Getting the Shot: Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah
The tiny town of Moab in the southeast corner of Utah is an adventure lover’s dream.
This outdoorsy community is flanked by Arches National Park to the north and Canyonlands National Park to the southwest. Take a trip there, and you’ll spot rock climbers shimmying up the sandstone cliffs lining the main road and four-wheelers hitched to the back of pickup trucks. It’s also prime territory for mountain bikers.
Eric Porter is no stranger to Moab’s biking scene.
The professional mountain biker frequently makes the four-hour drive southeast from Park City, Utah, to put wheels to rock on Moab’s trails — a pastime he was happy to share with the MacGillivray Freeman Films crew for the upcoming film, America Wild: National Parks Adventure: Presented by Expedia and Subaru.
“It’s super cool to be a part of this movie, with all the best cameras in the world,” Porter said. “It’s pretty rad to have those filming me just having fun on my bike and doing what I like to do anyway.”
The MacGillivray Freeman Films crew spent two days shooting along the Slickrock Trail, capturing Porter’s movements from every angle imaginable. This area of public land next to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks is open to all sorts of activities, including mountain biking, horseback riding and camping. The film crew used a helicopter to film him as he dove down a steep chute; they used drones to get shots of him as he sped along the flats; and they balanced massive cameras in precarious positions to capture him as he leaped from cliffs. (Warning: Don’t try this at home.)
“You never really know how it’s going to work when you cut it together,” said Matt Amick, a camera assistant with MacGillivray Freeman Films. “The worst thing in the world is you get back home and you start to put the scene together and you go ‘Aw, man! I wish that we had that shot!’”
“I actually grew up going to watch IMAX movies and was blown away by them,” Porter said. “To actually be in one is amazing. I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old — both boys. I’ll take them, and they’ll think it’s super-cool, too.”
The action-packed days spent at the Slickrock Trail paid off: You can see more of Porter’s stunts in America Wild: National Parks Adventure in theaters in 2016.
Professional mountain biker Eric Porter leaping from a cliff near Moab, Utah