In June this year I attended a film school for trail riders run by Austin VINCE and based in the Spanish Pyrenees. I knew Austin quite well from the various events we have attended in Spain and knew he was a qualified maths teacher, but better known for being one of the first people to ride around the world on a motorbike. What I didn’t realise was that he was also an accomplished film maker and music creator. He had run a few one-day film making courses in the UK, but this was the first time he had offered a full one-week course which would involve trail riding to shoot some material and then editing to create some videos. He had rented a villa near La Seu d’Urgell which is just the other side of Andorra and managed to get a group of six people together to participate. We were given detailed instructions on what equipment to bring, what software to pre-load onto our laptops, etc.

What followed was a very intense week of hard work, starting at 8.30 in the morning and frequently going on until after midnight. The balance between time spent filming and time spent editing was initailly billed as 50/50 but it turned out we were so slow at getting to grips with the editing tools that the final ratio was more like 5/95 – a few minutes worth of material was enough to keep us busy for hours. I have created a few simple films in the past to try to convey something of what I’ve been up to, but I realised these were of rather mediocre quality and was keen to do better. So for me the course was a huge success and I learnt a massive amount is a very short time. The rest of the group had come over from the UK and were a bit disappointed at the lack of trail riding, but it didn’t bother me as I can ride anytime at home.

The end result of our week’s efforts was that we each created three videos, which became progressively more complex as the week went on. And here they are…

The first one was a short so-called “pop video”. This is a series of film sequences set to music intended to create an overall impression…

Motorbikes in the Mountains

For the second video we were told to create a promotional video for the villa we were staying in. This again involved some film sequences and music but also had to include some “pieces to camera” which were filmed and directed by Austin.

La Vinya De Sant Pere

For the final video we were given free reign. Austin took us to an abandoned village and we had to create our own story line, film scenes in the village, select some appropriate music and include some pieces to camera.

The Abandoned Village of Nabiners

Once back in France I realised I would not be using the editing software often enough to continue paying for the monthly subscription so I tried out another open source editing program and used it to create an additional video, trying to make use of some of the skills I had learnt on the course. The video is just a bit of fun and shows Austin demonstrating how to get a particular shot.

Austin Got The Shot