DIRTVANA - Behind The Scenes

Mongoose's Dirtvana campaign launched earlier this week and brought something a bit different to the BMX world. Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down!

Here's more info on what went into bringing Dirtvana to life and what the future holds at Mongoose with spiritual guru / team manager Leigh Ramsdell - 

This project was definitely… different. Where did the idea come from?

The original goal was to come up with a concept that merged the worlds of BMX freestyle and race. Ultimately, we kept coming back to the idea of Dirtvana - BMX dirt trails and the spiritual side of riding. We felt Dirtvana not only fit our brand and heritage, but also was a concept that might resonate with both the core rider and mainstream audiences. With COVID, we weren’t able to host the Mongoose Jam or plan any international team trips, so we wanted to involve the riders in the project and show off their personalities.

The production was much larger than we pretty much ever see within BMX. What did you hope to accomplish with such a large, non-endemic crew?

It’s important to get fresh perspectives creatively when you work for a brand that’s been around as long as Mongoose.  Working with our pros and BMX filmers is still at the core of our sports marketing efforts, but we wanted to step outside of our comfort zone with this project and try to bring BMX to a wider audience. In this case, we felt it warranted a bigger production team.

How was it working with this group? Do you feel like they understood and respected BMX?

Whenever you bring in a team that doesn’t live and breathe BMX, you’re bound to butt heads a bit – especially when it comes to artistic shots versus the type of shots our riders work toward in a typical BMX edit.  Fortunately, there were very few creative differences during the shoot, which you can see in the finished video. The director listened to what we had to say, especially when it came to riders’ safety.

How much input and control did you have over the finished product?

Mongoose had creative control of the final video and the production team listened to any concerns from the riders or our marketing team. At the end of the day, we just wanted to produce a fun video - and I think we accomplished that.

How’d the riders feel about Dirtvana?

At first, they didn’t know what to think when they showed up on set and saw how much bigger the production team was compared to what they’re used to. But, once the riders met the crew and started filming, it all fell into place and everyone had a great time!

Tell us about your character - the spiritual guru. How’d you end up taking this on and what was it like?

Originally, we thought about having Fuzzy be the guru, but being a goofy character is more my thing, so that role naturally fell on me. It was really fun getting my spiritualness on!

For me, I think the highlight of Dirtvan was seeing Fuzzy Hall re-aligned with Mongoose. How did this come about and is there anything more with Fuzzy planned in the future?

That was also one of the highlights for athletes and myself! Fuzzy is BMX and has had a great history with Mongoose, so it just worked out since we were filming in the SLC area. I hope we get to involve Fuzzy in some more projects! I just love hanging out with him.

Do you see more large productions like this in Mongoose’s future or will things divert back to more traditional riding tips and jams?

Personally, I hope we can do both! I think the Jams and riding trips are essential for one-on-one connection with current and future riders. Those are a great way to see potential riders you might want to sponsor one day and to show kids what is possible with a bike! The big production projects are nice to try and bring BMX to a wider audience.

You touch on it in the end of this video, but do you feel like the finished Dirtvana projeect conveyed the message you hoped for?

I think so. At the end of the day, the video was about BMX being fun and that is what I hope people get from it.

What’s next for Leigh Ramsdell and the Mongoose team?

Personally I am looking forward to traveling as things start to open back up! In the fall we are releasing a few Mongoose classics! They are reissues of the California Special and Supergoose. Just go to www.mongoose.com to stay up-to-date with the team and anything else that we have coming up!

Credit: Mongoose
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