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Published: 27/06/17

Saturday Snaps with

Tom Grundy

Who is Tom Grundy? 

I’m 24, I live in Bristol and I spend most of my time either riding bikes or making videos about bikes.



Years filming: 




What got you into filming and making videos? 

I got into riding first, and always wanted to take photos of my friends riding so I snuck my mum’s camera out the house and started taking photos and making really basic videos. That led to buying my own camcorder and I started making ’Tom Grundy Webisodes’, which were just short monthly films about my friends and I riding. 



First video related memory:

I used to subscribe to Sidewalk skateboarding magazine just so I could get the free DVD that came with pretty much every issue. I didn’t like skateboarding that much but the videos where always really good. 



Best videographer experience:

Pure Darkness - Just a group of friends making videos when we want and how we want just for fun. Its rare you get an opportunity to make something like that, and the reception so far has been amazing. So hopefully we’ll carry that on, making more videos when we can. 



Worst videographer experience:

Glen Coe BDS 2011 - Standing on the side of an open mountain with sideways rain in the freezing cold. I couldn’t actually shoot anything because every time I pointed the camera up the hill the lens would be filled with rain. The race was eventually cancelled.



Advice for filming and making a great riding video: 

Just go and make something, get it out there and don’t worry. Make something you want to make, not what other people are making. 


I can’t stress enough how un-important the latest gear or equipment is. Pure Darkness is made with a camera from 2011 and its shot it 720p. The story and the content is important, not the gear.


The real gold is made in the edit. Don’t neglect the edit. You could have the best footage in the world but if you can’t edit, you can’t make a good film. 



Three favourite film makers:

In the mountain bike world: Alex Rankin, Clay Porter and Freeride Entertainment (NWD films).


And outside the mountain bike world Casey Neistat, Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze.



Video highlight/achievement:

I work full time for GCN (Global Cycling Network) and GMBN (Global Mountain Biking Network). I’ve been there pretty much since the start, and to go from a few people with some big idea’s to what it has become today has been a big achievement and there has been lots of fun along the way. 



Why do you film and make videos?

Because it’s fun. 




Video highlights:

How to whip with Olly Wilkins


This video was never meant to be what it turned out being. Olly and Sam had just built this hip in a quarry not far from me, so I went down one afternoon, we finished the lip and they rode it. We were filming for ’Sam Reynolds 2012’. 


Half way through Olly had a huge crash. He was fine, but it looked huge. So whilst walking back to the car we where talking about making a small funny video. We headed to my house and I edited the video while they wrote a script for the voice over. Olly designed some graphics and that was that. We had started the day with nothing and ended up with a finished video, which is always a cool feeling. 


Equipment used:

Panasonic HMC 151E

52 Weeks of Film - Film 1


This is me riding, it’s an introduction to a film project I started to encourage myself to make more videos. I made it five weeks before I got the job with GCN. I saw a helmet cam angle like this with Sam Hill riding Fort William and I thought about playing with the idea. 


Equipment used: 

Go-Pro hero 1 - 1foot of 1/4inch threaded bar.

Cycling Photography - Through The Lens Of Camille McMillan - Inside Line


A short documentary style video I made with Camille McMillan, one of the more arty photographers that follow the Tour de France. I’d never made anything like this before so it was a challenge, but I really enjoyed doing it and you really have to think on your feet with documentary style stuff. You can’t storyboard an idea and you can’t ask people to ’do it again’. 


Equipment used: 

Sony FS700 with stock 17-200mm lens.

Tour Down Under - The Documentary


Another road cycling based video. I created this short documentary about four riders going through the Tour Down Under. One of them being Jens Voigt, one of the most respected and charismatic riders in the pro peloton, who always has a brilliant quote for the camera. 


Equipment used: 

Sony FS700 with stock 17-200mm lens.

Pure Darkness 2 - The Step-Up


I couldn’t do my top five without mentioning Pure Darkness 2. This was the best trip i’ve ever been on. It was a truly surreal experience.


We created Pure Darkness a little bit by accident. It started out as just a group of friends who enjoy riding and filming and hanging out. We went on a little trip round the UK with a budget of £200 of our own money and filmed what we did. It wasn’t called Pure Darkness until the video came out and It sort of kicked off far more than we expected. 


Less than six months later we found ourselves in South Africa building the biggest step-up jump ever made (we think). The focus of Pure Darkness is doing things for fun. The sponsors have no control over how the video is made and we make no profit from making it, which means we make what we want. I’m excited to see where Pure Darkness will go in the future. 


Equipment used: 

3 people filmed Pure Darkness 

Me: Panasonic HMC-151E and Canon 7D

Sam: Canon 7D 

Jules: FS700 shooting 4K with a set of Canon lenses.

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