A Bigger Slice of British Pie: Tom Caldwell interview - Dirt

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A Bigger Slice of British Pie: Tom Caldwell interview

The man who made the magic happen

We reckon you lot are going to love A Bigger Slice of British Pie and the man behind the lens for it all has been Tom Caldwell.

Photos: Ben Winder

Click here to watch the full fim

As a former Dirt intern and the media squid for the Propain Dirt Zelvy team, we’ve enjoyed watching Tom come into his own in the world of mountain biking. He’s now one of the most sought after film makers in mountain biking, and with good reason.

We got a quick chat with him on the release date of his biggest project to date:

How did you feel after the last film?

I was a bit apprehensive launching it because I’d never done anything like that before and I didn’t know how people were going to receive it. Then it just blew up and turned into a brand without me even knowing it, which was the coolest thing.

People just refer to it as Pie, Pie is just people having fun on a bike, which is mint. That’s the thing that gave me a buzz.

People are still watching it now, the views are still going up. It’s not like it’s had a lifespan, people have told me they’ve watched it dozens of times over and over and I’m just like, “how”?

I hope it does stick in people’s minds but the amount we’ve put into this second one it’s going to be even better. It’s double the length of the first with double the amount of sections.

How were the riders this year?

For the first one everyone was a bit apprehensive. They didn’t really know what it was for, so some people were a bit skeptical.

This year everyone knows the craic and knows that they’re going up against everyone else in the UK so it just got out of hand. Every section we turned up to film they were asking “what’s the best section and how do we beat it?”

Danny Hart was saying: “You’ve go to make this the best section”
I told him: “Well bloody get on your bike then, you’ve got some beating to do”
He was like, “Right, I’m going up.”

When did you start planning the second one?

As soon as it finished I wanted to make the next one, I was twitching.

How did you find that catapult?

I went on YouTube and literally typed in ‘How to build a catapult’. I’m the creative mind and Rob Kenerlly is the mechanical minded guy so if I have any mad ideas I go straight to him and he’s always up for it.

I swear the full thing was like 113 quid or something. It was nothing. It’s just a bit of timber, some massive elastic bands, a bit of drainage pipe and the actual pan that was just a bin lid. We built it flat pack so you could take the bolts out store it.

We took on our local park to test it. There’s some football training on and the three of us just walk on with this catapult and start launching bricks a good 80/90 foot. There’s a bit of power behind it.

How much planning went into the film?

I definitely imagined it to be bigger and better. I had quite a lot of the ideas ready but just as we got to places and met up with riders they’d just have the craziest ideas and I just said: “yes, sick, let’s do it”.

Like Emyr Davies on that quad bike. There was no plan for that at all and he just turned up at Bondy’s house in a morning in his van, opened the back doors and it was there.

How did you end up getting so many riders involved?

A lot of the time we turned up to locations and the big boys will have brought their mates so there’s a complete party vibe all the time. That’s what I wanted because it’s not an elitist film, everyone who’s sick on a bike, come and be in it.

Most of the time people enjoy riding their local stuff the most. You just turn up, they take you there and you know it’s going to be sick. In Fort William and in the Surrey Hills, they cut in new trails just for the film, which was pretty amazing.

How did the TTR Race come about?

The TTR was an organised event, like a Facebook jobby. It took a while to find a venue without people having to pay through the roof but we found this farmer who would cut a track in and everyone could pay a tenner.

There were over 100 people interested on Facebook and then on the day i think we got about 47 bikes down and that was more than enough. For the mass starts, there was two rows of bikes across this whole field.

Was there any section you thought wasn’t going to come together?

At Macc Forest we turned up really early at to finish this dual track off. Kaos Seagrave was there and he had come all the way from Wales and he was freezing his arse off, it just looked like the shittest thing in the world. We were digging this little dual track in with a mattock, it was pissing it down it was pitch black, it was windy, it was borderline snow and we thought, “sod this off”, nobody’s turning up in this.

We were piss wet through and we went back to the vans just tried to get warm. Then all of a sudden the weather cleared completely, the sun came out and about 15-20 vans turned up and there was no space left in the car park at all.

It was sunny for the rest of the day and we had about 40 people on the hill for this dual. Somebody was definitely looking down on us that day.

Was there anything that didn’t work?

There’s a few things I couldn’t put in because they were quite explicit. Phil was naked multiple times. I had to force him to put his boxers on or I couldn’t use the footage.

Do you have a favourite section?

I don’t want to give any other section beef because I think they’re all mint in their own way but for energy and laughs, North Wales is just ridiculous. The amount of fun those boys had over two days, and it was dusty. They were kind of gutted when they found out they were first because they knew they’d have to wait ages to see it. We did a day and a quarter of riding and the rest of it was just off-roading on the moors.

What’s your favourite moment?

I’m going to have two runners up and one winner:

Emyr Davies getting catapulted off a quad bike through a gorse bush at 30 miles per hour.

Phil’s mate Ed Palmer bombing a hill on a de-restricted mobility scooter dressed as an old lady. He hit about 40 and nearly didn’t make the turn at the bottom.

My favourite moment was doing the intro in that field with Phill, Josh, a catapult a cross dressing old lady. Josh saw the catapult and just started giggling away launching pies out of it.

Who took the biggest bail?

Again we’ve got a runner up of Ben Cathro in Fort WIlliam. He forgot he had flat pedals on and went to hop and then got bucked and landed on a stump on his ball sack, honestly, it’s brutal.

The winner would probably be Charlie Hatton in South Wales down this really steep chute into a left. He just lost control and then just forward rolled through many bushes and trees. He had some momentum.

How come there were some non-British riders this year?

Brexit sparked the decision. I was like, we need a Brexit import, who’s good at jumps? Nico Vink. Maybe for next year I’d bring a few more in because now the standard’s set, they know what’s coming.

Any last words?

So there it is. The second instalment of the Slice of British Pie series, done and dusted. Ready for every one of you guys to feast upon. It’s been a long, hard but very enjoyable 7-8 months of solid production and a serious amount of effort put in from everyone. I’d just like to thank Dirt and the sponsors, Ben Winder, Ed Palmer, Phil Atwill and Rat for believing in my crazy ideas and putting in 110% to make it happen, along with every rider who’s come out, got loose and gone back up for another run to get the sickest shot possible. There is too many names, but thank you everyone, for being involved and supporting the Pie and showing the world how good our riding scene is. It’s pretty much my brainchild and baby so to see so much support is so overwhelming. One last thing – go and ride your bike.


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