New filmed perspective of Bike Park

Lone Wolf Productions releases ‘Dark & Dirt’

Photo by Riff Stills /Lone Wolf Productions

There’s no “action” call. There are no runners fetching coffee. There’s certainly no glamour. But there’s a raw energy and some serious creative talent present when a mountain biking video is produced.

Add to this, a large amount of planning and organization, and then, take away all natural lighting and shut down mountain operations. This was the added challenge taken on by a local film crew after-hours in the Bike Park last month.

With the aid of high powered lighting, a smoke machine and plenty of caffeine, the crew shot pro-rider, Brendan Howey, biking down berms, jump lines, steep descents and the road gap across 5 Mile over four nights. The finished product is titled, ‘Dark & Dirt’, and was produced by Lone Wolf Productions, the brainchild of local filmmaker, Matt Brooks.

The goal of the film, Brooks said, was “to create a new perspective on Sun Peaks Resort.”

Photo by Riff Stills /Lone Wolf Productions

He acknowledged that creating something unique at Sun Peaks can be a challenge with it having been so heavily photographed and filmed for years.

“By shooting at night and trying to create stunning imagery we, in a way, created a whole new world to work with. A kind of alternate existence.”

Certainly, the three-and-a-half-minute film breaks away from traditional Sun Peaks downhill biking videos. The night time fog adds an ethereal element, while the elaborate lighting set up amidst an otherwise enveloping darkness helps centre the viewer’s attention to Howey’s smooth riding.

Photo by Riff Stills /Lone Wolf Productions

Aided by great editing and a killer backing track by DLZ, the footage helps showcase the flowy and more newly-worked sections of trail in the Bike Park. The light and dark contrast creates silhouettes and mysterious shadows and makes the nighttime a scenery of its own, which is not only visually stunning but also unique to see in a mountain biking video.

It was a unique experience for Howey, too, a Commencal-sponsored rider from Sechelt, who was introduced to the project after working with Brooks on another film last year.

“I’ve only ridden at night maybe once or twice, and never filmed at night, so it was definitely different for me,” he said.

With this different creative approach, came different challenges in production.

“We had to take into account how to positively portray the resort even though many landmarks would no longer be visible, consider first aid emergencies, assess our fire risks, organize lighting, which all required battery power, and have a constant source of power for our fog machine and other equipment,” said Brook. “There were a lot of pieces to the puzzle.”

Photo by Riff Stills /Lone Wolf Productions

Ultimately though, the drawn-out pre-production period, each painstakingly executed shot and the 4 a.m. finishes all paid off in this “labour of love.”

It all came down to the crew.

“Working with Howey was a dream. He’s a really hard worker,” Brooks said.

Howey expressed his own enthusiasm for the project.

Photo by Riff Stills /Lone Wolf Productions

“I found the shoot was probably more work than I imagined, but the whole crew being motivated made it really enjoyable.”

The stunning footage and refreshing approach of ‘Dark & Dirt’ certainly achieves its goal of portraying mountain biking at Sun Peaks in a new and creative way and is an inspiring watch.

The film was released earlier this month and is available to view at: