Fat Tony Enterprise is proud to present the 2009 Flatland BMX Calendar. This 12-month calendar features 15 amazing flatland photos of riders from six countries shot all around the world. Each month showcases a different rider in a unique location such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Japan, and various states across the U.S. As a bonus, Flatware team rider Terry Adams is featured on a poster so you can keep flatland on your wall even after ´09 has passed. As the only calendar of its kind, the 2009 Flatland Calendar is a must-have for BMX riders worldwide.
The best part about the ´09 Flatland Calendar is that the first 1,350 calendars are FREE when you place an order of $50 or more with Flatland Fuel! Calendars will also be on sale for $5.99 exclusively through Flatland Fuel.
Click here to see a preview of the calendar!
How did the idea for the calendar come about?
It was really a last-minute idea. Towards the end of August Pat Schoolen saw a gallery of flat photos I posted on the Ride site and emailed me with something along the lines of, "Hey, those are good. You should make a calendar." As soon as I got that email a light bulb went off in my head and I kicked myself in the ass for not thinking about the idea sooner. A week later I had a rough business plan laid out. Three weeks later I had a solid plan and pretty much the whole calendar put together. And at the end of October the calendar was at the printer.
Why did you jump at the idea when Pat mentioned it?
I´ve been looking for business ideas for about a year now—something that I would enjoy doing that would be true to who I am and give back to people I care about. This seemed like a perfect opportunity. I made a magazine and a calendar back in college and had fun doing those things but never made any money from them. I guess I´m starting to realize how I can turn my ideas and personal projects into bigger projects that more people can enjoy and in turn I can profit from. It´s really cool to be able to do something specifically for the flatland community since there isn´t much geared for that small niche in freestyle.
Where and when did you take the photos?
I shot 13 of the 15 photos used in the calendar (two of the co-sponsors provided me with images of their riders) and they were taken over the course of the past two years. Most of them are pretty recent, but a few date back as far as February ´07. Since I didn´t have much time nearly all of the photos were ones that I already had. Some have been in Ride already, others have been on ridebmx.com, and others have been stored away on hard drives and haven´t been seen before. Actually the only one I shot specifically for the calendar is the one of Pete Brandt. I got lucky and he was in town right when I first got the idea for the calendar so it worked out nicely.
The photos were shot in Costa Rica, Mexico, Japan, California, Michigan, and Louisiana. I was real excited that I could show such a wide variety of locations and riders. I think it´s a pretty good representation of how global and diverse flatland is.
What´s your favorite photo in the calendar?
That´s really hard to say… When I look at each photo I´m reminded of what was going on at that time. There are so many stories behind each photo, and they are all amazing in that respect. However, if I had to pick one it would be the photo of Justin Miller on the back cover shot in Costa Rica. That photo was pretty much an accident. I was sitting on the side of the road while Bobby Carter was filming Chase Gouin and Manuel Prado was shooting Justin. I know it is horrible to poach a photographer´s shot (like I sort of did to Manuel) but I knew the photos would be so different that you could never even tell—he was shooting fisheye with a flash. I just kept shooting while Justin rode and managed to catch him in a great position right in front of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The colors and his silhouette give me a real pure feeling of the essence of what BMX is to me. That photo just puts me in a great mood and I think it´s a perfect way to wrap up the calendar.
Which shot took most time to get it done?
This answer has to do with Justin again… The photo of Justin Miller riding in the snow was quite an adventure. It was about 3 degrees Fahrenheit that day—well past freezing. We drove more than an hour from his house to his cabin and loaded up a snow mobile and trailer filled with plywood, tools, a tent, and more. He drove with me holding on the back of the trailer down to a frozen lake where he set up some kind of tent with a heater in it. Then Justin nailed down a few sheets of plywood into the ice and proceeded to bust out a combo. I was wearing a crazy getup with tons of layers of warm clothes and I was still freezing. My fingers were numb but I was so stoked on getting that photo. It was an incredible experience and journey with Justin that made us become better friends and gave me a new appreciation for him as a rider and as a person.
You can check out the video of that combo here:
Did any crazy things happen while shooting any of the photos?
I guess the wildest thing that happened while shooting these photos was when I had to pay off an angry man for the photo of Odyssey´s Chase Gouin. We were in the amazing country of Costa Rica for the Ticos Jam and found this hut thing right by our hotel. I kind of thought it was part of another hotel, but I wasn´t really sure what it was. We had to step over a small brick wall to get over there and clean out some stuff in order to shoot. Chase even swept the place. Then right when we were about to shoot the photo a guy came up yelling at us. Apparently it was his house and the hut was the equivalent to what we call a shed or garage in America. Obviously he wasn´t psyched that we were on his property moving around his things, but we managed to explain to him what we were doing and he let us shoot. After we were finished he asked us for $10 to buy a joint. I was happy to pay him after he was nice enough not only to not kick our asses but to actually let us continue to shoot in his hut. Gracias, amigo!
How did you shoot the cover with Terry Adams on the all-white background?
That shot was actually from a shoot I did with Terry for a Flatware ad (Odyssey´s new flatland brand). I used the Transworld Quad magazine warehouse that has a huge, white seamless backdrop and had Terry ride on the seamless. But before the shoot I spent all day re-painting it white because it was pretty dirty. Here´s the original photo/ad for Flatware from that shoot.
Setting up for the Flatware ad at the photo studio. Notice Terry isn´t wearing shoes so he doesn´t get the seamless dirty that I had just painted. Haha.
Here´s the ad that came out to announce Odyssey´s new flatland line, Flatware. They are doing some great things for Flatland…
This was our tent out on the ice lake. We had to run back in there and get warm with the heater every couple of minutes because it was so cold out in the snow.
Here´s Manuel Prado shooting with Justin Miller in Costa Rica just before I got the awesome photo that ended up being the back cover to the calendar.
Chase Gouin sweeping out the hut while the guys who lived at that house walk by. This was after we convinced them to let us stay and shoot and before we paid them $10. The guy is checking out Chase´s bike—he´s confused by it.