Sam Hill, World Champion; Steve Peat dislocating and relocating his finger; Peat, World Cup overall ; Minaar’s first off during a race run in what 4 yrs; Hannah wins a round; Brazil hosts a round with “SuperFans”; Powerful Trials of Chris Akrigg; Dirt Jumping; Isle of Sky; Sun; Mud, lots of Mud; Big fast Bails; Fast Girls; even Moto with Bubbha.
Its all found in Alex Rankin’s 4th installment in the Earthed Series, “Death or Glory”. More than anything else this Vid capture’s the Passion, Dedication and Commitment that the Worlds best riders must possess to compete at the World Cup level. The title fits!
Regular run of 108 mins along with 30 of Xtra’s ensures you can keep replaying this disc and still catch things you didn’t on the first 5 times through. Alex has definitely improved with both his camera skills and production. Hell, he has been busy making a movie each year for the past nine, starting back with Sprung. The angles he chooses in DoG offer a good sense of what the riders are doing on their bikes and captures some fairly long action. Considering Alex shot pretty much solo for each event he must have been super busy chasing around the riders and even busier editing to bring this coverage of the 2006 season to market so fast. Imagine what a bigger budget would enable. Maybe a cable cam down the Willingen course in Germany? When asked what keeps him driven to keep shooting the 30 yr old Alex replies, “Traveling, and filming in new places with riders pushing the limits. Its better than working in an office or factory.”
Interspersed with race footage from all 6 World Cup rounds and the New Zealand World Championships are lots of audio snipets providing insight into the racers thoughts with regards to their prep and outcomes. These help provide some added depth to the production with the acceptance of Alex into the ranks obvious. The 4x coverage is smartly mixed in giving the vid better flow than previous versions. As Alex is a professed DJ junky there is a short segment of 20″ action that along with one or two other bits I could have lived without but maybe it is all about providing some exposure to the up and coming future stars, so hell, let em have it.
The music seems to fit well with each segment with songs from various genres and more than a few worth the search on iTunes.
The dedicated full segment on the girls is great to see. With more and more really solid female riders out on the trails its a shame they can not get the exposure that testosterone commands. Yeah only a handfull are pulling slopestyle tricks but some of these woman just pin it on the race course.
I asked Alex why the focus on mainly racing and not some coverage of the Euro Slopestyle comps? His reply, “SlopeStyle comps are generally media events and have enough coverage without me being along, plus Freestyle MTB or SlopeStyle is not what Earthed has been about. Big sponsors will support the media events but once the fad die’s out what are you left with? A sport that has been raped by a load of BMX’ers that want some cash so they ride MTB. Earthed is for riders that know what real riding is, its not Hollywood, its just a document of here and now in MTB from my point of view.” That should provoke some discussion!
With the snow and downed trees here in Squamish making finding dirt a little tough I have been super grumpy. After adding a 32″ TV and DVD to the renovated Man Room I went as far as setting up some spinners just to get some revolutions in. I found myself trying to pump and unweight the bike as I work through the Vid getting my biking fix. Earthed 4 has been my favorite in the series and is currently my favorite vid in my vast collection. Witnessing, in my opinion, the world best riders shred the trails certainly gets me stoked for getting out and going fast on the dh bike.
If you did not pic up a copy at the NSMB booth after watching it on the Big Screen at the Outdoor Show, you can get one here.