Interview with Bob Rief – San Diego Rising
As quarantine restrictions are slowly lifted across California and the rest of the nation, San Diego Sport Innovators with JivaVR, Rob Machado, Bill Walton and Tiffany Joh released San Diego Rising, a live-action 360° video short, aiming to inspire viewers to continue acting responsibly as they return to the active pursuits they love by practicing gratitude for these activities, following guidelines and paying respect to those on the front lines and others around us. Filmed in scenic locations across San Diego county, the video documents the introspective journeys of local sports icons, providing an intimate look into how they have stayed mentally and physically active during quarantine.
Why this video why now?
Bob Rief: I feel like I can say that none of us ever had a thought about 2020 that included this awful pandemic. It has evoked such a stream of awareness… that starts with the front liners who have selflessly served so many… and reaches to our beaches, paths and courses, and with them, the businesses that are built upon our lifestyles.
But for all of us who have started a business, nurtured it, see it go through the spectrum of business cycles, it’s heartbreaking. Life-long dream businesses are in jeopardy. Our sense of responsibility is torn between compliance and defiance. As employers, we know our colleagues are counting on us… and just as many people are counting on them… that is the wonder of California’s small business community. 90% of San Diego businesses are classified as “small.”
The Shop Eat Surf and SDSI communities are comprised of innate leaders. We are eclectic, that actually makes our collective influence most powerful. We all have an opportunity right now to do something positive. With this video we wanted to create something that was sharable to empower our communities to lead.
How did you decide what athletes to feature in the video?
Bob Rief: Local icons sending a message of positivity and gratitude through their passion for their sport, is something that resonates…at least with anyone who has been touched by the outdoors. Walton, our fearless leaders and the endless giver to San Diego, his love for cycling and all it has done for him. There is no one more “San Diego Surf” than Rob Machado, if any of us surfers are going to be inspired, it’s by him. He is so generous with his time, and his foundation is doing something really meaningful. If you’re not in the golf scene you probably don’t know Tiffany Joh but she is coming up on the LPGA, and she is having a significant impact…oh and she loves to surf! Rob says it best in the film, “In their purest form, surfing cycling and golf are often considered singular pursuits…now is the time to get back to their roots and embrace where it all started”.
Why did you decide on this format?
Bob Rief: Many of us felt helpless and frustrated as the outdoor spaces that nourish our mental and physical health were closing around us. Our friends at JivaVR reached out, they felt compelled to do something. They have a unique and exceptional talent for using 360-degree video and VR to tell beautiful, cinematic stories, that address complex problems. There is nothing typical about this pandemic and its impact. Using a nontraditional format, to address the challenge of how to return – and maintain access to – our beloved outdoor spaces, seemed like an opportunity…and it really helped take viewers into the minds of the athletes. Oh, and Jiva captured all the footage while following all social distancing protocols, as a team of two, no crew, no contractors, very limited access to outdoor spaces, with ZERO funding and on a very short timeline! Talk about a challenge…these guys are the best!
Anything you would like to leave our readers with?
Bob Rief: Stay smart, stay healthy, follow guidelines, continue to lead…Lets keep the places we love, open for play!
Video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/_gmA6-2EG98