Flat chat with Erik Otto (Part One)

Flat chat is a new section to flatmatters, which is literally what it says on the title. This first edition topic of chat is Erik Otto and his “online videos”, I met Erik last year at the Voodoo jam, totally rad humble guy. Who doesnt mind being asked loads of annoying questions about Kevin Jones. Without further a due, lets gets started…

Tell me about Monolithic Erik what’s that all about?
Well I guess Monolithic was created to ultimately be a consortium of artists working and collaborating together on different projects. I have a film background and I have always loved riding so the two came together.
The name is a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the monolith being the symbol of the next step in evolution.

Lil bit of thought gone into the name then, the Voodoo pre jam video is one of my favourite web edits..
Thanks man. That was a great night. I love the Voodoo Jam. New Orleans will always have a special place in my heart.

Yeah, you liking Bourbon street huh?
What’s not to like! ha ha. I have had some funny experiences there, that could be a separate interview. Let’s just say that Aaron Frost and I have had a good time. He is the little devil on your shoulder.

I would never have thought that.
Oh and seeing Tony Strickler getting kicked out of a bar on Bourbon street, not an easy task. It is always a good time. Love the vibe, the food, everything.

I see you just set up the monolithic channel on Vimeo

Yes, that is the best way to see my video’s in HD. My site needs to be updated badly. I have an entirely redesigned site in flash that I will have up by the spring time.
Vimeo is a great tool for connecting with riders and other artist out there.
I have some stuff that hasn’t been seen before from Texas and also from Voodoo. I have some things I shot here in Pennsylvania.

I guess that links to my next question, Looking at your vids they are pretty much contest footage based, any plans to get outside of that?
Absolutely. There is only so much you can do with contest footage. I think I have done as good a job with the contest footage as I can do. When I first started Monolithic, I put out 4 contest based DVD’s in the first 2 years and even though the quality was there, people just don’t buy contest DVDs. So I made the decision to just put up web videos that can help expose flatland to more people and get people stoked on coming out to events. I will be filming for a Pennsylvania Flatland scene DVD this spring.

Do flatland videos really sell Erik?
There is no money in flatland, ha ha. It all comes down to distribution. Bobby Carter can sell a lot more DVD’s than the rest of us and even he has problems covering his own expenses. I can tell you this, not one flatland filmmaker is in this for profits. We do it because we love it and want to give back.
I mean it would be nice to have some travel expenses paid for, but no one is looking for more than that really

I was talking to Martti online yesterday and he now works in a bike shop full time, your talking about one of the best riders of all time, and he can’t make a living off of flat, he’s just released one of the best videos ever.
Tell me about it. it’s really sad.
That is really.
That is a very big reason that I am doing this now. I had about a 9 year stretch where I was out of the scene from like 95 to 04 and when I came back the first thing I did was walk into a local bike shop and asked them who rode flatland in the area and they looked at me like I was from mars. They had barely heard of it. At that moment I knew I had to do something to get flatland back into the collective consciousness of kids.
Yeah, the magazines seem to be totally oblivous to how flatland is part of bmx
That infuriates me. Don’t get me wrong, I follow and respect street riding as much as anyone but the fact that flatland can’t even get one page of coverage is an outrage in my opinion.

Yeah its bums me out, I’m over it though. I guess flatmattersonline wouldn’t have started but for Ride UK pulling the plug on that page.
Yeah, that was very disappointing. I was also said when Brian Tunney told me that they were dropping flat from DIG. At least we still have Cream. I am very proud to have contributed to that fine magazine.

Yes, I’ve used this video once before, but so what? Watch again. Voodoo jam pre edit

Voodoo Pre Jam 2008 from Erik Otto on Vimeo.

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