Inside The Making of

The mountain bike world has become a culture of constant creativity.  As cyclists or mountain bikers or however we identify, riding bikes for so many of us is far more than just a recreational activity, it is a passion that embodies our lifestyles.  It connects us to our surrounding environments, our communities, and a much larger global community of riders.  The vision of one rider, videographer, or photographer can be shared across the world on a daily basis, be it through social media or our favorite websites on a never ending stream of content.  This ability to share, inspire and connect with one another is greater than ever.  This creative connection enables our culture to grow, and enables us all to explore boundless opportunities that ever redefine our sport and our passions. 

- Check out the Stuttermovie for Episodes 1 and 2

This past spring and early summer, Box Components, SR SUNTOUR, and Lone Wolf Productions joined forces with mutual sponsored athletes, James Doerfling and Eliott Lapotre to create something unique in a video edit.  Matt Brooks of Lone Wolf Productions had the vision, James provided the location scouting and local knowledge, and Eliott a youthful and excited energy coming in from afar.  For Box Components and SR SUNTOUR this was not only an opportunity to create an interesting edit, but also to test and showcase new products, like the Box One drivetrain and SRS Rux and Auron forks, and TRIAiar rear shocks, on this spectacularly challenging and beautiful terrain with a couple of the world’s finest riders.  

In this feature, we share with you the completion of this collaboration, Parts 1 and 2: ‘BIG LAND, SMALL MACHINE’ and ‘DUALITY’.  We also take a deeper look into the perspectives of the riders and videographer, to gain insight into how these projects come to life, and learn a bit more about these individuals that make it all happen.

We asked James and Eliott for their insight.  

Q: "Freeride" can mean many things, what does it mean to you?  

James: “Freeride is what I have been doing since I first started riding bikes.  To keep it short, I think it’s the feeling of having no pressure and riding whatever you want, when you want, on any kind of terrain or trail.” 

Eliott: “Freeride is so large to describe exactly and it's so different according to different people.  For me, Freeride is a mindset.  Achieve my own goal and help share with people my passion.” 

Q: Finding these zones and lines that are far into remote areas must be difficult, what is your process? 

James: “I put so much time into finding lines and new zones. But, I think it's the funnest part, exploring so many places and then finding that one perfect line that makes it all worth it, is priceless. “

Eliott:  “Finding zones like that takes time.  At my place, I have a trial motorbike, to help me to find more quickly and more places to ride.”

Q: Are there any specific riding technics you use on big lines like these?

James: “Every line is different in my opinion, but I just trust my natural abilities and let’er rip! Surf it out!” 

Eliott: “Every time it is so different.  But to imagine the big lines grip, I feel the dirt, if it's pack or not, if it's dirt or sand.”

Q: Do you set your bike and suspension up differently for this type of riding? 

James: “I’m probably the worst guy to ask this question, because I am just a set and forget it kind of guy when it comes to suspension.  Fairly firm, I would say front and rear.” 

Eliott:  “Just less pressure in the tires.”

Q For James:  You grew up in Williams Lake, what is it about this area that made you decide to stay permanently?

James: “The people and the riding for sure made me stick around.  I tried moving away to the big city when I finished high school.  I only lasted 6 months and came running back. I’m here to stay.”

Q For Eliott:  “When did you first hear, or learn, about Williams Lake, and the Caribou Chilcotin?  What inspired you to come ride here?

Eliott:  "I've been to Farwell Canyon two times before we shot this video.  This kind of terrain is a dream for us, big lines, you don't see this everywhere else."

Q:  What was the highlight of this project for you?

James: “I think the big mission day, when we rode all the lines down on the Fraser river… So many good lines and it was awesome to show the crew the unreal country out there on the MIGHTY FRASER!”

Eliott:  “The area we go with Jeremy 

(Jeremy “JerCan” Stowards) and James, so far.  Unique and it's just the second time for James to ride this zone.  So good, and I hope I'm coming back one day.”

Matt Brooks is a videographer and one helluva rider himself.  Hailing from Kamloops, BC, Matt is no stranger to filming big lines. 

Q: How long have you been filming mountain biking?

Matt: “Believe it or not this one actually stumped me. I had to go back and look at the first video ever posted and according to that it was in 2010. So I suppose it's been between 8 and 9 years now. It's crazy to think it's been that long. Time flies when you're having fun.”

Question: What was your inspiration for this particular project? 

Matt: “While they both have a similar over arching look and feel to them, they do have slightly different inspiration. After speaking with James, before we began this shoot, he expressed interest in trying to ride lines that a lot of people would have a difficult time with on a DH bike, but on his trail bike. Hence, the concept for ‘BIG LAND, SMALL MACHINE’ was born. We decided to try and display his riding kit changing from the typical trail bike with a half shell or DH bike with full face and goggles to a hybrid of DH bike gear and little trail bike.

As for DUALITY, the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things,’ played a big part in how I shot this, especially the intro. I really liked the the style of that series and wanted to pay homage to it. The entire concept of the ‘Stranger Things’ series is the idea for DUALITY.  I felt that it matched up with what we were going to do; bringing in a rider (Eliott Lapotre) from a completely different part of the world to ride terrain that looked to be “other worldly”. With that in mind, I sourced a soundtrack that had that dark 80's synth sound to it and shot an intro that made it appear that Eliott was kind of transported there through an alternate reality or a duality in space.”

Q: ‘BIG LAND, SMALL MACHINE' and ‘DUALITY’ are both action packed, short edits, what were your biggest challenges in creating these?" 

Matt:  “I think the biggest challenge was simply trying to capture James and Eliott in those massive expanses of land.  

Matt: It's hard to properly showcase the enormity of some of the lines they rode. When you stand on them it's enough to give you vertigo, so you can imagine how much of a physical undertaking it can be trying to hike those gigantic lines with camera gear in order to get the right shots. On top of that, our shoot schedule lead us right through one of the biggest heat waves of the summer and had us filming in 40C (105)F plus weather. I give the riders a lot of the credit. It felt like we hiked hours in some cases just to get the camera in to the locations and then they had to hike the lines many times over after arriving. They didn't complain, they didn't falter, and they actually did it with a smile on their faces. It's what makes them proper pro riders."

Q: From the videographer's side, what was the highlight of this project for you? 

Matt: “Strangely enough, the hardest part was also the highlight.  I say that now looking back, but may have given you a different answer at the time hahaha. James had a zone he wanted to shoot but it required a very long hike in and out, plus about an hour drive out of town down some dirt roads to get there. Since we were shooting in the middle of summer and wanted to ensure we got there for morning light we needed to wake up for around 4am. Once we got there we essentially had to hike for as far as we could see down to the Fraser River. The hike was worth it though. The terrain was a freerider’s paradise, with multiple sandy lines and tons of spires poking out of the earth towering above the riders. We captured the bulk of the footage for the segment in that area, and while it was an excruciating hike out, the sense of accomplishment afterwards as all worth it. Thanks for pushing the pace Doerfling!"

With all of the coordination, logistics, budgets, scouting, travel, editing...etc a ton of energy goes into projects like these.  In the end we create a small piece of mountain bike culture to share with our boarder, global community, to inspire more to explore and ride bikes.  And between all this hard work are incredible experiences and memorable connections.  As we look to the next projects we continue to build upon what been created, to seek something new, to define our passions yet again.   

A special thanks goes to Box Components and SR SUNTOUR for making this happen!  Click on the links to find more information about Box and SR SUNTOUR products.



Videography and Cinematography:  Matt Brooks, Lone Wolf Productions

2nd Cameras:  Hoshi Yoshida, Whyex Productions and Mitch Cheek, Solos Productions (DUALITY)

Photography: Hoshi Yoshida and JP Gendron

Words and Interviews: JP Gendron 

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