The Chocolate Truck DVD is everything that I like in a BMX video. First and foremost- it’s got great riding. Amazing riding. Every rider shines in their own way and every person that watches this video will surely relate to someone’s style. Secondly- it’s fun. The soundtrack is pretty lighthearted, where it needs to be. Some tracks are serious and it works for the section. You can tell that the editor (Matt Miller) knows everyone pretty well and found a song to match the person. Lastly- it’s clean. There’s no excess of anything- not too much B-roll, not too many second angles, not too much fun (yes, that’s possible). The filming is on point. There are only a few clips that stand out as second-rate, but they are not bothersome- these things are sometimes unavoidable. The editing is excellent. The DVD menus are exemplary and easy to navigate. The copy that I got was a premiere-edition self-burned DVD from Matt himself, but I trust that the production copies are designed well and come in a beautiful sleeve.
The intro sets the tone for the whole video, as it should. “I’m rollin’ with Chocolate Truck bitch!”. I’ve got a soft spot for quick-cut montages. There are somewhat introductory clips for each rider who has a part and they give a good idea of each individual’s personality. The song keeps it real.
Carl Brown has first part and sets it off with a number of wrecks that will make you laugh and cringe at the same time. You can tell he really went in for this video and it definitely paid off. I love his reactions after landing/not landing tricks. He’s a strong dude and uses that to his advantage, hitting tall rails and ledges. I could picture a number of different musical styles that could fit his riding but the least likely ended up working the best- very ironically inspirational. God damn, he gets bodied so hard on that huge kinker overgrind. Dude is not afraid. The uprail to fence stall is just unbelievable. Astounding. Ender is perfect. I applaud whoever found that setup, and of course Carl for firing it out.
Joby Suender has a very trails-inspired style in the Philly streets. He can table out of almost anything but my favorite is the smith hard 180 table. He’s riding a number of different bikes in this section but can produce clips on every one. He rides fast and holds tight. The smith hard to backwards manual is one of my favorite clips in the video. He’s got style and originality. Two thumbs up.
Steve Tassone has the Philly flow and hits a bunch of dialed railhop lines. Big gaps and drops look effortless to him. I love the pep he has in the nosebonk-smith-nose-180 clip- it fits the music perfectly. He’s super relaxed (or it just seems that way) when he rides and it definitely becomes his style. He’s got a little bit of every terrain in his part and rides them all like a regular.
Nick Barrett- my first thought when seeing that Nick had a full part was “Oh… really?” He’s a big guy and historically there have only been a handful to pull it off- but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t completely blown away. Dude has an eye for the slider grinds and uses them perfectly on a few setups. When he spins out of grinds he keeps all of his speed and rolls out clean. My two favorite clips of his are back to back- the feeble gap feeble gap smith then the smith drop opposite smith. Van Homan himself would approve of his last clip. The song- fucking great as it is- could have been replaced with the hardest Uncle Murda track ever recorded and this section would have a completely different feel. But if you know Nicky B (you kinda get the idea from some of the B-roll clips in here) you know that this track is perfect for him.
Matt Miller himself is up next. I had some idea of what he’s up to before seeing this part, but I had no idea of the scope of things. No idea. He’s got the most stylish halfcabs, probably ever. You’ll see what I mean on a few of them. He can also fullcab high as fuck. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you watch this. His pedal grind game is tack sharp. I swear he could 540 out of a manual too. There is one clip where he wallrides backwards into a storm door- he rolls fakie on the wall. Incredible clip. I watched it a few times just now. Pedal grind to G-turn- and he has to, like, hop out of it too. So good. Halfcab whip looking so sick. His last clip is completely unexpected- that is, I had no idea where he was going with it, but damn it’s wild.
John Yoh definitely has the breakthrough part of the DVD. His name, awesome as it is (his last name is Yo!) isn’t well known. This section will probably change that fact. He obviously went in while filming this (the intro clip) and it worked out in the end. He keeps a good, positive attitude even throughout the blood and bruises. He can hop high, grind far, balance amazingly on his nose (into and out of grinds), grind opposite to opposite spin, throw bars anywhere, hanger anything- reg and oppo. He noses through that square bowl fountain thing, so smoothly. His ender is… wow. You don’t see that every day.
(Riding break- I couldn’t help it. This video gets me so psyched to ride)
The friends section is, friendly… A great cross-section of Philly area riders, a Dak clip, some Belcher clips and Kyle McClinton going so slow at a huge gap. He crashes once, gets up and fires it out, going just as slow… I have no idea how he cleared that but it looks like he’s running 25-16 gearing. A great track to accompany, with the chorus repeating “When you see me in your town say wassup”. Friendly.
Mike Swift is up next, riding smooth as ever. I guess it took him a while to warm up to the song Matt used, but honestly, it’s my favorite in the whole video. I know a lot of people will think the opposite, but it gets me every time. The railhop to manual 180 clip paired with the music gives me chills- a beautiful example of skilled video editing. The wall-smith fullcab out gets my vote for one of the best clips in the video- but that does not even come close to comparing to his ender. The perfect setup and it could not have been done better. My favorite clip in the video.
The Niranonta brothers- Ryan and Joe- share the next part. It’s somewhat difficult to tell them apart (Ryan rides the Scerbo bars) because they can both hop crazy high and barspin up there as well. I like that the first couple clips are each one riding the same spots. Hang five to smith (with a stylish backpedal) bars out is my favorite clip in the section. That or the quick fullcab barspin. Ryan scores the last clip and it’s pretty wild. Their song is one of the best ever recorded, ever. Honestly.
Dan Bob comes out of left field almost dying from tetanus in his first clip. I’ve never met the guy but that clip alone tells me a lot about him. One of the first clips is an icepick- technically on a triple kink rail, but more realistically an ice-drop-ice-drop-ice. A high-speed hop nose manual hop out into a bank is a great clip. A spectacular nose manual off a large ledge follows soon thereafter. Last clip was made for that spot and I’m sure it’s been talked about for a while. Dan Bob made it happen.
Brendon Reith rides to a vaguely cowboy-western track with his usual M.O. of crazy ledge rides and 180 railhops. There’s a clip of an icepick on a kinked rail where he pretty much gaps onto the flat- don’t know if it’s intentional or not but it looks absolutely insane. Let’s get real though, he’s got some of the best icepicks in the game and his pegs hopover style is next to none. Speaking of which, his last clip… Got damn! I think everyone was thinking the same thing at that exact moment.
Kevin Vannauker comes pedaling full speed in his opening clip and does something that will stay with you for a minute. I’m not going to ruin any surprises but, fuckkkkk… He’s an incredibly well-rounded rider and has style to go with it. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve seen his riding though. This might be a spoiler of sorts so *spoiler warning*
His part would have been super solid had it only been the one song but shiiiitttttt, as soon as the second song starts playing, with the quick drum beat and Kevin pedaling, again, full speed, I can’t help but get the chills, once again- super psyched on this second song. Holy fuck- that’s what he was pedaling at! Every clip from here on out is so great, but one that stands out to me is the toothpick on the fence- stalled out and everything. So. Fucking. Good. This track is too good. I’m usually not a fan of the tooth-360 over maneuver but this one Kevin does made me a believer. I also love the truck to manual right after that. Second to last clip appears to have been filmed on VHS but it’s fucking beast. Last clip is manly as fuck and could have been disastrous. Kevin makes it happen.
And that’s the video. An instant classic, quintessential East Coast crew video, filmed great, edited wonderfully, amazing riding, funny clips from pedestrians, an extremely enjoyable soundtrack and professionally crafted. The DVD extras include falls and random happenings between Philly and Levittown- entertainment throughout (“I’ma slow-mo dat!”). Kids love Chocolate Truck.
Pick up the DVD for a mere seven dollars shipped. Trust me on this- you want to see/own this video.
If you want to learn a little more about the work that went into the video, check out the interview with filmer/editor/rider Matt Miller.