The Gymkhana Files At the Peak (2018– ) Online
Ken Block and his team of Hoonigans have built a viral video empire out of a simple concept. Driver. Car. Location. No limits. The result has been 9 Gymkhana films that have earned over 500million views on YouTube alone, won numerous ad awards for best branded content, and garnered millions of reposts, parodies, and tributes online. With GymkhanaTEN, the team wants to make their greatest film ever - with 5 cars, 5 different locations, and a brand new, radically different, custom built vehicle the world has never seen. However, before any of that can even get started, Ken and the team have a different mountain to climb: literally. Climbkhana, Ken & co.'s first attempt at a brand new viral series, is going to combine their Gymkhana series with the unique motorsport of hillclimb, on one of America's most iconic mountains: Pikes Peak, Colorado. With extreme altitude, wild weather, and devastating consequences off the corner of every cliff - this might be the most difficult video they've ...
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|Matthew Holt||-||Production Designer / Himself|
Pikes Peak, first summitted on 1820 by explorer Edwin James, is one of the 100 tallest mountains in the United States at a whopping 14,110 feet.
"Go to 2" is film production jargon - on most sets walkie talkie channel 2 is reserved for private conversations. Most sets use a standard set of channels that includes channel 1 as general, channel 2 as private, and channels 3-16 assigned to specific departments.
"Bleed bottles" are used to bleed brakes, in order to remove air bubbles from the brake lines so that the brakes don't feel soft.
GoPro, a company founded by Nicholas Woodman after wanting to take videos of his surf trip in Indonesia, is a vital tool for all sorts of action sports photography now. A single shot for a Gymkhana film can have upwards of 25 GoPro's between those mounted on the car, objects, buildings and more.
In 2017 alone, Ken raced in 13 professional races, in addition to filming, sponsor appearances and more.
The 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon had 319,030 people in attendance over three days, along with 880 vehicles on display.
Many in the skate industry have said that DC Shoes was the first to bring the Nike-style model of athlete sponsorship to extreme sports.
Prior to posting Gymkhana Testing and Practice on YouTube, Ken reportedly incurred tens of thousands of dollars in bandwidth fees on his personal website when the video went viral.
CLIMBKHANA comes from the combination of "hill climb" and "gymkhana."
Hillclimb is one of the world's oldest motorsports, with routes dating back to 1897 in La Turbie, near Nice, France.
Pre-production meetings are meetings that happen in advance of a film shoot to coordinate the creative and logistical challenges of the production. These can happen days, weeks or months before filming.
These photos are from "Agents of Change" - a visual history of the founding of DC Shoes and the impact it had on the skateboarding industry.
After writing for a wide range of magazines, Brian went on to found 0-60 Magazine, from which many of the Hoonigans got their start. Matt Tuccillo, Ron Zaras and Tony Harmer all started at the magazine before it was shut down after three years.
The Hoonicorn has had multiple iterations. The first car was unique as an all wheel drive, 845-horsepower 1965 Ford Mustang RTR. However, in order to maintain power higher up the mountain for Climbkhana, the car was modified to add two turbos and added methanol, making the new, 1400-horsepower Hoonicorn V2.
The full Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course is a 12.42 mile race, with 156 turns, climbing 4,720 feet from the 9,390 ft. start line to the 14,115 ft. finish line. The ascent can rob internal combustion engines of up to 30% of their start line power.
Most of the beeps and glitches you hear are actual production sound effects, distorted versions of the walkie-talkie noises you hear as people communicate across these vast locations.
Derek Dauncey has a long history in rallying. He was the former team manager for Mitsubishi World Rally team, starting in 2001, during which the team won four Driver's Titles in the World Rally Championship with rally legend Tommi Makinen.
In this shot, you'll see Ken wears a small white breathing mask - this is to help deal with the methanol fumes of the Hoonicorn V2 which are extremely flammable and poisonous. Eventually the team would design a specific helmet to deal with the methanol fumes - a helmet you'll see in episode 2.
Snow starts to fall in this shot, and that's because at Pikes Peak it can snow all year round. In fact, weather is wildly unpredictable. Just in this three days of filming alone, it snowed and hailed on one of the days.
"Overcranked" is film jargon for filming in slow motion. Older film cameras had to be hand-cranked, so over-cranking referred to the technique of cranking the camera faster than normal in order to achieve the slow motion effect when the film was played back at normal speed.
Brian Scotto, the director of GymkhanaTEN, is seen here with multiple walkie talkies. He and Jeremy, the Assistant Director, will frequently have as many as 3 or 4 walkies. One is always dedicated to Ken and the race team, one to the general production channel, and any additional as needed for police officers, camera crew, etc.
Pikes Peak has several interestingly named portions. The W's are a stretch of road so named because the switchbacks are so tight they look like W's from the sky, while Devil's Playground is said to be named for the way in which lightning leaps from the various rock formations.
Jeremy Foley and co-driver Yuri Kouznetso managed to walk away from this scary crash with minimal injuries.
Brian is referencing a recent shoot the Hoonigans did at the Mt. Washington Hill Climb, where one of their sponsored drivers Sara Price competed as a result of winning the Hoonigans Wanted web show earlier in the year.
In the first two trips to attempt to complete Climbkhana, one shoot had to be cancelled due to severe weather and the second shoot was cancelled when the engine couldn't withstand the altitude. This is the first time Ken attempted the Evo corner shot.
To achieve the final shot of Ken drifting the waters edge took 12 attempts.
You'll notice inside the Hoonicorn, Ken has a custom handbrake machine cut into the Hoonigan logo, but he also utilizes a sequential manual transmission, which allows Ken to shift gears without engaging the clutch.
The train you see at the top of the mountain is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. It's the highest railway in the United States, and is currently shutdown indefinitely as the infrastructure is no longer safe.
The Pikes Peak Summit House staff claim that the Pikes Peak donuts can't be made at lower altitudes, that the recipe demands the donuts be made at 14,000 feet and above.
Jeff Zwart has an automotive resume a mile long. Starting as a photographer for Road & Track in the 70s, he has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb "in nine different Porsches, and has won seven class championships."