Below is a brief interview with WRS Uploaded co-organizer Daniel Kinney.
Hi Daniel, thanks for talking with us. So, the new Uploaded event goes live in two weeks. How’s it shaping up?
Things are looking great. Last year we really didn’t know who was going to submit edits until pretty much the last minute. This year we already have a pretty good idea of who we are getting edits from. This year is going to be great.
Last year — the event’s first year — seemed like an overwhelming success. What did you learn from the experience, and are there any changes/tweaks to the structure from last year?
Last year was a really great surprise to both Kato and I. We both handle a large part of the workload.
We knew it was a good idea, despite having some doubters, but it really ended up exceeding all our expectations. Everything came together very smoothly. Edits were submitted on time, no glitches with the website or voting. It was kind of ridiculous.
I think the biggest thing we learned was to have confidence in our ideas and methods. Because it really all worked.
Tweaks for this year include a rule change, greater cooperation with sponsors and having the event stand alone.
Any edit that includes any footage that has already been seen online or in a video will be disqualified from both Fan voting and judging. It just wasn’t fair to other competitors that took the opportunity to produce all new content.
We will be offering a special coupon code with the three main shop sponsors, Aggressivemall, Roller Warehouse and Grindhouse, to help encourage shopping during the Christmas season. All three shops really stepped forward to support the event and we are hoping to return the favor.
And the event is no longer a World Finals. It is an event in and of itself.
Who was the panel of judges that handles final voting? New faces/names for this year?
We are still sorting out the judges for this year. Waiting on a few emails to be returned. However, the goal is to have 3 European and 3 American judges. All names that are well-known and respected within the community. And just like last year everything will be completely transparent. Everyone will not only be able to see the winners, but exactly who each judge voted for.
Are there any plans to expand the Uploaded concept into new directions or to build on the format?
Yes, actually. One of the biggest questions about the event is its qualifications. Being limited to only WRS Pros and Top 25 leaves out a lot of amazing rollerbladers. So we are tossing around the idea of having an Amateur or qualifying event.
This is obviously a WRS event, but otherwise the WRS has been sort of low key in the interim since last year’s Uploaded. What’s that about? What’s going on?
I think this is probably one of the greatest misconceptions about the WRS. The WRS was created to be nothing more than a network for events. Create an organized calendar, a point system for competitors and have all of it in one place. The WRS should actually always be low key. Its a backbone. The events are what should always be getting the attention.
And really, even if the resources of the WRS were increased, this trend would continue. Winterclash would have more prize money, Blading Cup would have an increased construction budget, more riders would be flying to Europe for events and permits for the NYC Street Invitational would be handled without a hitch. All of this would happen before the WRS would get more attention.
Will there be another WRS Finals event, and what are the criteria that will make that possible?
This is something that we are continually struggling with. As great as it would be to have a true WRS World Finals event again, I don’t think it is worth pursuing until it can really be something special. A typical park contest just really isn’t good enough in my opinion. There are some great venues out there, but personally I want to be able to offer something new and exciting before we revisit the WRS World Finals.