As we proudly release this short film about 'connecting to do good' in collaboration with Vodafone UK we thought we'd let one of the very people that we 'met' through social media and has now become one of our most impactful A-TEAMers and (most importantly) a great friend! Take it away James :)
Fresh on the heels of the announcement of Trash Free Trails Spring Trail Clean Tour last week, I can let you in on what I got up to in January with some of the gang.
It’s the middle of January, Dom fires a peculiar email into the inbox. A-Team, Vodafone, Eastridge?
I’m not sure what’s about to unfold, but I already know I’m in!
Fast forward and I’m headed to Shropshire, roads deserted at 5AM, freshly pressed coffee radiating from the flask beside me, Looking Sideways Podcast filling my ears with gold.
On arrival it was one of those scenarios which is occurring at an ever increasing rate. A car park of people I’ve spoken to online or know of, but not met in person.
Despite arriving slightly early, things were in full flow, film crews with kit that made my 5D look like a Christmas cracker toy busy capturing images and audio in the woods. I’m sure dog walkers wondered why film crews were crowding round individuals at the crack of dawn on fire roads in the middle of winter.
Monet Adams was being interviewed, as light transitioned, exchanging blown out highlights from the low trajectory, to rich earth tones, more reminiscent of Autumn.
Back at the car park and the main crew had assembled for the day, as more cameras and personal appeared, as if they’d been sat in positions, observing our movements from afar...
...I should probably say why I was at Eastridge!
Yes, as many will know I’m a TFT A-Team member, but I also have that camera. Rather than being in front of the tv cameras, I was present to capture what was going on for native content. Though, when you watch the video, I make a cameo or two.
Half my time was spent shadowing the film crew, capturing images and video of their tasks, from interviews, to setting up GoPros, locations and general chit chat between the A-Team
As with any shoot, especially with bikes, there were multiple runs!
Interviews required silence, pausing for passing planes, riders and cars. While Dom, Jon or Monet did their piece to camera, the noisy brigade went onto the trail for POV footage or to simply ride out of ear shot of the equipment.
Location 1 complete, 2 flat tyres, a drop in temperature and one crash, it was time to head to location two.
The main A-Team crew rode/hike-a-biked up one side of the hill while I travelled round with the film crew, before getting my bike out for the first time. They caught a lift part way up the hill, while I rode and pushed up with Vodafones main man in social media, also an avid rider.
As we arrived on top, Marv was popping manuals through puddles and the missile – a large nerf shell with a GoPro was used to capture the closing shot of the edit. Some sloppy riding and litter picking followed, before a well earnt pub meal was called for, as everyone thawed out.
It can’t be underestimated the role social media and mobile connectivity plays at Trash Free Trails. As Dom says below, TFT started as a logo on instagram and has since developed into a national movement in a short time frame, which, we can proudly say is heading international too. A great day out with Vodafone and a huge thanks for reaching out, sharing our story with the wider public.
The Spring Trail Clean Tour Kicks off on the 4th April and if you can’t make a date, we have all the tools required on our website, chiefly enthusiasm! This is not only for mountain bike riders, but any and all trail users.
For full details check it out HERE
See you on the trail,
James Mackeddie, words and images too!