Fixed Gear Crit

Behind the scenes at Red Hook Criterium: Tito Capovilla, Man of the Hour

Many of you have probably watched the official Red Hook Crit videos, the Castelli 24h trailer, the Respublica, Mudmax series or other fixed gear races videos. The man behind all those videos is the Italian wonder kid Tito Capovilla. Tito is 21 years old, a videomaker and editor. He has worked with several international sports brands and events. The cycling world is his main working field, and yes he is a cyclist himself too. Tito is one of the first colleagues I met when I started working for the Red Hook Crit two years ago. He is very kind, helpful, great to work with and most of all an honest professional. Today, Tito’s videos have been viewed all around the world, and he is working with some of the big names in the bicycle industry. We met him at his base, Milan, and talked about what lies behind his success, his opinion of fixed gear races, and his plans for the future.
Text: Panos Sinopoulos
Photography: Silvia Galliani

Tell us about yourself and how you decided to become a film/video maker?
I grew up in Milano, Italy. My father is a photographer, and my mother is a journalist and documentarist, so I have always been surrounded by cameras and pictures. As a kid, I would frequently get my hands on my parents’ cameras and record all sort of things. I was pretty nerdy and always in front of a computer, so I taught myself how to edit. I even uploaded some videos on a youtube channel I created in 2010.

Throughout the years I created a variety of videos on the most random topics. I can’t think of a moment where I actively decided to become a film/video maker. I just kept creating content in the form of video, and at some point, it became a job.

Which is the very first video that you ever made for fixed gear races?
I think the first ones were some edits I made after racing alleycats with a camera mounted on my handlebars. Then I made a really bad video of RHC Milano 2013 (the first I attended) and decided afterwards I could do better the following year.

What is your major and your professional background?
My high school, here in Milan, was mostly focused on Math and Informatics. I spent a semester in Berkeley, California where I also studied advanced digital photography. I’m currently studying at Brera Academy in Milan, and my degree is in Art and New Technologies. I will say though; I don’t believe this has anything to do with my work.

As I said I acquired my working skills with hands-on experience since the youngest age.
I don’t know if I can talk about “professional background” but in the past years aside from the Red Hook Crit I have worked with UEFA and Mediaset at the Champions League final in Milan, Samsung and Juventus during the renovation of their stadium, Ubisoft, RedBull just to name a few. I have also followed and documented a few stages of the Giro and Tour de France for some social media network.

How do you see the evolution of fixed gear crits and how do you consider the role of videos in their development?
I think my expectations are pretty high. I see that fixed gear crits are becoming as big as the pro cycling tours as well as I’ll see them taking a spot at the Olympics. Working together with the RHC crew and David Trimble especially it’s easy to understand that everyone has a strong belief in this sport and is motivated to make it grow. I believe this format is really spectacular/spectator friendly and it makes for great entertainment without sacrificing the level of competition. This is the core potential of this discipline.

I think videos, photos and Social Media, in general, are playing a fundamental role in the growth of fixed gear crits and our challenge is to renovate the forms of distribution to make this sport look as entertaining as it is in reality. I was born in the Social Media era, and I think they changed the way information is distributed fantastically. I do think there is a lot more progress to do especially in the sports industry where TV is still the main media.
Which do you consider the best cooperation you’ve done so far?

By far the RHC. David is one of the first people I met that really believed in what I was doing. Working with him, our creative director Jonah Birns and the whole RHC team has been the most challenging, fun and personally rewarding cooperation I have done. I have worked with bigger clients but never found it nearly as good.

I also love working with Silvia Galliani on our own project such as the recent adventure at Tuscany Trail or the work we did for the Castelli24H, RedBull and some of the Track Bike Total War projects. We usually have similar tastes and we coordinate really well on covering Videos, Photos and Social Media, sometimes with the help of collaborators.

What are your plans for the future and how do you see yourself in 5 years from today?
I was born in the Internet and Social Media era, and I think it is the field where my communication skills work the best. I would like to shift my work a little more on the production/directing side: as much as I love laying on the tarmac and running all over the place to “get the shot” I think there are better filmers and editors than me and I think that I would give my best at coordinating multiple people’s work being able to understand and put together the bigger picture. I would also like to move to the US in order to work in a more international environment.