It took us a year to make this video. It didn’t take a year because we weren’t trying to do is sooner. It took a year because there were so many mornings we went to shoot and the clouds weren’t right, the fog wasn’t right, it was too cold, we mistimed the sunrise, the bike had a flat, we got in a fight because Kristin was being lazy or tired, the bike was in the shop, it was raining, the time we got chased out off of Double Peak for shooting with a drone, and there is even that time I forgot the memory card for the drone. It also took a year because once it started going long time, sponsors changed, kits went in and out of the Betty Designs line so we couldn’t use those clips, and we were continuously waiting for new clothing or new bikes or wheels to arrive. All in all we probably shot video for about 40 days.
There are literally hundreds of clips that didn’t make the cut in this one minute video. During that time I gained A LOT of experience learning to shoot cycling. Pretty early on we realized that in order to get all the footage we needed, having me hang out of the back of a truck with a gimbal was not going to be reasonable since I don’t keep a driver on staff and/or traveling with a car and driver would not be practical for the mountain biking footage or footage obtained outside of San Diego. Step 1 was getting the equipment dialed in and getting an ultramobile filming rig together.
During 99% of the time shooting this video I was on a bike next to Kristin. That meant riding up mountains, across fields, and on gravel while Kristin was training for The Belgian Waffle Ride. That meant riding ahead, shooting, and then chasing on hills while kristin got her workout in. Much of the video was shot during live workouts. Very little of the video was staged. This is what the setup looked like:
- That little white thing in my hand is a Sony FDR-X3000R. Terrible name for anything but the camera is unreal. This thing, with the attached live view monitor, just kills it. I would say that other than the drone footage the majority of this video was filmed on that little camera.
- On my back is a Lowe Pro Photo Sport 200 backpack which holds my DJI Mavic drone and accessories.
- I attached the Sony Cam to the backpack with a Peak Designs Capture Pro.
With only a few exceptions, that was the mobile rig for the entire video. Hopefully the concept of the story comes across in the video. Basically it is a “story” about how Kristin went from being dejected and beat up single mom after her divorce to a confident and successful business person (and much improved cyclist) just a few years later. It is about her journey after her divorce where she figured out who she is. Truth be told, I find most cycling and action sports videos painful to watch.
The problem is that every indie filmmaker is trying to be more epic than Red Bull and “out Go-Pro” Go Pro and the results often fall flat. My mantra is that you are not going to “out epic” Redbull so don’t try. The other issue I have with actions sports videos (cycling in particular) is that everyone who isn’t trying to out-epic Redbull is trying to out-hipster Rapha. In many cases the results are on par with Rapha the final result just look like another Rapha knock off. Kudos to Redbull and Rapha (I am always game to watch for their stuff) but I am trying to play a different game.
For me, all videos, no matter what genre, need to tell a story. Epic footage is not enough. Everyone is so tired of epic drone shots, majestic landscape shots, epic sunrises, sweat dripping off a nose in slow motion, and all that jazz. There needs to be at least some sort of story. This video was released with a full discussion of what this video means to her on her website but my goal at least was to create at least a little bit of a story arc within the video just in case you found the video without access to the blog post. Hopefully, we at least keep you thinking “ok where are they going with these words. Why would anyone include the words devastated and heart broken in what otherwise appears to be a motivational cycling video. I better keep watching.”
The last part of the video is the music. That is a custom score I made with the assistance of Jan over at Audio Imperia (best place for cinematic samples IMHO) and some old sound clips I found of austronauts speaking in Russian. I have no idea what they are saying but it seemed cool when I was dropping them in.
Anyway – that is a little bit of what went into the making of Who are you?