About twelve months ago the formal aspects of VideoBiker were agreed. A website name followed and the strap-line ‘Keep it on the black stuff’ was written. This statement is a business critical measure of our success at VideoBiker – an ethos of motorcycle road safety and ensuring our efforts are all geared to keeping more riders on the black stuff. Our grateful thanks to John Hackett (Motorcycle Examiner), who first spoke the words ‘Keep it on the black stuff’ to Managing Director, Simon Hayes, over 25 years ago! [watch video]
Today is a significant day – marking the official end of our first phase of filming. We began during early spring, with a small team (Simon Hayes, Jez Tromans and Russell Binns). Within a very short time, filming for the first three VideoBiker Academy’s was complete, but followed by endless hours of editing, fine tuning and dealing with the headaches of video storage, video software and Apple.
We started with some basic filming knowledge, two DSLR cameras and enough enthusiasm to overcome the numerous steps on our early learning curve. Russ Bins has to be commended for his unwavering go-the-extra-mile approach to things – always with boundless energy, an enormous smile and willingness to take on the unrelenting challenges of cameras, lenses, microSD cards, batteries, internal audio, Tascam, plus all the fun and fine detail of becoming our #1 volunteer VideoBiker cameraman.
New team members for VideoBiker
Around this time, we found office space and VideoBiker welcomed Motorcycle Instructor, Laura Smith and Lead Animator, Harri Firmansyah to the team. Harri’s early input to the MOD1 Academy was invaluable and Laura brought an essential female biased perspective to our forward planning.
Joined by the Video Jedi
Through the fun and challenges, we learned on our feet and towards the end of the Spring, realised that VideoBiker had significantly outgrown our Nikkon D610 and Canon EOS 70D. As if by magic, our Video Jedi (Calum Barre & Alex Burton) joined the team, bringing with them a wealth of professional video production and editing experience. There followed an intense period of technical growth, along with a corresponding upgrade to our video production equipment and within a month, Calum, Alex and team embarked on an intense five days filming for the ‘Actualise Your Escape’ project.
Filmed locally between Redditch and The Cotswolds, this key promotional video involved 10 locations, 25 wonderful people, lots of cake and a seemingly endless supply of bacon sandwiches. Working to a very tight deadline, Calum and Alex crafted this amazing production, start to finish in two weeks!
Advisory panel formed
During the same period, with a remit of accountability, we welcomed the Video Biker Advisory Panel – a team of ten, including IAM Examiners, RoSPA Advanced Riders, Bike Safe Assessors, Motorcycle Instructors and Police Motorcyclists. Their input has been invaluable, allowing VideoBiker to further fine-tune the first three Motorcycle Academy’s, as well as helping to steer our future production plans and guide our ‘bigger picture’ objectives within the motorcycle training industry.
During early September, VideoBiker was joined in Snowdonia by Career Motorcycle Professional, Marcus McCormick, who helped steer early filming for our Advanced Academy. With over 24 years as a Police Motorcyclist and ten years as a Police Motorcycle Instructor, Marcus brought the necessary high pedigree of advanced motorcycle skills – all captured in the splendour of the Snowdonia National Park by Video Jedi Callum and team. What an adventure!
Here's to the next 12 months
Following this, the video production team took to the roads of Worcestershire for a further week of intense filming, paving the way for a further three promotional videos and a short series of engaging social media teasers.
So today (1st October 2016), officially draws phase one filming to a close. Video hard drives are full to capacity. Editing continues in earnest at VideoBiker HQ and the creative team are making swift progress. The countdown clock is ticking and we anticipate a timely winter launch of VideoBiker services to the motorcycle training sector. Here’s to the next 12 months and to keeping it on the black stuff.