There is a realism to the movie because it accurately represents two years in the lives of the world’s fastest and provides an account of the microcosm of mountain bike downhill racing. There is a truth to this movie that is often missed in others. When you are documenting racing there is no second chance for fluffed shots. Instead there is a pressure to document that moment in time with no chance for ‘one more go’. This makes it an honest and authentic movie. Many other recent mountain bike movies present an altered perspective or a forgery of an actual moment in time. I mean no disrespect with this statement. There is a craft and art to providing the viewer with a vision of mountain biking that portray the more abstruse aspects, but these simulations can be, to some degree, scripted and simulated in order to make the shot possible. With 3 Minute Gaps there is only the honest and candid reality of the moment.
This is a movie about racers, make no mistake. Not only are the racers featured in the movie the swiftest in the world, they are some of the most exquisitely gifted bike riders as well. The riders not only propel themselves and their bikes down hills faster than anyone, but they really know how to ride bikes in a wide variety of settings. The cast of characters of this movie include Gee Atherton, Sam Hill, Aaron Gwin, Brendan Fairclough, Greg Minnaar, Andrew Neethling, Danny Hart, Matti Lehikoinen, Sam Blenkinsop, Ben Reid, and Josh Bryceland. All young and extremely talented athletes, calculated stuntmen, and brilliant riders with a flair for the sublime. In this troupe of players there are World Champions and undoubtedly future World Champions. These are the fastest to date, and the fastest for years to come.
They are also the influencers of our sport. It is these figures that are forging the future and shaping the current climate of mountain biking. They are trendsetters and highly esteemed role models. They are helping to make racing popular again and they are changing how we ride, what we ride and where we do it. We closely observe their preparation, training and set–up so we can gather any advantage for ourselves in our own riding. We scrutinize their style and imitate it. Take Fairclough for instance, his poppy playful style on a bike has closed the boundary between racer and rider, so much so that even us weekend warriors wish to emulate his style. Another example, Blenkinsop, has singlehandedly been responsible for a thread of gloveless youths tearing up courses. Josh Bryceland and Danny Hart melt and flex the terrain into a form we cannot recognize but wish to actualize in our own riding…if only we could. These are the heroes of the sport of mountain biking and we want to be like them.
Filmed in Brazil, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Slovenia, Finland, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales and USA, the crew of 3 Minute Gaps have travelled every inch of the World Cup circuit and the spaces between. Even in the first few months of 2011 they have travelled to Australia, South Africa, Spain, and New Zealand (twice) in order to make sure every last shot is in the can. There are not many film makers as uncompromising as Clay, and it seems he would do absolutely anything to make sure his vision is brought to life.
Two years in the making, this movie puts the viewer one step closer to the world’s best. Intergalactic galaxies that are alien to us mere mortals. 3 Minute Gaps is a space probe that will take the viewer deeper into the darkest regions and lightest flights of fancy of the mutated human life forms we call downhill mountain bike racers.
No one can go as deep inside the sparsely inhabited and hostile environments as Clay Porter and his crew. Two years breaking bread with these mutant extraterrestrials, sharing in the bi–polar environments of the fiery heat of success and the sub zero icy abyss of disappointment.
The latest in Clay Porters ongoing quest to document downhill mountain bike racing shows a development in the style and means available to Clay and it certainly promises to be a worthy addition to any bike buff’s film collection.