Monday, 15 May 2017

Devon and Wales

I'd barely had time to relapse on this new year's futile collection of resolutions before I was off on the first shoot of the year: first to Devon and then to Wales.

The first location was a rundown warehouse in Exeter. As cold as it was gritty. We were there to shoot British trials bike champion Andrei Burton who has commandeered a corner of the otherwise derelict warehouse for training. If you don't know what trials bike riding is, imagine using a bicycle as a pogo-stick to jump impossible distances and you won't be far off. What's more, it's even harder than it sounds.

Andrei navigated the course of stacked wooden pallets and logs with ease. He's clearly at the very top of his game, which is just as well as we got him to repeat the course a few dozen times.

It's the sort of talent you struggle to even comprehend, let alone consider attempting. Eventually, I was pressured into trying the most basic of 'tricks': the track stand (the basic act of balancing on both wheels on flat ground) and failed hilariously. Meanwhile, I'm fairly certain Andrei could literally track stand in his sleep.

Here's the behind the scenes video that I shot and edited, followed by the video of Andrei culminating in a pretty crazy rock jump on a Devon beach (Directed by David Newton, edited by me)





Leaving Devon behind, we headed to the notoriously wet Elan Valley in mid-Wales to shoot a staged Top Gear-esque race between a road biker and a mountain biker. The former sticking to the road, the latter taking a more imaginative cross-country route, both culminating with a sprint finish across the top of Craig Goch dam.

On Day One in Wales we recce'd the route and were taken aback by the stunning Victorian structure; built in 1897 to supply Birmingham with water (73 miles to the east). Water was gushing dramatically into the reservoir below, and we couldn't wait to get back later in the week to shoot the race's finale.

However, when we returned to shoot the scene, the gushing had been reduced to a trickle and by the time the camera was rolling it was as good as dry. Still, there are some things you just can't control, and luckily the weather was as dry as the dam.

If you're dying to know who won the 'race', check out the video below (again, directed by David Newton. Myself: second camera and editor). You will recognise the mountain biker from the videos above. Give that man any bike, and he will ride it.


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