So here I am, sat on the sofa at home, precisely 6 hours since dropping our latest Danny Mac film on to YouTube.  Not only that but we have a new website up, with a blog and everything (state of the art eh!)….  So lets try and write something.

Putting together Danny Macaskill: The Ridge video project was a little different from the usual for us.  We didn’t have a mainstream media partner, it wasn’t about the ‘latest Danny edit’ as he’s recently dropped the amazing Epicuen with Red Bull.  Instead on this occasion, Five Ten had approached us about making another project with them and having been banding around the idea of The Ridge for a while we worked together with them along with ENVE and Santa Cruz Bicycles and pulled the whole project together.

Check it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_IQS3VKjA#t=421

RidgePromo-Shot

Danny and I had discussed the Cuillin Ridge on Skye a few times in the past and that maybe it could be ridden?  I always knew it could make an amazing film given the backdrop but the bottom line was despite being from Skye Danny had never actually been up there and neither had I……

The idea roled on for a few months until we found a free spot in our schedules and after initial conversations with Five Ten we brought on some none competing brands (ENVE Composites and Santa Cruz) to work together with us on a new film and supporting content…  So Danny and I headed up the the Ridge for a scout and it was, well lets just say an eye opener!! Think of the worst weather you’ve ever experienced up a hill and then make it worse, I’d say it was half scouting, half survival!!

We hooked up with Matt Barratt from Skye Adventure who showed us around what we could see with the mist (not a lot!!).  It was the most brutal day I’ve ever had on the hill and without Matt we almost certainly would’ve plummeted to our death at some point.

photoiPhone shot from the top of the ridge during our scouting mission

From that scouting trip 3 definite conclusions were drawn:

1  – Bits of it were ridable (for Danny) – Awesome!

2 – It was going to be physically the toughest film we’d ever made, locations were spread out, the only way to access was a 2-4 hour hike each time to get there, and then the same to get back out – Hmm getting more difficult!

3 – We would need plenty of time to ensure we got some clear weather – Ah as usual save the toughest ask until last!

We’re optimists at Cut Media so the dates were set….crew booked, survival kit ordered and off we went up to the Misty Isle.

Crew was fairly minimal, Scott and I were on cameras, Lec piloting the drone with myself or Scott on Gymbal.  Then we had Matt from Skye Adventure guiding and assisting with climbing/rope access when needed and our two mule’s Smail and Alan (Smail was also chef for the week…a vital role!!).  On top of that we had a 2 guys (Chris and Paul) following for our BBC Scotland Doc that we’ve directed and co-produced with IWC Media and their own guide (John).

danny-macaskill-ridge-2568
The dream team

There is plenty of ‘behind the scenes’ content to come so I won’t go into loads of details of each location, but in a nutshell  we had to hike a minimum of 900m most days to get up to the Ridge and generally 2-4 hours hiking (plus the same in return so 4-8hrs slogging each day – oh joy!).  This is where the team really pulled together helped by a portable boom box, various action movies quotes (Predator was the main theme) and a mix of some pretty dodgy songs #wreckingball

For the camera lovers amongst you we had a compromise of quality vs weight given the hiking, keep in mind that on top of kit we had to take all our food and water etc for the day as there’s nae water on the Ridge!!

Our kit list consisted of:

1 x C300 Camera
2 x Panasonic GH4 (One for the Movi, one for the drone)
1 x Movi M5
1 x Manfrotto Tripod
1 x Hague Mini jib (we didn’t take this every day!)
1 x Canon Prime lens selection
1 x DJI S1000 Drone plus controllers/monitors
8 x spare batteries for the drone (heavy!)
1 x GoPro kit
Plus all the usual spare batteries, mic kit etc for the camera.

IWC_TheRidge_Photo-ChrisPrescott-28
Drone on a boat for the opening scene

Danny would just laugh at this, but these days making a film with him does come with a certain pressure.  I guess there is a lot to live up to given our previous films together and also his amazing work with Dave Sowerby.  That said Danny is awesome to work with, without exception I have never worked with a rider who cares so much about his films, he will literally not stop until we are happy with the shot and he has produced riding he is happy with.

Any kids out there wanting a pro career keep that in mind…. to many of you start to moan on the 3rd take of the same line/shot/trick!!

Skye really delivered with the weather, I’m not sure exactly what we did to deserve it but the first week of the shoot was clear and mostly sunny, which is pretty rare for Skye…..We maximised it on some days to get the best weather by heading up super early, it was also worthwhile as the Ridge can actually be pretty busy with climbers in June (when we were shooting it).  The day on the Inaccessible Pinnacle (THAT shot in the middle of the film) we left at 4am to be there for 7am.  That scene of Danny is about 7.30am.  Never in my life have I seen a crew of blokes so ecstatic to be awake at 7.30am…….that day was super special.

Each and every one of the crew put in a huge effort to deliver this film and I can’t thank them enough, it was waaay over and above.  Just to give you an idea, the first day of filming we left the vans to hike at 7am and got back at 1am……long Scottish summer days are a blessing and a curse for filming :-).  Danny of course went full on at it as always, hiking that bike up to the ridge relentlessly every day was no-mean feat, and then to deliver his usual riding was something else.

danny-macaskill-ridge-2479
It doesn’t always go right for Danny…  Take one on the fence.

I am definitely proud of films I’ve worked on in the past, and there are definitely a lot of youtube views between Danny, Dougie Lampkin and the Rudimental vid last year, but it all adds to how much I was sh**ting myself this morning.  This film is different, its a mountain bike, there’s less tricks, and without a Channel 4/RedBull/whoever behind the production we certainly had less PR investment to drive the film launch…  That said, by creating the right supporting content with ‘making of’ films, TV Doc (next week!) and instagram images/video etc it can still reach all the right people who will get to see Skye and Danny in all their glory!  It’s been quite a personal project to us the whole way through and our aim was to show off Scotland how we see it, combined with once again showing Danny’s mad skills on a bike.  I hope we did it, but either way there was an amazing crew of people behind it and we’re definitely proud of what we achieved.

Stay tuned for more BTS content coming soon online and if you’re lucky enough to live in Scotland then next Fri night on BBC 1 you’re in for a treat!  Massive thank you to Five Ten, ENVE, Santa Cruz, Visit Scotland and all the others who have helped make this happen!

Cheers

Stu

 

 

 

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87 Comments

  1. Anne MacAskill
    October 2, 2014

    A great start to the blog and wishing you continued success with the company.

    Reply
    • Bill
      August 20, 2015

      Excellent! Great photography and effort by all the crew from someone who has lugged photo gear into caves and canyons and up hills.

      Much admired!

      Bill

      Reply
  2. Rupert
    October 2, 2014

    So inspiring! Great work Stu and everybody. Sends shivers down the spine and makes you so proud of our wee country.

    Reply
  3. mark drummond
    October 2, 2014

    Well done stu, Danny and the team, an amazing effort and outcome! What the hell is next??????

    Reply
  4. Alex Savage
    October 2, 2014

    I’d say you nailed it! Very impressive from the scenery, to the incredible shots, to Danny’s riding, to the editing and storytelling! I want to see Danny on a mountain bike more often! That’s for working so hard to share this with us.

    Reply
  5. steve
    October 2, 2014

    Stunning, stunning, stunning

    Reply
  6. Stu
    October 2, 2014

    Brilliant work. Simply stunning. You guys nailed it.
    I reckon a big shout for the genius of Martyn Bennett’s ‘Blackbird’, too.
    It is a brilliant choice of music for this epic adventure.

    Reply
  7. Ronnie McCaskill
    October 3, 2014

    Wow! Incredible film. Found this as I anticipate my first trip across the pond in just 9 days. I hope to have time top visit Skye. Or looks like a beautiful place.

    Reply
  8. jim
    October 3, 2014

    Amazing video! Really, really appreciated the blog with the gear info. That drone footage is outstanding.

    Reply
  9. Ferdinand
    October 3, 2014

    I hope the BTS content is in Youtube too. Great Team, Great Danny!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Angus
    October 3, 2014

    Amazing piece of work guys. His, yours and perhaps one of the worlds best sports edits.

    Reply
  11. Barry Herschy
    October 3, 2014

    some beautiful scenery and cinematography guys, made me very homesick. You should be very proud. I look forward to the next installment :)

    Reply
  12. Duncan MacCallum
    October 3, 2014

    Simply awesome guys. Remember you don’t have to be in Scotland to watch as most providers carry BBC scot on digital channels. So search. 862 on virgin.

    Reply
  13. Sylvain
    October 3, 2014

    This movie set the bar no another level. It’s more than just a MTB movie. Congrats guys. Bravo.

    Reply
  14. Singletrack Magazine | DAnny MacAskill's The Ridge: Behind the scenes
    October 3, 2014

    […] just found this fascinating blog by Stu Thomson from Cut Media about the making of the latest Danny MacAskill film. If you want an […]

    Reply
  15. Andy
    October 3, 2014

    Truly stunning film. Congratulations to everyone involved.
    A wonderful advert for Scotland.

    Reply
  16. Phil Peel
    October 3, 2014

    Well done team. Technically and artistically a triumph. So lucky with the weather, but fortune favours the bold.

    Reply
  17. Eric Pucek
    October 3, 2014

    That was the most entertaining Danny edit to date. Congratulations on a splendid job by all! Massively entertaining!

    Reply
  18. Phil Hemsley
    October 3, 2014

    Danny Macaskill once more defining on his his bike, the oft overused word ‘AWESOME’… beautifully filmed and full of gusto :) An absolutely mezemerising film, wishing you all success with future projects. Bravo!

    Reply
  19. andy lainchbury
    October 3, 2014

    A stunning film and thoroughly enjoyable riding.

    Would really love the lowdown on Danny’s bike and kit too.

    Reply
  20. hostgator coupon codes
    October 3, 2014

    First class thoughts and also wirte with very clear and distinct writing style. I am very happy to visit your sites.

    Reply
  21. Niki
    October 3, 2014

    Very interesting and inspiring production process. The end product is fantastic. Thanks very much for your generousity sharing how you made the film.

    Reply
  22. Fergal MacErlean
    October 3, 2014

    As said above … fortune favours the bold. The Ridge is sure to become a classic – not only is the mtb riding fearless and sublime but the cinematography is a delight to watch.
    Good luck with all the future projects!

    Reply
  23. Craig
    October 3, 2014

    Awesome work guys! This is the best video edit I have seen all year. The video shows that on a sunny day there is no place more beautiful than Scotland.

    Reply
  24. tf
    October 3, 2014

    Great video, as usual from Cut Media, truly amazing piece of work. But I also much appreicate the honest reality check that his blog post adds to it — while the video conveys the dramatic beauty of the place and Danny’s exceptional skill, for anyone not familiar with the ridge itself, it does not really give any idea of the true scale of the underdaking required to get the bike and kit up there, or that the Collie’s ledge featured is just about the only ‘track’ along the whole length of it!

    Reply
  25. George Whyte
    October 3, 2014

    You guys all knocked it out the park… this is the most jaw dropping film of this type I have ever seen! Nice one and if you have anything behind it to come out, cannot wait. We have watched it 6 times already since Danny posted in on FB!

    Reply
  26. Paul
    October 3, 2014

    Totally amazing film. Well done guys, all your hard work and creative skills have produced a stunning piece of work.

    P.

    Reply
  27. Andrew p
    October 3, 2014

    stunning piece of filmmaking. Best 8 minutes I’ve seen all year….!!

    Reply
  28. Charlie C
    October 3, 2014

    Thanks for doing his. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  29. Steve | FreeWave
    October 3, 2014

    This is an outstanding feature. I was blown away when I watched it this morning and have watched it plenty more times throughout the day. As a amateur but budding ‘videographer’ this feature is hugely inspiring! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more!

    Reply
  30. Terry Wilding
    October 4, 2014

    Driving to a meeting in Dunvegan, a good few years ago , my passenger said Danny MacAskill (still at school) had been banned by the police from riding his bike down the middle of the road ; at night ; with no lights. Just as we were arriving at the hall , there is Danny coming towards us – on his bike – middle of the road – in the dark – no lights.
    Didn’t he do well.

    Reply
  31. rud
    October 4, 2014

    perfect

    Reply
  32. Emma
    October 4, 2014

    Just wow! There are no words!

    Reply
  33. Mary M. Strachan
    October 4, 2014

    Breathtaking, courageous, inspiring! Well done, Daniel and the crew!

    Reply
  34. muz
    October 4, 2014

    Great work as always stu. I think your next project could be a docu on the grass roots riding scene in scotland
    Sure the yat would look great in hd.

    Reply
  35. Alan Welsh
    October 4, 2014

    An outstanding piece of film making. I dunno if there’s an Oscar for short films like this but you guys deserve one. Keep watching it over and over, mesmerising stuff. I will also be watching on the bbc tonight. Inspirational riding from danny as always. Just the idea of taking a bike up the inn pinn, mental. Reminds me of a quote, “Everybody dies but few have really lived”.

    Reply
  36. Fernando
    October 4, 2014

    REALMENTE INCREÍBLE (DANNY ES DE OTRO PLANETA), AMO ESTAS PRODUCCIONES!! LOS FELICITO… ME GUSTARÍA SEGUIR VIENDO PELÍCULAS ASÍ POR MUCHO MAS TIEMPO!! NUEVAMENTE FELICITACIONES!!

    Reply
  37. James B
    October 4, 2014

    Watching from Silicon Valley California. Truly awesome cinematography, Scotland is a stunning environment, Danny rides great and our local bike looks fantastic :D

    Great job by all.

    Reply
  38. Danny Macaskill: The Ridge | Marc L's Ride on Time
    October 4, 2014

    […] Interview with the film maker (Cut Media) […]

    Reply
  39. Gerry Jackson
    October 4, 2014

    I hope you guys have cracked a bottle of champagne or three to celebrate the phenomenal success you’ve achieved with your inspirational movie. The world and his dug are now watching this…and they are gobsmacked.

    Thanks for sharing what is for me, the best seven and a half minutes ever to appear on YouTube

    Reply
  40. MJ Macleod
    October 5, 2014

    Thank you so much ! Can we handle ‘ hubris ‘ ?

    Reply
  41. Tom
    October 5, 2014

    Great film! Just wondering what lenses were used on the GH4?

    Reply
  42. Tom
    October 5, 2014

    Great film, fantastic work! Just wondering, what lenses were used on the GH4?

    Reply
  43. Simon
    October 6, 2014

    best of Danny’s films yet, love the raw exposure of the landscape -great work guys!… Crib Goch next?

    Reply
  44. Ben Hume-Paton
    October 6, 2014

    Well lads what a great film, as a fellow director I was very jealous but credit is due to a beautiful looking piece plus great ariel photography, well done all.

    Ben

    Reply
  45. Rudi Vanlaer
    October 6, 2014

    Stunning work, awesome biking and gorgeous drone footage! I love it!

    Reply
  46. Air Max 2013 la vente
    October 6, 2014

    glad

    Reply
  47. Smithd879
    October 6, 2014

    You could certainly see your skills within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who arent afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart. eaeacdceccegedfb

    Reply
  48. Phil Kerr
    October 7, 2014

    Guys,
    Just wanted to say what a great piece of film-making that is. Great photography, great edit, music, the whole lot. Beautiful. Totally gave me butterflies with the footage of Danny on the ridge and up at the top. Great effort, really impressive.
    Phil

    Reply
  49. Owen Corso
    October 7, 2014

    This film is so inspirational in many different ways; from the gear, to the beautiful landscape shots, to the mountain biking, ah man. it is just amazing, truly a work of art all the way around. Congrats to the whole team!

    Reply
  50. Pete in Leith
    October 9, 2014

    Emotional – I so wish that Martyn Bennett was around to see this. Fan og gu brath Danny and team!

    Reply
  51. Danny Macaskill on The Ridge - The Inspiration Room
    October 9, 2014

    […] See Stu Thomson’s blog post on the production at Cut Media. […]

    Reply
  52. ADnjus | Danny Macaskill on The Ridge
    October 9, 2014

    […] See Stu Thomson’s blog post on the production at Cut Media. […]

    Reply
  53. jim mc cormack
    October 10, 2014

    only one word required ” AWESOME”

    Reply
  54. David
    October 13, 2014

    OK, what you think will be next ?

    Reply
  55. Ross Nyberg
    October 14, 2014

    Great work guys! The response that the movie has gotten online definitely shows the quality of the work. It must’ve been a mission hiking that S1000 up there everyday?

    Brilliant effort guys. Best movie i’ve seen so far. I suppose it helps that i do AP and love mountain bikes as well.

    Love the new blog by the way,

    Ross

    Reply
  56. Roberto Luiz Warken
    October 14, 2014

    Dear Stu Thomson,

    I was finished watch “The Ridge”. I would like to thanks for share the beautiful work with us. Thanks for the show for Danny MacAskill and all the team/Cut Media. From Santa Catarina Island, Florianópolis City, south Brazil!

    Reply
  57. Roberto Luiz Warken
    October 14, 2014

    Oh my…….forgot Martyn Bennett’s ‘Blackbird’

    Reply
  58. Angel
    November 9, 2014

    I’d say that you hit the mark! I can’t stop watching! Amazing, beautiful and Danny’s riding is outta this world! I love the music choice too! In my humble opinion, this filmed was pieced together perfectly. Thanks for bringing such amazing talent and beauty to the screen!

    Reply
  59. Ashutosh
    December 20, 2014

    Video is good but i doubt the genuinity of all the scenes.

    Reply
  60. Doug4500
    January 22, 2015

    Danny, you are amazing!
    Over the years I’ve watched as many of your videos as I have been able to find. I ride a mountain bike and have spent a lot of time walking and climbing in real mountains, including NZ, the Tien Shan and the Andes, but you seem to have absolutely no fear and put me to shame. This production is exceptional and my knees go weak just watching it, with wonderful music that makes me want to go back to Scotland, and amazing scenery.
    Good on you!! Keep it up, but please stay safe too.
    All the best,
    Doug :-)

    Reply
  61. Peter
    January 26, 2015

    most nail-biting video ever…..

    Reply
  62. Guillermoas
    January 31, 2015

    Simply amazing! great work..keep it up!

    Reply
  63. MarlonOliverL.Dacara
    February 19, 2015

    Amazingly breath-taking… I was standing at the back of my mom while watching but it felt like I’m the one who’s about to fall… Amazing!!! 4 thumbs up!!! Btw, can i ask what are the parts of danny’s bike? Hehehehe

    Reply
  64. татьяна
    February 21, 2015

    Потрясающе!!!!!!!!респект всем кто создал этот ролик!!!!

    Reply
  65. Hajes
    February 24, 2015

    That’s the one the few things I didn’t finish in Scotland.

    I wanted to “climb” it but the Mother Nature has got different plans as usually. One day rain, an other one mist.

    I will return again!

    Reply
  66. miguel
    February 27, 2015

    The Best !!!!!! Inmaculate scenes !!! wish you the best to all !!!!!

    Reply
  67. David Lincoln Ross
    March 14, 2015

    Holy cow, great story, unforgettable visuals

    Reply
  68. Baba Prasad
    March 16, 2015

    Wow! Amazing video and world class production to the whole team including the Rider! If I were Oscar Award judge, I will give 20 Oscar’s for this amazing Film Best Cinematography, Foto, Video Editing, Sound to Every other Crew.

    CONGRATS! Waiting to see the Next production!

    Reply
  69. Aaron
    March 22, 2015

    how did you guys keep the drone batteries charged? did you pack in and out each day or camp there?

    i checked the map, it looks like theres some roads close to that spot. the way you guys cut the footage together makes it appear as though its a completely secluded and desolate spot. epic video. love it, and the making of stuff. it has genuinely enriched my life, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Stu Thomson
      March 30, 2015

      Hi Aaron,

      We moved around the Ridge line a lot which meant hiking in and out each day. This allowed us to charge the drone batteries back at our accommodation.

      Cheers
      Scott

      Reply
  70. Avine Doyle
    March 24, 2015

    There aren’t words to describe how magical this is – and thoughts it provokes.

    If it happens to be the case Danny or Cut Media have time to spare to go through the website markpollock.com, I’d be grateful.

    The web content and video speaks for itself.

    If Danny could spare time for a fellow ‘no frontiers’ peer, we’d be delighted to have him come to Ireland for a fund raising event.

    Deepest congratulations in any event.

    It was my 1st cousin Denis Courtney based in Sydney that passed your video on to me, based in Dublin Ireland, so its doing the rounds worldwide for sure!

    Regards,

    Avine

    Reply
  71. Pawan
    March 25, 2015

    This creation is just amazing to look at. The courage Danny possesses inspires all of us to live on the edge. Thank you for all the efforts you have put in creating such a wonderful movie !

    Reply
  72. Nicole
    March 31, 2015

    truly amazing video, and astonishing biking prowess, great work!

    Reply
  73. sandra angus
    April 2, 2015

    PLEASE can anyone tell me the music name and author played in this inspirational film clip? Thanks, Sandy.

    Reply
  74. Jonathan Clark
    April 6, 2015

    brilliant brilliant and inspirational. did you give the singer and the music the credit it deserves for setting the tone? Well done

    Reply
  75. sylvia
    April 22, 2015

    INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE. What skill involved in all aspects. HATED the music, totally distracting, had to turn it off while watching video.

    Reply
    • DRVRao
      June 1, 2015

      What an amazing acrobat cut media video!

      Reply
  76. ankur patel
    July 18, 2015

    incredible and inspiring work! how many days did the whole shoot take?

    Reply
  77. Joel
    August 17, 2015

    Yo quiero ser como tu veo esos vídeos y se me eriza la piel eres grande sólo que nose como es tu bicicleta… Eres Grande ….. Yo sueño en ser como tu

    Reply
  78. On The Edge Film Festival
    August 28, 2015

    We’d love to show this film at our annual Cleveland Film Festival in October 2015. Who can we contact?

    christine russell, director
    info@ontheedgefilms.com

    Reply
  79. Peteu Mariana
    September 28, 2015

    Stunning ! Fantastic !

    Reply
  80. Danny MacAskill en la isla de Skye (Escocia) - Senderos y Pedaleo
    November 28, 2015

    […] os dejo el Make Off de este impresionante […]

    Reply
  81. JAY
    November 29, 2015

    Awesome!

    Reply
  82. mark walsh
    December 5, 2015

    Incredible in so many ways. But the fence jump was my favourite! all it was missing was a phonebox on top of mountain to bounce on. Courageous.

    Reply
  83. chris
    December 15, 2015

    For one hour I disapeered from the world and watched this video multiple times!thanks guys great job!

    Reply

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