"Made with 100% minitrucker style" is the motto SoLo Films promotes with each of their DVD releases, which document the shows, rides, and people that define our culture.
Every full-length title and video teaser from this tight-knit camp displays an evolution of style and quality that is undeniable. And although there are a handful of extremely talented videographers out there creating killer art on film, we sat Sean "Frenchy" French and Koapono Patrick of KP Koncepts down for an extensive question session to find out what makes SoLo different from the rest.
MT: So … who are you?!
Frenchy: I'm Sean French, 26 going on 30, born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. I had a '79 Chevy fullsize longbed when I was 16—it was lowered on 15-inch steelies and had a poop brown custom flake paint. I was sucked into the minitruckin' lifestyle when I was 17. I had friends in high school who were tinkering with trucks, but I have to give credit to Daniel Pugsley for really bringing me in. I was hooked after seeing how low he would drive his 2-door second-gen Blazer
MT: Who else makes up the SoLo staff?
Frenchy: I formed the business with Grant Garen. He convinced me to start filming more seriously and travel to more shows, and stepped down moving on to bigger things with his wife. Without him, this would have never happened. Shortly after, Ryan Marx stepped in as my right hand man. He helped film and edit our third film Trifecta, but after it released in 2011, he decided to go back to college and moved away from the "scene" to further himself. Since then, the staff we have now has helped the company grow to a level I never imagined. But without the help of the guys who stood by my side and supported me in the past we couldn't have come this far!
Currently, our staff consists of myself, Kristi Hutson/French who handles sales, advertising, and photography duties, Erin French who also helps in the sales and advertising department, and Koapono Patrick who contributes with videography, digital design, and photography. We've also have freelance photographers Josh Fleetwood, Jason Hayes, Jose Luis Rodriguez Jr., and Tim Smith assist on shoots.
MT: So you're the big cheese behind SoLo Films, huh? How long have you been filming?
Frenchy: Yep, I serve as the CEO/producer/editor/videographer. I started filming about 6 years ago at shows just for fun. My friends and I would watch the footage, and it then progressed into the level we're at now.
MT: How about you, KP? You've been sitting quiet over there in the corner.
KP: It's been about a year since I took video work serious. Before that, I would just make quick little videos of my truck to put on YouTube. Frenchy was the reason I started taking it seriously.
MT: What camera equipment did you start with and how did you come up with the cash for it?
Frenchy: My very first camera was one of those Sony Handycam camcorders that writes video directly to a mini DVD. That's what was used to film First Time Around. It was fairly inexpensive at the time and was all I could afford. Initially I purchased that camera for my own personal use with no intentions of starting a video company.
KP: I used to have a regular cheap-o point-and-shoot–type camera, then as a graduation gift from votech school I got a Canon T1i (thanks grandparents!). I used that for a little bit until selling it to upgrade to the T3i, which wasn't a whole lot more. I bought the rest by keeping busy with my rendering work.
MT: So far, SoLo has four DVDs out, with a fifth, Inspired Lifestyle Part 1, due out later in the year, and Part 2 scheduled for Spring 2013. How would you describe it compared your other masterpieces?
Frenchy: That's a good question. Our fourth DVD The Catalyst has been a huge success compared to our other films. We made leaps to increase our quality level for that film and have strived even more to progress for the next release. We are trying to focus more on the untold story, to get down to the "nitty gritty" of the trucks we feature. With Inspired Lifestyle, I am hoping that it will live up to the hype that it has developed.