I have been filming mountain bike races in Scotland for a few years now as a hobby, but about a year ago I naively decided that making a film in my spare time would be a good idea. I wanted to produce a film that demonstrated the diversity of people who race downhill mountain bikes by showing a cross-section of the racers in the Scottish Downhill Association race series. The film is aimed at the mountain film festival market to appeal to people outside of the sport (doesn’t mean it shouldn’t appeal to those already in the sport!) to help encourage them into the sport by demonstrating that there is a real mix of age groups and ability levels and it is not purely a sport for the world cup elite and guys who can throw 360s off 80 foot drops.
The film shows six individuals and two teams that regularly race in the SDA series, showing them competing, riding their own trails and chatting about what got them into dh’ing, why they race and what they think about the Scottish race scene. Appearing in the film are:
Ian McIntosh, a masters rider;
Darren Wilson, a young junior rider who lives in a fairly remote part of Scotland but shows real commitment and dedication to get to the races;
Bex Reilly, one of the top female riders in Scotland;
Paula and Sara Rennie, a couple new to the racing scene;
Perth City Cycles (Fergus Lamb, Sam and Willem Herd, Ben Hall, to name but a few), a large team;
Highline Racing (Tom Lamb, James Shirley and Ronan Taylor), a small team;
Chris Hutchens, Transcend/ Orange elite rider; and
Joe Connell, a youth rider this year, but who has recently been signed to race for the Sunn WC team in 2011.
It was great to work with all the guys who appear in the film and I’m grateful that they never once complained about having to push back up and ride the section just one more time! This has been a great experience for me and a massive learning curve. I’m aware of some errors and some poor audio – I only got a good microphone half way through the year, and one of those furry microphone covers is on my Xmas wish list. The soundtrack is made up of Scottish Bands/ artists. The footage was filmed on a Sony Ex1 and Contour HD and edited in Premiere Pro. I’ve just got myself some books on After Effects and Photoshop for video, so expect better graphics next year!
The film was premiered on Friday night at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival and was received well, despite my nervous and rubbish intro! I’ve made the film free-to-view so that as wide an audience as possible can see it and hopefully attract more people into the sport. I’ve had to split the film into two parts to retain the quality and ensure it doesn’t exceed the file-size limit. I would encourage you to watch right to the end of Part 2 for a little added extra pump-track action.
No long films next year, but I have a few ideas for some short films, so keep an eye out for those!