Ryan Upchurch, as I’m sure you guys know, has been active in the scene not only as a rider but in other ways for a long time. He’s done photography, pieces for magazines, been a team manager, all on top of being one of the top pro riders today. His latest endeavor is a video magazine, called Fidelity. Coming out once a month, Fidelity Online Video Magazine features five video segments covering a wide range of content. I hit up Ryan to get the full scoop on Fidelity.
Jordan Jasa: What exactly, in your own words, is Fidelity Online Video Magazine?
Ryan Upchurch: Well, Fidelity is simply a monthly feed of video that is created for every scooter rider out there. It covers anything from events, pro interviews, and all sorts of other stuff. We are created by the rider, for the rider. Also, we now provide constant news, updates, and one-of-a-kind articles.
It's awesome to see more and more riders creating content for the sport. What made you want to start Fidelity?
Almost anyone who knows me knows that I love being behind the camera almost just as much as I love being on my scooter. I have been looking for ways of being more involved, so I put the two together. One of my biggest motivations though, is to give back to the scooter community.
Something that I will be doing a lot of once we gain support, and things get a little bit bigger. In our first few months now, we have already given a free entry to Woodward West away, given prizes to local contests, and also starting to do giveaways (something which I hope is a regular occurrence).
Giveaways are good. You're not alone on this project though, Jake Hershey is on board as well. How did that happen?
Jake has been a friend of mine for a long time prior to the creation of Fidelity. Soon after I came up with the idea, I was having a conversation with Jake about how much he wanted to work in the scooter community full-time, instead of working at a local pizza place. So, without any hesitation, I knew that he would be a great asset to Fidelity. I had in the back of my mind that Fidelity needed some sort of "host" and I didn't want to become the face of my own company. So, I got him started with the hosting, and soon after let him start knocking out some of the one-of-a-kind pieces that you see on the site today. Jake is a part of Fidelity, and I am glad to have a close friend working beside me on a project that I am so passionate about.
Jake is a good guy. What is the process like, from the very beginning, of making a new episode? A five part video every month does seem quite challenging.
Challenging is definitely a good word for it, but it is a worthy challenge, and one that I'm up for every month. The first thing that I do is see what major events are going on that month. I either attend and film the event myself, or hire one of the guys on my list of reliable videographers. If there are any majors tours, news regarding a pro rider, or anything of that nature I base some content around those things accordingly. It's important to me to promote the pro riders and what they're up to, so I try to have as much with the pros as possible. After all of the content has been decided upon, it's all filmed and edited. Sometimes this is all the way down to the day or two before the release due to events falling just a few days before the end of the month, but there are never any issues there (there is always content ready to fill in the gap if there are issues). After the content is done and ready to go, I meet up with Jake, knock out the intros, and the issue is complete! Putting the magazine together each month is time-consuming, but well worth it.
What’s your setup for filming and editing an episode?
I shoot all of my footage with a 7D, using one of my many lenses which are there for whatever focal length or effect I am trying to achieve. My lenses are as follows:
-Canon 50mm f/1.4
-Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8
-Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye
-Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye
-Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
I also use a rode pro video mic for when I shoot interviews, or anything that involves a rider or individual talking. I also use a Konova k3 slider for cinematic looking sliding shots at times. As far as editing goes, I have a Sony Vaio laptop for work on the go. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. When I am at home, I have a custom built desktop which included 32GB of ram, two hard drives (256GB solid state for programs and operating system, and a 1TB hard drive used for storage), and one of the latest intel I7 processors on the market. I have a 24" monitor to go with that to view everything I am working on. The computer isn't exactly one model or another, but it is a PC. Contrary to most media guys, I am not much for the OSX operating system.
The mobile app was something that I have wanted to do for a long time now, but haven't had the funding to do. After saving for several months, I took the time to put my head down for a little while, put in some work, and knock it out. It was a little difficult to do at first, but with a few helpful tools and learning everything I need to know from the internet, it all came together even better than I first planned! I know a lot of people access the internet from their phones these days, so I'm hoping the app will help accommodate those who do.
What are your plans for Fidelity in the future?
Fidelity is something that I hope gets big enough to the point where it actually helps grow our sport by raising overall awareness. I want to promote the pros out there that make up the sport we know and love. I find the retailers to be one of the most important parts of the overall success of scootering, so I want to start involving and promoting them as much as possible. I am a firm believer in the mom and pop shops out there, and want to do what I can to help them succeed. The most important thing to me though, is that Fidelity gives back as much as possible. I love to do giveaways, do what I can to sponsor events, give away free camp trips, and anything of that nature. I also want to do contests that give riders a chance to win some cash!
Recently, I have put a team together that are not only my friends, but guys from various teams and areas from around the worlds that promote what I feel scootering is all about; having fun. Those individuals are as follows: Dan Barrett, Ben Thomas, Ryan Gould, Scott Higgs, and Jon Devrind. We are currently working on a welcome video that will be dropping sometime during spring. More info will come closer to the date of release.
There is one thing definite about the future of Fidelity, and that is the fact that we will be working diligently each and every month to give you what you all want to see. We're here to stay.
It'll be cool to see what you guys do, thanks for your time Ryan.
Anytime man, and thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me.
And now, check the March Issue of Fidelity: