Ducati unveiled our 2011 Pikes Peak Video to the public last week.
Before MotoGP and La Carrera and the Panigale release, it all started with The ID Agency putting us on a plane to Colorado to film the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. We had no idea what this event was before we got there. We read about it on Wikipedia the week before we left.
I've been waiting to share this for awhile but we couldn't really show it off until Ducati officially released it.
1. The week we spent in Colorado Springs filming this was the most grueling I've ever worked in my life (not saying much, I realize, but still...). We woke up most days around 2:30AM and literally worked until midnight every night. Besides filming most of the day, we were editing daily short 2-minute recap videos for Ducati to release on their online social network site. We did that schedule for about a week - filming and editing all day, eating nothing but fast food and caffeine.
2. There were 8 bikes racing in the 1205cc class and 4 were Ducati riders. When you're filming all week, you don't know whom, if any of them, are going to win on Sunday. So you shoot everything and everyone because the storylines don't become clear until later on. Carlin Dunne was a rookie underdog kid from Santa Barbara who no one knew - but the fact that we found time to drive down to his motel and shoot his backstory interview meant everything to our finished piece.
3. All of the riders, Greg, Carlin, Alexander and Cernicky were really chill and humble. Their graciousness and the time they spent with us was invaluable. Shout out to Rhys Millen as well, who was also cool.
4. Cernicky and Cycle World Magazine just moved to offices down the street from us in Irvine. On Thursdays we meet up with him and grab lunch at the food trucks and he tells us stories from his days as a pro skateboarder.
5. On the day of the race, the logistics are insane. Ryan had flown back to California so there was just the 2 of us. Matt drove up to the top of the mountain at 3AM and had to camp out up there and wait 13 hours to film 1 shot - the bikes crossing the finish line. I stayed at the bottom of the mountain and filmed the riders as they prepared for the race all day.
By the time the afternoon start time for the 1205 class came, there was an accident from an earlier car division and a driver had crashed off the side of the mountain. A medical helicopter was flown in and all the subsequent races, including our bikes, were delayed indefinitely.
I was standing near the start line, off to the side of the road with 2 cameras set up. It was over 90º and the cameras were overheating. I grabbed Ducati promotional posters and wrapped them over the cameras to shield them from the sun. I can remember being so exhausted and just standing there in the dirt for 2 hours, baking in the heat, while we waited for the race to start.
Cell reception is almost non existent up there and I had no way of communicating with Matt to tell him what was going on. Meanwhile, at the top of the mountain, there was a sand storm that was kicking up dust and rocks everywhere. All the other camera guys had left but Matt waited, crouched in a pile of rocks, for hours in order to get the shot of Carlin coming across the finish line.
6. There was a short time where no one knew where Greg Tracy was. He had started the race and then went missing. I was near his family at the Ducati basecamp at that time. I chose not to film them during any of that time. It was scary. We cover it quickly in this piece but in real life there was a long stretch of uncertainty that was unfathomable to deal with. When you look at the onboard footage of Greg's crash, he's literally threading a needle in terms of laying his bike down and not crashing into any bystanders or major obstacles. The fact that he walked away from that was unbelievable. You have to go to Pikes Peak to really understand it.
7. We had never filmed or edited a project quite like this, let alone on this type of timeframe. We made it all happen out of sheer will. We saw this project as an opportunity and we did not want to waste it. So we ran 3 laptops constantly, we literally edited in the car while we drove to and from the mountain and we ate Aspirin every morning to fight the altitude sickness.
And the work paid off. It always does.
Anyway, check it out. But it's like 14 minutes long, so grab some popcorn.