I like biking, I even like mountain biking, but there is no part of me that wants to take a bicycle full-speed down this track in Mandelieu, France in broad daylight, let alone at nighttime, and I guess that's why I'll never be featured in one of Red Bull's brilliant extreme sports videos.
In the video below, MTB World Champion rider Loic Bruni hurtles down a track at night lit only by a single drone. Take a second, read that sentence again, let it sink in. Have you processed that yet? Night, high-speed, downhill, bicycle, drone light. Just checking because if almost any of us attempted this we would die. Check it out.
Pretty awesome, right? Director Hadrien Picard says he got the idea after watching the 1,000W LED Drone Light video that went viral last year. "Six months ago, after watching that crazy light-drone video," Picard says, "I had the feeling I could bring further that idea by filming a night ride of one of the best downhill mountain biker, lit by a drone with a huge LED on it."
To achieve this unique lighting, Picard teamed up with the guys at Lift Cinema to make a custom rig to mount the eight 100W LED lights on the drone they were going to use. The video below takes you behind the scenes into the planning and execution of the video, even showing the custom DIY water cooling system they rigged up for the lights using a water bottle and tubing.
In addition to the primary drone used for lighting, the team flew a second drone with an actual camera mounted on it to capture aerial footage for the video. That means they were coordinating a dude flying down a mountain on a bike at night, a giant drone and gimbal system to keep a spotlight on him, cameras on the ground to capture footage, and a second drone that had to be flown along side the spotlight drone in a way that kept the framing of the shot clean and didn't interfere with the light that Bruni needed to see his way down the course.
I really love seeing people take their inspiration and turn it into something tangible, and I think Picard nailed it on this one. Read more about the video shoot including and interview with the rider Loic Bruner over at Red Bull.
[via Red Bull]