There are a lot of talented video shooters and producers in the MotoAmerica Championship and Chris Kilayko is at the top of that list. Kilayko – and his big smile and endless energy – has been in the MotoAmerica paddock since 2017 and it’s easy to see that he loves every minute of it.

What was your introduction to the motorcycle world?

I grew up very close to Raceway Park in New Jersey, so the sound of performance motors, dirt bikes, and jet engines were ingrained to my identity from an early age. My earliest memories were seeing old motocross greats like Jeff Matiasevich, Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Ward, Damon Bradshaw, and many more on the dirt.

Just a few miles away, my childhood house sat on wooded acreage with trails that ran for miles leading to an old, abandoned demolition derby site we called “the circle.” All the local riders would take that place over like Mad Max and the Thunderdome and we’d tear that place apart: ripping berms, lighting fires, and blowing stuff up like normal kids would.  

Later, my neighbor built a full-size motocross practice track- literally 100 yards from my backyard. So, until I went to college, we would enjoy our family dinners to the sweet sound of maxed-out powerbands. Very normal for a first-generation Filipino family (LOL). Imagine family BBQ pictures with 50 Filipinos in the yard, and some kid clearing a huge table-top in the background – 20 feet in the air. 

My best friend was a motorsports fanatic, so I naturally got into it, too. We spent countless days in the dirt with PW50s, quads, of-road Honda Odysseys – anything with a motor we could jump, or shoot our pellet guns off the back of, we did.  

What led to you working in the MotoAmerica paddock?

Back in 2017, when beIN Sports was producing MotoAmerica’s early years, an old colleague of mine reached out seeking a videographer/editor to support their live broadcast and social content needs. He asked if I knew anyone who might be interested and could commit to the entire season’s schedule. At the time I had just lost a large agency contract not more than a week before the call, so I said, ‘What if I was that guy?’ His response was ‘CK, you’re perfect, the job is yours.’ 

From the very first moment I set foot on pit lane I felt right at home. The sounds and smells shot me right back to the happiest times of my life, but this time I got to combine the familiar passions of my youth with a “slightly” more refined and professional adult life. Eight seasons later I’m still here doing what I love.

What part of the job do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy the creative autonomy and freedom I have to make the series and its riders look as good as it can on broadcasts and streaming shows. Every season, I get to play a big part in creating the look and feel of our riders, the stories told within the races, the sponsors that support us, and the scenic highlights of all the great American cities we are fortunate to visit. The fact that I get to do all this with an amazing crew and talent year after is something I am truly grateful for and, of course, the behind-the-scenes access to such competitive racing is really cool. I think overall, seeing such a large operation move from city to city and bring its economy of scale along with it is a thing not many people get to experience. Watching all the great characters from teams, riders, operations, marketing, volunteers, and TV crew all mesh together and interact from city to city is truly my favorite. I should probably write a script about it one day. 

What part of the job is the most difficult?

The pace of live TV is no joke, especially for sports, and even more so for racing. I don’t think there’s any form of production that compares to the pressure of deadlines and needing to get something fed to the TV truck before air. It’s insane, but we’ve been doing it for a while, so it’s become second nature. 

This weekend for example, we’re at COTA for King Of The Baggers at MotoGP 2024, and my job is to produce, shoot, and edit a full 30-minute show for MotoAmerica Live+. I got in on Thursday and headed right to the track to start shooting. I have to complete the full show by Saturday morning so it can run on arguably the largest stage the Baggers series has ever run since its inception. It’s a tall order but with great producers, talent, and support we’ll knock it out of the park.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the racetrack?

I live in South Florida now, so my favorite thing to do when I come home is to hang out with friends and family and do “staycation” activities with them throughout the state – Jeep rides up the coast, surfing, fishing, boating, hosting get-togethers… that sorta stuff. The older I get, the more I try to relax at home, but it sure is tough to shake off social obligations (ha ha).  

I also run a freelance production company, so running that takes up a lot of my time, but at least I get to produce a wide variety of content in lots of different places and don’t have to be in an office cubicle nine to five. For example, last month we were with MotoAmerica for the Daytona 200, then the following week at Sebring for the IMSA 12-hour race, then the Florida Keys for a fishing show, then in studio and on location for a local product shoot.  

I’m truly lucky to say that life for me stays interesting and avoids monotony. The most important priority for me though, besides the work and personal growth, is being the best man I can be for all the women in my life – my daughters, my mom, and my longtime girlfriend. Without them I am nothing.   

Website | + posts