Adding in a fun side-project with our friends helps us stay motivated and creative. And that’s how we got into this career in the first place. A quick two-day dirt jumping video provided the perfect break from our average day-to-day work!
Since April, we’ve been working on a short-form documentary. It’s about a Utah motorcycle builder and we have been filming the process in short segments, spread out days and sometimes weeks apart. This gave us the opportunity to shoot this fun and quick project with Carston Oliver.
Having been up to Salt Lake City’s iconic I-Street dirt park, it’s amazing to realize how many jumps that are there, and the how they all weave together so intricately. We called up local professional skier and seasoned biker Carston Oliver, knowing he was a regular at I-Street. Carston obliged and we set our plans in motion right away. We met that week at the park to scope out the light and the jumps. He showed us the “long line”…a 21 jump line which mazes through trees and berms all the way through the park. This section provided the perfect amount of content for our short film.
To try and make this film stand out a little, we decided to keep the cameras in motion as much as possible. The motion helps keep the viewer engaged, and done right adds a fluidity to the final edit. We accomplished this by shooting the Canon 5D Mark III on a GlideCam, moving both cameras on sliders, using a 12 foot Kessler Crane and mounting a GoPro to the bike and on Carston.
Day one – We knew that the sun would set behind the mountains at about 8:30pm, with the best light from 7:30-8:30. Fitting it all in one day was going to be a challenge, but we decided to go for it anyways. Starting from the top and working our way down we often had to shoot the same jump 3-4 times so that we could get the shots just right. The GlideCam shots are sometimes challenging with all the inconsistencies of the ground, with sticks, tall grass, dips and bumps to avoid while running full speed and trying to get a smooth take. Looking at the camera screen and not the ground gets a little sketchy. Plus, getting a shot with the second camera without having the first camera in frame can be tough too. Getting angles figured out took extra time. This caused Carston to have to hit each jump and hike back up several times. In the 100 degree heat that got a little exhausting, but Carston charged every time.
After capturing the top half of the line we decided to focus on the bigger jumps while we still had half an hour of good light. For these jumps, we used the Kessler Crane. The crane allowed us to capture the motion in large sweeping movements, really delivering a sense of speed and amplitude as Carston sped into these bigger jumps. Carston, being the veteran rider he is was able to safely navigate the biggest of the jumps even though the blinding sun was setting directly in line with the take-offs. Carston, being the pro that he is, has hit these jumps enough that it was no problem for him. We captured just a few shots before the sun dipped below the mountains on the other side of the Great Salt Lake.
Day 2, 6pm. After finishing a photo-shoot with a different photographer at the Canyons resort, Carston again brought his A-game for the second day of shooting. We still needed footage of the remaining half of the jump line, which contained about 10 more jumps. Before the shoot, we watched all of the first day’s footage, and made a detailed shot list of exactly what we needed. This proved to be very helpful in getting our last shots quickly. We shot this section of the bridge and the smaller, but sometimes trickier jumps, with the GlideCam and sliders. This section was fun because it wove through the oak trees and down to the gully gap. Having our shot list dialed helped a ton and we ended up wrapping with time to spare.
We hope you enjoy this short film and would love your feedback in the comments section. Stay tuned for more of our films.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes video to give you a more in-depth idea of our shoot.