Video: Behind the Scenes of Brandon Semenuk's Winning Real MTB Segment

Apr 29, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Brandon Semenuk and filmmaker Rupert Walker are a formidable team, and they once again created something special in Semenuk's X Games Real MTB segment. The behind-the-scenes video tells the story behind the Semenuk-Walker partnership and shows some of the work that goes into making such an edit.


  • 153 11
 In my opinion, nobody got robbed this year. Brandon’s segment took so much work to be perfect and it’s ignorant to say that he didn’t “deserve” to win
  • 48 1
 With that being said, everybody still absolutely killed it!
  • 14 28
flag Jordmackay (Apr 30, 2021 at 0:52) (Below Threshold)
 Well, your opinion is wrong.
  • 19 19
 Plot twist; Brage got robbed
  • 4 3
 Props for Ryan
  • 6 11
flag robito (Apr 30, 2021 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 He's definitely a MTB god, but that wasn't even one of in his top 10 video parts. I would argue that's not even his best video this year. The standards for his parts are probably too high based on what he's put together over the years... I bet if you asked him he would tell you he shouldn't have won. He's probably embarrassed that he did.
  • 6 0
 @robito: I don't think he would be embarrassed at all... The amount of work, time, and dedication it takes to put together a video of that caliber is incredible. Everyone put in a huge effort for these video parts, and to think otherwise is daft. There's a reason Semenuk is in a league of his own, and that is because he puts in the time and effort to make everything look perfect, rather than calling it a day after landing something sketchily first try. How can standards be too high? Having standards that high is what has made him the GOAT.
  • 1 0
 @robito: take into consideration that these parts had to be very short. His usual edits are 5min+ and that enables him to make it more visually appealing and gives more of the feeling that we are all used to. With the edit being much shorter it didn’t quite feel like the usual.
  • 45 1
 Semenuk makes everything look so damn easy that people legit think he shouldn't have won
  • 41 1
 Personally, I believe we were all winners... Beer
  • 12 0
 THIS! All the edits were rad!
  • 37 0
 Congrats Brandon! It was another impressive project from you.
  • 19 0
 I got a lot out of watching the making of for Semenuk's unreal segment:

It's funny how often people talk about how "easy" and "flawless" he makes everything look. Yet in that making of you find out he's crashed a bunch of times, he's riding injured, they're running out of filming time, it's so incredibly close to not happening at all.

Personally just felt this was the best thing I'd ever seen in mtb and I wonder about the misses and close calls we'll never see.
  • 3 0
 Definitely. Just from watching other siilar behind the scenes films over the years you know that the polish they show comes with a huge amount of dedication, time and sacrifice. 30 sec video could take months of planning and effort.
  • 2 0
 Its hard to tell how many tries it takes when he has the landing raked to remove the previous tire marks. The edit was insane and deserved to win but dang, that's a really dumb choice to make. It'd be like shoveling in the landings on BC jumps to make it look like they were landed first try.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: Agreed. I personally like to see the work that went into landing something, and the emotion behind that work.

Not that I think semenuk lost to brage because of riding, but brage's edit was full of emotion and raw. Making the latter more appealing to me, and most everyone else it seems.

regardless, this behind the scenes edit makes me see past the minute and half contest video
  • 23 2
 "Because you know nobody else in the world is doing it"

Just let that sink in for moment.....

That why nobody got robbed, and the one who deserved to win, won...
  • 12 0
 I voted for Brage, but Brandon’s nose-tap to suicide was my favorite single trick of all the vids. Really graceful and beautiful.
  • 5 0
 Not to downplay the talent and success of any professional riders past, but when you look back almost 15 years to when Brandon started, his flow and execution of tricks has always been perfect and arguably nicer looking than anyone else. Like for example, Zink absolutely shreds, but there have been many times where the trick looks sketch . For Semenuk, nothing ever , ever looks sketch . Fast forward all these years and he's still the top dog making this shit look better than anyone else can do. I personally voted for Brage's edit because it was hardcore- But Semenuk is hands down the GOAT.
  • 6 0
 How is he maintaining this level while racing rally professionally?
  • 5 0
  • 2 0
 Alicia! Congrats on the PB job and your success! It's pretty cool to see your name at the top of articles like this. Met you originally at Sea Otter and then ran into you at a number of events afterwards. You are rad, keep it up!
  • 1 0
 For more on Semenuk's win and a bunch of other insight into RealMTB, check the Lockdown Companion #34 with Davi Birks and Olly Wilkins. Just watched it last night. Special guests were Brage Vestavik and Clay Harper (dude who ran the comp).
  • 2 2
 Am I mistaken, or was the 720 more of a weak point (at least in Chase's mind?)

While it could have set the edit apart, I'm not sure the video clearly supports that suggestion - thumbnail seems misleading, as no judge describes the 7 as setting this edit apart.
  • 3 0
 If you watch the other real comps, it is almost like they tell at least one judge to critique something for every rider.
  • 5 0
 I think he was referencing that idea that we’re all a bit spoiled by seeing what Semenuk has done in the past, because what by all accounts was a huge, gnarly move left him (Aaron) feeling a bit let down. And he seemed to recognize how crazy it is to feel let down by that move as an ender.
  • 7 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I was surprised Aaron said that. I think that is just on him because I was pretty blown away by that move. I know it's "just adding a barspin", but that is insanely technical. Throwing bars in cork 7s looks awkward and hard as hell on regular jumps, let alone off massive stepdowns. From what I can tell, there are under 5 people in the world who have done cork 720s on stepdowns (Semenuk, Rheeder, Rogatkin, Marcel hunt and..?). Only 1of them has thrown a bar into that. I think the opening clip could have been a sick ender too had it been shown from a couple of angles.
  • 1 0
 @leon-forfar: and not to mention the insane style of brandon looking at his bars while doing the bar to make sure he catches them because of all the spinning and not being able to spothis rotation?! Like wtf that is some crazy “necessary style”
  • 3 0
 I came here expecting to see Brandon crashing at least once... Getting conspiranoid...
  • 4 0
 "We're not worthy, We're not worthy!....... Semenuk is The Boss!!
  • 2 0
 I don't think I've ever seen a full video from Brandon ... exceptionally talented rider. Far exceeds my expectations.
  • 1 0
 WHen I read behind the scenes I thought I would see some cool saves or gnarly crashes. Now I remember Semenuk doesn’t do those ahahaha
  • 2 0
 Forgot to license your Red Giant plugins eh?
  • 3 1
 Behind the scenes 2nd place
  • 1 0
 I wonder what the result would have been if it was down to the riders to choose who wins
  • 1 0
 They did that for real snow a couple years ago and it ended up being friends voting for each-others so they would get the money. It was not fare. Having judges that come from the sports is the way to go I think.
  • 2 1
 But he wasn’t out slopping around in the mud! Where’s the footage of him chopping wood like a lumberjack?!?!
  • 1 0
 New Cappadonna is about to exhale
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