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.”