After the location check Danny decided it would be a good idea to ride a line on the Landwasser Bridge crossing the Zügenschlucht, a deep gorge leading to a river 84 meters below the rickety wall.
Understandably the whole team was a little nervous facing this one. “I had hit my head shortly before and was a still a little dizzy so I was preoccupied with trying to ride in a straight line on the bridge”, laughs Claudio. “I could tell the whole camera team was nervous, but Danny was as chilled and relaxed as ever and it seemed as though it was an every-day thing for him.” Director Stu Thomson adds in hindsight: „The bridge was a location that had jumped out as a great spot from the start. With the huge gorge and train line running alongside, it captured a lot about the area that we wanted to show off. When it comes to riding, it’s always Danny’s call though. I get far more nervous than Danny on those types of lines... Danny is super confident with these things. He wants to do it and argues that he has ridden along walls like that his whole life and that the size of the drop makes little difference, as it’s just as easy to do for him. I fully trust Danny as a mate and as a rider. That said, I always want to get these shots in the bag as quickly as possible and get him off there.”
Danny describes the “Front Flip to Flat” off the wooden roof in Val Müstair as being one of the most difficult tricks he has ever done on a mountain bike. And still, the 32-year-old Scot stuck the landing cleanly on his 25th attempt. „Myself and Stu spent a week scouting all over Graubünden looking for locations for the film. On the last day we visited a nice wee place called Val Müstair. After riding some amazing local trails we had a look around the village and a sloped wooden roof caught my eye. It was basically a perfect ramp. Originally I thought about a wall ride on the building next to it, but in my wildest dreams I also thought a front flip might be possible off the thing; a trick I hadn’t yet done on my mountain bike. During the shoot I tried it onto mats first to see if it was even possible to get the rotation. After a few goes the mats were removed and the cameras were in place. To add even more pressure, I had biking legend Claudio Caluori following me in. I took a couple of run-ups to gauge my speed. Then I just went for it! Amazingly myself and my bike rolled away in one piece. I was absolutely buzzing on landing one of the biggest tricks I’ve ever done on a bike!“
While the crew was waiting for the weather to clear at the top of the Weissfluhjoch in Davos, Danny and Claudio decided to get a few photos done. Claudio fell unluckily, cut his cheek and had to get 14 stiches. “We had been waiting for the sun to appear all morning. There was only a small spot on the mountain, which was reached by the sun. I made my way over but I was a little too slow so my front tire got caught between two rocks and I flew over the bars. In hospital the doctors tried to mummify my head. I told them that they didn’t need to bother with all the bandages. Being a former professional rider, you just know you have to suck it up sometimes and just carry on.”
Cut Media collected 40 hours of footage during the 10-day shoot in order to create the five-minute edit: „It’s generally not too difficult to bring it down to around 10 minutes of the best clips and lines but once you’ve reached that point you need to get brutal for the edit. I’ve always been a believer in only having the clips in that showcase the riding, character and story the best. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your favorite shots and that’s not easy. At Cut Media we’re lucky enough to have an amazing team of creatives and filmmakers nowadays, so it’s very much a team process. It’s come a long way from shooting and cutting myself! Our studio is definitely a super collaborative place with all the team being able to add their input.”
3,022 meters a.s.l.
Danny MacAskill and Claudio Caluori had to stay over night at the summit of Piz Nair, so they could film the opening scene with a stunning sunrise. „We stayed in some amazing hotels on the trip but the highlight had to be in the lift station at the top of Piz Nair. Looking over St. Moritz, the glaciers and surrounding mountains, it was almost surreal! We stayed in the top station so we could be up at sunrise and it was pretty awesome to be standing there beside the Ibex the next morning, taking in the views and more importantly scoping out the trails we would be riding later that day! It’s times like that I think to myself‚ I really do have a dream job”, Danny explains.
6 flat tires on one trail
During the shoot on the Green Valley Trail in Flims alone Claudio had to deal with six flat tires, hinting at how close to the limit he rode: “My mechanics must have thought, I would be riding uphill all day and mounted the lightest tires to my bike. They didn’t cope with all the action when riding with Danny. I was surprised to see how hard Danny was pushing it, so I had to go all in as well”, says Claudio grinning. “Once we had changed to a heavier casing, it was all fine though!”