MUST WATCH: Danny MacAskill, Cascadia - Video and Interview

Dec 10, 2015
by GoPro  


BEHIND THE SCENES

INTERVIEW AND POV FOOTAGE


DCIM 100GOPRO G0078867.

Cascadia, the breathtaking GoPro production showcases Scottish trial cycling legend, Danny MacAskill’s spectacular riding where no one has ridden before – across the rooftops of picturesque Gran Canaria in Spain. As Danny makes his way from the highest rooftop across all sorts of obstacles all the way to the ocean, we are treated to some incredibly immersive and vertigo-inducing action. We spoke to Danny and asked him to tell us a bit more about his new project.

GoPro: You gained pretty instantly fame after releasing a clip six years ago. How did that happen?

Back in 2008/2009, I made a small film around the streets of Edinburgh on my trials bike. And when it got launched on YouTube it went viral. And from that point on, I was able to able to go on making a couple of films in the last few years and made a job out of riding my bike.

GoPro: How often do you practice and how do you prepare for filming?

I’ve been riding street trials now for about 19 years and I usually used to ride 2-3 hours per day, whenever I can. But nowadays I travel a lot more than I used to, so the riding is a bit fewer and far between. For this project specifically I kind of went back a little bit to my roots of trials so rather than focusing on the tricks of my riding this has more to do with the practical riding. You know like staying on top of walls, practicing balance on rails and gaps, really practicing the precise sides of my riding, because I obviously needed that on top of the rooftops.

DCIM 101GOPRO G0049167.

GoPro: Why did you choose Gran Canaria?

First of all, I wanted somewhere that would be nice and sunny as the weather in Scotland has not been that good. Also somewhere nice and colourful that works really well on camera. We needed to find all this with nice, flat roofs, so I could ride atop of them and do gaps between the buildings.

GoPro: You did some huge tricks in this video, how do you estimate the risk you’re taking?

The rooftop video I knew would be fairly high risk, but I have been riding trial for the last 18 years and you obviously start small, at curb height, with small obstacles and improving your skills to gradually move up on higher and higher walls. Then basically I tried to find riding in Las Palmas that was probably up to 80% of the difficulty level I could do low down. In the video, I am often riding on three or four story drops to my side but I am completely comfortable while I am up there.

GoPro: What were the most special moments for you during the shooting?

Hard to say. I mean the whole trip was an amazing experience. We had a team of friends from Scotland who I normally work with in my previous projects. But also working with the GoPro production team was so much fun. Though the riding itself was on a quite high level so I had to be on top of my game. Really having the entire team behind me was an enjoyable time.

Views: 11,057    Faves: 29    Comments: 1


GoPro: Did you get in trouble with any of the locals?

Not at all. Generally the locals in Las Palmas were really welcoming. We went knocking on the doors asking if we could get up on top of the rooftops, they were very welcoming and next thing would be I had to bring my bike up there. I think it would have been very difficult to do that anywhere else in the world.

GoPro: What is special about this clip? What is the difference to filming with ordinary cameras?

Concept wise, I try to keep each film kind of different. I wanted to do a rooftop video for a while now. I knew how the rooftops had to be and to look like giving the viewers that kind of anxiety from the perspective they watch because you’re on top of some walls riding the edge of 3 or 4 story drops. I wanted to have something really colorful like the hill of San Van where it was mainly shot, there are so many different colors on the buildings. I needed some good music and I knew it would be a good video. And a shot that always attracts the viewer is the POV (point of view)-aspect. That’s where GoPro really makes the difference. But we weren’t just using the GoPro for P.O.V.-shots, we used it for the entire thing. We had various cameras running on the gimbal at once, trying to capture different stuff. We were even getting photos at the same time as we were getting these main flowing and cascading riding shots. That was really cool.

DCIM 103GOPRO G0214692.

GoPro: Any advice for ambitious GoPro filmers?

I’d say the camera is so versatile, just go ahead and play with it, see what works for you, it is fun trying to mount it all over the place! For my general riding I use a lot of straight POV because not many people have seen that angle of trials. I also love trying to find new places for the camera and that’s also the easiest way to avoid jump cuts in your edit. Just switch angles a few times while you’re riding and experiment with new angles. I’d just say play with it and have fun, see what works for you!

Views: 8,157    Faves: 19    Comments: 0


GoPro: Do you prepare the storyboards by yourself?

Over the last few years, I worked on a number of different projects that were often mainly driven by myself. I am really lucky to get to ride my bike for a living. And making these viral videos has become a big part of my life now. It’s all I think about. When I ride in the streets of Glasgow with headphones in my ears, I very often think about what I could be doing next. So when we were out on the rooftops and have a good idea of how the film could look like, I suggested my ideas to the filmers and they tried to realize it.

GoPro: Generally, how do you scout your locations? Do you have a special eye for architecture?

I spent a week just for scouting in Las Palmas before we were going to start filming. That was a real challenge since there is quite a maze of rooftops and it’s hard to actually get a view from above to see what there really is. We must have been on top of over 40 different buildings and out of these 40 buildings we found maybe 15 locations that we could do actually some riding on, because they had to have a start and an end point on them. Once we find the locations they fall pretty naturally into our timeline. You want to start from the top of the hill and end at the sea. They are in a kind of given order.

DCIM 101GOPRO G0270867.

GoPro: When filming how do you realize your own ideas?

That’s a tricky one. When you’re scouting locations, often you are there without your bike and you’re climbing all over these different walls, then it’s quite easy to call out what you think you can do. You stand there and see something like an 8 foot gap between the houses with a three stories drop and you say I can do that, I can backflip it here, jump over there. But then it’s a different story when you actually turn up that day with your bike, it might be windy, you may have the sunrise on a white roof and it’s really bright. But I work with a really solid team who is going to capture all the stuff. So it’s a case of me working through the staff, it’s all a calculated risk on top. When it’s on the ground you know you can do it easily a hundred times and not fall down the gap. So it’s kind of just working through and not fall off the buildings, that’s the main goal.

GoPro: How long did the shooting take?

We filmed for two weeks altogether in Gran Canaria and it was just enough time. We didn’t have the best weather when we were there, but that’s always the risk in shooting outdoors. But
still, we were lucky; even when there were huge thunder clouds, on the one side and on the other side you could usually see blue sky. So we managed to make it look like sunny weather all the time.

GoPro: What’s the most technical trick in the video?

I would say one of the biggest builds in the video was probably the end shot. We were starting on top of the hill and I tried to think of something good to end the film, what we call the banger of the video. So we built this scaffolding structure in El Roque and I come down off the scaffolding and do a big front flip into the ocean. I originally planned to do it from the very top of the building which would have been like a 28 meter drop and then discard my bike before falling into the sea. But the sea wasn’t deep enough at that point and we ended up moving it down a bit, which meant I could stand on my bike, which looked pretty cool. We only had the scaffolding for one day, so the pressure to do it was quite high, but in the end it worked out.

DCIM 100GOPRO G0716968.

GoPro: How many takes did you need for that shot?

The El Roque drop was really just one take. It was at the very end of the day and we were losing light fast, so I’m really pleased it worked out. I slightly over rotated the front flip and land face first, but it makes for a good shot on the POV clip (laughs)

GoPro: You didn’t injure yourself?

No. I am not particularly scared of water. I’ve done a lot of different silly things into water in the past so compared to the idea of falling off a building onto the concrete this was totally fine. Or at least I thought that. In the end it took me a little bit of time to get myself together to go off the edge. But the water was warm, it just took me a while to get out of it.

GoPro: What’s up next? What are your plans for 2016?

This year for me has been pretty good already. For next year I have various different ideas for films on my mind, it’s important for me to always try to do something different rather than
doing something you’ve already done, but you will have to wait and see.


MENTIONS: @GoPro / @danny-macaskill




203 Comments

  • + 185
 That last drop...
  • + 30
 I can't stop watching the last 2 seconds before he hits the water, the zoomy speed
  • - 70
flag VTwintips (Dec 10, 2015 at 3:23) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like he overrotated that front flip real bad.
  • + 42
 Can you do it any better? @VTwintips
  • + 1
 I thought Chris was going to do that in his last video but no. Danny has smashed it. For real.
  • + 7
 I can't get over how close to the rocky shore he was in that last frontie shot. So scary, what a savage.
  • + 35
 I think what we're seeing here is the greatest trials rider of not only a generation but a lifetime.When you consider the all time greats like ot pi, martyn ashton, hawes, ackrigg et al, that's truly awe inspiring to stand head & shoulders above the rest.What stands out for me is the sheer level of control he has.I mean there's bike control & then there's danny!
Mind blowing!
Well done Danny!
  • + 43
 Damn, why all the negative props for @VTwintips? Here's what Danny said in the interview above:

"I slightly over rotated the front flip and land face first, but it makes for a good shot on the POV clip (laughs)"
  • + 9
 Ziph, I agree with you, but there are lots of professional trial riders out there who may be as good or even better than Danny Mac. The difference is that he has a cinematographer's eye and knows how to showcase his skills in the best way and make those captivating even for non bikers. As far as I'm concerned, although I wholeheartedly recognize the sheer talent of Danny, my preference goes to Chris Akkrig because he is more of an all-rounder. Maybe he is not as strong as Danny on the trial side, but he's capable of riding any kind of bike and making it look easy and fun.
  • + 6
 How could I forget to include Hans Rey in that list! For shame!
  • - 1
 Did anyone notice that he was riding Spank Alloy rims instead of ENVE Carbon? His mom did not know that he was riding there. Phenomenal
  • + 13
 He may not be the best pure trials rider, but how many of them can do front flips, back flips, and flair off of trees the way Danny can? Danny is the best at what Danny does, labels be damned, and that's good enough for me.
  • - 1
 @allmountin Sorry I gave you a neg.. Missclicked.. I agree so much with you!
  • + 8
 I dunno, i think he coulda charged through the clothes hanging on the line a little harder. Seemed kinda hesitant. Man up dude.
  • + 1
 I kinda liked the over rotation, made it look like he would have ridden it out on dirt!!
  • + 5
 never having to worry about saying "stay on your bike, danny"
  • - 5
flag jaame (Dec 10, 2015 at 15:08) (Below Threshold)
 I wouldn't say he's definitely the best trials rider, but he is the best at combining trials with those sick tricks. All on a 24" trials bike makes it easier than a 160mm 650b all mountain rig though
  • + 6
 @jaame Of course you wouldn't do this stuff on a 160mm 650b... You gotta bring the right tools for the job.
  • + 1
 man I bet hitting the water face first like that hurt like a mofo.
  • + 1
 Who is a better trials rider? I would love to watch some videos. Danny is so ridiculously smooth.
  • + 2
 There's a guy called Chris who does do this kind of shit on a 160mm 650b isn't there?
  • + 12
 And what Danny did in The Ridge? Did you all forget it?
youtu.be/xQ_IQS3VKjA
I see a 160mm 650b bike in this video, but I just might be blind, and you all are experts.
  • - 5
flag MorganBH (Dec 11, 2015 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 I've watched a bunch of Chris akrig videos, and he's also amazing, but doesn't pull nearly as crazy tricks, or sketchy balance moves as Danny, and he doesn't have Danny's confidence or flow either.
  • + 3
 How does he ride with balls that big?
  • + 1
 No laundry was harmed in the shooting on this video. Madaskillz remains one of the most talented riders on 2 wheels.
  • + 107
 Damn. I guess the part of his brain that usually guides survival instinct must have been filled up with bike handling skills instead.
  • + 82
 I would hate to be his mum
  • + 209
 How do you think he would feel to go home and find that his mum has turned into you?
  • + 18
 @alexhyland That made me giggle out loud at the office! Colleagues staring at me wondering what's so funny with my "job"
  • + 17
 All I kept thinking throught the video was...Danny take care!!! ouh dont do that... Not that.... Danny ur gonna kill me one of these days!!!! Please man this video was insane, but take care mate!!!!!
  • + 49
 I just keep on hearing Warner's voice in my head screaming "Stay on your bike, Danny!!"
  • + 6
 I'd rather be his mum than his knees, freaking maniac!
  • + 3
 I watched this video and started my lunch. Next time I looked down I had finished my lunch without even realizing it out of pure nervousness. Excellent and crazy riding.
  • + 1
 that was absolutely insane
  • + 52
 I can't even do the sweeping floor part.
  • + 7
 Don't worry bro, most of us can't including me. I shit myself on the helmet footage already, sitting in my office... Smile
  • + 21
 I'd have sprayed my pants mission brown even crawling on some of those ledges. Respect.
  • + 18
 Danny should be in the Mental hospitaly for even attempting some of that crazy stuff caught on tape! Perfect execution!!
  • + 13
 So nice to see Danny getting back to his roots and just doing mental lines. A couple of his recent ones, although good have felt a little contrived. This one is bloody good!
  • + 10
 Jedi Biker! The force is with him! That's the only reasonable explanation!!!
  • + 9
 Clearly all the shots worked first take or this article would be a Danny memorial.
  • + 6
 Absolutely amazing. He makes those side hops at 2:10 for example look so easy.. reminds me a little of Semenuks riding style, kind of physics defying. One would not expect the movement to come to an end with so much fluidity and perfect control.
  • + 7
 I hate he can ride a bike better than i can walk...glad to see him back on the streets/rooftops, indoor stuff was good but was no where near as exciting
  • + 5
 You know you got OG status when you start saying things like:
"You stand there and see something like an 8 foot gap between the houses with a three stories drop and you say I can do that, I can backflip it here, jump over there."

Good video Danny / Gopro
  • + 9
 He does drops I can't do.....and I have 160mm travel!

f*cks sake
  • + 10
 It is in the technique, not travel Razz .
  • + 3
 True dat. Still.....
  • - 1
 Just insane. No 27.5 no 27.5+ no fat no 29ers and still looks badass to me
  • + 8
 Where are all the peoples, did they pay everyone to stay inside.
  • + 16
 siesta time...
  • + 9
 Which is pretty much from 6am to about 11pm right?
  • + 5
 The risk for even the slightest mistake...wow. I hope Danny keeps riding and making amazing videos, but at the same time I'm TERRIFIED for the lad.
  • + 2
 WOW, every Danny video gets more incredible! The vision of his lines and fluidity of his moves... Plus the editing is very well done. This gives me the "I WANT TO GO RIDE" & "BIKING IS AWESOME" feeling that I so very much needed today, thank you for sharing this PinkBike!!!
  • + 6
 I guess there might be life on mars cause danny is out of this world!!
  • + 2
 so many questions: would a guy like that have medical staff on site? just in case? if we as viewers have to manage our anxiety just watching, what do the camera guys feel? wow. he/she could easily have to help deal with an unfortunate incident. what pressure to always have to be pushing the boundaries. having said that, thanks again danny.
  • + 3
 Nearly every move was massive consequences. He just keeps blowing my mind over and over. This is the most insane video I've seen from him or anyone else. Insanity. Absolute insanity.
  • + 4
 Pretty special stuff, amazing really!
Not only the riding is top notch as usual, but also the cinematography, the music and how it all comes together is spectacular =D
  • + 3
 seriously ! If you want to capture Danny riding trials, especially in an urban environment like that, you have to be the best of the best in the world of sports cinematography.
  • + 3
 It's that flip at the end. I've watched guys to that type of thing before in Nitro Circus, but I just didn't expect it - which makes it even more epic. Best DMC vid since the long way home.
  • + 3
 in case someone isnt able to watch it yet and is wondering what he/she missed: just imagine assassins creed with a bmx bike ^^
  • + 2
 The man does tricks on a bike where most people have the good sense to not even stand. Glad I’m not trying to be a pro biker having to compete with the likes of him! “You win!”
  • + 1
 There is always just that little bit more with Danny's videos. Either an epic location, an interesting concept or a compelling journey that take it from just another video with incredible skills to a true must watch. Fantastic as always.
  • + 3
 So that's what not focusing on tricks looks like? Looked pretty freaking tricky to me...
  • + 3
 Insane riding, and THAT drop...!! that'd must really hurt him facing the water straight with the face. Respect Danny!
  • + 3
 I got scared while watching. Danny has huge carbon fiber balls. The iron version was way to weak.
  • + 1
 Awesome video, but how do they make the GoPro quality so good? I have Hero 3+ Silver and I have seen such good quality video with it but I can't figure out how to make my riding vids better. Can anyone give any tips?
  • + 4
 Jeez, didn't realize i could hold my breath for that long !!
  • + 2
 I was havin' such bad day at work.... eating lunch watched this video... and BUM! made me smile... my day is much better... Thank you!
  • + 4
 Brings a whole new meaning to 'Danny stay on your bike'
  • + 1
 Toujours aussi incroyable ces vidéos ! C'est bien filmé , les images sont belles et Danny au top de sa forme tout pour une superbe vidéo !!
  • + 4
 Wow.
  • + 2
 That's brilliant but insane! I hope he knows exactly what he's doing... Nearly PIMP while watching only =O
  • + 1
 Dude has talent - but for some reason whenever I watch a video of his, my mind drifts to freestyle skateboarding and ski dancing from the 80s.
  • + 1
 I actually get that - but it's way, way, way, way, way cooler and not even comparable in danger factor.

And please, it was called ski ballet, and it was the 70s, as was the "freestyle" skateboarding.
  • + 3
 Get the fuck out of here Danny! Fucking alien. This can't be real life
  • + 1
 dude is sick... and seems willing to keep doing stuff that is potentially fatal. gotta give him mad props for riding those lines.... and that flip into the ocean was insane .
  • + 1
 During the video I stopped breathing and then pissed myself. How can one man be so good on a bike, and not scared of anthying?
  • + 3
 More like Danny Cat Skill.
  • + 1
 At times I was so scared for him that I found it hard to enjoy this video. I think that's exactly what they were going for. Great job, as always!
  • + 3
 For real. My stomach turns watching him on the edge of those buildings. It's one thing to trust your skills, but a poorly timed mechanical on some of those moves would mean death, or worse. ¡stones!
  • + 2
 He shouldn't still be alive. I'm glad he's alive, but he shouldn't be alive.
  • + 0
 a video isn t cool because the guy puts his life on the line ... here its just unhealthy, nothing else
  • + 1
 Unrealisticly many tidy rooftops! Smile Haha. This vid!!! A cat and everything. Amazing.
  • + 1
 One time, I bunny hopped sideways onto a 2x6 and rode the whole length of it. It was pretty awesome.
  • + 1
 Hm wondering which drone was used for filming this video Smile GoPro care to answer?
  • + 1
 Finally some insight I to how Danny really does it all. His bike rides by itself! Watch 5:10.
  • + 1
 the best part about this video is that you dont even have to ride trials to appreciate it
  • + 0
 this becomes too unhealty, like rampage and hardlibe, he will end in a wheel chair one like Martin Ashton on day and I don t want that
  • + 2
 My thoughts exactly!
  • + 1
 I don't even want to think such thoughts, but I do. Danny we all very much appreciate the incredible feats you undertake but we fear for your life buddy. At the same time, I am so conflicted because I want you to make more videos showcasing your ninja-like skills.
  • + 1
 I pulled some really strange faces whilst watching that! Danny's such a legend!
  • + 1
 OMFW !! That was such a well put together section and video. Epic trials moves, never saw the ending coming. WOW !!
  • + 1
 He is the Man with full of surprises! He is getting better and better everytime I watch his videos. Well done Smile
  • + 1
 This is the Street Trials equivalent of Rampage. Beyond impressive! And effin' scary.
  • + 1
 Lots of one shot deals - no room for mistakes and edits on many of those lines. Where does he go from here?
  • + 1
 Incredible riding! Danny can literally ride anything. Keep these kinds of videos coming Big Grin
  • + 1
 No second chances - doubt I'd be happy walking any of those skinnys, let alone dropping in on a bike...
  • + 2
 This guy amaze me every single time !! Huge props
  • + 1
 Anyone else remember this song from the DVS skate and create video years ago? Brings back loads of memories!!
  • + 1
 That's just scary, if it goes wrong...

Though the last drop looks like a lot of fun :o)
  • + 1
 This just made my day. Very nice video watch, it was perfectly executed. Cheers, to the rider and crew.
  • + 1
 Did he seriously just frontflip 70 feet into water with a very strong current?
  • + 1
 one of the most epic vids ever. true master dont think there where many fails in making this. last drop with pov epic.
  • + 2
 Is it just my phone, or does the song fart?
  • + 2
 this makes parkour look primitive
  • + 2
 Not a single tail whip. Back to his routes it seems.
  • + 1
 I love this Dude! MAN CRUSH in full swing!
  • + 1
 Early Xmas present. Outstanding, cheers Danny
  • + 1
 Truly an amazing rider! One of the best in history of biking!
  • + 1
 We need Danny in the next 007 !!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Danny you animal!
  • + 15
 Danimal.
  • + 1
 must watch? hell! you will watch it inevitably
  • + 1
 I know I say awesome alot, But that was AWESOME!!!!
  • + 1
 Over to you Kriss Kyle see if you can top this one!!!!!
  • + 1
 Damn guy always giving me goosebumps when i watch his video clips.
  • + 1
 when i saw that video i feel a little tickle in the back of my head..
  • + 1
 WTF !!!! ... Danny's best ever !
  • + 1
 Freaking amazing! I had to pick up my jaw from the table.
  • + 1
 Are you kidding me? MAZING!
  • + 1
 Kris Akrigg today .... " for f*ck sakes ! "
  • + 1
 best edit all year. period.
  • + 1
 My favorite part is the cat pawing at the camera.
  • + 1
 It's like watching video game combos in real life.
  • + 1
 ENDING IS SUPER SICK !!!!
  • + 1
 That editing at 3.09 to match the song tempo with the ledge hops...
  • + 1
 Missing the good old squeaky brakes... though frightening enough as it is.
  • + 1
 very pretty girl at 2:17 Razz
  • + 1
 After watching that I feel a bit dizzy.
  • + 1
 Danny is a madman and I love it!
  • + 1
 More interesting than parkor
  • + 1
 Batsh.t insane. Hahaha. As always, a great video.
  • + 2
 URBAN RAMPAGE
  • + 1
 #outofthisworld
#legend
  • + 1
 How are there no people in the houses?
  • + 1
 The last jump..... Omfg!!!!!
  • + 1
 A whole new level of stunning!
  • + 1
 Magura mt7 raceline brakes. Yea!!
  • + 1
 flippin' insane stunts ---- good googley mooogley
  • + 1
 did I just really see that?..
  • + 1
 Well that was something else.
  • + 1
 No words to describe ! 10/10 !
  • + 1
 they weren't kidding when they said must watch..
  • + 1
 That was true parkour on mtb!
  • + 1
 Danny your like a Scottish god.
  • + 1
 That's some high consequence stuff right there
  • + 2
 Amazing Danny
  • + 1
 My eyes are burning ... I didn't blink for 5:36
  • + 1
 Great vid, Danny....you got some balls+some!!
  • + 1
 Best way to get to the beach
  • + 1
 Danny is crazy! Nevertheless that video was so sick!
  • + 1
 So beautiful... So clean...
  • + 2
 WTF
  • + 1
 so sick .this needs to be VOD!!!!!
  • + 1
 i swear he is not from this planet.
  • + 1
 Is he even a human? He's skills are unnatural!!!
  • + 1
 I am sick to my stomach! Stop that shiWink
  • + 1
 Holy fuck that was good!!
  • + 1
 WOW!!!!!!
  • + 1
 FUK !
  • + 1
 Sicker
  • + 1
 Danny are you spiderman?
  • + 1
 Now waiting for the BTS
  • + 1
 I wish I could do that!
  • + 1
 NOPE
  • + 1
 INSPIRED riding!!!
  • + 1
 GTFOH!
  • + 1
 whatttt ???
  • + 1
 Amazing!
  • + 0
 I had a feeling there would be a frontflip at some point...
  • + 1
 Great water jump Smile
  • + 1
 I wish I could do that!
  • + 1
 Hard core parkor
  • + 1
 AWESOME!
  • + 1
 That was Sniper.
  • + 1
 Wow, that was amazing!
  • + 1
 Mind blow!
  • + 1
 what an ending!
  • + 1
 Incredible!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 cool
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