Never have I seen an Australian BMX video that looks so professional, which is why I took a personal interest in making sure everyone knew about the 2002 Australian Championships video. I saw the 1998 World championships video and the 1999 World cup coverage, but neither measure up to this. I love watching BMX racing, I had cable TV hooked up at home so I could watch the televised ABA and NBL races but there hasn't been much on for quite some time now. The 2002 Australian Championships video is everything as good but without the ads.
I haven't seen any of the past Australian Championships videos, even though I have been to about 16 "Aussies" over the past 21 years, and to be honest it was because I assumed the quality would be below par, at least that was the perception I had built up from other people's feedback, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this video.
The local Tasmanian Fifthwall (www.tassportvideo.com) crew had a very professional approach to recording the event, and were well set up around the track, with scaffolding that got their 3 cameras looking over the entire track, and there was also one wandering camera getting amongst the crowd and doing interviews -- some of that footage included a few words from Kamakazi (Redline), Luke Madill (Norco), Tanya Bailey (Cassap) and Mike Fenwick (Specialized/Avanti).
From just standing or sitting around the track it was impossible to see 100% of any race. I believe the track itself was well built and a lot of fun for the riders, however because of the slope of the land that the track was built on it was impossible for the spectators to get a good view. Many people had their own personal video cameras at the titles but would have had a hell of a time getting good footage. That's where the Fifthwall guys had an unfair advantage, being able to see the whole track, that along with the slick camera work and floorless editing.
The opening ceremony...
The opening ceremony is the most boring part of any Australian Championships event, being so long and drawn out, but it was put together in a very interesting format for the video. Instead of just taping the corporate and state teams parading around the track, there was a short sequence of stills or snapshots which included many of the teams and riders along with some interviews with riders and parents on what they thought of the track and any predictions they may have had for the main event.
The racing was well recorded, there's a sideview of the start before the gate drops, then a view of pretty much the whole field for the entire length of the track. Any of the action that may have been missed by one camera was picked up by another camera and showed at the end of the race. The one criticism I would have of the racing is that the start (as the gate drops) would have been better filmed from a side view to show the riders fight for the all important advantage out of the gate, which is a little difficult to make out from a head on view. Apart from that I'd go out on a limb to say the race footage is flawless. And the commentators must have been recorded directly from the microphone as there is very little background noise, although you can still hear the crowd going crazy. After the finals, the class winners were interviewed, adding a little more of a personal touch to the overall video presentation and letting the viewers get into the riders heads as they gasp for air.
Like the opening ceremony, the trophy ceremony was a series of stills and a bit of footage from the Norco tent as the celebrations began with promotional gear being thrown out to the crowd. It was a good summary of how it went down, some happy faces and some not so happy.
Video packages/Ordering information...
Given the quality of the videos the prices seem quite reasonable to me, even if you have a large family this is one video that would get a lot of use, particularly if you were at the event and want to analyse your performance as the 2003 World championships approach.
Here's the price breakdown:
Package 1 $40 - Races and finals for 1 class, OR
Package 2 $60 - Races and finals for 1 class PLUS semi finals & finals for Elite Men, Elite Ladies, Junior Elite Men, Junior Elite Cruiser & Elite Cruiser.
Both packages include interviews, highlights, opening and closing ceremonies.
Add $30 for 1 additional class then $25 for subsequent classes. e.g. 3 classes in package 1 would cost $40+$30+$25= $95. Add $6.50 for postage and handling.
OR (added 29 August 2002) - Special offer package: Get all motos and finals for Junior Elite, Junior Elite Cruiser, Elite Men and Elite Men crusier for $40 plus $5 postage and handling. Usual cost $120. reduced now to $40! Add $25 for any extra class.
The videos are available direct from Fifthwall, you can place your order NOW on: (03) 6278 9917 or 0413 139 599 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2002 Australian Championships video is a must for any BMX racer, whether you were at the event or not. There were some very inspiring races in the Elite classes by Tanya Bailey taking the Elite women's class again, Khalen Young (Norco) doubling in the Jnr Elite and Luke Madill (Norco) also doubling in the senior elite, so it might be well worth going for package 2 to have those finals included.
If I had to rate the video and the overall presentation I'd give it an 8/10, as far as value for money I'd say 7/10. The boys at Fifthwall did a fine job, I only wish it was up to me to ask them back for next years nationals and the worlds. Sure it took them some time to complete the video, but if you consider that these guys had to edit every race for every single class that's a lot of editing. These guys did more than just capture the races on tape they managed to capture the atmosphere for each moto and all of the action. Do yourself a favour get your own copy, you won't be disappointed.
Click here for an MP3 audio snippet taken from the video.
If you have a copy of the Australian Championships email us at email@example.com and share your thoughts, we'll post them right here on this page.
01 September 2002 - Another email forwarded by Martin Duffy...this one from New Zealand
The video has arrived.....it is awesome to watch & I am very happy that I ordered it, the racing is amazing to watch!!
24 July 2002 - the following 2 emails were forwarded to
us from Martin Duffy, head honch of Fifthwall, the video company who put
the 2002 Australian titles video package together:
We have been purchasing BMX videos of the National BMX titles since 1995, when the event was held in Canberra.
The tape you have delivered is by far, the best of the lot, and worth the wait.
You have raised the bar, and set a new standard for these productions in Australia.
I trust you will endevour to seek the job next year both in Adelaide and Perth.
Thank you from all of my family.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank you. we received the video on friday,the kids were so excited ... it has already been played numerous times, replayed, and played in slow motion.
Congratulations on a job well done. it was worth waiting for.