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Steering the Ship with Giles

We here at Motus are well known for a tendency to let our video production lie dormant for a period of time, before dropping a smattering of videos, a film, or a slowly petering out 10 question interview series. However, I am happy to report an upswing in parkour content, courtesy of the Motus dad himself, Giles Campbell-Longley. I had a brief conversation with Giles during which we discussed the release of S.O.L., following-up after a film, and what comes next for The Motus Projects.  

Me: So what happens with the brand in the wake of releasing a film project, and will there be any clothing releases coinciding with the film?

Giles: In the wake of S.O.L. Kelan is flying off to America almost immediately for the better part of a month, and will spend time in New York and Woodward with Travis, Ethan and a couple of others. He’s obviously poured the better part of a year into S.O.L. with it being his main focus whenever he’s on a computer, so he’s a little lost on where he wants to be channeling his energy, and is currently fleshing out some video ideas. He’s always fleshed out loads of video ideas, but he’s going to be stepping into a kind of creative content role within Motus. We as a brand are always thinking about the next big thing, which we have some ideas floating around but nothing we’ve committed to. We’re also thinking about some smaller, more conceptual projects to try and get out in the following months. Like proper parkour videos that have a focus, narrative, or concept. 

In regards to clothing releases, no we hadn’t planned anything for this project. But we also thought the film was going to be ready and come out months ago. The whole thing has taken a bit longer than we expected (classic Motus), and when we were initially toying around with the idea we were like, “Oh we aren’t going to have time because S.O.L. is coming out in May.” Obviously it didn’t come out in May, if we’d known that, we maybe would have had time to get some stuff out. But no, this will essentially be an independent release, unlike Sole Destroyer. But Sole Destroyer had a much more contextual idea around it, and was almost inspired by the Sole Destroyer graphic, which existed before the film. Whereas the contextual element with this release is pretty much S.O.L. itself.

Me: Can your viewers expect a sea of behind the scenes footage from S.O.L. to be released on the channel, or are you going to go the same route as Sole Destroyer with a bonus features edition?

Giles: I’m not sure of the split yet. I know that the guys were planning a whole “extras” piece they were going to sell alongside the film, but I think they’ve decided to put a lot of that footage on YouTube. When I spoke to them the other day, they were talking about releasing some of that extra footage on YouTube before the film comes out, and then releasing the rest of the behind the scenes stuff afterward.

Me: With Kelan and the guys in America, can we expect more Motus America content soon?

Giles: One hundred percent, there’s going to be content. I’m not sure what style, or anything like that, but I think it’ll be more standard YouTube and Instagram content as opposed to something larger like Cinnamon Toast Crunch; but we’ll see! 

Me: How difficult is “steering the ship” when your team is spread all over the globe?

Giles: It’s the hardest fucking thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s something I’m not very good at, and something I’m trying to do less, in the sense that we quite quickly took on a lot of athletes. At the start of the brand, when we were more reckless with money, I spent a lot of time, effort and money doing things like “Spitting in the Wind” to try and strengthen the team dynamic, and it definitely did. But unfortunately it made the team harder to sustain unless someone was funding trips like that. Obviously everyone is still really good mates, but the drive to make brand specific content is not as strong as we want it to be, and it doesn’t seem to happen as organically as you’d want it to. Obviously Covid has really killed the team vibe of Motus, and I don’t know if it’ll ever be back to how it was. We’ve been focused on the in-house production stuff because it’s what we can control; there are people whose passions have shifted, and I think the future landscape of the team dynamic here will start to look different. Not to say that athletes are going to start dropping like flies, but adding athletes because they’re good athletes isn’t a focus of ours like it used to be. It doesn’t add as much to the brand as we used to think it does, and we can’t give athletes that much. We’d much rather get to a position where we can help people, and at the moment the way we can help people is employing them to take on more physical roles, because they’re more tangible. We’re looking into ways we can collaborate with others and showcase talented people in the community whether that be photographers, athletes, etc. We want to be putting out a lot more, ultimately. I’m going to be spending more time in the background. We're trying to get our in-house production capabilities to a point where we can be reactive to releases, and drop single products, or collections more regularly, but also efficiently. Motus has made a lot of mistakes in the past, and I’m trying to run a better business and trying not to neglect those things as much as I would love to be putting my time towards more creative pursuits. Someone unfortunately needs to be steering the ship.

Me: What are the remaining team members up to? Is anyone working on anything Motus related that you’re aware of?

Giles: Ethan and Noah Heath have filmed and edited one of my favorite videos that I’ve seen in a very long time. It’ll come out after S.O.L. I believe. It’s fairly short but it’ll go down so well. It’s incredibly impressive. I knew they were filming something but I didn’t realize how much effort they were putting into it. Jordan is out in Norway battling full time jobs at restaurants and not really loving that life. Thankfully Covid has calmed down now and so Jordan is going to be coming back to England a lot more. He’s coming in a week or so to train and hang out. We call Jordan the third musketeer, he helped us move into the first office, and it was during that period that we realized he’s one of those missing puzzle pieces that I will do anything to keep involved. His input is very much appreciated. I know Rachel is coming down soon to work and do some bits. Obviously she’s been killing it lately with hosting jams and just doing her own stuff. Now that the Workshop is becoming an established creative space, people are gravitating towards it, even just for short times. Johnstone has a growing film career, and so from my perspective, since Motus is not at a level where we’re earning massive amounts of money and can’t provide him with a lot of opportunities, we can’t really get in the way of his career. I’ll never say no if he wants to turn around and do stuff for the brand, and if we ask him to, he'll deliver, but I don’t want to ask too much of him. That’s how it is with a lot of the athletes to be honest. I spent a little while struggling with that, and wanting people all to be in one place and working towards the “vision,” which essentially was my vision. It took me a while to get through that, and now we have this little core of people at the office, and then people gravitate toward the brand who want to step up and do stuff, like you and Bloggy, who is killing it by the way. You guys both more or less just turned up, and those are the relationships I want to foster. Those are the people who really are delivering for the brand, and that’s where I want to focus my efforts, is to reciprocate the energy that they bring.

Motus is moving forward and evolving into a streamlined, well-oiled machine capable of pumping out consistent hard hitting parkour media and sick threads.  I’m interested to see the roles of the team athletes change as they grow up from the little kids in “Spitting in the Wind,” and channel their growing passions into, or out of the brand. Nothing is for certain, but with Giles at the helm of this sovereign class starship, the future seems bright and parkour videos are bound to be abundant.