BEHIND THE SCENES - DANNY MACASKILL: THE RIDGE
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.
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.
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).
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: (Update we shot this in 2014 so our kit has definitely upgraded since this!)
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.
The 'Bump Frontflip' on a barbed wire fence that Danny Macaskill used as the huge finale to The Ridge film was something never seen before. See behind the scenes with Danny and the Cut Media crew as this massive trick was filmed for the film.
Get behind the scenes of The Ridge with Danny Macaskill. Danny takes on the gap, one of the hardest lines in the film and one that put Danny and his body through some huge impacts!
Danny Macaskill talks through tackling 'Collies Ledge', one of the most treacherous locations in the film. See behind the scenes with Danny and the Cut Media crew as they capture all the footage for the film.
The most iconic shot of the film... See how Danny got up there and how we got that shot!!!