The Fit Cycle Web Series Ignites a MOVEment with Artistic Flare

| May 14, 2013 | 2 Comments

The Fit Cycle is a cinematic wellness endeavor; that is inspired by art, music and a culture of collaboration. The Fit Cycle is moving at the rhythm of life.™ #TheFitCycle, is defined by resourcefulness. It works to inspire folks to make the most of what they have –however little, be it time, capital or possessions– to live more active and engaged lives. #GetItInWhereYouCanFitItIn 

Andia Winslow, one of The Fit Cycle’s creators, sheds some light on how they started and why their movies have gone viral.

JAM: What gave you the idea to start your web series?

AndiaWilsonAndia Winslow: I was making videos in the backyard of my home. I lived in Arizona and lived on the border of a reservation, the Gila River Indian Reservation. That community had the highest rate of onset Type 2 Diabetes in the entire world. Which to me was unfathomable since we’re in the United States and we have access to health care and people down the street are dying from a preventable disease. So I started making these videos in my back yard, showing that you don’t have to have a lot to make a lot of your life and your body. It gained some attraction. It was featured on Mashable early on. That’s what I did. I had an iPod, I sat the iPod up on a ladder and I make the video very “do it yourself.” Then when I got to New York a couple of years later, my friend Monique who is a film student at the University of Texas at Austin said, “Why don’t we keep doing the videos?” You’ve got a new home now but the community that you live in still has the same kinds of needs. I live in Spanish Harlem, East Harlem that has the highest rate of poverty and disenfranchisement in my state. She brought her film skills and we partnered to create this really beautiful work and it’s been a really great experience. We also made a film in college together, a documentary, that’s kind of how our interests both started. So it’s kind of cool to return to collaboration 10 years after college graduation.

JAM: Why do you think fans have connected so well with your series?

Andia Winslow: I think the first part is that we’re reflecting on the energy around us. We’re reflecting on art that’s in our community. We’re reflecting on music that’s in our community. And that is really what inspires us to do the work. Its not a typical fitness video, its actually a movie. These are movies, these are cinematic efforts. I think they’re fun. They’re accessible and the musicality of it really gets people interested. Because they’re like, “Wow, this is not someone jamming it down my throat and it looks like its fun.” And the fun is what really draws people in. They’re colorful and we’re really proud of that effort and we’re proud of the community that inspired us to do these things. If it wasn’t for them, then this could not exist. The need for it would not exist.

JAM: How do you generate new ideas and creativity when you’re coming up with new episodes?

AndiaHouseWorkOutAndia Winslow: Well I’m a professional athlete, so I have a very extensive background in training. I’m also a certified fitness professional, so a lot of the things I do are creative but they’re also sound physically for anyone that is actually trying to be on a normal training regiment. In terms of ideas and what to make next, usually ideas come to me in the shower. I’m in there and I’m like,“Oh yes, that’s a good one!”

Monique is also a classical pianist and a musician so she thinks of ideas in terms of music and placement. Our third partner Rachel is really good with color and scope. So it comes together. I pitch an idea to them and we go location scouting and watch people; watch the way they move. And we’ll make something that patterns it, art imitating life/life imitating art.

JAM: When you’re making the videos how does the public react around you?

Andia Winslow: That’s a good question. We’re in New York, so all kinds of things happen at all kinds of times, so people really dull to the fact that craziness happens around them. In the beginning we had people looking. They take one look. They might take a second glance, and then they ask what we’re doing. On the last video, we had people actually participating, so that was really exciting. They said, “Hey what are yall doing? For real? Well can I  try?” And we said, “Sure okay.” Then we’ll just have people taking part.

We’re calling it a movement with capital MOVEment. Because it is a MOVEment. We want people to get involved. We want to engage people and get people who otherwise don’t have the means, to take care of themselves with what ever they have however, little it be.  It’s really really exciting.

JAM: Why do you thing web series are becoming so popular and what future do you see for web series?

Andia Winslow: I’m a fan of Awkward Black Girl and the route she took. She had great content. She had great ideas. She got it done. And think in the past people have waited for opportunities. They waited for someone to give them a chance and with web series anyone with relatively little can create and capture their own content. Scalability is the issue that makes it so engaging and exciting because anyone can do anything and reach anyone at any time. I think that it’s only going to grow from here. A lot of big brands are returning to the digital platform and digital strategies to try to see how they can garner more market share. But I think the authentic content makers are going to survive and they’re going to thrive because people are looking for new ideas that are really authentic. Not created by ad revenue and corporate driving forces. We’re glad to be a part of it and we’re excited to see what our peers are making and collaborating with them. It’s been a great ride so far.

JAM: How did you all form your team?

We’re a group of best friends and we all have different talents. It was a natural fit because Monique and Rachel had been watching my backyard fitness videos for years now. So when we collaborate together it just makes sense. Monique is the film person and I hold her art in high regard. And then Rachel is great at production so we just came together. As good friends and now business partners, we’re doing something that we love together.

Jam: What advice would you give anyone that’s interested in starting a web series?

Andia Winslow: Really let your imagination rule you. Don’t be concerned with what people might think and how are going to respond. Because content really is king. And if you’re authentic with your self and you’re creating something that truly is your personality, it will sustain itself. Now if you’re doing things for people because you think that’s what they want; then you’re going to run into trouble because you’re not able to sustain that. So be creative and get started. Don’t wait until you have the perfect camera. Don’t wait til you have the perfect sound mixer. Start! Then you can build your audience and from there. People will see this person is making good content. Just get started.  Getting started really is the hardest part. Once you get started it’s so much fun and nothing can beat it.

Another piece of advice is to maintain control so far as you can. When you’re ready to let your baby grow, then it’s going to grow and you’ve got to let it go. But for now we’re maintaining creative control, financial control and casting control.

JAM: Do you have anything new going on that you want people to know about?

Andia Winslow: We are filming a new video next weekend. And we were just invited to South By South West because one of our videos went viral.  So that was a really awesome experience, being around creative folks who are making decisions about the industry. They saw fit to have us come down, I guess it could be a source of inspiration. We’ve been invited to speak at a couple of conferences. So I just really want people to know just to create art and let art dictate your trajectory. If you create art for arts sake, then art will reward you.

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Category: Interviews

Comments (2)

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  1. Thank you Jessica and Black Web Series / Black Bloggers Connect for the awesome feature on your launch day! We’re humbled. We look forward to creating new content for your viewing pleasure and learning about the other featured series!

    Get It In Where You Can Fit It In,
    @AndiaWinslow

  2. Margarette says:

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