It’s not every day you get asked to make a video for a cycling brand like Hunt Wheels but when you do you you know it’s going to be an epic project. At EAST we are all cyclists in different forms, after finding out that Hunt Wheels were just down the road we approached them to make a road bike video. You will see their wheels getting 5* reviews and glowing articles all over road.cc, cyclist magazine etc and being a new company in their first year of trading they were keen for a video.
Getting to know the guys was key to understanding their beliefs and values which had to be translated across the video, a daunting challenge. Embarking on a period of test shooting we scouted locations, sketched storyboards and pushed our kit. Testing ranged from skateboarding with gimbals to experimenting with GoPro car mounts, all to get shots that matched our vision directed by our Creative Director James.
“James and the guys at East Studio created an incredible design feel & atmosphere in the film which massively enhanced our brand. The end result was stunning and outstripped our expectations. Very efficient and timely too. I’d highly recommend them” – Tom Marchment, Founder Hunt Wheels
We went into a testing phase where we tried out camera angles and some new techniques. For example getting a smooth follow shot of cyclists when they are moving at around 20-35 mph along country roads wasn’t as easy as it sounds. We couldn’t rely just on GoPro’s to film this video, although great cameras, it had to have a cinematic edge which is why we used the Sony A7s. We had to come up with ways to keep up with bikes and keep the camera steady. We found some private roads in the middle of the countryside to try hanging out the back of cars, climbing up random hills and generally getting filthy. We ended up mounting the GoPro on the front and back of the car (using the super sturdy Ghecko mount) and switching from wide fisheye view to medium (which makes a massive difference) and letting them chase us. This was safer than hanging out the boot of a car for everyone.
The shots are a mix of GoPro, Osmo, A7s and GH4 shots half in 4k half in 1080p with a variety of different lenses so the challenge was matching the colour from camera to camera. This is where a majority of the time was spent in the editing suite.
GoPro Hero4 Black/Silver/Sessions
DJI Phantom 3
South Downs, West Sussex, UK
Music is the key to a road bike video
One of the most important aspects of a video like this is the music and we were hyped to be given licence to use ‘3 Chords’ by Rival Consoles which matched the beat of the film so well we had to use it. We reached out to Rival Consoles and showed him a sample of the video with his tune on and he agreed to let us use it. This was huge for us as the artist could easily have said no.
We learnt some great lessons about action filming.
- Check with the police first to see what is legal and illegal before you go out filming on public roads.
- Drones are great fun and produce cinematic footage that blows you away.
- Take food and drink for the team, especially when you start at 5am.
- Keep the talent warm between takes, especially in January in the depths of Winter.
- Endless takes on the same hill soon wear the riders out. Keep it tight.
To capture the atmosphere and surroundings that inspire them, we brought in our good friends and expert drone operators from Xaviate. They spent time with us flying over various locations including Devil’s Dyke, Mill Hill and Firle Beacon. 5am starts and freezing conditions didn’t stop the guys from capturing some of the most stunning footage of the Downs we’d seen.
Apart from Hunt wanting to show the world their slick products they have they were actually launching a new research and development program looking to sponsor 6 riders around the globe to test their new wheels and receive free product. With around 50k (and counting) views across Facebook and Youtube just 3 months after its release they had over 2,000+ applications which was a massive success. The video was featured across all the main bike sites (Road.cc, Cyclist, Bikeradar and Cycling Weekly) and we were blown away with all the positive feedback we received.