On Feb. 11, DC Shoes will drop "Air.Craft," the first in a series of short motocross videos featuring Robbie Maddison as part of the latest DC Teamworks Collection. A brief teaser was just released Friday on DC's YouTube channel [see below].
The crew spent two years storyboarding the project, which was shot in early November over the course of 10 days, in part with a quarter-million dollar camera mounted to a jib atop a Porsche Cayenne. "At first when someone asks, 'what do you want to do?' it's like, where do you start? What's going to be cool? What's going to be lame?" Maddison said last week over the phone en route to Minneapolis.
Dubai, the 31-year-old Australian revealed, was the dream location, but obtaining the necessary permits -- said to run about $1 million -- proved too costly. "We had some really cool ideas, and we hoped the city would come on board with support," Maddison said. "We had to walk away from it [and] that was humbling."
Maddison scouted new locations, including sites in Mexico and Montana, before settling on what he describes as a plane graveyard in Arizona. The crew was given full range of the property where Maddison sought to push motocross in "a direction we haven't gone before."
"We're actually going back next week to finish a few things we overlooked," he said.
But Maddison almost didn't get there. A month before filming was slated to begin, he dislocated his right shoulder -- a familiar injury. "I had no ligaments holding my shoulder together for the filming of the project," said the X Games, Dew Tour and Red Bull X-Fighters veteran. "It became a huge obstacle. But I wasn't going to let a dislocated shoulder get in the way of the evolution of the sport and me as a rider." Maddison underwent reconstructive surgery on the shoulder soon after.
The first installment includes Maddison alone. Fellow DC teammate Tyler Bereman, however, rode with Maddison for moral support, helping to assess stunt difficulty and to give him someone to bounce ideas off.
Some of those ideas included a backflip over a plane and a re-enactment of his New Year's Eve 2008 jump off the top of the Arc de Triomphe replica at the Paris Las Vegas. And then there are tricks he's never done.
"I wanted to grind a moving vehicle. I wound up utilizing a trailer. It's coming towards me and I sort of grind the back of the truck with the front wheels of my bike," Maddison said.
The initial video is expected run eight to 10 minutes, and the total number of episodes [and possible addition of other riders] will depend on the success of the first. The series, Maddison admitted, is inspired by DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block's "Gymkhana" rally videos -- but with motocross bikes. "There are similarities and parallels if you want to nitpick," Maddison quipped. "But it's something that had to happen."