CASE STUDY: Recreation
With a love of creation, a passion for the outdoors and an addiction to adrenaline sports, Aran Eversman is a creative filmmaker whose adventures know no bounds. Based in Southern Oregon, Aran is the founder of Mellowest Digital Creative, and can often be found behind the camera lens. When he isn’t shooting or coming up with creative strategies, he can usually be found taking in what life has to offer, whether that’s on a motorbike, mountain bike, snowboard, in a plane, or using his own two feet.
Tell us a bit about who Aran Eversman is?
I’m Aran Eversman and I’m a Southern Oregon based filmmaker and creative director. My roots are in motocross racing… A racer first, a sales guy in between, and then then a photojournalist for some of the finest motocross publications in the US, like META Syndicate, Racer X, and Vurbmoto, where I was the Managing Editor in 2013-14. Today, I help brands create awesome content and inbound marketing strategy with my company, Mellowest.
Have you always had a passion for storytelling? How did you discover this passion?
For me, storytelling started with writing; it came naturally to me. But I never set out on a path to be a “creative”, so to speak. When I was young, I thought I’d be a businessman or a hot shot sales guy. I was lucky enough to have access to a handycam and 35mm point and shoot growing up… But I didn’t set out to be a cameraman either.
I started my career in sales for a protective gear company, EVS Sports. While there, I got to see firsthand how creative content and sales worked hand in hand. I learned how to hustle and the power of good relationships. But just as my sales career started to take off, I borrowed a camera and discovered my love for photography.
At this point, I guess you could say I chose my path: That of a storyteller, not a story-seller. I scored a couple of opportunities to shoot and write for prominent motorcycle magazines and soon after, got a job offer at my first magazine, MotoPlayground. Soon after, I was quitting my sales job and packing up shop to begin a new career in the world of media.
So I guess you could say I discovered my passion for storytelling by living it and having a few key people believe in me… and it’s been a hell of a ride ever since.
What’s your favorite bit of kit for shooting creative content?
Gimbals have changed the game! Companies like DJI and Freefly are creating incredible tools for capturing smooth motion over air, land, and sea.
It’s one of the beautiful things about the UBCO 2X2: From a filmmaking perspective, It’s the perfect tool to put the camera and the viewer into motion. It has endless mounting options, ample power, and 12V accessory ports that make it the perfect choice for hauling gear or rigging up a gimbal for the ultimate camera-bike experience.
You shoot a lot of footage for adventure sports and van life setups; do you ever get amongst this yourself?
Absolutely! One of my favorite partners are the guys from Oregon Trail’r, a boutique off-road camper company based in Eugene, Oregon. Working with them has introduced me to the world of overland travel/camping and a lot of new friends along the way.
Now, we find ourselves shooting an epic blend of outdoors, two-wheeled sports, overland adventures, and Oregon sunsets. No complaints!
What is your favorite part of a video shoot?
Without a doubt, it’s a specific feeling: One that makes your hair stand on end and when you’re totally in the zone. There’s a bell curve of emotions that occur on shoot day: It starts with little nervousness and anticipation early on. But then all of a sudden you’re there and it’s time to perform, no turning back. Once you’re set up and rolling with all the kinks worked out, there’s a point where it all just clicks: the talent, the film crew, the set, and setting are all in lock-step. That feeling of being in a total state of flow and capturing the vision we set out to create is the best part of a shoot, for sure.
What are the three essentials that you take on every shoot?
Backup batteries, backup media, and a checklist. These three things can be lifesavers or complete day wreckers if you don’t have them. With so much gear to pack, the checklist thwarts the inevitable piece of gear I swore I packed, but actually left back at HQ.
You must experience some amazing things while on location, can you tell us about your favorite shoot?
I actually have two: The most off-the-wall, memorable project was documenting a music/motorcycle festival in The Netherlands called Zwartecross with The Viewing’s Darryn Durham and Tyler Bereman. Criss-crossing Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands over 10 days, was a wild ride I’ll never forget. You can read the story of that adventure over on the Fasthouse blog.
My favorite shoot: The Valley with free rider Tom Parsons, directed and produced by Kyle Cowling from Phantasos Media. It was really my first time in Death Valley, I loved the vast emptiness and quietness of it. And in the early morning hours, it’s a stunning landscape. The guys tied the whole story together beautifully and it ended up getting picked up by Red Bull and nominated for a Web award.
What do you believe you were you put on the earth to do?
I believe we are all put here to live to our maximum potential, whatever that is. A human being that’s inspired, balanced, loved and secure is also propagating that message to everyone they touch, bringing up the collective consciousness. So, I think it’s my job to live to my potential and in doing that, help others to do the same thing.
What does creative storytelling mean to you?
Personally, I think it’s content that strikes a chord with the viewer. It pulls at the heartstrings, it inspires action, it makes you think about it later. It’s storytelling that creates an emotion…how much more creative can it get?
What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by that which I do not know and do not yet understand. I’m motivated by the people around me who do it better, the ones who are relentlessly dedicated and push through despite all odds.
Is there is any love-hate relationship with any aspect of what you do, can you describe what that is?
In the early days of working in this business, there’s a lot of uncertainty. There isn’t a road map, there isn’t a handbook or standards of excellence. Rates change, work improves and new opportunities are always out there. Early on, the love-hate is knowing that you’re doing something that you love, but hating that there’s no surefire checklist saying that you’re doing it the right way. But getting through that phase is an incredible feeling, no doubt!
“The UBCO 2X2 showed me the light on electric power! The 2X2 is as fun as it is utilitarian. The platform is highly flexible: It’s as comfortable on the street as it is on the trails or loaded down with camping gear for an overnight adventure. And in video production, the 2X2 is the ultimate camera bike platform, getting our equipment, personnel, and cameras closer to the action than ever before.”
What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?
Finishing my pilots’ license and owning an airplane…ok maybe 3 airplanes... A BushCat, a Pitts Special, and a Cirrus SR22.
Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?
My heroes who pursue their passions against all odds and are humble enough to share the story later. In the business world, Gary Vaynerchuck is a great example of someone who leads with empathy and relentlessly marches to the beat of his own drum. In my personal life, I realize more and more that my parents are the ultimate heroes! They gave my sister and me a great upbringing, creative latitude, and a chance to try a lot of different flavors of life.
What do you do when you aren’t shooting video content?
Besides look at new video gear online and in the mags? Haha, just kidding (kind of). Any chance to get away from the computer is a welcomed one. I love to motocross, mountain bike, snowboard, fly whenever possible, explore and relax when I’m not shooting or creating content strategies!
What is your favorite place in the world?
That’s a tough one… Being in a Redwood forest grove when the sun is coming up, or on the Pacific coast when the sun is going down. Those are two epic places to be!
Where is the one place in the world where you can’t wait to visit?
New Zealand and Australia! Some of the best motocross and action sports films have come out of there and the people always have an awesome vibe.