It's time to go behind the scenes of Gamble again! This time Rat and Craig get naked in a cave, Connor Fearon cooks up some roost fries in Retallack, BC and all the boys sit around the table to relive their school drama classes. Behind Closed Doors Episode 2 is ready and waiting!Purchase Gamble here
MEET THE FILMMAKERS:
Name: Joe Bowman
From: Sheffield, United Kingdom
Past work: This Is Peaty, The Syndicate
Name: Aaron Bartlett
From: Tavistock, United Kingdom
Past work: Life on Wheels, Bruni & Vergier Against the World
MEET THE RIDERS:
Manchester, United Kingdom
Stocksbridge, United Kingdom
APRIL 2017:Lousã, Portugal
After our first two shoots in Argentina and New Zealand (you can catch the first episode here
) we were both pretty happy with what we'd managed to get in the books. Ticking off those two shoots and being so stoked with what we had was a real confidence boost and meant we were even more fired up for what was to come. Portugal was the next stop and Joe had lined up two great spots which he'd been to before for our shoot with Rat and Craig.
Lousã was the first stop of our week-long road trip. Situated North East of Lisbon, it's a popular venue for pre-season testing and we arrived with great expectations for our third shoot for Gamble. Joe had been here the year before with the Syndicate so he knew what to expect and we spent the first day scouting out different spots on the hill. The first impression was that this was a place which screamed out downhill; there wasn't a smooth feature to be seen and the average speed was clearly going to be off the Richter scale! The dust factor was pretty high too and it was clear that we were going to have a queue for the shower each night.
As with Argentina and New Zealand, local help proved invaluable in Portugal. In Lousã. The Bandeira family helped out a tonne, shuttling us up the hill and giving us a hand with equipment throughout the week and it was a pleasure to hang out with such a keen crew!
Our first day didn't go quite to plan! Josh and Craig arrived from the airport on the third day and got immediately to work building up their V10s. The tunes were on and everyone was feeling good ahead of the first day of shooting... But hang on, Rat is missing his rear axle. Bummer. Cue a frantic search of every single pocket of every bag and item of clothing and the inevitable was confirmed, he'd left it at home! The only solution, in the end, was to get on the road to the Portuguese Santa Cruz distributor and pick up a replacement and although late we did manage to get a few hours filming in on the first day.Ponte De Lima
The next location was Ponte De Lima in the North of Portugal. After the first few days in Lousã the thought process was that we should just stay put and film the whole segment there as there was such a variety of good trails to film on. In hindsight, we made the correct decision to split the shoot between two locations and the contrast of Rat and Craig riding in such different places was a real pleasure to see. Ponte De Lima was slightly more bike park in style but the tracks were superb and really allowed both riders to go as hard as possible. Perfect turns and jumps along with some high-speed straights gave us an opportunity to film the boys trying some pretty crazy and creative lines, the best of which was no doubt following each other and jumping alternate takeoffs on a step-down section. The shoot in Ponte De Lima ended with probably the gnarliest crash of the film on this line, as Craig misjudged the pre hop and got ejected over the bars, narrowly missing a pretty big boulder with his head!
JUNE 2017:Sheffield, England
With our first three shoots now in the bag, probably the biggest logistical task was coming up fast. To get every one of the riders to Sheffield to sit around a table in a boxing ring, in stupid costumes, all together at the same time and in the middle of the racing season – it was a daunting task. It has to be said that in the end we failed to get everyone round the table, but as it turned out, this wasn't a problem as it was easy to work Rat and Craig's absence into the overall storyline. Having retired from Downhill racing, we were able to work this into the narrative quite easily, drawing contrasts between real life and their story in the film.
This shoot was such an important part of the movie and having everyone round the table meant we could switch between the table and the riding segments whilst also keeping a sense of cohesion throughout. We were really keen for the movie to feel like one continuous narrative, and not feeling like 9 different short riding films packaged into one. It was important for the riders to be on board with it too and I think it's fair to say that we really thrust some of them outside of their comfort zones for this one with all the acting!
After 2 days of first class (some might say Oscar-winning level) acting, we had everything we needed in the bag and it was off to Peaty's house for a BBQ and 5-a-side football game. It was one of the funniest moments of the year, with probably some of the dodgiest slide tackles of all time going in left, right and centre. I'm genuinely surprised that no one got injured before Fort William!
JULY 2017:Retallack, Canada
What can we say about this place? It's really not difficult to run out of things to say to be honest, it was THAT good.
Connor was keen for Retallack from day 1. We got opinions from all the riders before we started the planning process for their segments and Connor and his team manager Mathieu Dupelle were keen to help us sort something out with the BC resort right from the first conversation we had. Mathieu managed to get the guys at Retallack stoked on the idea and we started making plans to head out there after the World Cup in Andorra. Freeride legend and lodge manager Mike Kinrade was instrumental in helping us to get sorted for our stay and we arrived with high hopes of what our week of shooting would bring us.
Unfortunately, Connor had broken his little finger at Andorra and he arrived at Retallack very much still healing from his crash. Day 1 started absolutely amazingly regardless, with Connor hitting every corner at mach 10 from the first run. The good times lasted all day until one particular section which turned out to be a little more tricky than we first thought. Connor slid on a hidden root and road the stem all the way down an off camber straight, resulting in what we assumed was the moment he re-broke his finger, making the rest of our shoot a little bit more problematic.
But fair play to Connor, he smashed it for the rest of the week anyway, ignoring the pain and strapping his hand to the bars to get through the rough sections. For the whole week, we witnessed some of the most impressive cornering we'd ever seen!
One of the other highlights of the trip to Retallack was our hike up to the Alpine section. Retallack offer various heli biking options to get up to the high spots in the resort and we decided to get up there at sunset on day 3 to try and get some ridge shots with the drone. It was a mind blowingly beautiful place and we got to the summit with just enough time to dig in a line for Connor to ride. We managed to get one riding shot before the sun disappeared behind the clouds and then used the rest of the time getting the scenic bangers from the start and end of Connor's section. Even though we only got one riding shot, it was 100% worth the time and effort spent getting up there and an experience none of us will ever forget!
Thanks to our amazing sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles / Maxxis Tires / Fox Racing / Enve Composites / Marsh Guard / Freeride Madeira
Episode 3 of "Behind Closed Doors" will be available soon!
To purchase Gamble Film click here
MENTIONS: @Fox-Head-Inc @ENVE