“Moving Forward: Detroit BMX” Is An Inside Look At Brush Park BMX

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(credit: Elliot Gray Van Orman)

(credit: Elliot Gray Van Orman)

Lions and Tigers…and BMX Bikers? Oh my.

Hidden in a small park off of Brush Street – just a stone’s throw from Ford Field and Comerica Park – there lies a different group of athletes…BMX bikers. As of April 1st, BMX bikers can practice their flips and tricks right in the heart of the city, at a newly converted park-turned-BMX-space.

“Detroit Proud” Filmmaker Elliot Gray Van Orman just released “Moving Forward: Detroit BMX,” a new film documenting the grassroots construction effort behind Brush Park BMX. Check it out here:

Following its release last week, CW50 chatted with Elliot about his latest project. He was there from the get-go, so we wanted to know – how did he find out about this hidden gem?

“I grew up in the BMX scene,” he says, “so I knew the riders from the past. Once you’re in the scene, people know each other. We’re connected on social media, so I saw these guys posting pictures and I knew I had to check it out.”

He tells us that Joe Gall is “the main guy behind it – the one who kind of got it going.” You know Joe – he’s a well-known photog in the area who takes AMAZING pictures like these.

Filming this project took three full days of shooting, followed by a week of editing. “The first day I went out, it was raining, so they were just digging…so I filmed them doing that,” Elliot says. “The next time I went out, the weather was better, so I was able to get shots of everyone biking.”

Elliot’s film documents the transformation of an ordinary Detroit-area park into the new Brush Park BMX space. The ramps are man-made, and the project was a team effort. Elliot says of the space, “It’s a great place for filming because you can get some of the city in the background. I was really lucky in some of my shots to get the city as a backdrop behind the people biking.

We wanted to know…what kind of BMX tricks were up Elliot’s sleeve? Does he still ride? “Oh yeah, I still bike,” Elliot says. “Not as much, since I’m focused on filming now. No backflips, but I can do street tricks and grinds.” Here’s proof.

And the Brush Park BMX bikers? Have they seen his video? You bet.

“All the bikers involved – they’re all really happy with it. There’s really no better feeling than making something people are happy with. It’s a real positive project for the city. The location is in the shadows of Detroit, but it’s great to see light coming out of the darkness.”

Learn more about Elliot Van Orman Productions — visit the official site, Facebook page or Vimeo channel.

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