Ross Measures wins GoPro Dirt Diaries 

Hilarious film about how different people see riding takes Crankworx prize

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Dirt Diaries winners Ross Measures (holding cheque) and his filmmaking teammate Matt Dennison (speaking into mic) were happy competition winners.
  • Photo BY Cathryn Atkinson
  • Dirt Diaries winners Ross Measures (holding cheque) and his filmmaking teammate Matt Dennison (speaking into mic) were happy competition winners.

The nighttime temperature was just on the cool side of skin temperature, perfect to watch outdoor movies in Whistler Olympic Plaza after a hot day celebrating Crankworx out on the mountain.

A crowd of several hundred watched North Shore's Ross Measures win the third annual GoPro Dirt Diaries short film competition on Tuesday, Aug. 12, a year after coming second in the same competition.

"I'm feeling pretty, pretty, pretty good," laughed Measures after taking home the $5,000 first prize.

His film told the tongue-in-cheek story of Measures's life as a rider – and what the people in his world believe he gets up to when he rides in Whistler, following the "what I do" Internet meme.

His "mother" saw the dangers of mountain biking in Whistler, his "boss" thought he knew all about the sport ("Ya got shocks? We got shocks"), his "girlfriend" thought all he'd do was party (including streaking past unsuspecting golfers), and his "grandpa" would talk about the good old days riding bikes in Winnipeg in -40 C.

Then there was how Ross, himself, saw his awesomeness as a rider, with the reality coming in hilariously at the end.

The film got the most laughs of the night.

In an interview before his win, Measures — a former professional dirt jump and downhill race athlete — said they had a lot of fun making it.

"It went as smooth as it probably could have. We foresaw a bunch of hiccups and things happening, but it went really good. Everything we set out to do we were able to do, nothing held us back," he said.

"Last year, I did it as a filmmaker, so my friend was the athlete. This year, I was invited back as the athlete. I had a lot of ideas but at the same time I didn't want to direct the person who was shooting it, so I came up with the concept and gave it to Matt Dennison."

Vancouver-based filmmaker Dennison directed and shot the film.

"There were a lot of riding clichés to play off of, so it was easy to write. It was fun to put together. I thought Matt could pull it off and when I went to him he was happy about it," Measures added.

Dennison said: "I'm super happy. Last year, I dropped out. When Ross told me his concept I was in right away. I knew no matter what, it would be fun to shoot."

Crankworx organizers opened up the competition to athletes this year, allowing them to shape their own stories. Each of the six teams invited had seven weeks to shoot and could have part of the film shot anywhere in the world.

Along with Measures, this year's six Dirt Diaries competitors were world-class riders Wade Simmons, Kirt Voreis, Andrew Taylor, Yannick Granieri and Claire Buchar.

While Measures won $5,000 for first place, American Voreis placed second and received $3,000, and Whistler's Buchar won third place, receiving $2,000.

It was a good day all round for Buchar, who also won the pro-women's title in the Garbanzo DH at Crankworx earlier on Tuesday.

Simmons, known as the Godfather of Freeriding, said his film Brick and Mortar tells the story of how he and his friends got together and developed their sport.

"It was challenging because we had so many projects. The filmmaker I worked with was on a bunch of other projects and I had this idea that was pretty hard to pull off. It might be better for a longer film, it's hard to put it all into six minutes," he said.

"But it started to come together... it's about the foundation of a freerider. It would have been easy to do a shred edit, ripping... but I wanted to dive deeper and look at my influences in it. I contacted my old buddies and filmed with them. It's a journey into the past of Wade Simmons."

Jules Langaeard, the filmmaker for Frenchman Granieri, said much of their film was shot in Provence before they flew to Whistler. It was his first trip to Whistler.

"He knows the Whistler trails. He knew exactly what he wanted to shoot and he trusted what we could do, so we shot for one day and had one day for editing," Langaeard says.

"The film was the story of Yannick, about his everyday life. Rather than get a first place, we wanted to make something that we liked, that people would like."

Along with the competition, Elixer, a new short film by Nick Geddes about his fight against leukemia in 2011, was shown. Geddes worked with last year's winner Leo Zuckerman on it.

"This is the first public viewing of it. It took over a year," Geddes said. "When I was diagnosed with leukemia I was riding a ton and still am now. The film is about my road to recovery and being back at it... I'd say it's a pretty emotional story, especially for people who know (me) and know my story."

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