After months of planning, B.C.-based Anthill Films began shooting its first feature-length film this week. The structure of the new company, according to Creative Director Darcy Wittenburg, will improve upon the model that made the Collective so successful. “We wanted to restructure ourselves so that we could have the most creative environment possible,” he says, “and just keep creating unique films.”
Most of the riding spots in the new film--titled Follow Me--will be on classic B.C. trails, which many viewers should recognize from previous Collective films, plus a few yet-to-be-chosen locations in Europe and the United States. The weaponry will be the same as well: cranes, cable cams, dollies, and point-of-view harnesses, plus one new super-camera--the fully digital high-definition Project RED camera, one of the biggest tech breakthroughs in the film industry in years.
“Like a musician using his instruments, learning new ways to use our tools is always fun for us,” Wittenburg says. The rest of the crew consists of cinematographers and editors Darren McCullough, Colin Jones and Jonathan Schramm of the Collective; Ian Dunn, formerly of Tourism Whistler, as marketing director; and Sterling Lorence as photographer and creative advisor.
So what’s new? The impetus behind the film. Wittenburg says the underlying concept is “to capture the essence of biking: nobody rides alone.” He and his crew believe that freeride mountain biking is a pursuit best shared with others, and that, he says, will be the theme of each of the film’s riding sequences.
Mountain bike films will be the group’s bread and butter, but it will also take on side projects and commercial work to bring in extra cash. As for the name: “we go out in the field, we gather images, and we come back as a team,” Wittenburg says. “It’s like they say: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”