Once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. Once you learn to bunny hop off backwards from heights of several metres, you’re set for life. Enter Danny MacAskill, Scottish trail cyclist and YouTube sensation.
Danny hit it big in 2009 when he put a compilation of stunts online, which soon led to films being commissioned, commercial offers from advertisers and sponsorship from caffeine peddlers Red Bull.
“April 2009” is the video that shot Danny to fame and gained him widespread media attention. The video itself is shot in 4:3 and has more in common with a skate video than anything, but the tricks and soundtrack used (Funeral by Band of Horses) are stellar. The video opens with Danny repeatedly failing the same trick, before a montage of Edinburgh-based madness.
My YouTube Story: Danny MacAskill
When YouTube turned five, the FiveYear channel interviewed some of the service’s most recognisable faces. Danny’s own successes on YouTube have helped him turn a serious hobby into lucrative sponsorship and funding deals, allowing him to create more films, all of which are put online for free. Thanks YouTube!
Way Back Home
In 2010 Danny produced a homecoming video showing the journey from Edinburgh, Scotland to his hometown of Dunvegan on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Dramatic shots of rugged Scottish countryside, insane air, huge gaps and vastly improved production values all helped Danny get a foothold among the YouTube community.
You can see an interview with Danny regarding the film above, as well as a picturesque montage of shooting locations and how Danny chose them in the video below.
Commissioned by Lezyne, a company that specialises in cycling accessories, Insight takes a quick look at Danny’s personal situation in Edinburgh, how he got where he is and most importantly what his shed looks like. While the video contains plenty of footage of Danny riding his bike, it’s shot at a far more sedate pace and offers a chance to get to know the man behind the tricks a little better.
His most ambitious project so far, Imaginate is a beautifully produced seven minutes that took Danny and sponsors Red Bull two years to organise, orchestrate and produce. It needs little in the way of introduction, but if you fancy an alternative angle you can check out the GoPro video below.
While Imaginate was in production Red Bull also produced a series of videos looking at how such a film is put together. The series takes a look at Danny’s struggles with injury, the themes behind the film and the act of capturing, filming and gelling the action together. This series is embedded below – click play and watch away.
POC Bike Excursion With Friends
In 2011 POC invited Danny and fellow riders Daniel Dhers and Martin Söderström to Stockholm to ride the streets and sample some of the off-shore scenery. With Dhers being a professional BMX rider from Caracas, Venezuela and Söderström specialising in freeride mountain biking, watching all three tackle Stockholm’s various obstacles is far from boring.
Other Commercial Work
One way in which Danny has benefitted from his YouTube exposure is through the number of commercial films he has been asked to undertake. From short TV-spots from the likes of Volkswagen, above, to the 5-minute long epic commute-like-no-other for Scottish recruitment website S1Jobs below.
You can check out the rest of Danny’s videos and goings on at dannymacaskill.co.uk where he posts all of his videos, regardless of comission or sponsor. Let us know what you think of these videos in the comments, below.
Image Credits: Internationale Sportnacht Davos Via Flickr