Danny MacAskill has dropped another banger of a video; this time on his own YouTube channel. “Danny Daycare” premiered on May 20 and has since been viewed well over 2.000.000 times as well as trending on Youtube in several countries.
Danny, Stu, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Where shall we start… Stu, how is Daisy doing? Is the real star of the video aware that she is now officially famous at the age of 4?
Stu: Haha, she’s doing great thanks… We actually filmed most of the film a few years back now when she was 2 so she’s a few years older and wiser now (laughs). She still likes it when ‘uncle’ Danny comes to visit though. Fame hasn’t gone to her head yet, but it’s only a matter of time (laughs)!
The final scene of the video shows Danny riding on a pump track with Daisy. No hard feelings between them then after the bumpy ride?
Stu: We did use a doll, truth be told. However, Daisy did see Danny and her doll, called ‘Stunt Daisy’, go upside down from behind the camera… She did like it and gave Danny a chocolate button to say well done afterwards.
And Danny, any hard feelings about Daisy stealing the show?
Danny: Not at all! We had such a fun day out on the bike.
You both have known each other for a long time and worked on so many of Danny’s projects together. When and how did you come up with this idea?
Danny: Stu is a keen mountain biker and as soon as Daisy was old enough, Stu bought this awesome trailer that he could tow behind his mountain bike. We joked about making a film about me babysitting Daisy and taking her for an adventure around Scotland and doing tricks along the way. Eventually we decided that it would be a really cool thing for Daisy to look back on when she is older and a great film, so that’s what we did.
Stu, how did your wife react, when she heard Daisy was to star in a video of Danny’s?
Stu: She’s pretty used to our antics nowadays, so I’m not sure it was that much of a surprise! She does find it funny though and doesn’t seem too concerned about having an overreaction from angry people on the internet.
How long did the process from concept to launch actually take? We heard it was quite a long process.
Danny: Hahaha! Well, originally we thought we would film for a few days starting back in the beginning of 2017. This was a personal project with no sponsors, so we fit the time in where we could. It soon became apparent that we were onto something. It was so much fun riding with the trailer and I would try and push a little more each time we were out. At the end of 2017 however I injured my knee filming on another project, which set things back. Well, almost a year. Eventually I landed the barrel roll just before Christmas 2018, which was the final piece we needed to finish the video. By that time Daisy was able to ride a bike herself!
What was the biggest challenge during the production?
Danny: For me the biggest challenge was the barrel roll for sure! We really needed a banger for the film and that was definitely a bit of dream! It was like many tricks I’ve done in the past; it was something we had no idea was possible or not. It was a huge case of trial and error with a lot of perseverance involved! From the first attempt into a foam pit in Unit 23 Skate Park to scouting and building the jump and then landing it on film took 16 days in total, spread over several months!
Stu: In reality it was probably just time. We started filming as we thought it’d just be a bit of fun. Soon we realized that with a little effort it could turn into a bit more. It wasn’t client work so we just filmed a few sections when we got the chance. The problem was that Daisy grew lots so we could only use the clips we had of her from the start. 2 years later here we are and we finally got it finished.
How much more difficult is it to ride and do tricks with the additional weight attached to the bike? How did you deal with it?
Danny: Riding with the trailer and the doll in the back was such a laugh! You get used to the way your bike reacts while out in the hills, but with the trailer on the back, it adds a different dimension! For what it’s designed for, it handled everything incredibly well! The suspension was amazing. For this video though we were doing things that it really wasn’t meant for. The whole time it would be trying to jackknife me into corners or catch on rocks or stumps. It puts a huge smile on your face though!
Which changes did you have to make to your bike setup?
Danny: We ran the trailer completely standard for the most part. If I was feeling brave I would run the rebound super fast so it would look even looser on the trails. The main changes were made when we were doing the flip. Basically when you barrel roll you drop your shoulder into the ramp like a scrub. When you do this with a trailer on the back, the trailer basically gets dragged on its side up the take off. We found with the movement in the hinge the trailer would try to overtake me in the air, which I would say is less than ideal (laughs)! We ended up limiting the amount the trailer could move side to side with a metal bracket. This meant that the trailer is very much in control of my rotation though, which I only found out when I tried it to dirt for the first time, over rotating like mad. So glad it worked in the end though!
How did the difficulty compare with other productions such as Cascadia or Imaginate?
Danny: This film was a wee personal project so ended up being more organic and less planned than some of our bigger films. We just filmed what we could, when we could. It wasn’t until about halfway through that we realized what we had on our hands and that’s when our ambitions grew! One of the coolest days was being back up on the Cuillin Ridge where I filmed with Cut Media in 2014, but this time with the trailer! It was some mission, but such a good laugh!
What are your personal highlights in the video?
Stu: I love the end when Daisy rides with Danny on the pump track. It was a fun day together and I think finishes off the film right… Also the day we filmed back up on the Cuillin Ridge on Skye was fun. Daisy wasn’t there obviously, but it was amazing to go back there so many years after we filmed Danny’s film ‘The Ridge’ up there, it’s a special place.
Danny: As Stu says, riding with Daisy on the pump track was awesome! She must have done over 50 laps (laughs)! Landing the flip was a personal riding highlight for me as it took so much work to finally land it.
Danny, what is on the cards in 2019? Can we expect more videos from you this year?
Danny: It will be busy that’s for sure! I am travelling around doing shows with the “Drop and Roll Tour” and have several other projects in the pipeline! Having started my own YouTube channel means I will be making more content for that too.
Stu, any chance we’ll see Daisy in any other bike edits?
Stu: Well, you never know I guess, but not any time soon (laughs)!
Thank you both for taking the time and we are looking forward to what you both will be coming up with in future!