Our Northwest project with Hannah Barnes was definitely the brainchild and a personal project of myself (Stu) and Hannah which turned into one of the most fun projects we’ve worked on in recent years.
Hannah is a Fort William based professional mountain bike rider who has previously been an athlete we at Cut Media have supported. She’s a great friend of ours and we’ve always been proud to work with Hannah and her brother Joe and see them grow into top international riders. The idea came about through a discussion about Hannah’s racing, she’d been travelling the World racing Enduro, a long way from some of the Endurance events she had participated in in the past. We decided to set her a challenge that would take her back to her roots of more endurance based riding in Scotland combined with mountain biking in the truest of form; exploration, amazing trails and being with friends.
Hannah by Lochcarron, one of our favourite stops and trails!
The plan was one week in a motorhome for the crew and for Hannah to ride as much as possible off-road roughly following the newly developing Cape Wrath Trail between Fort William and Cape Wrath. The crew consisted of Stu and Dave on camera, Lec on Heli pilot and Andy McCandlish along to shoot stills, so needless to say Hannah was in for a tough week of riding plus having the company of 4 smelly guys in a camper van!
Stu and Hannah out on the trail
Without a shadow of a doubt, this trip was one of the all-time best for everyone involved. After a couple of grey days at the start the Scottish weather graced us with beautiful sunny days which resulted in some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll find anywhere in the World. When this happens I just fall more in love with the highlands.
Filming wise my aim was to combine riding with Hannah (plus camera bag/kit), meeting her en-route occasionally but also importantly really maximise the use of GoPro cameras for Hannah to record updates and ‘video diary’ style interviews when out on the trail. From my perspective that is what really makes the film work, it’s a different feel and the viewer knows Hannah is out there herself, it set of the feeling of exposure and Hannah being alone in the wilderness.
Hannah and her friend Rachael at the north end of Loch Maree
Between myself and Andy Mac we had a knowledge of some of the trails but once we got north of (the amazing) Torridon trails it became a bit of an unknown. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t been any further north than that and on this trip it was a truly magical experience. The mountains, the people, the beaches, it all combines to make one of the best experiences you can have.
If you haven’t already then check out the film. Its a long one for a web film at 25 minutes but we genuinely couldn’t believe the way it was received and the reach it had. Its strange sometimes when films like this seem to have a greater effect than some we create with 100 x the viewing numbers. We had so many emails and posts about this it was a bit humbling so any of you out there who did so thank you!!
Also thanks to all the sponsors of the film, to Hannah, Andy Mac for the photos and a big thank you to Breabach for the amazing music!!
Check it out here:
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