I'm really enjoying this collaboration with Erik (aka Mr. Pixelhead) not only does it give me a deeper appreciation of someone else's work, but I also get to explore a fresh new story. However, taking in a persons' story and then having to edit that story to re-tell to a wider audience is always a challenge. What to leave in so that the story is faithfully represented and what to leave out to ensure the story doesn't get bogged down in detail? Editing the RIDERS episodes is, for me, a great exercise in story telling efficiency and in getting to the heart of what a rider is wanting to say.
When Erik has sent me the interviews, each of them has been between 30-40 minutes long. In their entirety, they're a really interesting listen because I really feel like a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on two folks talking about their love of bikes. There may be a time that I release the full audio recordings of these interviews as they are a great insight into how a story unfolds and all the little things that happen during a conversation. But to edit Angelique's story down to 2 minutes I had to leave a lot of things out.
During her interview, Angelique talks at length about her fierce independence when it comes to wanted to know how to maintain and fix her own first bike, a 1970 Honda CB175 while not relying on anyone else. This bike was to be her "city bike" for getting around and to and from work in San Francisco. If it broke down, she wanted to fix it herself. If there was an issue with how the bike ran she wanted to be able to diagnose and repair it. And through this learning her love of bikes and riding became deeper.
She would go everywhere on this bike and even do long trips on her CB175, despite the protests from her friends not to - and proving them wrong. She would ride in groups and sometime alone. But always falling further in love with riding.
Then came the time she went to a swap meet and saw the Busch Brothers' built Yamaha XS650. She instantly felt like it was a piece of art. Through Angelique's experience with graffiti she knew that all works of art have a story to tell and in acquiring art, it should be the buyer's responsibility to re-tell that story. The Brothers were keen to sell the XS650, but not just to any one. In Angelique they saw someone who appreciate their skill and labour to make this chopper a thing of beauty.
There was lots of nuance and detail that I can't adequately describe here, but the one thing that did stand out for me was the effect of riding on Angelique. It was something that, I felt, she kept returning to and with that I found the heart of her story. I can often feel it when I hear the speaker looking way back into their own thoughts and memories to dive back into a moment. It's here that I discover that perspective that enables you, the viewer, to connect with the story-teller.