Behind The Scenes – Shooting a Crankworx Dirt Diary Project

So, Jasper, how did this whole project begin?

The plan began with Simon French of Maydena Bike Park and Rhys Ellis floating the idea that we should create a film together for Dirt Diaries showcasing Tasmania and Maydena to the world.

Ahhhh, Whistlerrrrr.

Shooting scenes in the Whistler Bike Park with the crew.

So with the support of Maydnea Bike Park, we committed to making a film together, and the 60-day clock started!

Turning a story into a film with a story requires planning, how did you go about it?

I’m not one to write things down, I rarely used journals in art class or have been one to take notes. My head seems like it’s a giant interactive note pad that grows, so I usually stick to that. Dirt Diaries is a big deal, and I was aware of that, so I set out to create a rough concept and built that into sections to form blocks to construct the story.

I drew up storyboards to help me comprehend how it is going to be shot and I ended up following that initial storyboard quite well, surprisingly!

Who went to film school?

Tell us how you managed a shoot set in two countries?

With the film restricted to six minutes in length and shooting in two different parts of the globe, it was going to be a challenge. Condensing the story while allowing it to flow as best as possible, yet still wanting to ensure it was still engaging with sweet riding and backed with a strong storyline, my limits and experience was stretched.

Sounds tough, did you have a good crew to work with?

Yes, luckily! Not knowing my way around Whistler Bike Park or the riders we were shooting was a daunting combination. We didn’t even have a chance to do a recce lap of the trails before commencing shooting. Working with such a big crew of riders was also a challenge, and having them to see how I envisioned the film playing out compared to the vision they might have.

You know your way around Maydena though, right?

Maydena was a different story, as I knew the park and the riders. The weather wasn’t always favourable, but the riding was always off tap! Rhys was a pure beast to work with and would continuously push back up the trails every time I asked; he was a real legend to work with.

Rhys sampling the Maydena dirt, all for the camera and purpose of a good story.

Challenges from all angles, it sounds like?

After spending countless nights and early hours in production, I finally reached a point where the story was slowly starting to fall like Tetris pieces into place. This was like nothing I had ever done before but was a huge learning curve and an incredible opportunity.

I wouldn’t trade all the constant challenges my crew faced throughout for a simpler experience. It’s not until you are put into situations like this, that you learn what you are really capable of.

I learnt so much and am still so grateful I had the opportunity to take part in such an incredible event with the best MTB filmmakers in the business, a lot I have followed for years, so It was humbling to be right there beside them representing my country and home to share with the world.

And you ended up on stage at Crankworx! Did you expect that?

It was humbling to be up there on stage with Rhys representing Tasmania and more specifically, Maydena. With countless sets of eyes looking straight toward us, and Frenchy in the front row cheering us on!

I was meeting incredible people along the way, many are now my friends.

Earning a place in the Dirt Diaries Competition was never expected, just being involved as one of the six entrants was an honour in itself. Talking about it is surreal, I never imagined that picking up a bike three years ago would take me there, but it did, and now I’m even more hungry to create and share my eyes with the world, so hold on tight!

Watch the final product!

Photos supplied by: Chris Pilling.

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