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Back in the final weeks of 2014, a few filmmakers across various action-sport genres were asked to take part in a project by Red Bull to create a series of short video pieces.
Each of these videos would be exactly 100 seconds in length and feature no slow-motion or music- the rest was open to interpretation.
It's a pretty broad set of restrictions, and for the most part raw videos are pretty damn straight-forward and in theory should require less work than the alternative, but for whatever reason we decided to make things a bit more complicated for ourselves and try and put together an idea both myself and Bas knew might take a bit more time to execute.
With Mike Zinger in tow, we gratefully took over Riley McIntosh's house in Maple Bay for a week in early March to try and capture 100 seconds of Bas, real-time on a trail on Mt. Prevost.
| Bas figured that if the rain couldn't see him, he couldn't get wet|
| MVP of this down day goes to the homemade rain cover seen here.|
The first few days in Maple Bay were fully saturated, and turned into group nature (Instagram) hikes rather than shoot days. Bringing the cases of camera gear with exposed wires and attempting to set them up amidst Noah's Ark-esque conditions would have proved catastrophic, so instead we spent the majority of those first days sprawled out across Riley's hard-wood floor, watching Netflix or attempting (mostly unsuccessfully) to build a roaring blaze in Riley's stone fireplace. It was a slow start.
Once the clouds fully emptied everything they had on us, we woke up in the morning to a blinding sunrise out across the bay, and with that, it was time to haul ass into the forest and start shooting. Fuelled by Tim Horton's and newfound sense of purpose, we headed up Mt. Prevost and began scouting the segment of trail we would be spending our time on.
Home to arguably some of the best and fastest downhill trails in the country, riders at Mt. Prevost are spoiled for choice. We had all been there before, and posted up in a spot with a bit less of a hike than some of the trails deeper into the woods, as we needed to shuttle in some gear with a pretty tight-knit crew.
| Prevost may be home to the best downhill trails in Canada. Bas hammers these laps like a loc-dawg.|
| Couple corners, couple ferns.|
| The monsoons leading up to the shoot days left the ground primed and tacky.|
The idea was to try and create a piece which would include long, uncut segments of cable-cam to showcase the trail and Bas' riding without cheating things too much in the editing. With a spool of line maxing out at 600 feet, the real limiting factor was trying to eyeball clear windows through the thick forest trees of the island. Several times, either myself, Bas or Zinger would think we had found a prime, unobstructed corridor through the trees which would provide an ideal line of sight. Upon climbing a ladder on one of the anchor trees, we would find some previously unseen obstruction in the form of a bowed tree or web of branches that would have resulted in a gear explosion at full speed.
Even with planning each setup out, there were still a couple times when the bottom of the camera scrubbed the dirt or a fallen log at speeds nearing 40 mph due to small amount of sag in the line over such long distances.
Despite the seemingly slow pace of things, we began to grind things out. It's unclear how many times Bas hiked and rode the same trail over the course of the next few days, but it's probably safe to say he was starting to form a detailed locale memory of every stray pine cone in his path.
| The majority of the footage was shot using the Dactylcam system. Liam re-adjusting the balance for a new lens while Bas plays the waiting game during a long period between clouds.|
| I CAN turn left!|
After a week of dealing with frighteningly bi-polar weather conditions, technological logistics and a whole lot of sitting around, we managed to stack together what we were hoping for and book it to the last ferry off the island.
It was really a complete team effort, and honestly it's rare to have everyone present so committed to each component in the filming process. Both Zinger and Bas seemed to share equal enjoyment (and frustration) in finding cable angles, stringing the lines high into the trees, and even packing multiple peli-cases of gear to and from the vehicles. Despite the slow pace of the shoot (sometimes averaging only one or two shots per day), the vibes were always high and any complaint was usually spun into some form of joke.
Probably one of the most complicated shoots (in terms of gear-to-people ratio) I'd ever been a part of, and yet somehow one of the easiest.
| Bas van Steenbergen |
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