Behind the Loops Part IV

Kamloops needs no introduction to mountain bikers. Often claimed as the
birth place of freeride mountain biking, Kamloops has always been a world
famous destination for mountain bikers of all styles. Most of what you see
from Kamloops consists of stunning Matt Hunter video segments,
mind-blowing images of Graham Agassiz or the old school styling of Brett
Tippie, Wade Simmons and Richie Schley. With almost every big name film
crew and photographer sinking their teeth into the Kamloops action it
appears as though there is little left untouched. Most people don’t
realize that hiding below the radar of the magazine covers and the
superstars there is a group of riders who often go unnoticed. A group of
riders who play important roles in keeping the Kamloops scene fresh and
exciting. This series of interviews will give you a quick look at each of
these riders, the key roles they play and what keeps them riding in The

Karl and his Camera
Words ~ Dylan Sherrard

Karl who? Unless you have had him blast past you on a trail, you probably
wouldn’t know the quiet Karl Heldt. In Kamloops we all know him as the up
and coming film maker to watch out for. What a lot of people don’t know is
that Karl is one of the gnarliest riders in town as well. Once he sets his
camera down, he often sessions the big airs you see in his videos.
At only 20, Karl has a pretty impressive list of clients and projects
under his belt already. Locally we’ve all been impressed with his Bicycle
Cafe Team projects and his work with Sun Peaks Resort. He has just
finished dialing in a full new shooting kit and thing are looking better
then ever as he grows as a videographer, rider and video editor. With all
the local talent on speed-dial things are set to blow up this year. Keep
your eyes peeled for his many film projects to be released in 2011.

1) Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Karl Heldt and I come from Pinantan Lake, just outside of Kamloops.

2) How long have you been into riding and filming for?
I picked up my first handy-cam from Future Shop three years ago and
I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve been riding for about five years.

karl heldt
Karl Heldt working the camera and getting the shot.

3) Do you consider yourself more of a cinematographer or more of a
mountain biker? Which do you take more seriously?

I take filming more seriously. When I’m biking I’m only out to have
fun, even in races. I guess it’s kind of whatever is working though. There
both expensive hobbies so if my camera’s broken down I’ll try to enter a
more races and if my bikes in the shop (which is every other weekend) I’ll
get a couple more edits out.

4) Who do you look up to as a mountain biker. Why?
Its always been Thomas Vanderham. Best style in my opinion. I’ve been
trying to whip like him ever since I first watched him in NWD 5.

5) Who do you look up to as a film maker? Why?
I look up to the Anthill crew. The films they put out always make me
want to get out and ride, or film. They have the perfect balance of
catching the intensity of the riding while still showing the beauty of the

When they were filming with Kurt Sorge in Kamloops I showed up randomly,
asked them a bunch of questions and played with there camera’s while they
were trying to get a good shot of Sorge flipping a step down. They put up
with me the whole time. Nice dudes for sure.

6) What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in film or
mountain biking to date?

My biggest accomplishment so far in filming has been working at Sun
Peaks Resort producing there summer mountain bike videos. In mountain
biking it was winning the Full Boar Challenge. It was good because
everyone saw me as only a film maker. It was my way of saying I could
still shred!

Karl is known to take a short “whip brake” in between camera shifts.

7) What are some of the challenges you run into with filming?
The challenge I have is having money for it. Everything is so
expensive. I thought last year was the year I was going to do really good
with it, spent $6000 on gear just to have it break down two months later.
Should have gotten warranty! I spent the year trying to get decent footage
on my handy-cam sitting on a block of wood looking threw the 35mm adapter
that I should have been using with my new Canon XH-A1.

8) What do you like to do when you aren’t making movies and shredding bikes?
I like to go camping and hiking. I’ve been getting into taking
photos to. Right now I snowboard once in a while and play a lot of Call Of
Duty Black Ops. Winter is killing me.

9) Have you got any big plans for 2011 and beyond?
Yes, I’ll be making a webisode series that’s going to be a secret
for now. Hopefully get a new bike and get to more races if I can afford

10) If you had to pick a song to be the soundtrack of your life, what
would it be and why?

Naked And Famous – Punching in a dream. I don’t have much of a
reason, it just reminds me of summer shredding at Sun Peaks.

11) Are there any other things you enjoy filming aside from mountain
biking? Have you ever thought about taking those other projects as

I film snowboarding and skateboarding sometimes and I enjoy it. I’ll
probably get more serious with filming skaters this year.

12) Where do you want to be as a film maker and as a mountain biker some day?
I want to have my own film company and have more clients hire me and
make a full length video. I’ve always wanted to do that.

Most people are surprised to see a camera guy charge this hard!

13) What is your greatest fear?
I hate spiders, they always bite my face when I’m sleeping.

14) Tell the readers something they don’t know about Karl Heldt.
I drive a purple truck. I don’t like onions. I don’t like my
girlfriend’s mom. My friends call me Jake Karl because one time Graham
Agassiz and I met this girl and well, I cant tell the rest of that one.

Thanks Karl, any last words?
Next year is going to be a good one for my projects. Make sure to
check it out!

Karls got big style behind the camera and on the bike. Are you a fan? Like what you see? Send Karl some priase over here…

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