Teen wins national video contest
A budding filmmaker from Henrico has earned a trip to Los Angeles this summer, thanks to a passion for mountain biking, a talent for video production, a chance online discovery – and a bone-jarring bike crash provided by a friend.
Seventeen-year-old Boyd Chambliss beat out entrants from around the country to take top honors in the Quench X X-Treme Sports Video Contest with his submission of a mountain bike jump performed by his neighbor, Ian Rowland.
For about two years now, Chambliss and Rowland have been “making videos of crazy things,” as Rowland puts it.
While they occasionally visit mountain bike trails on Richmond’s Belle Isle, or head to the river near their western Henrico neighborhood, they filmed the winning video last summer in the Chambliss’ hilly back yard .
“Ian is actually the person that . . . made the video so interesting,” says Chambliss. “I pretty much knew he was going to crash, because he has never landed that jump.”
After convincing his friend to make the attempt, Chambliss filmed the adventure from ground level while his brother, Gray, shot from a perch in an overhanging tree.
“I knew the outcome was going to be bad,” says Chambliss, “when he got to the bottom of the jump. He had too little speed and wasn’t standing up.
“Sure enough he crashed – hard.”
Rowland shrugs off any concerns about the bruising he must have suffered in the crash-landing.
“I’m used to it,” he says. He and Chambliss point out that the bike took the fall worse that the rider, losing at least one reflector in the crash.
Asked why Rowland performed the jump without protective equipment, Chambliss concedes they were fortunate he wasn’t hurt, and emphasizes that skipping the helmet is a rare occurrence.
“My friends and I are actually really safe when we do anything dangerous,” he says. “We normally wear a full-face motocross helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
“Thankfully, he fell on his stomach and not his head.”
Rounding Up Votes
Not long after filming the crash, Chambliss was on Facebook viewing someone’s photo album when he noticed an ad.
Do you have an extreme video? read the Quench promotion.
Chambliss didn’t waste a moment applying for the contest, which called for participants to submit a brief (one minute or less) video of any sports-related activity. (A second video he submitted took third place in the nation and won him a t-shirt.)
“I’d been looking for a contest for a long time,” says Chambliss, noting that the Quench competition’s outdoorsy theme was the first to fit the subject of his videos.
Although Chambliss knew he had a good product, he also knew that submitting the videos was only the beginning of his effort to win.
The contest winners were to be chosen by public voting on the website, and he now had to enlist friends and classmates in the campaign, convince them to obtain YouTube accounts, and educate them about how to vote. Some of his would-be supporters apparently failed to follow through to the end of the voting process, and thought that viewing the video or saying they liked it was enough.
Nevertheless, Chambliss’ video topped the nationwide field with 700 views and 57 votes.
On to L.A.
A junior at The Steward School, Chambliss plans on pursuing a career in film.
“I have always loved jumping my bike and riding on trails,” he says. “Once I got my first video camera, I filmed everything.”
When he is not making films, Chambliss runs cross country and serves as manager of Steward’s varsity baseball and varsity boys basketball teams.
Brother Gray, 14, who also attends Steward, frequently joins Boyd and Rowland (a junior at Collegiate) for adventures at the river and stunts in the backyard.
Chambliss also like to film his family vacations. But although recreational events may be his favorite subject, there is nothing he takes lightly about the film process.
“I like to be serious,” says Chambliss, who has 200 videos on his own YouTube account. “I like to make [videos] as professional looking as a I can, because I’m looking to go into film.”
With a Christmas gift of a new bike, and a newly-constructed video platform in his back yard – not to mention a national title under his belt -- Chambliss seems well on his way to a film career.
What’s more, he will no doubt make helpful contacts when he and Ian and Gray travel with his father (airfare and lodging provided for all four) to the X Games this summer.
“I entered because I really thought that I had a great chance of winning,” says Chambliss. “There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity like this.”
“Once you find something that you like, you can’t let that opportunity go by.”
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
Tix Laxton rises at 4:30 a.m. every day for a biscuit. But he’s not rushing out to any restaurant to get his favorite Southern comfort food; he’s baking his own from scratch and serving them up from his bakery on Lakeside Avenue.
Laxton opened Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery in early July and since then biscuits have been flying out of there.
The self-taught baker draws hungry crowds in with a biscuit of the day like the Old Bay Cheddar, but the buttermilk biscuits are the staple.
“On a Saturday I generally make about 400 biscuits with my two hands,” Laxton said. “I’m constantly making biscuits all day long.” > Read more.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.
The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.
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