Behind the scenes with Stivi Gatev & the filming crew
13 November 2017, Georgi Daskalov
Quite a few weekends ago, just as fall began to set in, we decided to spend a day in the woods shooting video with one of Bulgaria's most talented young men on two wheels - Stivian Gatev. That dude is one of the most devoted riders I've seen and it's a pure pleasure to have him around, on his bike and infront of the lens. Showcasing that last bit, his riding, using video and stills was one of our main missions that day. The other, as always, was to have fun and enjoy a beautiful day in the mountains.
We were all itching to get on track first thing in the morning, but there's always a few technical issues to be managed first. The film crew was on it.
It wasn't long before all gear was set and the Sitnyakovo Express chairlift spun up exclusively for our crew. Today the resort was closed for the public - we were basically going to have a private resort to play with that day!
Nobody on the chairlifts but us, hell yeah!
Everybody, meet film director Alex Kristanov - the loudest man on the mountain that day, seen here resting up for a day full of shouting ideas back and forth with his camera crew.
The crew - Alexander Pehlev and Ivo Milev, resting their ears before a full day of being shouted at with ideas.
Here's a closer look at our main hero - Stivi Gatev, itching to get on track and go after it!
His goal for the day - look pinned all day. No problem! Stivi knows how to get on it.
The filming crew too know how to get after it, but their part is a little different that day. Carrying camera gear down hills is never a big deal for these guys!
Ivo Milev, the infamous Panda character found around in this part of the Balkans, plays the film crew's producer, otherwise known as the guy who makes stuff happen when on location.
It was a beautiful day, full of gorgeous light shining down on the slopes above Borovets. Absolutely perfect for showcasing the riding of Bulgaria's National Champion.
For us, as for Stivi, it's just business as usual. Every man doing his thing, trying his best to make use of our time on the hill.
Sasho Pehlev plays the cameraman equivalent of the hindu god Shiva, using his ten hands to wield what seems like ten different cameras, both on the ground and up in the air.
Here's how multiple angles are shot. Sasho Kristanov is way more adventurous, hiding out in the gap between the takeoff and landing, but his effort pays off. The crew looks fired up!
Scary Movie is such a classic track! We move through the forest swift and efficient, ticking off shot after shot, section after section. Stivi waits out patiently as the crew moves their gear.
My job (shooting stills) involves carrying expensive and heavy camera gear up and down the mountain all day, but it stil like child's play compared with the group effort of these guys.
We're all bagging up serious money-shots - so many that Panda-man Ivo has to carry them down in two backpacks, on a bike! Is there anything that's impossible for this guy?
Stivi, summing things up nicely in a single gesture.
So much talent in one picture!
Strong legs are one of the main requirements for managing a mountainbike video production like this. Thankfuly Ivo is solid in that department - a long time skier and bike rider himself, he helps Stivi up with his bike towards the end of the shoot.
I'm deliberately leaving most of the riding pictures without comments, as I think Stivi's riding speaks lodly enough by itself. He's surely not monkeying around like this on his bike.
See what I mean?
It's not long before our session draws to an end with some golden light for our golden boy. What a day!