Jesse: “Here’s my submission for the film festival, titled I Love a Sport.  I filmed this during the 2020 Top Gun Team Shootout at Washougal MX. This was filmed over the course of the 3 day Labor Day weekend and is one of my favorite pieces of work. I have to give a huge thank you to race announcer, Tripp Rogers, for mixing the soundtrack and vocals for this project. It was a team effort.”

“Big Kickstart Guys” by Alex Spears of Anyways Media

Excerpt from Alex: “About a year and a half ago I started Anyways Media and quickly started trying to build my brand. It has been slow growth but I know my hard work is starting to pay off. A few weeks ago my friend in California, who may or may not know Davi Millsaps, pulled some strings and gave me the opportunity to come shoot Carson Mumford and Derek Drake practice supercross. Within a few hours I was on a plane headed from Nashville to SoCal. I was in such a rush I forgot my gimbal, so I had my friend overnight ship it to me.”

“When I arrived at the track I went to use my gimbal and quickly realized I didn’t have the quick release plate needed to mount the camera to the gimbal. So I just said whatever guess I’m filming all handheld, and ya know what… it wasn’t half bad. Everything in this film was shot handheld by me alone. This is my film called Big Kickstart Guys.

“MISHANTER” by Ronan Wastell & Alex Griffiths of The Bakery Film Co.

Excerpt from Ronan: “‘Hope you enjoyed the wait…’ a brief story of the Coolum Qld misfortune, with Covid-19 coming into play after the first practice canceling the weekend. 2 Months later, the race was rescheduled and back on. Filmed by Ronan Wastell & Alex Griffiths of The Bakery Film Co. Edited by Ronan Wastell.”

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