This Behind the Lens introduces you to the man behind Beyond the Light, our newest Vurb Original. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it by clicking HERE. Many know Spenser Robert as Taylor Robert's little brother, but he is much more than that. A previous NYU student, Robert has moved back to his home in the state of Arizona to continue his film education and play his cards in filming off-road.
Everyone knows you as Taylor Robert's little brother, but not much else. So tell us a little about yourself!
Spenser Robert: (laughs) Yeah, he does cast a pretty big shadow, but he's also a great older brother and a really fantastic collaborator, so it's all good. As for me, well, I'm going to be a Junior in college this next fall so I go to school full-time in between filming and going to the races. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I was about ten years old, so this has been a long and gradual process, but this has been a really good year for me so I'm pretty happy with everything.
Where are you studying?
SR: Well, for my freshman year I was going to film school at NYU which was an incredible experience. It's offers on of the top film programs in the world, and I was lucky to be accepted. But, it also wasn't exactly what I was looking for -- a little too formal, I guess. So, this last year I moved back to Arizona and started studying film at ASU. And I'm really glad I made that decision because being back here and getting involved in the races has really led to a lot of opportunities for me.
So ultimately, where do you hope those opportunities take you in the long run?
SR: A part of me still loves making narrative films, so I would certainly like to continue pursuing that aspect of filmmaking. But I've really been blown away by the words of encouragement from everyone in the Motocross community, and I am really excited to continue working on these projects.
Let's rewind this a little bit. How, or what, ignighted your love for filmmaking?
SR: I've always had a pretty inuitive draw to filmmaking, so I'm not sure what the catalyst was. But I took some film classes when I was in middle school, and I think it was then that I first realized how passionate I was about the craft. Whether it be shooting, editing, or just watching a movie, I've just always felt the most like myself when I'm doing something film related.
What is one of your personal favorite films that you have created? Moto or non-moto related.
SR: I am really proud of the piece we just finished, Beyond the Dying Light. A lot of hard work went into that, and I really hope that everyone enjoyed it. But, when I was at NYU last year I made a short film about Santa Claus using Facebook to see whether kids were naughty or nice, and I think that is my favortie personal project.
While filming Beyond the Dying Light, did you have any blooper moments?
SR: On one of the last days of filming we went way, way out into the desert to get a shot of this ridge and Taylor's bike ran out of gas. So we had to use the hose off of his camelback to siphon gas out of the Razr I was driving. Unfortunately, to get the gas to flow you have to suck on the hose first, and the gas came out so quickly that I swallowed a bunch. That was less than ideal. But, considering that's the worst thing that happened, I'm okay with swallowing a little gas.
That's funny. I mean not funny, but you know.
SR: Yeah, haha in hindsight it's certainly funny.
We all have our sacrafices for dirtbikes I suppose! Not everyone has an eye for filming off-road or racing in general. But you seem to bring an emotion to your films. When your shooting someone racing or riding their dirtbike, what emotion are you trying to capture or convey?
SR: I've been going to the races for my entire life. I stopped riding dirt bikes at a pretty early age, but it has been an incredible experience to watch Taylor grow and develop into the phenomenal rider that he is today. So, when I watch him I am always blown away by how smooth and easy he makes it look. I guess it isn't so much of an emotion that I am trying to capture, but a sensation -- that fluid, adrenaline fueled sensation of soaring on a motorcycle.
I think that's what we all try to embrace on a dirtbike. Did you have much success when you rode as a kid?
SR: I succeeded in looping out and face-planting all the time, you betcha. My heart just wasn't into competing the way Taylor's was, and is. So, I'll ride my streetbike when the weather is nice enough, but that's about as serious as I get.
Understandably so. What's the next film project on your agenda?
SR: Well I have to finish up WORCS in these next couple of months, so that'll keep me busy. And then I'm also going to start editing all of the Endurocross videos (with Drew Ruiz) starting at the next round. And I'm supposed to be shooting some stuff for Moto 4 over these next few weeks...so quite a few things to do. But I definitely look forward to whatever creative project like Beyond the Dying Light that I can do next!
Awesome! Well it sounds like you've got a lot of great things on your plate and coming your way. And we're proud to have your work on Vurb. So I guess we can close this out for our readers with an exciting, "stay tuned" for your next Vurb project!
SR: Sounds great, thank you!