We called on the Los Angeles-based duo of Sean Talkington and Jesse Carmody. The creative masterminds have been working together for the last several years, with Talkington most known for his work bringing to life inspired products for Team Dream, and Carmody making his mark with captivating videos and professional photography.
We had to ask, how did these two get started in the cycling world and what inspired the concept for the video?
AS: Tell us more about your respective backgrounds and work in the cycling scene.
Jesse: I found cycling through growing up with a father who was super passionate about cycling. I chose the creative visual arts and became a photographer. I wanted to photograph things I was passionate about. Getting license to see the little nooks and crannies of cycling was awesome. Cycling was a passion of mine before photography was and they melded together. Working with Sean on Team Dream projects helped me sink my teeth into that on an ongoing basis.
Sean: I had a grown-up job and realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. I started over and started working at a bike shop for $9 an hour. What drew me to cycling was the classic aesthetic of the old kits. I had so many ideas. Team Dream was a way for me to implement those ideas.
AS: Let’s talk about the video. In 40 seconds you manage to capture the epic character of cycling that many of us revere about the sport, and within the same space quickly deconstruct it down to this funny, honest scene in a front yard. Can you tell us a bit more about how the idea for this short came about and what inspired it?
Jesse: The video was inspired by the original photoshoot with LA Sweat [then Ritte Women’s Team] we did last year. This common thread Sean and I had been working on was Perception vs. Reality. How could we make this over-the-top gritty image and juxtapose it with something really silly to completely deflate it.
Sean: Kelli [Samuelson, Team Manager/Rider LA SWEAT] was involved with that original concept too. Kelly approached me. She wanted to do this thing with Ass Savers where she was completely covered in mud on the front and spotless on the back.
We really like the perception of Kelli playing a character who’s in this European cobblestone thunderstorm, jamming through it. The humorous aspect is that she’s in her front yard training.
Jesse: With the video, we wanted to build on that concept used in last year’s photo shoot. Anything we do, we want to take a step back and ask: “Is this cool?” “Is this funny?”
AS: How did the video shoot go?
Jesse: I’m really happy with how this came out. I feel like we crushed it.
Sean: There’s no hierarchy. With a shoot, some friends will come and contribute. It’s a free-for-all creative environment. It was just one of those things where you go into it knowing what you’re going to do, but you get these additional half-baked ideas to insert at the last minute.
Jesse: We used that track “O Fortuna” and it worked perfectly. I love the reveal. The reveal is funny. Some of the slow-mo drips coming off her helmet are so cheesey, I love it. Probably my favorite shot in the whole sequence is the over-the-top shot of her pain face. There’s also a little reality peppered in there with Kelli’s husband in the video, too.
AS: How do you like to set yourself apart from others? Is there an element of non-conformity in there?
Sean: Before we do anything, there’s usually some kind of conversation where we’ll touch on the question “Has this been done in the cycling world.” From a starting point, our goal is to reference outside of cycling in everything we do.
AS: Why did you want to do a project with Ass Savers?
Jesse: First of all, the name. You guys take things as lightheartedly as we do. You’re not gonna think we’re weird and we can get kind of wild with it.
Sean: In the past, companies never approached me when I worked at a bike shop. I would cold call companies with ideas for them. Now, some of those same people I cold called have emailed me interested in collaborations, not knowing that I contacted them years ago.
When Ass Savers comes to us and says, “We like exactly what you do. Do it exactly how you want to do it...” Not too many people have the opportunity to do exactly what they want to do.