As a black kid growing up in the 70’s I saw most kids in our neighborhood playing the average sports…Football, basketball, and baseball. I was a skinny kid back then, too skinny to play football, not good at dribbling a basketball and baseball was just too slow for me. I used to watch Evil Knievel on ABC Wide World of Sports on the weekends and I got infatuated with him jumping his motorcycle over buses. I would go outside, pretend to be him and set up ramps and jump them on my Royce Union bike with the banana seat.
So that’s how the seed was planted and from then on riding my bike is all I wanted to do. Jumping my bike made me feel happy.
I had a cousin who lived south of me in Carson, California. Back then Carson didn’t have many black residents. He was the big cousin I looked up to and had the dirt bike motorcycles, the real good skateboards, and the BMX bikes I never had. When I was about 11 years old my uncle bought my cousin a Honda CR 125. I loved going over to his house on the weekends just to look at all the cool shxt he had that I didn’t have. I would spend hours looking through his Motocross Action and Bicycle Motocross Action mags. On one trip to my cousin’s house, I was looking through a magazine and I saw one picture that really caught my eye. It was a picture of three guys who looked like me. I couldn’t believe that they were in this magazine that I loved to look at. It was at that point that I realized that I could do it too, even being black and from the hood.
So finally, after 29 years of loving and enjoying this sport, I decided to film a documentary on the history and plight of the African American BMX racer.
Intuition is the key to everything, in painting, filmmaking, business - everything. I think you could have an intellectual ability, but if you can sharpen your intuition, which they say is emotion and intellect joining together, then a knowingness occurs.
When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it's you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.
Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that you're just negotiating your budget and your fee.