The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 121 - How To Film Rampage & Field Tests with the PB Team

May 12, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Unless this is your first time here and this podcast happens to be the very first thing you've clicked on, there's a pretty good chance you've seen something shot by either Max Barron or Tom Richards. Field Test videos and photos? Yup. First Look videos, Budget vs Baller, Daily Drivers, Explainers, reviews, and everything Tom and Christina? All of the above, as well as shooting Crankworx and mountain biking's own Big Wave Event, the Red Bull Rampage.

Max and Tom, new hire Stefan Licko, previous videographers like Jason Lucas (who we miss dearly) and Devin Francis, and a handful of hardworking hired hands, have delivered some incredible imagery over the years. Episode 121 sees Henry and I talk to them about what happens behind the scenes, their typical Field Test workdays, what they're looking for in a location, and the challenges of shooting Rampage... like the time Max camped out on a cliff all day but still missed the shot.

Got a question for the PB video and photo team? Put it in the comment section below.

May 12th, 2022

For camera settings, should you choose the green box or the running man?

Photo by Max Baron
Max took this photo of me riding Spot's Ryve 115 29.

Tom's photo of Sarah Moore from last year's Value Bike Field Test on the Sunshine Coast.
Is Henry moving fast or is it all Tom's panning?

Black, white, and downhill bikes.
Photo by Tom Richards
Tom's sunset shot of Ryan Palmer at the end of a very long day of shooting bikes in the desert.

It took roughly fourteen hours over two days at the Pemberton hang glider launch to get all the beauty and detail shots for our down-country and trail bike Field Test.
Oceans and sunsets from Sechelt and the Value Bike Field Test.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Podcast presented by Vittoria

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney
Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb
Episode 105 - The 3 Bike Budget Challenge
Episode 106 - What's Your Ideal Ride Look Like?
Episode 107 - How (And Why) Did You Start Mountain Biking?
Episode 108 - Behind the Scenes at the Value Bike Field Test
Episode 109 - Berm Peak's Seth Alvo on Making Videos 24/7, Soul Rides, and Building a Bike Park
Episode 110 - Trying (and Failing) to Reinvent the Mountain Bike
Episode 111 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #1 - It's All Downhill From Here
Episode 112 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #2 - The Lourdes World Cup Post-Race Wrap-Up
Episode 113 - PB Editors Answer Your Questions (again)
Episode 114 - The Placebo Effect and Your New Mountain Bike
Episode 115 - We Are One's CEO Talks Future DH Bike, E-Bikes, & Domestic Manufacturing
Episode 116 - New Bikes and Gear from Sea Otter
Episode 117 - Mountain Biking's Worst (or Best) Cliché Crimes
Episode 118 - Music and Mountain Biking
Episode 119 - Road Trips Gone Horribly Wrong
Episode 120 - Gee Atherton on Titanium Additive Manufacturing, Million Dollar Machines, and 3 New Bikes

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 9 1
 How to film Rampage....
1) Get a go pro.
2) Start recording.
3) Call your missus by her sister's name during an intimate moment.
4) Runaway with the camera facing backwards.
  • 6 0
 All the editors at PB absolutely shred...I get why there are doubters, but damn, they ride a lot harder and faster than 95% of the bike community. It's kind of silly seeing all the 'can you weigh 215lbs and test this bike?' comments on bike reviews, only because of how hard I know that the editors ride the bikes.
  • 8 0
 How is this the first time I am hearing that Jason Lucas isn't with PB anymore?
  • 3 0
 I started seeing him pop up on more Mahalo My Dude videos and wondered if he made a switch... He'll be missed! And PB will need a new Academy host, unless Christina takes over full time.
  • 7 0
 @swansong: Tom would be a fun host for PB academy.
  • 1 0
 @cgreaseman: Tom is a such a joy on everything he does. We need more Tom, all the time. (Tom may disagree, after doing 5 Sea Otter races)
  • 3 0
 Do you have any need for remote video editors? After 15 years in the industry I've never got to edit any bike-related content other than personal videos. Would be great to bring more flair and excitement to Pinkbike's content.
  • 3 1
 Just note to the PB crew: I do truely love your work and appreciate that you are trying to broaden your audience. But the First look article for a commuter, Ebike hardtail got me wondering what you vision is for PB? You’ve added more XC and even some gravel and I’ve enjoyed most of that content. So I’m not judging, just asking. Is there pressure from upstairs? Or is it just driven by Mike’s Lycra fettish?
  • 1 0
 Zero pressures, we just post what we think is interesting or relevant Smile Sometimes it might be a semi-related wonky commuter bike haha but hopefully not too often.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy do you think you guys could do more impossible climb or efficiency test style videos on all of your reviews? I do appreciate how you guys have upped the game on your reviews over the last 8 years or so, but I also love the bro science stuff because it gives the site a top gear for bikes feel.
  • 1 0
 Nah, I think those will usually be reserved for Field Tests. They require two filmers, drone work, a bunch of editing, etc whereas we only need photography for a standard, weekly normal bike review that comes out on most Mondays - wouldn't be realistic to do that every week. But yeah, I really like the Top Gear-ish vibe and they can be entertaining. We've discussed doing an efficiency test for every bike review, but not film it and only test that one bike and have those numbers in the review. The same goes for having one descent to film every bike on. But conditions vary so much and PB editors are spread out, so it wouldn't ever be consistent.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: that makes sense. Maybe if every bite comes through your main office, you could do a huck test. Almost like the stig, just have a full face helmet and some goggles... You can have Wade, vanderham, or some other OG Free riders cycle through to do it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I have a greater appreciation for the efficiency tests now that I know how much effort goes into them. The results are often expected, but it's interesting to see how big (or small) the differences are between bikes
  • 2 0
 Great episode, two of my favorite things combined.
Question for max and tom regarding focal lengths.

Do you find 70-200 enough when out shooting still images? Or du you sometimes go longer?
Tryin to choose between 100-400 or 70-200.

Im thinking that in wide open areas a longer lens could really get some interesting stuff. All the best!
  • 4 0
 70-200mm is such a great lens, my Canon 70-200 F2.8 is the real workhorse out of all my gear. I probably shoot 70% of all my images on that lens and rarely feel the need to be able to go past 200mm. 400mm would definitely be a nice option to have to really punch in on some shoots but I'd say go for the 70-200 if you are just going to pick one!
  • 2 0
 Really enjoyed this. I've done a bunch of filming work in the past with some of the greats. When they mentioned having to ride down a section with full kit to get to the next section resonated heavily. Pro Australian DH Goat: "Yea man, you'll be sweet, it's just a creek at the bottom of this vert rock slab, and the size M e-bike i let you borrow even though your a 100kg Moose will take it."
Me: Cool....splat.
  • 1 0
 Attempting to film myself and doing pretty okay at filming/photographing others riding has given me an immense respect to the teams that make content. IFHT comes to mind about being very open about packing in and riding with their gear, it would be neat to see glimpses of those behind the camera as B-roll or just a couple of stills.

Question for Max and Tom, how much time do you spend setting up your settings for a location and setting, and what do you suggest to a novice to start that journey beyond the default/automatic?
  • 4 0
 Setting up for riding footage is pretty quick, I think repetition is the trick there. If we are shooting something else, like a talking head section, we will take anywhere from 30 minutes - 2 hours for setup and we are focusing on lighting, backdrops, camera angles, etc. I think having a good understanding of what lens compression does to a subject and how to properly light a scene are important steps in the learning process. Also, a lot of practice will take you a long way!
  • 2 0
 Podcast question: What is a worse look? a) half shell with googles or b) full face no goggles and no visor
  • 2 0
 Saw a picture of myself in option b one time and idk if I’ll ever be the same. That’s the worse look, no question.
  • 1 0
 @slow-cal: Yeah. I wanted to make it a harder choice. should b) be i) full face no goggles or ii) full face no visor.

I've done a) and b)i) for different reasons. a) to keep my eyeballs from freezing and b)i) because goggles are too foggy on a humid day.
  • 1 0
 Full face, no visor and early 2000s oval oakley sunglasses.
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: I was in Whistler and had forgotten my cold weather stuff so I was kind of scrounging. I went for b) iii) full face, visor, sunglasses, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers. I’m lucky they didn’t kick me out.
  • 2 0
 I've always liked the half shell and goggles look! I've been rocking that for a long, long time haha
  • 1 0
 c) No helmet
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy i went to try to use the 20% off on the Vittoria website. And at least in Canada you cannot buy from this site. Am I missing something?
  • 1 0
 Hey I want to know which Mike would get a higher score on the Bike Mechanic Simulator that Kaz wrote about. Mike vs Mike simulator edition.
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't mind more Peep Show references in the podcast.
  • 2 0
 I feel like @henryquinney could have his own podcast. Almost like the British version of a Kanye West rant about the bike industry.
  • 1 0
 So was Tippiedriving the side by side that just happened to “Tippie” over?
  • 1 0
 All right, who farted in the background at 22:02?
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