You want mountain biking? You got it.
Strength In Numbers, the latest film from Squamish-based production house Anthill Films, is screening at the Whistler Conference Centre to coincide with the opening of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and if there's any doubt that this will rile up the mountain community for the coming season, we're laying those fears to rest now.
Shot in various international locations, from Utah to Nepal (and, yes, Whistler too), Strength in Numbers documents the international bike community circa 2012: from the World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, to a burgeoning bike community at the foot of the Himalayas.
"The specific concept with this movie was to tie all the different components of mountain biking into one," says Darcy Wittenburg, one-fifth of Anthill's creative crew who worked on the film. "There's a lot of different ways you can ride a bike and a lot of communities that exist within the sport of mountain biking, so we wanted to make a statement of whether you're dirt jumping or downhill racing, it's all part of the same sport and culture."
The filmmakers — Wittenburg, Ian Dunn, Darren McCullough, Colin Jones, Jonathon Schramm and Sterling Lorence — took one year to complete the filming, followed by another four months whittling down the 450 hours of footage into a 52-minute film.
"You have to be ruthless in making hard decisions," Wittenburg says. "There's a lot of great footage that ends up on the cutting room floor and a lot of the time it just comes down to the flow of the piece, the music and what we have already."
The final product features a killer soundtrack, slick production and some of the most impressive bike porn committed to screen. There are action sequences and interviews with some of the sport's highest profile riders, including Brandon Semenuk, Cam McCaul and Anthony Messere, but getting everyone onboard was an arduous task unto itself.
"We're lucky to work with some of the best riders in the world, they're really busy and have hectic schedules so one of biggest challenges is coordinating everyone's schedule and coordinating with the weather and all the other variables that have gone into the mix," Wittenburg says.
This is Anthill's third production. They're holding premiers in over 100 cities around the world, followed by a live on-line premier on May 24, followed by the DVD and Blu-Ray release dates. During Crankworx, Anthill will stream the movie for free via their website so people can share it, Dunn says, "with as many people as possible."
"Our ultimate goal is to make it possible that every mountain-biker can see the movie, get stoked on it, share it with their friends and hopefully creates this shared experience that helps maybe grow the sport a little bit."
Tickets for the premier are $15.