Recently, the Accelerate & Moto Magazine crew had the chance to head to FatCat Motoparc in Doncaster for a track day with Tommy Searle. As the “one who knows his video onions” it was my responsibility to point a camera in the right direction…
When it comes to filming motocross action there’s two things I worry about; firstly getting the best shots to please the adoring fans of the sport and secondly that I’m going to get muddy.
Producing a video of this kind has many obstacles including budget, time and very often mother nature. As an example during this shoot I spent about five minutes attempting to manoeuvre myself and my equipment to the top of the bank to get a shot only to change my mind and return back down into the muddy abyss below. I had a relatively small kit including a Sony Fs7 camera, a Canon zoom lens, a Manfrotto tripod but it was enough to traverse the muddy terrain.
The key to a good moto video, my motocross aficionados tell me, is to run the action the same way the track runs - but I do tend to get bogged down (both figuratively and literally) in finding the perfect shot. So on a windy day in February I found myself sitting patiently on track side - keeping my focus and letting the magic happen. Tommy Searle delivered in abundance because he’s a pro. Being one of the best guys in the game certainly made my job easier. The Sony Fs7 does the rest of the work. Twenty five frames a second is enough to show the power and speed of a motocross bike but it’s when you take it up to one hundred and twenty and slow the action down that, for me, it becomes visually stunning - showcasing the technique and “bad-assery" of Tommy and his sport.
The other half of my job is interviews - I just shoot them, letting other’s with more knowledge ask the questions - but they’re always a joy. I get to learn a lot about these people, their passions and what makes them tick. They can often be uncomfortable for the ones talking and I think Moto’s Dave Willet did a grand job at getting Tommy relaxed and open - it helped make our videos something different for the Motocross fans.
I know now that I needn’t have worried heading into this shoot - I didn’t get that muddy after all. Hopefully people like the video too.“