The new video arrives....Please check it out

So here’s the deal. Since I’m going to be doing this video at moab, I’ve been doing some preperation work. To get some hands on work with the camera and also to play around with some editing effects, I’ve produced a demo video.

During the new year holiday Checkernuts and I went out with a non-uni friend and we shot some material. I edited down a 5 minute product, which I predict you’ll all enjoy immensely.

This video should give you a taste of some of the things you’ll see in the moab video. As the learning process goes on, I see what works and what doesn’t. Some of the effects and technique you see here will be in the Moab product (but require polishing). Some of them will not because they just aren’t working for me. Most likely, I will rework a lot of this stuff and some new stuff and pull off something moderately slick.

Finally, I take full credit for the editing magic. I have a lot of growing to do as a photographer, so all the good camera work you see here was done by my friend, Rachel. And, as you’ll see, all of the good unicycling was done by Checkernuts.

Enough of my windbaggedness, link.

PS, if you can spare the bandwidth, get the big’un. It pains me to compress the fruits of my labors.

PPS, if you ain’t got it, the DIVX codec and player can be had for free at

im getting the small version right now and i’ll do my best but there seems to be no resume feature to the download,so if MSN drops me (like they do all the time:( ) i’ll have to start over again.


You need to give yourself some more credit, although I havent seen the video yet I’m still downloading it… :wink:

You orginized everything and thanks agian for a great ride that day, it was alot of fun. I just wish I would have been able to do the whole little trials thing on the rocks and get up the bench when I was on camera… I guess I was a bit impotent in front of the camera.

I just wish I could go out to Moab with you. Its sure to be a blast. And we deffenatlly need to get together again and ride somemore.

Mr Nutz.

way to go guys!

that was good stuff,it put my boring clips to shame.i wish i was there to show you how to ride that 100 stair :wink:

nick did you flip off the MT.bikerz?

Once again Great Job, I just got to watch the vid (smallest compression) for the first time. I’m deffenatlly pleased with the end result. Now I’m gonna have to learn how to ride big sets of stairs (I swear I can do sets of like 6) . Or I’m not gonna hear the end of it from Jag. :wink:

Wow. That’s all I’ve got to say for now… and not just because I’m dead tired but because that is an amazing piece of work.

Technically/artistically it is more than a pleasure to watch. I think that’s one of the first videos of the “homegrown” ilk that has had a consistent transition theme that even melds seamlessly with the accents of “You Can Do It” by No Doubt.

Not only is it eye candy but brain candy as well. The skills exhibted might not totally put me to shame (gotta give myself a little credit, now don’t I?) but there’s some very, very solid riding throughout.

I can’t wait to see the moab video. Thanks very much for putting this together.


Other bandwidth hogs like me may have noticed the medium sized one is actually at a higher resolution than the larger one, although the sound isn’t as high a quality.

Most impressive, whatever resolution you watch it at… :slight_smile:

Phil, just me

Oh, wow, Phil, your right. I was playing with a bunch of different settings to see what would give the best sizes. That was kind of un intentional, but I was pleased to see that the Divx looks pretty good even at the lower resolutions.

Thanks for your thoughts. Jagur, I wasn’t flipping off the bikers, but it was kind of neat to see their reactions. Also of note, in that shot it was the first time Checkernuts has ever been on a 26". He was idling my own uni on his first try better than I ever could.

Great Video!! Chex, the custom Roach armor looks way cool.



Great job on the video. It looks like you put alot of time into it. Why aren’t you guys wearing MUni Militia T-shirts? The custom Roach armor that Chex is wearing is really cool looking.

That was fun; the retro Shaft erra opening feel sits well with me- I greatly enjoyed the balance meter too. Head-height perspective isn’t often the best place to shoot from- you might play with carting around a lader and going to ground for just-the-right-shot, and for ‘story telling’ perposes you might try story-boarding your scenes (in your head, anyway).

…and where were those MUni Militia shirts, anyway? (and I kinda imagined Mr. Nutz would always being wearing something checkered- but that’s my problem…)

Send more.


A great first effort! I especially liked the music. A great match with difficult unicycling. Those flamin’ Roaches are cool too. The editing was great, lots of attention to transition and such.

Looking for suggestions?

  • My first is the one I offer to nearly every photographer, get closer. Dan and Adam had a closeup lens attachment that they used for most of the Santa Cruz and Sea Otter shooting of Universe. It not only allows you to be right in front of the rider, it also steadies the shot. Just make sure you’re real close when you use that one.

I had one of those closeup lenses on the video camera I brought to China in 2000. I had fun going right up to things; for instance running the camera down a buffet line at a restaurant we went to, sticking it right in the trays of crab/shelfish and other exoctic delights.

Along with getting closer, remember to show faces more often, and remember you don’t always have to see the entire rider and wheel. Sometimes detailed shots of just feet and wheels are good too.

  • Use a tripod as much as possible, especially for any shots that are zoomed in. Nothing helps you cross the bridge from amateur to pro-looking video than a tripod. I know, tripods are a hassle. Maybe a nice “unipod” would be a little easier to work with.

  • As someone else mentioned, don’t forget to use unusual shooting angles. Get down on the ground, high up, or even follow behind the rider (wide angle) as he attempts something.

  • Tell a story. If you can add a theme, story, or even some kind of running gag, it ties everything together and also makes it more watchable to the non-unicyclists you know you’re going to show it to.

All in all a great effort! I can’t wait to get something other than my own feet and camera into the Moab version!


So this is what people mean by double-post.

Hey, John, great comments. Of course I’m open to some suggestions. The whole point is learning. And as I’m weakest in photography, I need all the help I can get.

Some thoughts on your thoughts:

Get Closer: I hadn’t thought of this explicitly, but I had noticed that my shots were way too wide, while Rachel’s shots were framed much better. I found that some of my favorite shots were tight shots on Chex’s wheel as he did a hop. I’ve thought about the wide-angle lens, but I think we’re at the point where wide-angle screams skateboard video. I don’t want to get stuck witha tired “look”. Still, I may pick one up for Moab.

Tripod: I couldn’t agree more. A tripod is absolutely essential, and if you can find a way to roll the tripod or set up a tracking system, the results are amazing. I feel like the kid at school making excuses for a late report, but the guy who was supposed to bring the tripod never met us at the park that day. I was using signposts, handrails, tree stumps, anything I could find that day. You’ll definitely see me with one of those super-light tripods strapped on my back in Utah.

Unusual angles: God thought. I’ll have to experiment there. If nothing else, I’m going to drop the $150 for a helmet cam (

Story: Hey, I had a story :wink: I was going for this whole try-try-again theme…“You Can Do It” and such - which was kind of dictated to me by the footage - we had way more failed attempts than successful tricks. At Moab, my theme will be kind of an informational/propoganda thing. I hope to get plenty of interviews with people talking about their skills, talking about their unis, describing their equipment modifications.

Thanks for your thoughts. I’m thrilled that your nice enough to even be in my Moab video.

Anyway, I hope this isn’t too much boring dialogue. It’s always nice to talk about our work, right?

We who? Not me, I don’t watch skateboard videos. But closeups are good in any form of photography or video. Often my closup shots of things (still photos) get lots of attention, if only because no one else took any.

The camera I used in China came with the wide angle attachment as a discounted item at the time of purchase. I think it only added $30 to the camera’s price, so hopefully one to fit your camera will not be expensive.

Uh huh. Quote from that guy’s dog: “BURP!”

Just kidding. You didn’t do this video for school, or for money. It’s all yours, and done for fun so no regrets. In fact, unlike many others, you’re thinking ahead and doing these “test” videos so you won’t waste your time and footage when you get to Moab. Smart indeed! I wonder how much you can improve before we all go there?

That should be fun! I also did some shooting-while-riding. Got to get some of this into a computer and edit it so you guys can see some. If anyone has the Introduction To Unicycling video, you’ve seen one of my handheld shots, following John Hooten through the dark tunnel of the Culvert Trail in Auburn, CA. The other one follows Jeff Sloan through one of the racing events we did at MUni Weekend 2000 at Northstar (he got a lot faster between then and MUni Weekend 2002!).

With a wide enough angle lens, you can get away with a lot in hand-held situations, not that I recommend riding rough terrain with an expensive camera in your hand. Shooting the rider from underneath, or right next to the obstacles, can work well too.

Thanks, I was thinking Starsky & Hutch. I love the 70’s cop action vibe of that music. I planned on doing a bunch of split-screen, but once I’d designed the bubbles, they took over.

If I decide to do another test, I will send more. I’ll probably start getting to work on some pre-production stuff for the big project. I’d like to get as much done as I can before Moab. I might give you guys a sneak peak of the opening titles sequence I’m working on.


that really does look like you were flipping them the bird… I know I was there and you wernt but couldnt we just lie and say something like they commented on our lack of a wheel so you flipped them off before slashing the tires on thier car?

Things I would like to see in the moab video would be more skate vid style shots. I know you dont want to go total skate video but get the low follow shots, And put youself at wierd angles so you have interesting things to cut between. Reverse angles might also be kinda neat if you can do it. I really like the way the Ride By shot of you looks when we were going down the steep hill next to the dam. As far as the wide angle stuff goes, if you have a set up shot showing the terraine people will see what they are riding, then after that you can focus on them doing the route gap or whatever it may be with occasional wide angle shots as reminders.
Also I know with this vid you didnt have much footage to use. But things like me running back up the hill after I ate it on the stairs got a little repetitive and slowed the action down. Falls are all good, but watching people dust themselfs off gets kinda boaring to watch.

Still watching the vid over and over agian to see how I can improve my riding style. Any tips would be greatly appriciated, except on the stairs n :stuck_out_tongue: . I know what I was doing there I just have never praticed it.


I thought that it was pretty good clip. Nice theme! Anyways, as for improving your riding, try working on you seat out front riding, and less set-up time before you do things. One thing i was wondering about the video was the lack of “flow” rides. Exept for that one on the log, there wasn’t anything else, and i agree when you say there should be less time spent showing him getting up after falls, and stuff like that. i’m watching it again…
oh, way too much time spent on those logs, you have like 3seconds of him doing some trials on rocks… whay no more, and less wipe-outs/logs? Also, why didn’t you show just a little bit more stuff with the pic-nic tables? All in all a good vid, just some more footage/ different would have made it better. If i’m sounding critical, i’m not trying to be, it’s a really great vid! i d’ont even have my own little video. i really want to make a video to show all you guys, it’s just that i d’ont have the resources necessary.


I think the reason nick didnt use the rock trial sequence is that I didnt make the whole thing in any shots. I keept getitng half way and choking… It was completly my inexperience on rocks that got to me. All the jumps were deffenatlly makeable I just couldnt put it together. (nick if you could put a clip of that in the gallery or somewhere I would really appreciate it) I really want to go back and try to get that whole thing too.

The funny thing with the seat in front hop up the bench is that I made it no hesittation on the first try. Then we were like cool lets get some close up video of it and I just wasnt getting the height from then on. Ohh well. Next vid shoot I’ll get that stuff. Seat in front is still kinda new to me and I know its a major weakness.

The reason we didnt do more stuff on the picnic tables is that we started the day on the logs and got alot of footage from there. Then moved away from that area. I tried ( failed) a section of really steep downhill toward the end of the day that was sweet… you can see it in a shot of nick flying down the path by the dam.

I also would like to have found some gaps to do and played arround a bit on some other structures. But this was an afternoon shoot that was just for fun. And the main goal was completed to test out camera’s, shooting and then editing a small project.

I would really like to try my hands at making another similar film, (maybe 10 min long) of my friend ben and I going crazy all over the city of pittsburgh, from indoor trials in academic buildings, to some hardcore muni and downhill just outside the city.

Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it