It's not too often in life we have the opportunity to bring pie-in-the-sky dreams to reality. With the DreamRide project, everything I ever wanted to do creatively was brought to life by an amazing team of people. This wasn't a simple story to execute. Dozens of ideas were tossed around. Some were great. Some were simply terrible. In the end I decided on something that held true to the original concept of something along the lines of Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go. I wanted riding a bike to be a metaphor for life - the ups and downs, highs and lows.
This project was created as a product launch video for Diamondback's LevelLink suspension platform. It was a huge initiative for the company, which in turn made it a huge project for me to execute perfectly. The athlete in the video, Mike Hopkins, was a crucial component to this story and his role went well beyond riding the bike. Mike's relationship with a production house in Rossland, BC ended up being the golden ticket to make this project shine. Juicy Studios is responsible for a number of beautiful video pieces, but the one that resonates most to me is Life Cycles - one of mountain biking's most progressive and cinematically breathtaking videos. The brains behind the operation at Juicy are filmer, director Ryan Gibb, and editor Scotty Carlson.
Early talks with Mike, Scotty, and Ryan had us all eager to get rolling on this project. It was different, creatively inspiring, and we thought it would make people talk- the goal of any marketing video. After sussing out the basic shot list and storyline, filming began in southern Utah. We brought on Scott Secco from Victoria, BC as an additional filmer and drone operator, and Bruno Long of Revelstoke, BC as the project still photographer. Bruno's role ended up expanding into camera assistant, prop builder, etc. He was invaluable.
The boys set off on a three week road tripping adventure through the American west. With filming taking place in Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, they were truly on a mission of greatness. The best and worst part of a project like DreamRide is the insane amount of quality footage that gets created. Only so much can be crafted into a final product. The rest ends up on the cutting room floor, which is a sad fate for so many beautiful shots (though we are currently exploring ways to utilize some of this leftover footage). The editing process was laborious, and that's putting it kindly. After Gibb and Secco finished shooting, the drives were handed off to Scotty, where he and Mike spent sleepless months creating what would end up being an award-winning five minute short.
My original script was long and energetic. After watching the footage it was decided that the mood needed to shift to something a bit more dynamic and the story shortened. Mike and I rewrote the script dozens of times and he finally called it good when we were nearing the production deadline. The result was five minutes of beauty, inspiration, creativity, and amazing riding, and I couldn't be more proud of the project.