Eric got to get under the hood a little with Kyle Cowling, co-owner/director of video of Phantasos Media about his work and multimedia in the motorcycle industry.
Q: What do you think of your approach to getting compensated for that type of feature length video work?
A: Taking a chance on this video on-demand type of platform, especially with the motocross demographic…We just weren’t sure if it would truly work or not. This community, understandably, doesn’t see a value in purchasing content, especially when you have major MX Web sites churning up new content every single day, so there was a part of me that thought our approach of creating 20 to 30-minute long documentary format videos about a multitude of different MX riders would get laughed at and turned down. And, honestly, the first couple of episodes didn’t do so well. People didn’t understand what the series was about, or why they should pay for content. However, after three or four episodes, people caught on and things started to spread like wildfire!
Q: These are changing times in the publishing/marketing world and do you plan to continue that approach?
A: We 100% plan to continue using this video on-demand platform to monetize our work and allow us the freedom to share unique stories that almost all the MX Web sites will not touch for a variety of potentially conflicting reasons. For us, this type of platform truly allows us the freedom to create whatever we want and, with Vimeo OnDemand, the accessibility to start selling your content almost instantly is huge for us, and for anybody, really. It is a way, like I keep saying, to create your own original content, how you want it to look and feel, and still manage to sell it and earn a paycheck at the end of the month. So, for us, this platform has been amazing and something we will continue to do.
Q: How would you classify your “style” as a videographer?
A: I think my style as a videographer, especially in motocross, is quite a bit different then most. I shoot almost always on a tripod as I love the look and feel of locked off and very steady shots. It allows me to compose shots a lot differently then being handheld all of the time. I think I fall into a more cinematic, dramatic, and heavily story-driven type of style. For me, everything I do has to have some sort of story. Just throwing together a bunch of clips and then slapping some music to it isn’t my style. It’s got to be cohesive from start to finish. One of the major things that I believe helps us with that is our in-house music/sound engineer, Oliver. For all of our content, we create 100% original music and, on top of that, Oliver also dubs as our sound engineer, handling all of our sound mixing and mastering. That is definitely a unique tool that we offer in-house that many do cannot offer.
Q: How do you look for inspiration on a shoot?
A: For inspiration, I like to find out what the storyline will be first. Once we are able to figure out the main storyline and what the end goal is, I will start digging around on Vimeo for inspiration. A lot of movies as well like No Country For Old Men, Fargo, Moneyball, etc. I am a huge Coen brothers fan, so how they compose shots is something I am always looking at because, not only do you tell your story through the actual narrative of the subject, but composing your images in a certain way will also help tell and move the story forward.
Q: What’s next for you in your videography work?
A: Eventually, I want to transition out of motocross and into the “Hollywood” side of things if you will. Make movies, TV commercials… I really do love shooting and editing documentaries, and I have quite a few non-motocross documentary ideas that I’d love to jump into sometime soon. I also want to, hopefully, jump into the world of baseball and do some work in that sport. I am a big fan of the game and see a lot of potential for unique and cool content. So, we’ll see! Just gotta keep pushing and things will happen!