Video: Bryn Atkinson in Ultra Slow Motion in 'Phantom of the Optic'

Dec 11, 2019
by Norco Bicycles  


bigquotesI've spent the past few years enjoying videos of Bryn riding, mind blown from watching him corner and dissect trails at warp speed. He's been on my list of riders to work with for years now, so I was stoked when the opportunity finally came with the launch of the new Norco Optic. Our concept for the video revolved around the idea of breaking down Bryn's thought process while riding (this was done with a healthy dose of inspiration from Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes movies). Visually, we couldn't have shown what was happening without some extreme slow motion and this was accomplished with the use of a Phantom Veo camera. The Veo is a beast - it shoots 1,000 frames per second in 4k resolution. We rented it from Los Angeles and flew it up with Phantom technician ''Slow Mo'' Shawn Sanders.

I knew I needed a second cinematographer, so I hired Kamloops local Matty Miles to shoot the film with me. Miles ended up capturing many of the Phantom slow mo shots, while I handled the real time footage. We had a great crew made up of Bryn, Matty, and Shaun, plus Norco staff photographer Tom Richards, sound designer Keith White, and colourist David Tomiak. Jill Kintner (eternal Queen of Crankworx and also Bryn's wife) even joined us for a few days, and was invaluable with helping Bryn out on the shoot. Huge thanks to everyone involved for working hard on this project and especially to Bryn for hiking up for ''just a couple more takes,'' and for acting as producer on the film. Bryn was deeply involved in all aspects of both videos and even wrote the voiceover.

I'm super proud of our film, Find Focus, and hope you guys enjoy an extended cut of the Phantom slow mo footage from the shoot. Thanks for watching.
Scott Secco, Director





Photos by Tom Richards

Special thanks to Alex Kizenkov for the music.

To see more of the new Optic head to norco.com/2020optic


124 Comments

  • 211 5
 I got so high right before watching this and it was probably the best thing I've done in a while.
  • 19 40
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2019 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 Must be amazing to watch it after smoking weed... must check... best MTB video to get high with after Life Cycles
  • 89 2
 You should try tearing the garbage apart because your owner went to the grocery store and it triggered your separation anxiety.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I highly recommend zoomers for Life Cycles.
  • 5 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2019 at 11:45) (Below Threshold)
 @beast-from-the-east: oh come on, the colors must be oversaturated Big Grin I watched “Strange planet” doc on Netflix and all the shades of green got R:0 B:0 G:255 green Big Grin space docs are great though. All the stars like diamonds
  • 56 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Everyone knows you only smoke crack.
  • 6 34
flag SnowshoeRider4Life (Dec 11, 2019 at 12:38) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: life cycles for sure sucked sober
  • 3 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2019 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 @watchmen: never tried immortality
  • 1 0
 Hells yes
  • 7 1
 have you ever seen the back of a twenty dollar bill? have you ever seen the back of a twenty dollar bill ON WEED!?!
  • 10 0
 wierd. I just ate a whole jar of flinstone vitamin gummies and this looks perfectly normal to me.
  • 4 0
 That was mesmerizing.
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yes Yes!!!
Just found a bit during reorganizing!!! My crap,
human beings like to collect...
Music is awesome!!!
Solow-motion awesome!!!
Riding awesome!!!
Total Awesomnessssss
  • 1 0
 @PAULHK: Yeah!!! What's normal???
  • 2 0
 @greg390: I honestly don't know anymore
  • 11 0
 I’ve had soft serve that was rougher than Bryns riding. Its like watching Picaso paint dirt with tires.
  • 3 0
 Simply, WOW! :-O
  • 3 0
 @watchmen: I just lol by myself in the bathroom at work. I hope I’m by mysel in here...
  • 2 5
 @beast-from-the-east: did you watch this on shrooms, woke up next day and all you could remember was Bryns green shoes smiling to you and going weeeeeee
  • 2 1
 You ever seen Bryn, on weed? f*ck yeah in slow mo bitches.
  • 2 0
 AHAHA! that's great. I bet it was epic
  • 117 2
 Finally a riding speed I can relate to.
  • 8 0
 To me it feels just about right with 0.75 playback speed.
  • 49 0
 I say this as a middle aged man that's happily married: I really liked watching his jiggly arm muscles.
  • 26 0
 1:52 makes me want to go home and make sure i didnt break any spokes just by watching
  • 12 1
 I AM A LITTLE LESS ANGRY WITH MY GX REAR D'S CURRENT MOOD. IT'S TOUGH OUT THERE. LOOKIDAT.
  • 19 0
 Find Focus is at the top of my list for Video of the Year...this bonus content is just icing on the cake. Knocked it way the hell out of the park with this, Scott and crew!
  • 5 0
 @briceshirbach thanks Brice! Such a fun project to make and I'm stoked to hear you enjoyed it.
  • 3 0
 Gets my YOTY vote as well. Only thing I would change is the music - it needs some slow stoner rock.
  • 2 0
 Seriously amazing work Scott! This has made me want to ride more than any other video I've seen this year!
  • 15 0
 This couldn't have been cheap, Norco. Money well spent! This is what bike launches should look like. This bike ticks a lot of boxes and does it well! Kudos to all who worked on this project.
  • 15 0
 You can really see the deformation in the wheel, frame, and derailleur at 1:50!
youtu.be/apaTlPfnR3A?t=110
  • 2 1
 No way he rode that out!
  • 4 0
 @UPBike: I was thinking the same thing at first, but he didn't even unclip, so I figured he must've been fine. And now the man behind the lens has confirmed it.

Bryn didn't just ride it out, he made it look casual! For him, I suppose it is.
  • 5 0
 That's the most amazing part of the whole video. And the speed he really did that stunt on real time!
  • 3 0
 @scottsecco: Wow. Amazing! That is some full commitment!
  • 10 0
 Seriously good work on this project @ScottSecco. I was hoping you'd put together some gratuitous slomo porn from this and god damn does it deliver—I feel like I could just keep on watching.
  • 7 0
 @PeterWojnar thanks Peter! So fun playing around with a Phantom, wish I owned one now. Bit much for my wallet though haha.
  • 3 0
 @scottsecco: I had missed Find Focus, so thanks for linking to it in comments, definitely VOY contender! One of your best. Tech question here: when running it at real time speed, do you notice the 1000fps footage any smoother than 120fps? Just wondering as a video producer myself (not mtb tho).
  • 3 0
 @Rubberelli: Awesome, glad you enjoyed it! For smoothness I think 1,000fps looks like crap at real time since I was trying to shoot close to 180* shutter (couldn't quite do it since it was too dark so the shutter was a bit slower than that for most shots). What I did for Find Focus was actually run the shots through After Effects and add motion blur to all the Phantom shots when I ramped into and out of slow mo, so that it matched the blur of the real time shots. If you add blur in post then it looks great! Otherwise, the fast shutter makes it look weird when sped up to real time. Hope that helps!
  • 2 0
 @scottsecco: thanks so much! I've never worked in something that fast, so this helps plan for the future.
  • 11 0
 My condolences to all the berms that had to die to make this video, you gave your lives for a good cause and you mill be missed.
  • 12 0
 Berm flex! haha
  • 10 0
 So sweet. Didn't even notice the frightened birds flying away until my second viewing.
  • 11 0
 1:54 to 2:00
o_o
ಠ_ಠ
◉_◉
  • 2 0
 I desperately want to see the rest of that turn!
  • 1 0
 @scottsecco: thank you!
  • 7 0
 OMG--loved watching this! It reminds me how much we ask of our equipment and bodies while mountain biking. Seeing Brynn's flesh ripple and bike components flex all while keeping his head and eyes still. His body position and focus is what we all strive for in our riding. If I buy an Optic, this automatically endows me with some of these superior abilities, right @norcobicycles?
  • 4 0
 No guarantees, but it certainly wont hurt your chances!
  • 8 0
 Those 29in hoops have some flex! Awesome video. Allows you to see all the minor details in terms of body positioning and bike function.
  • 10 1
 The Koyaanisqatsi of mountain bike edits. So good!
  • 3 0
 @cbrumelle the ultimate compliment! You're too kind.
  • 8 0
 Had to unclip my right foot from my desk chair at 1.58 to dab and keep from falling over...
  • 8 0
 That is some MATRIX level magic!
  • 7 0
 so good. @Bryn-Atkinson needs to show me how to corner......................
  • 6 0
 The most interesting rider to watch by far. He´s an artist, with a skill degree higher than other riders. But I prefer to watch in real time.
  • 5 0
 You should check out a kid named Brandon Semenuk, if you want interesting and artist and high degree skills.
  • 3 0
 @yakimonti: Haha, Semenuk is a great freerider, but since I´m a more of a full on speed kind of guy; Bryns speed, cornering and riding style is far more impressive.
  • 7 0
 Never thought Ide miss dry dusty trails so much until I watched this video and looked outside at the heavy rain...
  • 7 0
 Well, this just turned into a half day at work! I'm going riding.
  • 6 0
 Absolutely beautiful, mind blowing and motivational! Well done!! I need to go for a ride.
  • 6 0
 2.5 seconds of awesomeness at full speed I bet.... And no, I didn't do the math.
  • 6 0
 If Norco released a spec and color combo like the one Bryn was riding, I would seriously consider buying it...
  • 7 0
 Jesus Scott that was sick!
  • 6 0
 Truly Magnificent! Great Job Scott, and team. Bryn, well man, you keep being you!! LEGEND
  • 7 0
 slowest mo in the biz
  • 6 0
 That berm at 1:05! Holy crap!
  • 6 0
 Bike porn at 1000FPS..... I'll take it.
  • 6 0
 Check out the birds taking off at 1:30!! Very cool
  • 6 0
 Kinda slow and absorbing
  • 6 0
 it was nice
  • 2 0
 That was pretty cool, kinda educational, amazing to see how much flex is going on in the derailleur and chain movement. It's a wonder that our chains stay on and it all continues to function.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic work! Amazing what a bike, and components, are having to deal with while Bryn is treating the bike properly. I kinda want to see Danny, or Fabio in an ultra slo-mode. Those mechanical stresses would probably scare me!
  • 6 0
 My next bike.
  • 5 0
 Some more @scottsecco magic!
  • 1 0
 @FlorentVN thanks Flo! Working on our video as we speak...
  • 1 0
 @scottsecco: Exciting time!!!
  • 4 0
 So beautiful! I use Phantom Veo's for work but never got anything this pretty!
  • 4 0
 Can you reshoot this at 10,000 fps? So I can have a 25 minute long screensaver?
  • 5 0
 Damn, that was good!
  • 7 4
 That frame flex at 1:50 is pretty damn cool! Albeit, not great marketing Wink
  • 15 1
 The way that frame handled the flex is poetry. Couldn't even guess how much it would have to weigh to stop that flex.
  • 2 1
 @JWadd: Touche, its kind of remarkable they can handle that day after day.
How ever, seeing that does not inspire my confidence. Feeling it, and actually seeing it are two different things.
  • 3 1
 All flex is bad. What you need is lightweight concrete.
  • 5 0
 Very nice. MORE PLEASE!
  • 4 0
 freakin' beautiful - gives me goosebumps!
  • 4 0
 Bring back 1000fps fork shock compression.
  • 1 1
 Can someone explain why this bike is decked out in Fox suspension with a 36 and the commercially available Optic is scientifically mated to RS Pike and Super Deluxe? I asked about custom building with the stiffer 36 and was told it wouldn't be a good idea.
  • 1 0
 @BurnabyXCrace
Cause it’s his bike and he’s sponsored by fox. If the bike came with Maxxis tires and he was running Schwalbe would you be even more upset?
  • 1 2
 @jfrizzle: Not upset, just confused as to why Norco would, in their release video show suspension that isn't actually on the bike in any of the builds.
  • 2 2
 Can someone explain why the Optic in this video is sporting a Fox 36 and Fox rear shock and why the commercially available stuff is all RS Pike and Superdeluxe? When I asked if I could build up a custom with Fox 36 I was told it wasn't preferred because of the 'science' behind the suspension design/offset etc., blah blah.
  • 1 0
 @scottsecco the edit is amazing and makes me want to buy an Optic! The videography and capture is stunning and it's crazy to think how tech. has evolved and when matched with talent what it can produce, thanks for raising the stoke and for helping me understand the suspension question/comment.
  • 4 0
 Now i want some green shoes!
  • 4 0
 I'd like an Optic with that spec and colour, please Norco!
  • 2 0
 @scottsecco: That edit very much reminded me of the judge Dredd remake. Was wondering if you had seen any clips of that? Must be fun playing around with 1000fps
  • 2 0
 @AverageAdventurer I loved the style of that movie! Such cool use of slow motion.
  • 5 1
 I don't care how much you hate slo-mo, this is the dog's bollocks!
  • 4 0
 Slooooooooo
  • 2 0
 There should be a movie with this style of shots, clay porter where are you?
  • 3 0
 Those alloy optics gunna be sick!! Can't wait
  • 4 1
 Slow motion is still the devil. But ultra slow mo ain't so bad.
  • 2 0
 THIS IS THE VIDEO I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. Slow mo is so underrated in mtb, everyone's like "OOOOHH fasterrrrrr"
  • 2 0
 1:44 they cut just when he turns green !!
  • 1 0
 Nice vid. Would definetly replace my old Norco to new one, if spare parts would be easier to come by...
  • 3 0
 Very cool!
  • 1 0
 there is an old highlight video of claymore challenge filmed with the phantom flex as well. that's soo sick
  • 1 0
 Not showing us a cuttie in slow motion so I could understand how he does it so well, I see you
  • 1 0
 Bryns section in Barred for Life 2 is still one of my favorite rider sections of any bike flick.
  • 3 4
 Awesome. But it would be even nicer to see the whole moves, not just him riding 2/3 of a berm or launching a jump without showing the landing...
  • 3 0
 @T-williamson: thanks, mate!
Perfect dessert for the clip!
  • 1 0
 The birds flying out of the way from around 1:30 onward made my day.
  • 3 2
 fakkin' SICK.
  • 1 2
 Gotta love how they captured all these amazing moments and then cut them in half so you can't fully appreciate his style.
  • 3 5
 Sorry.... don’t wanna see one of the best rider to watch going fast. Go extra slow.
  • 7 0
 @savage47 You can check out the full video with real time here if you'd like.
  • 1 4
 lasted about 30 seconds of this, at work with no sound.. first sog that popped in my head was "Saaaiiil"
say no to slo mo
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