14 Apr Eyecontact: Ian Fleming Interview & NYC Trip Section
Not all heroes wear capes, but Ian Fleming should. Ian is amongst an elite and very short list of Canadian BMX filmers/editors who are constantly out stacking, travelling, and just fucking living. Ian’s filming is always on point and his editing style is absolutely incredible. Every full-length he puts out represents the crew he’s out with; it has a very organic and fun feel to it, the way it should be and for all the right reasons. We caught up with the maritimer and asked him some questions on his most recent masterpiece, ‘Eyecontact.’ Ian was also kind enough to hook us up with an exclusive NYC trip section from the filming of Eyecontact. We are extremely hyped to present that to you below.
When did you start filming for Eyecontact and how long did you film for?
We started filming in maybe December 2016. One night before it started snowing, Andrew and I filmed a couple clips with the VX. It was cold, but we were stoked. Things were officially rolling in Spring 2017. We stopped filming in December 2018.
I was almost jaded about how long we spent filming Business II so I wanted to do it in one or two years… The end result was okay, but in hindsight I wish we spent more time with it. I think the “it’ll be done when it’s done” length of time gives better results. A downfall I think was that almost everyone was injured at some point while filming Eyecontact. I think it all worked out good enough in the end, but maybe next time we will do it a bit differently.
Where all did you film for it?
It was mostly filmed in the Maritimes. There’s some footage from trips as well. We went to Spain, NYC, Austin, and Montreal (a few times). I think there’s a couple clips of Matt from Mexico City, but most of that I’m saving for the next project. I have some footage from Chicago in there too, but that was a trip I went on for a different project.
You’ve jumped from SD to HD and back. Are you sticking to SD or does it vary by project?
Yeah, I was filming HD for a few years to make the Business videos. It probably varies by project, but I want to stick with SD for the next couple projects. HD can age your video more than you’d expect when you’re making it, you know? SD videos are kind of timeless; they could have been filmed yesterday or 20 years ago. I don’t have anything against HD and actually recently got a new set-up to start working on HD stuff with Matt again. However, I’m definitely having fun with SD in general for now.
How has COVID affected you guys out East besides limiting your ability to travel outside of the Maritimes?
This last summer has been pretty sick out east other than not travelling. We’ve been going on trips to remote towns and camping lots. We were allowed to go to NB, PEI, and NL without restriction, but if we left the Maritimes, we would need to isolate for two weeks upon return. It would be just as much of a hassle for us to go to MTL than it would be to go to Spain. It really sucked not seeing Comeau and other friends from around Canada. That was the shitty part for sure. I think we have 11 cases in Nova Scotia as I’m writing this, so it’s been pretty chill. Still masked up at the store and shit, but other than that it seems pretty normal.
There’s gotta be a few (hundred) backstories/highlights from the filming of Eyecontact.
Haha. Man you know backstories are usually wild. For the next project, I plan on having a bonus feature with a dubbed over Eyecontact and the crew drinking beer and talking about the clips as they happen, pausing them and shit.
There are too many stories, but one crazy thing that sticks out is when we landed in Spain, Colin’s bike was missing. Gone. His bike’s gone, as well as most of his clothes. Imagine finally being somewhere you’ve wanted to ride for 15 years, on a two-week long trip, and not being able to fucking ride. Ugh. He rented like a dirt jump style bike to kick it, but obviously it’s not the same.
We were partying pretty hard and waking up pretty late. One day Joe, Donny, and maybe a few others were trying to wake us up to go ride, but we were loafs. So they decided they would go down to La Ramblas and be tourists. As they were heading out the door with backpacks on and ready to have their tourist day, I got up and I’m like “Okay, okay, okay. Hold on. We will ride.” We head out riding and about 1-2 hours into the session, there are ambulances everywhere and locals crying. It turns out there was a terrorist attack at La Ramblas. Fucking spooky man. 16 people died and 131 people were injured. It was incredibly awful to begin with, and the “close call-ness” of the boys planning on going there set us in a pretty weird mood. Weird trip.
Maybe 6 months after we got back from the trip, I come home from doing something and Colin is at my crib putting together a bike. I say what’s up and he just stares at me with a blank face. He’s putting together his fucking bike that went missing in Spain. Some dude DM’d him and says “Hey man. Did you lose a bike on an Air Canada flight? I just bought it at an auction in Halifax for $30.” This stranger found Colin on IG because when he was looking at the parts trying to price up the bike to sell, he saw “#BSNSLONDO” written on the wheel from our London trip. He looked up the tag and found Colin. A miracle. He sold it back to Colin for $30. The $30 sticker from the sale is still on the bike.
The usual question: “Why do you think full-lengths are worth the time and effort?” You always kill it on these, but do you wish more people were doing full-lengths?
Thank you man; that means a lot. I think the demographic of people that care about watching/making full-lengths has kind of become a thriving community. There’s a support system for this kind of thing. I find it easy to reach out to people that have done other projects and get their input or help with problems. I’m always here to help them as well. The process is awesome as long as you’re motivated. I think that all makes the time and effort worth it. The flip side can also be a huge bummer; having the responsibility and not feeling motivated can really suck. Technical issues are also the fucking worst, getting fucked by new OS updates and versions of programs you used to love is such a frustrating reason to stop the ball from rolling.
I think the more people make full-lengths, the less daunting it will become. If people are worried about exposure, there are always creative ways to cut up your full-length and get it on whatever platform you want, for them to quickly and easily be consumed/viewed. If anyone needs help with this kind of thing, I’m always here to help. I’m no pro, but I’ve had my share of tech issues that I’ve worked through or had help working through.
I am curious who your videographer/editor influences are.
Hmm. That’s a good question. I think it changes pretty often. Obviously, my buddy Jack Leonard inspires me an incredible amount. He puts so much character and originality into everything he does: riding, filming, editing and his other works. Just a really influential guy all around.
While I was editing Eyecontact, I think I drew a lot of inspiration from “No Days Off.” I really love that Troy Tunney section with the Microphones track. I’ve been digging ALYK videos in general lately; they have been killing it. Joe Cox’s, “Voices” is also a pretty big influence on me.
I love a few skate filmers too. Ryan Garshell (GX1000) has a sick eye for capturing the spot, especially filming those hill bombs. Jacob Harris (Atlantic Drift) does an awesome job with the 16mm and creating a mood in the video which is a huge task.
The biggest things that motivate me or influence me to film and edit would be my friends, travelling, music, and feeling good and clear.
How has your “crew” of riders evolved over your past three videos?
The crew of riders evolved a whole lot. When I started filming Business II, I was mostly filming with the older dudes who I looked up to when I was young. Now I’m usually the older one. Hahaha. The dudes are always getting better. I think for the most part, the crew featured in Eyecontact will be the same for the next video.
Is there a lot of connection between scenes in the Maritimes, or are they mostly Halifax based?
There’s quite a bit of connection in my opinion, but there are probably sick crews I haven’t met too. We frequently travel to NB and PEI, and those guys travel to Halifax to ride, hang, and film. I wish we were closer with the St. John’s dudes, but getting to Newfoundland isn’t as convenient as NB and PEI. The St. John’s guys are sick and are working on a video called “Ain’t Safe” (@aintsafecrew on IG).
I heard that in recent times you’ve decided not to include riding footage of yourself in big projects. What’s the reason behind that?
Haha. I’m really not sure. I was in a riding rut. I’m having fun riding now and filming more, but I still like the DVDs to focus on the other guys.
Can you talk about the video premiere of Eyecontact? I know you guys had the video done for a while and were waiting to see if the COVID-19 restrictions would loosen for a full premiere. You ultimately decided to do it at the skatepark. How did that all come about and what was it like?
Dude, that was fucking wild. Hahaha. Yeah, I was hoping to have it at a bar here, but obviously that wouldn’t fly so we planned it at the skatepark. I was still kinda tripping because a couple friends and I actually caught $700 COVID fines just for riding an empty parking lot back in April.
I just made it kind of casual because it was mid-October and I didn’t know what the weather would be like. I think I made a post on IG and that’s it. The day of, it was drizzling all day. Everything was soaked. We picked up this like 65-inch tube TV from Andrew’s Fiancé’s parents and a chest freezer that we filled up with ice for booze. The weather was supposed to calm down by the evening, but it wasn’t looking good. I was sweating it, but this local dude Matt McQuade had a pop-up gazebo so we’re like, “Fuck yeah buddy. Let’s go.” People were DM’ing asking if it was still happening. We ended up having 60ish people there when we started the premiere. 30 seconds into the intro, the TV blew up because of the drizzle and moisture. Joe Kubik ripped over to his house and brought back his own TV and the show went on. It was a shit show afterward; the TV and freezers got thrown into the bowl and destroyed. I’m surprised nothing bad came of it. Fun times.
What new projects do you currently have in the works?
I’m working on another SD full-length right now, probably a couple projects with Matt Comeau, and big moves with the Darling boys.
if you haven’t seen EYEcontact in full yet, do yourself a favour and hit up Ian (@Iflemin) on insta, send him a few bucks and get yourself a digital download link for this Canadian masterpiece.