As you’ll be able to see for yourselves in just a few days’ time, Brandon Semenuk and Gee Atherton make a huge impression in Anthill Films' Strength In Numbers. As it turns out, the Canadian Freeride World Tour No. 1 and the British downhill mountain biker are equally enthused about the cinematic love letter to two wheels.
“I think it’s wicked,” says Brandon. “I think the guys did a really good job on the film. It’s another great movie to add to their collection. It’s definitely the best cinematography they’ve done in their films yet.”
“I was very impressed by the film,” agrees Gee. “I’ve seen Follow Me, the movie [Anthill Films made] before this and that was pretty awesome, so the fact that Red Bull Media House were on board with Strength In Numbers as well made it really exciting. I’ve seen the quality of the films they put out and how much effort those guys put in - everything they do is very impressive.”
It’s a beautifully shot film that uses slo-motion camera work and cutting-edge techniques to show how much effort and skill is required to excel in the world of biking. The professionalism of the film crew is evident by the quality of the finished article, but is the success of the movie purely down to those holding the camera?
“I’d say it’s a bit of both,” says Gee. “It’s mainly their work, it’s all down to their camerawork and getting in the right spot they need to be in. Obviously, the rider has to do a lot as well, it’s not just as easy as riding down a hill and getting it right in one shot.”
Gee and Brandon’s scenes bookend the film and show how diverse the sport has become. Brandon’s, for example, comes at the end and sees him riding through a stunning specially constructed trail in Canada.
“We have a buddy who’s been building trails for a decade,” says Brandon. “He’s built probably like half the trails up on our local mountain in Squamish, British Columbia, and he came to us and said he’d be happy to help out with the film. Then Red Bull said they’d be keen to support this new trail and help build a public trail too. So we built this great trail and when we were finished with it we went back and made it a public line. Usually you just go in and set everything up and then take everything out, which is a bit of a bummer to do, but this time it worked out and other people got to use it after us.”
Gee’s scene takes place during the 2011 UCI World Cup Season, with most of the action shot at Fort William in Scotland and Leogang in Austria.
“My scene was part of the racing section which was awesome for them to put in,” he says. “It was great to have an actual section dedicated to the racing. It was cool because, rather than filming a specific section with them, they came to film what I was doing - which was a different approach for them. I definitely enjoyed having those guys following me.”