Bicycle Times’ very first commercial

Bicycle Times visits the National Bike Summit from Karen Brooks on Vimeo.

By Stephen Haynes

I’m often challenged creatively. Frequently it is one deadline or another that has me reeling in my aspirations for a certain project. Other times it’s a new medium that has me perplexed. Occasionally, the two converge and I find myself in the deep end of the creativity pool sweating out a project until it’s submitted for approval.

Such was the case with the Bicycle Times promotional video for the National Bike Summit happening March 20-22.

The video needed to be 15 seconds long and showcase what the magazine is and why we support the National Bike Summit. I’ve not worked very extensively in video. Any and all work I’d done in this medium was relevant when 8mm cassette tapes were still in fashion. That was the first problem. The second was capturing what Bicycle Times is visually… Care to take a stab at that? It means so many different things to so many different people. Explaining why we support the National bike Summit was the easiest part of the equation.

With the help of my wife Trina, I came up with and tested the idea of stop-motion animation as a means to visually express what Bicycle Times is. It centered around the idea of “everyday cyclists” as a play on our slogan “your everyday cycling adventure” while featuring some of the people that make the magazine.

After a short mock-up using Trina as the stop-motion model, I got the go-ahead from the “Head Cheese” and set about enlisting everyone willing to participate in the making of the video.

We systematically called each person in the office down to the photo studio/basement/merch department and had them pose in a series of positions for a fraction of a second each. Some, ahem, interesting stuff came out of the shoot.

I took the day’s worth of shots home that night and spliced them together in iMovie while Karen Brooks, editor of Bicycle Times, recorded a little voiceover bit to lay on top of the moving pictures. I dropped her voice over into Garage Band and strummed out a few guitar chords to add some ambiance.

With the moving pictures and voiceover in hand, I mated the two in iMovie, added some titles, exported in the appropriate format, and hoped for the best. Here is what the finished video looks like. I recommend watching it through once and then going back and stopping it occasionally to find some real gems. Enjoy.

Thanks to the staff of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag for being good sports, to Justin Steiner for helping me set up the photo studio, to Karen Brooks for the voice-over and guidance, and thanks to Trina Haynes for helping to initiate the idea and facilitate the smooth transition of all the participants. You folks rock.

Editor’s note: Stephen will be one of the staff members riding home from the National Bike Summit, from Washington DC to Pittsburgh, via the C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage rail-trails. Stay tuned for blogs from our journey.



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