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Matt Macduff Interview - Reverence Movie

Words Cam McRae
Photos Baxter Redfern
Date Nov 23, 2018

If you know who Matt Macduff it may be because of his ill-fated Loop of Doom project that landed him in hospital on the other side of the world. Before looking into his background I didn't know much but he turned out to be more introspective and thoughtful than expected, and I came away impressed by his resolve and his drive to become better in every way. 

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We spoke about many elements of Matt's life, including his recovery from his nasty crash in South Africa, but for now here's what he had to say about his role in Reverence. The new film, produced by Ambrose Weingart and Darren and Ryan Berrecloth, perfectly straddles the divide between action sports flick and documentary; the action is so good you'll want to watch it again and the story telling is so solid and insightful you'll be drawn right back in. 

Later on I'll share the rest of our interview, but there is lots of juice here as well. 

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One of the draws of working on Reverence for Matt was a chance to work with the Claw, seen here in his Red Bull hard hat. 

Cam McRae - From the stuff I've read and seen about you seem more philosophical and introspective than most mountain bikers. Would you say that's accurate or do you just express it more or something?

Matt Macduff - You know - that I don't really know, but I guess it's hard for me to say that because I'm in it, you know?

Cam McRae - You are what you are.

Matt Macduff - I am what I am. But I definitely watch films and I hang out with some mountain bikers and a lot of the times I feel like I'm in the wrong industry. And you know what? Like for me, mountain biking it's just something I love and I always saw that as a stepping stone to whatever it is that I'm supposed to do next, you know? And I think that a lot of mountain bikers view professional mountain biking as the end, you know, like the one, the only, the end goal, and for me a mountain biking professional, mountain biking, it's just this barracks, if that makes sense.

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What do you film for your first movie role after a catastrophic injury? You try to land a world's first. 

Cam McRae - Indeed. Reverence is a bit of a departure in that it delves into fear and motivation. And I'm wondering if those elements are part of what attracted you to the project.

Matt Macduff - The biggest thing that attracted me to the project was that one, I was finally healthy again and two. Darren (Berrecloth) you know, is one of my childhood heroes. And I always dreamed of being in a movie with him and I did that in builder but this is a little different. He produced it and stuff and it was just a really big deal for me to be part of something with him and also the opportunity that they were giving me to land this trick safely as possible with the airbag and building my own setup in my old lip and you know, letting me have my own carpenter come and all that stuff. That that was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, finally I'd have the proper resources to, do what I dreamed of years ago. And especially after being hurt so bad, being able to come back from an injury like that and then be right there on the forefront of innovation again. Like that is incredibly powerful and I knew I could do this. I can really prove to myself that I could do anything and that would just bleed over into whatever it is I'm going to do or want to do. There'll be an unfound confidence in me that would help me go through the rest of my life as champion. 


This was not a one and done sort of move. 


Spoiler alert. 

I'm wondering what your attraction is to loops. You've got open loops and closed loops and a double out of a loop. Is that what you'd call what you did in Reverence?

Yeah, I would say like double flip open loop.

I'm attracted to progressive cutting edge stuff. Stuff that is on the forefront of innovation. Stuff that no one's really done before. I first saw this picture of this guy on the Internet from the early 1900s and he's in a suit and he's got a top hat and he's flying upside down off this over curved ramp and as soon as I saw that photo, it just blew up my imagination. I thought to myself like, how could this be possible? You know, like this is photoshop for sure. This is Impossible because the only loop we ever saw at this point. was Bob Burnquist when he removed the top his loop and I was big into skateboarding too.

Barnum and Bailey

Barnum and Bailey may have been overselling the set up...


But these photos are likely legit. Looks easy enough on 1905 tech. 

And I saw that there were no open loops in mountain biking, you know, I did more research into that at crazy guy I found on the internet and it just unraveled this massive, massive story about these guys called Loopers in the early 1900s - it was like 1902 to 1915. And these guys were just working for the circus doing bicycle stunts and it was like the biggest thing ever. And I just get, like captured by the imagination of this story and human civilization and this forgotten history man. And it just like caught me right up and I wanted to pay tribute to the first action sport athletes because really they were the first guys getting paid to do tricks on bicycles. (To be continued)

The caption says "Full Part feat. Matt Macduff" but this is not in fact his full part.

How do you feel about the way it worked out in the film for people who haven't seen it?

I feel good. It's the truth. Ambrose is a great storyteller. And he told my story perfectly. That's the truth. You know he just filmed the truth. I'm glad that he didn't skew it in any way and he just portrayed me at least extremely truthfully. And I'm just so, so happy to work with a guy like that because I think the truth is super powerful. And today can call bullshit better than any time before and the truth is what resonates and I'm happy he was able to tell it that way.

For more on the film, more teasers and a link to download from iTunes, click here...

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Nouseforaname  - Nov. 24, 2018, 8:08 p.m.

I wonder if the flying Ancilottis are related to the bike makers of the same name?

Cam McRae  - Nov. 26, 2018, 10:48 p.m.

That would be pretty crazy.


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