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Why Do Mountain Bike Films Do So Bad?

Aug. 14, 2007, 11:02 a.m.
Posts: 682
Joined: Oct. 4, 2003

and if you think you can sell more than 30,000 copies of an MTB dvd you are sorely mistaken.


CHECK OUT MY BLOG.
Eastern Front

Aug. 14, 2007, 1:05 p.m.
Posts: 3840
Joined: March 10, 2006

Sure two million people might have freeride bikes, but there is no way two million people are serious enough about biking to by a movie about it. Furthermore, making movies that specialize on only one aspect of biking continues to minimize your audience.

If you want to make money on MTB movies, your only hope is to whore your film out like Warren Miller. Make the movie that is full of cheeseball narration and crummy stories broken up by driving shots of a Nissan pathfinder. In simplistic terms you have to appeal to the widest biking audience possible. These aren't the people at Whistler, and this definitely not racers. They are the people with an old bike in their garage (next to their old skis) that they ride once a year. They are the people that spend more time writing "Mountain Biking" under hobbies on facebook than they actually spend riding.

A movie like this, the Warren Miller of bikes, could make money. Just don't expect me to come see it.

Aug. 14, 2007, 2:17 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Sept. 20, 2006

I think there are several reasons why mtb films are not as successful as film from other industries. Looking at surfing and skateboarding as 2 examples, they are sports that have been established much longer than what mtbing is today. Thus they have built up a huge following over several generations. THis following is what generates the $$$ that makes it possible to make movies that appeal to a wider audience. Investors feel that the sport is mainstream enough to generate not only successful product showcasing in their movies, but also generate profits, a tangible benefit.

There's so many more reasons as well as to why mtb just isn't there yet. Skin factor: where are the chicks (or dudes for the laydies) in bikinis? I don't even have to care about surfing to check some boobs out. Fashion plays a part here too. Only very lately has fashion checked in for the mtb community: Nike6.0 for instance, or the borrowing of trends from other industries re: bmx.
Additionly, where do you buy your trendy clothes? The skate surf shop for alot of people. Mtb has a more technical apparel trend that doesn't apply to your average consumer. Getting people in the stores through fashion gets them in the sport, thus gettting to buy the damn videos.

Wow factor? Any idiot(myself included) can enjoy crusty demons 1billion. It's just that gnarly. 100 plus foot gaps, huge crahes and all around gnar. It's harder to grasp what mtb requires from a skills and fitness perspective. Doing a 20ft drop looks small on camera but we all know how huge it is in person. Riding at 50 km/h is gnarly but doesn't compare to 200.

Films like the collective and Roam have definitely broke the traditional mould: they have enjoyed success outside of the mtb industry. The inlcusion of a story, some narrating have given the sport a new aspect, one that can appeal to more people. We have a ways to go but I believe we're headed in the right direction.

NWD will always be around as an idustry staple. It's big budget/big action has proven that. While I personally dislike the later movies, I cannot argue that they play an important role in mtb success through huge advertising campaigns and that crusty demons factor that non-mtbers may like.

For whoever said repetitiveness is mtb's downfall, just watch any other sport movie. Campaign for example. Just surfing, surfing, and more surfing. As more films get made, it also becomes harder to showcase new styles or tricks, along with new terrain. BMX has done a good job of avoiding this and we can definitely learn from this. Sometimes, it seems like the urban landscape is infinite.

THere's more and i'm sure other will cover it.

Aug. 14, 2007, 2:25 p.m.
Posts: 561
Joined: June 20, 2006

The only bike movie I have ever bought was Unscene from the Uk. This movie should be a template, it is so rad.

Aug. 14, 2007, 2:49 p.m.
Posts: 281
Joined: April 2, 2003

The only bike movie I have ever bought was Unscene from the Uk. This movie should be a template, it is so rad.

Unscene is a pretty good flick. It is not a template for everything though.

I think that Stripped is an inspiration for bike filmmakers. Not a template, but an inspiration. It is not a perfect film, but it sure shows what could be done with a lot more bike films out there. You can read about my view here.

Personally, I am finding (at least) two problems in bike films, some of which has been touched on here:

1. Too much repetition/overlap of locations/events/riders in different films. I hate this. This can be more prevalent in DH race films than in the freeride genre, but it is an increasing problem it seems.

2. Not enough of a personal connection with the riders in the films. These disposable heros are objectified to such a point that we just don't give a crap about them as people. They are only as good as their best stunt. This is lame. I'm not saying that films need to go on and on interviewing people, but I want to know who these people are, where they come from, what Darren Berrecloth is thinking at the top of his run, as he is about to send it off a drop, what he thinks about the industry, etc. Lots of it is political maybe so people don't want to stir the shit (except in forums). However, there seems to be room for more than just a glossy, packaged product of big airs and crazy tricks. A little talking never hurt.

That said, I really respect bike filmmakers. They are not doing this for the money. They work extremely hard and deserve big props for bringing us all that we see. Not a glamorous life.

Peace

Aug. 14, 2007, 2:55 p.m.
Posts: 9016
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Additionly, where do you buy your trendy clothes? The skate surf shop for alot of people.

Excellent point. I spoke with a surf shop owner last summer and we were talking about sales and such. I asked how he got by in the slow times for the sport. He told me I would be surprised at how large of a percentage their "street clothes" sales are compared to everything else combined. He said they may move one or two surfboards from time to time, but they can't keep the clothes on the racks.

Biking clothing targets bikers (for the most part). I can't see that many random people going out to buy a TLD hoodie or a raceface hoodie that has flames on it when they can find some trendy and cool Volcom hoodie for less cashola. Hell, the majority of my hoodies aren't bike-related :)

dear DW,
since you got like a million bucks now, can i borrow $2850 for a Revolt frame?

thanks,
steve

Aug. 14, 2007, 3:02 p.m.
Posts: 281
Joined: April 2, 2003

Excellent point. I spoke with a surf shop owner last summer and we were talking about sales and such. I asked how he got by in the slow times for the sport. He told me I would be surprised at how large of a percentage their "street clothes" sales are compared to everything else combined. He said they may move one or two surfboards from time to time, but they can't keep the clothes on the racks.

Biking clothing targets bikers (for the most part). I can't see that many random people going out to buy a TLD hoodie or a raceface hoodie that has flames on it when they can find some trendy and cool Volcom hoodie for less cashola. Hell, the majority of my hoodies aren't bike-related :)

This is true.

The downfall of the model (depending on how you define "downfall") is when those brands (like Volcom) end up in Zellers etc. and are no longer "cool" AT ALL. However, by the time that happens with most of those lines, the companies and the retailers have all made truckloads and truckloads of cash on the brand.

The only bike-related company I could see making a big enough splash on the mass-market clothing scene is Sombrio. Their stuff is hot and it has mass appeal. I regularly have people ask me where I got my Sombrio clothes. They are ahead of the trends and setting them. Their gear is just awesome. Now, I'm not saying that their goal is or should be to get big like Billabong or something, but I think that they would have a shot at it if they wanted to.

I realize that is all a little off-topic, but just wanted to voice it.

Aug. 14, 2007, 3:56 p.m.
Posts: 9016
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I JUST thought about Sombrio as I am folding one of my hoodies from them :) I also get quite a few questions about where I got my Sombrio stuff but sadly people can't be bothered to find a bike shop when they can just go to the mall or whatever for their trendy clothes from random skate/surf shops.

dear DW,
since you got like a million bucks now, can i borrow $2850 for a Revolt frame?

thanks,
steve

Aug. 14, 2007, 5:52 p.m.
Posts: 1102
Joined: March 1, 2007

with a dh race movie you can make it somewhat dramatic, much like big hollywood movies with sports in them do. they make it climatic. (eg. worlds section in hypnosis, world section in earthed 2, worlds section in between the tape)
with NWD movies they try and make almost every single trick climatic. this does not work for me.
ride to the hills had a lot of slow-mo, but the way it was edited with the music and then normal life speed was in my opinion perfect.
if your going to make a movie that you want to sell lots of copies of, make a good trailer and then fill the movie with slow-mo and gay music and all the groms will buy it.

Aug. 14, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
Posts: 2422
Joined: March 1, 2006

how about a mountain bike movie? everything in one.

imo i think most movies have been pretty awsome- i can enjoy any type of bicycle movie- this year i have bought kranked 6, nwd 7, earthed 4, stripped, hypnosis and super 8 and they are all awsome. its all about seeing what other people do on their bikes.

so filmguy why dont you go and do what you "love to do" and make a movie about biking.

, however, notice the black guys pants don't leave much to the imajination.

Aug. 14, 2007, 10:51 p.m.
Posts: 3908
Joined: March 9, 2003

whoever said it first was spooooot-on…carlin dunne….three greatest movies ever are, chainsmoke stripped and hidden pleasures.

- bike sexual

Aug. 15, 2007, 12:04 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 5, 2006

I'll make an assumption here…..

You want to produce a Mountain bike movie to make money.

May I suggest that most MTB film producers dont exactly start off with their eyes on the dollar.It has always felt like they just wanted to show off the cool stuff that they and their friends were doing.

Surf films have the undeniable advantage of the wave.You can never have a trail or jump evoke the same feeling that watching Tehapoo(sp?) build and break,does.Never.

In a surf film,the power of the water is always the star…the rider just plays a supporting role.Everyone can relate to a wave…..not so much with a sick line down a mountain.

…dammit….now I have to go ahead and schedule a surf trip……thanks!

i Agree with you.
i also think that, in order for a mtb film to be successful you'll need to Cater .. not just to Riders but to Everyday people..and Its sooooo Hard to do that..
i see the collective crew tried it.. i guess they did O.K but .. rolling in it? no.
Big D.. does not just MTBing.. but all sports.. rolling in it? who knows.. probly not.
a friend of mine Bali strickland who sighned big dollar contracts with billabong
still really did not break through.. even though they sold thousands of copies of frame lines etc etc… and thats the SURF industry.. he ended up shooting dolphins for the discovery channel and make 10times more with less work.

bottom line: you do what you do because you love doing it.. and thats how it is in the MTB film world.

Freeride, Its whats for dinner

www.thevishfiles.com
www.ninjai.com
www.karmakula.com

Aug. 15, 2007, 5:27 a.m.
Posts: 2330
Joined: April 2, 2006

As somebody said before i think movies should get to know the riders better, its what makes the likes of drop in and stund great beacuse you get to know the riders and see them just having fun as well as riding thier bikes. i've seen all the drop in episodes over the net but i've still bought the dvd's cause they're good to watch when you can't get out for a ride and it helps support them. I'm so looking forward to the next series.

collective and Roam are excellent movies and were accepted as being new because they filmed it better and made it look great, they also had a bit of chat with the riders, albeit Jordie Lunn and the snake hole things just sounds dum! They are trying to get more personal with the riders in the next film i think.

key things, riders having fun, get to know them a bit, and make sure the filming is top quality from interesting angles, doesn't really matter what the riding is to me, if it looks good and the ridings good then i'm pretty happy to watch any type of riding.

Aug. 15, 2007, 5:37 a.m.
Posts: 3250
Joined: Dec. 3, 2002

I personally would like to see more team movies. It creates a sense of compitition as companies are constantly trying to out do each other (Or maybe they're not and it simply appears this way). Either way, it seems that in most other sports (for example, skateboarding and BMX) videos are the main source of advertising for a company an therefore they go all out in creating a great flick.

Aug. 15, 2007, 8:28 a.m.
Posts: 281
Joined: April 2, 2003

I personally would like to see more team movies. It creates a sense of compitition as companies are constantly trying to out do each other (Or maybe they're not and it simply appears this way). Either way, it seems that in most other sports (for example, skateboarding and BMX) videos are the main source of advertising for a company an therefore they go all out in creating a great flick.

New shit has come to light.

that's fucking interesting, man, that's fucking interesting

I like this idea. Travel with the teams and pit them against one another. Conflict = drama = entertainment!

And, I know that people will say that what a rider does pre-race is all confidential, but it would be great to know what racers are doing in the days before a race. How many runs? Walks? What are they studying? What are they talking about? How are they preparing for the race, or for sections of the course? Let's get in the minds of the riders!

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