by Charles Owens on 09/27/2012
How to make a successful MX video…
In our industry receiving anywhere up to 10,000 views on an internet MX video cannot be frowned upon. However these kinds of views are defiantly not considered ‘viral’ and these kinds of views are probably not going to make you an internet mega star. But in a sport that has such a niche market across the globe it is almost unheard of to have a Viral MX vid that spreads like wildfire across the World Wide Web. There are those few exceptions however, for example if you happen to catch video footage of a certain Aussie mad man hitting the eject button on the lip of a Millville table top! But unless you just happen to have the camera rolling to catch something extraordinary, something with a 1 in a million chance of happening on film it is very unlikely that you are going to get massive views. So this raises the question, how do you go about making a viral Motocross video? With an early film nudging 1 million views and their best effort so far this year already at 500,000 views Toofast Films are in the mood to try and find that magic recipe for online success… So what are their ingredients you ask ?
1 private track graded and watered on your demand. 2 High quality HD cameras, with experienced, imaginative and creative videographers behind the lens. 1mad man photographer that is not afraid to get up close and personal with any machine that stands before him. 5 on form riders that are up for anything. 4 Go Pro’s. 3 Contours. 5 sweet sounding 2 strokes. And a whole lot of organisation, stress and creativity…..oh yeah and 1 Teleporter with sketchy potato box attached. Oh and having the UK’s number one Motocross YouTube channel helps too! Add all of this together and you have the ingredients needed for the creation of an internet phenomenon. Well to be more precise these were the ingredients needed to create the latest online hit for Toofast Films… ‘2 Strokes Only.’
2 Strokes only. It started out as a simple idea. Over time this idea evolved and became bigger and better. From 1 rider on 1 bike on any old track. To 5 riders on 5 two strokes on a private Motocross facility. We knew that to pull this idea off it would take some organisation. We knew that getting all of the riders on our hit list at the same track at the same time with their busy schedules was not going to be easy. Let alone getting all the riders at the same track at the same time whilst hoping and praying that the cruel British summer was going to kind to us. I guess lady luck was on our side, the abnormal 30 degree heat made for perfect video shoot conditions. It must’ve been a sign from the Internet Gods that this vid is just supposed to be huge!
The day of the shoot had arrived after some careful planning and organising everything was set in place for the video shoot, the weather was perfect, (maybe even a little too perfect) the kind folks at Buttercup farm MX track had prepared the track exactly how we had asked, all that was left to do was to set up at the track and hope that everyone involved in the shoot turned up and were ready to go. We had worked with all of our riders for the day at least once throughout the season so I was fairly confident that they would all show up, despite this it was an agonizing hour’s wait for them to arrive. The first of our pilots to arrive was Matty White, armed with a KTM 125, a local hero who last year raced and defeated none other than former British champion Carl Nunn around the Buttercup farm circuit. One down 4 to go. Next up to arrive was Robbie Waller, 2012 Champion of 2 stroke open junior class at the Red Bull Pro nationals series, ready to rip with his 250 2 stroke RM. The 3rd rider to join us was our own Jordan Hind, winner of over 200 races on board a 2 stroke, with his 2005 Cr250 2 stroke. Our next rider, James Dunn winner of European 125 (EMX125) races and one of Britain’s bright hopes for the future arrived soon after ready to turn on the style with his KTM 125. Our final rider decided to keep us waiting just a little while longer before we could start the cameras rolling. But to be fair the Moff did have a long old drive from up north to the Buttercup Farm circuit nestled in the fields of Cambridgeshire. Matt Moffat, 2012 Champion of the 2 stroke open class at the Red Bull nationals and sitting just outside the top six in the Red Bull Pro nationals MX2 class on board his KTM 250 2 stroke, finally arrived and we were ready for action.
Five very fast riders that know how to put on a show on board their 2 stroke dirt scooters. That’s stage 1 one in the viral video pursuit complete. 2 strokes are known crowd pleasers online and a good rider making one scream never fails to turn over impressive views, let alone 5 on form riders making 5 scream simultaneously. The next stage in our pursuit for massive viewing numbers is to be as creative, imaginative and as different behind the camera as we possibly can whilst our 5 pilots do what they do best. In order to tick this box and complete this stage, we pulled some tricks out of our sleeves that we had been hiding for quite a while. Before the ‘2 Stroke Only’ shoot these ideas were never really feasible, the freedom we had gained by having the entire Buttercup Farm facility to ourselves for a day enabled us to be as creative as we possibly could.
The first of our ideas involved; borrowing a huge Teleporter from the farm, locating the best jump on the track for throwing some seriously dirty whips, and attaching seriously sketchy potato box to aforementioned Teleporter. Essentially all we wanted was to be as close as humanly possible with our cameras to the bikes whilst they were upside down in mid-air. We knew if we could do this we would be getting some seriously rad shots that most people would never dream of being able to get. We knew that if we wanted this vid to make it to the big leagues we needed some out of this world stuff. So we made it happen. This Led to some awesome shots from both videographer and photographer alike.
So we’ve got some unique, creative and imaginative shots. Stage 2 complete. The next stage in the search for internet mega stardom is to ensure that we create plenty of hype, excitement and anticipation around our video. Doing this can often be one of the most difficult areas of creating a viral vid. The easiest and simplest way to do this is to create Teaser/trailer videos. However we had to ensure that these videos entice people, excite people and do what they are supposed to do ‘tease’ people. The way in which we ensured that we had awesome stuff for a teaser vid was to set up some cool shots and scenes whilst on the ‘2 Strokes Only’ shoot. This is where our second creative idea came along. The idea in theory was simple, to get a 4×4 on the start straight of the Buttercup Farm circuit, have the camera’s rolling, drive up and down, whilst the five 2 strokes wheelie alongside and behind. The idea turned out not to be so simple. First of all, to ensure that our camera’s stayed steady and still I had to hop into the boot of the 4×4 and hold the camera as steady and still as possible. This wasn’t too much of a problem, to begin with. I could deal with the vast amounts of dust pouring into the boot of the car, it wasn’t perfect but I could deal with it. The next problem was slightly more dramatic. It turned out that in order to pull this scene off we would have to be accelerating a lot faster than expected to keep a safe distance away from the bikes. This sudden increase in acceleration caught me by complete surprise! Which lead to me literally hanging by a thread to stay in the boot of the car! Sketchy stuff, but sometimes it’s the price we have to pay for some cool footage. In the end everything turned out great and we had some awesome stuff for a teaser video! Stage 3 complete!
After all had been said and done, after we finally captured the last shots of the day, the ‘2 Strokes Only’ video shoot was over. But the hard work was just beginning. It was now time to go home and sit in front of a computer screen for days on end transforming the raw footage that we had captured on the day into hopefully one of the sickest two stroke films of all time (which in hand should mean a t’internet smash hit).
So that’s our formulae. That’s how you go about creating a pretty damn sweet Motocross video, but only the punters decide if its gunna go viral. So if you haven’t yet go check out ‘2 Strokes Only’ on YouTube now!
Photos courtesy of Michael Bennett
Videos courtesy of Toofast Films