Video: Behind the Scenes of Gamble: Dust Explosions & Cable Cam Disasters - Episode 1

May 16, 2018
by Aaron Bartlett  
Views: 18,743    Faves: 33    Comments: 0



 GAMBLEfilm

PRESS RELEASE: Gamble Film

After the highly anticipated release of GAMBLE yesterday, go behind closed doors with the crew and riders to see how the film was made! Episode 1 features dust explosions, European sandwiches, a bus tour, cable cam disasters, mini diggers, huge cases, Harley Davidsons and a 30mph reverse up a windy hill in New Zealand. Why wouldn't you want to watch it?!

Purchase GAMBLE Film here.

Sam Blenkinsop and Brook Macdonald were first up on the list of shoots, with Joe and Aaron travelling out to Argentina and New Zealand to begin the long and hopefully rewarding process of producing a full-length MTB film!

MEET THE FILMMAKERS:



 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Callum Wood

Name: Joe Bowman
Age: 28
From: Sheffield, United Kingdom
Past work: This Is Peaty, The Syndicate
 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Callum Wood

Name: Aaron Bartlett
Age: 29
From: Tavistock, United Kingdom
Past work: Life on Wheels, Bruni & Vergier Against the World


MEET THE RIDERS:



 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Duncan Philpott

Name: Sam Blenkinsop
Age: 29
From: Wanganui, New Zealand

 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Duncan Philpott

Name: Brook Macdonald
Age: 26
From: Hawkes Bay, New Zealand


FEBRUARY 2017:



Bariloche

It had already been a long process getting to this stage of production and even though the hard work of shooting had yet to begin, we'd already spent over a year in the planning and pre-production stages. The journey for myself and Joe had begun during 2015 when we decided to put together a proposal and try to get funding for a new, full-length MTB film focused on the gravity side of Mountain Biking, with a big focus on Downhill. We'd noticed that although feature-length Freeride films were still a regular part of the MTB world each year, it had been a while since anyone had released something with the world's best Downhillers. With restrictions on shooting racing becoming more stringent on the World Cup circuit, it can't be a surprise that films about Downhill racers seemed to die out for a while. But why not take the riders away from the races and shoot them on purpose-built tracks and other unseen locations designed specifically for madness? That sounded like the start of a plan!

Dust explosions for days in Bariloche

Fast forward to February and we had decided a month before to pull the trigger on the project. Going into the Argentina shoot with Blenky, we didn't have the required budget to finish the film yet and spending £6,000 on 3 people's flights to get to Bariloche was somewhat of a risk. With help from Martin "Cepi" Raffo from Ride SRL, who is based in Bariloche and organised the EWS race there in 2016, we were able to source accommodation with minimal fuss, and his invaluable local knowledge and access to the mountain meant we could focus entirely on getting the best footage! Basically, without Cepi, we would have been completely screwed at the first shoot!

After scouting the trails on foot, we were put absolutely at ease with our decision to invest so much money into our first shoot. We couldn't believe the potential of Bariloche for some absolutely insane footage. We'd seen the videos from the EWS and we knew there were some good trails here, but what we were seeing completely surpassed what we expected. From the first time that Blenky's wheels touched the dirt in Bariloche to the last run at the end of Day 5, we were blown away by the standard of tracks here. It was a DH filmer's paradise and we were 11/10 stoked with everything we managed to capture during the week.

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 GAMBLEfilm

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Note to self: Always put towels on the end of the cable run. Lesson learned!!! Photo: Callum Wood



It wasn't all plain sailing though...

As you'll see in the video, day 1 of filming definitely could have gone smoother. Both of these shoots were a learning curve and even though we'd tested with the new cable cam set up over the winter, getting it out there in a real world shoot when the pressure is on is a completely different story.

We learnt quite a few things about this new piece of equipment in Argentina and New Zealand (the main one being: always hang 2 or 3 towels at the end of the line to act as a brake), but it wasn't an easy learning curve that's for sure! When you have £10k worth of equipment fall off a cable from 20ft in the air at 20mph and smash into pieces on the first morning of the whole film, it definitely forces you to put things into perspective.

Yes, it was a disaster, but no, it wasn't the end of the world and we had one of the best shoots of the whole year in Bariloche regardless!

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Brook flying high on his custom Gamble line. Photo: Callum Wood


MARCH 2017:



Queenstown

Brook Macdonald was the second rider on the filming schedule and we had arranged to film him in his home country of New Zealand. Due to the racer's busy schedules during the summer, we had to try and get as much as we could done during the off season for Gamble. That meant shooting southern hemisphere locations over the European Winter months wherever we could. Queenstown in the southern island of New Zealand has seen a massive growth in mountain biking over the last few years and for good reason. The Skyline Bike Park plays host to many of the world's top downhillers over the off season and it's testament to the quality of trails they have over there that so many riders head out there for winter training. It was the perfect location to shoot with Brook on some tracks where he could show off his trademark Bulldog style!

Joe had already been out in New Zealand for a month before Argentina and he used this time to meet up with the Skyline team and conduct a cunning plan... Kepler Rek and Justin Matthews were both instrumental in getting the first custom Gamble Line of the year off the ground and they went about arranging everything for the mini digger build of the century on a piece of unused land within the bike park. Kep told us that he'd had the idea of constructing a scenic hip step up jump on this part of the site for a while and went about the preparations for building a monster.


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Kep absolutely killed it in such a small machine. Photo: Callum Wood

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The rider and creator! Photo: Callum Wood

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Praying to the MTB Gods before hitting it for the first time. Photo: Callum Wood


When we arrived back from Argentina to shoot with Brook, we went up to see what he'd accomplished. Having not seen the site before the build I was still absolutely blown away by what they'd achieved but I can imagine that it was even more impressive from Joe and Brook's perspective as they'd visited at the beginning of the process. Using a 3 tonne mini digger, Kep had created a masterpiece, and it was incredible to see the hard work yielding such awesome results when we started shooting. The jump needed a little bit of tweaking at the beginning of the week but it ended up working perfectly and the footage in the film is all thanks to the hard work of everyone who had a hand in the construction of that line. Cheers everyone!

As well as the hip line, the rest of the bike park delivered too and Brook seemed to relish the opportunity to go as fast and big as possible all week for the cameras. It was great to see the passion that all the riders had for the film and I think they all really bought in to the idea and concept. Everyone worked their socks off during shooting and no one left anything up on the hill, which really shows in the film.


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Brook absolutely smashed it in the park all week. Photo: Callum Wood

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Joe gets up on the digger bucket for the best angle. Photo: Callum Wood

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Brook checking out the goods on the video camera. Photo: Callum Wood


Rotorua

Our final stop for the first chunk of filming was in Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand. After finishing filming in Queenstown with Brook, we headed out there in time for the start of Crankworx to shoot the first intro sequence. Local filmer John Colthorpe helped us to liaise with the council with a view to gaining access to a private road in the area so we could film Brook and Blenky on Harley Davidson motorcycles. Neither of them have full bike licenses so we couldn't shoot on a public highway and regardless, it would have been pretty dangerous anyway! This was another shoot which wasn't without it's challenges and without a late intervention from two awesome Kiwis, it wouldn't have happened at all!


 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Duncan Philpott
 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Duncan Philpott


During our shoot in Queenstown we had the bad news that our original motorcycle supplier had pulled out. It was fair enough, he didn't want to risk his pride and joy potentially being wrecked by two over zealous downhillers (I'd probably have the same reservations), but it put us in a really tricky situation. Here we were on the other side of the world with absolutely no idea of how to source two replacement bikes, 3 days before we were supposed to shoot. Everything was set, we had the road, the riders, the filmers, but we were nearly forced to can the whole idea completely which would have been a real shame. Luckily, with the power of social media, we were put in contact with Ryan Petch, a local Harley owner who happened to own the local "Burger Fuel" restaurant. After an evening meeting with him and his friend Courtney over a "Ford Freakout" the night before our shoot, we were all sorted for 2 bad ass bikes for the following two days of shooting... Legends!


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Ryan: "They could wear anything and look good... Oh wait maybe not anything" Photo: Duncan Philpott


The shoot itself went fairly smoothly, apart from a few small issues (one of those being the film's only drone crash), but these things are always to be expected! One of the bikes had a bit of a mechanical issue and filming was cut short on day 1, but thanks to Courtney he managed to get it fixed overnight and ready for the next day. These two guys really went above and beyond for the film and a large part of the success of the Harley shots were thanks to them. It just wouldn't have been the same on pitbikes!!!


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Photo: Duncan Philpott

 GAMBLEfilm
Photo: Duncan Philpott


Thanks to our amazing sponsors:

Santa Cruz Bicycles / Maxxis Tires / Fox Racing / Enve Composites / Marsh Guard / Freeride Madeira

Episode 2 of "Behind Closed Doors" will be available soon!

To purchase Gamble Film click here.


43 Comments

  • + 41
 On another note... Can we please get some Flat pedal thunder brigade stickers made.
  • + 3
 good plan!
  • + 6
 mate we need these stickers!!!
  • + 5
 @C-Fearon: Should they say Flat Pedal thunder Brigade ooor Just Flat Pedal Thunder? Lucky for you , me and anyone else who wants one I am a graphic designer and can make this happen lol
  • + 3
 @2bigwheels: Foot out, flat out! I want STICKERS!!!!
  • + 1
 @taurausmountain: wanted to go over the design with the man himself. He liked it!

Time to finalize edit and get a bunch made so we can get them out there!
  • + 20
 Guys as a poor student who eats cardboard for breakfast, should I buy Gamble and take a Gamble on my food security?
  • + 7
 Life, is a Gamble. What are you waiting for?
  • + 2
 How is your cardboard supply?
  • + 6
 Scrounge for grease-soaked pizza boxes. Extra nourishment, and sometimes bonus cheese schmeg.
  • + 1
 Turns out my MasterCard is clever and denies me when I try and buy the movie.
  • + 10
 The link to purchase GAMBLE doesn't work
  • + 2
 Hi Keanu thanks for the heads up! Please click through to here on your browser: radi.al/GAMBLE
  • + 28
 Hey, We've now fixed the link. Cheers!
  • - 39
flag fecalmaster (May 16, 2018 at 7:46) (Below Threshold)
 Free video stream was good quality and I almost watched half the movie before my girl decided to do her workout on my balls.
  • + 1
 @alexcgevans: seriously, just an iTunes link? cm'n man, Google, Amazon, Vimeo on Demand... tons of other options
  • + 1
 @elyari: that link is a smart link and will direct you to the most suitable purchase option for your region. You can search on the other options if you prefer to buy elsewhere! Thanks!
  • - 5
flag Hwulex (May 16, 2018 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 @CreativeConcept: How about you put the damn links in the article? You could put regions next to them. It took me too long to find these links to try to give you money. With such a generic name, it's not the easiest thing to search.

vimeo.com/ondemand/gamble
play.google.com/store/movies/details/Gamble?id=ClMjy-PK1i4
itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/gamble/id1374720474?mt=6&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kudos to WideOpen for listing all the sources

Also, 4K or bust. Where's that version?
  • - 1
 @CreativeConcept: sorry to say, but I could't agree more with @hwulex, there is zero difficulty in just writing the link to each different source, is a less than 1min action and makes things lot easier for people that are buying your product Wink
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster: She finally found them.
  • + 11
 Wow guys, have a sook. These blokes just made an absolutely frothing mtb film and you just had to find a reason to complain - about something you can so easily (as youve already shown us) figure out on your own.
  • + 0
 @CreativeConcept: Thanks. For future reference, choice is good. Your automagical "suggestion" might not be my preference, like I detest iTunes and won't give any money to Apple. Unless there's a great reason to buy it from one over elsewhere--like you earn more money from those sales--then the freedom to choose is great, but pretty sure Vimeo take the smallest cut, no? If it's purely to drive traffic to the iTunes store to aggregate ratings there for visibility then that's a bit of a cheap tactic and could be remedied by simply asking the audience to rate there regardless of where they purchase.
  • + 2
 Great movie, worth every penny, and at $10 I hope everyone here goes and purchases to support these rad dudes! When I saw it was released, I left work and watched it, then rode my bike, it's been a good week!
  • + 3
 I like tire tapping my Go Pro But throwing expensive camera gear off a cable is a bit out of my budget.
  • + 2
 My Friday night will be spent watching this in its entire dirty, glory, and I cannot wait.
  • + 3
 Looking forward to the Sheffield behind the scenes, for obvious reasons.
  • + 2
 Can"t wait to see Brook back on the WC circuit !! Get better soon buddy
  • + 1
 @CreativeConcept What kind of cable cam are (were) you using that connects to your ronin?
  • + 1
 Hi heckler, the cable cam was actually ok! It was the Defy version.
  • + 3
 Bonkas riding...
  • + 1
 Got worried when the clip ended, then saw it's only ep1...it's all good boys, stand down Big Grin
  • + 1
 soundtrack min 0:15 please!!! Such a good bike video, congrats !!!
  • + 1
 Looks like I'll be watching it again tonight
  • + 1
 Good stuff! whats the first song on the video please?!
  • + 1
 Brook's calfs are insane
  • + 1
 2:18 - 2:25. Nuff said.
  • + 1
 Netflix release?
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