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Dig 2020 Photo Issue: Alans 40 Year Advert

This was our first print ad since the last issue of The Albion back in 2013 or thereabouts, we wanted to keep things positive and forward-looking rather than do a retrospective which we did for 30 and 25 year ads.

The overall ad concept was by Tom Garcia and created by Jim Taylor. Alan added the 40 number plate and Will at Dig added some GO/Club Homeboy vibes with the haltones and fills. Here's a bit about the what went into it from those who took the photos.

Purchase a copy of this brilliant Dig photo journal

Top Image: Davies-Bate Death Drop Sam by Jim Taylor 
Shooting that death drop was by far one of the gnarliest things I've shot to this day. I had Sam message me a week before it about this mad drop he had planned and that he wanted me to shoot it, and with that same message he included a photo of the spot with him stood below the gap and I was blown away, but I was down for sure. It was a funny one for me because I actually had a filming job that same day in Manchester at a wedding fare, talk about contrast in jobs but there was no way I could miss it.
The filming job I had was fairly formal which meant I had to wear super smart clothes but I didn't have time to change in-between, so Sam had to lend me some camo overalls to wear over the top of my smart clothes as this spot required us to hop a few fences with some MDF for the landing. After a small scramble through some muddy hills and trees we got to the abandoned factory and setup for the shot. I still couldn't believe how gnarly this drop was, and how insistent Sam was that he was going to do it. Anyway, I got my camera setup for the sequence along side Tom Robinson who was filming it.
The drop was one thing, but what you can't see is the run up which was equally as stupid to do. It was a flat run up out this second floor factory, but because of a divider that had been built in there, Sam had to kind of swoop just before he shoots out the doorway leaving only half a foot at best either side of his bars.
Anyway, we're all set up and ready to go it was time for Sam to do his bit. Rightly so, it took him many run ups to figure it out and to get hyped, I aint being funny but there is no amount of hype that could've convinced me to jump out that factory without a parachute and there never will be.
The problem was, after about 45 mins I was running real short on time to get to this other filming job and it wasn't the sort of job i could roll up late to, so ontop of Sam readying himself for a 20ft drop he started to get me chirping in his ears about needing to go soon.
It got to literally the last possible second I could've been there when Sam shouted 'YEP' and rode back for another run up. Maybe me pushing him for time was what he needed to click and go for it because after he disappeared back into the factory, the next time I saw him was flying through the air out this factory door. All's he needed was a basket on his bike to look like he was trying to do a crackhead version of the ET scene. He flew out that doorway like a rocket, landed on the wall as planned but his hat fell over his head which made him slam off the wall onto his side. I couldn't believe what I saw, after he stopped skidding on the floor we ran over all completely losing our minds to check he was alive to which he was. After I confirmed he had a pulse I had to run off to get the train for the second job of the day and that was that. I'll never forget that day or that factory roof, huge respect Sam you nutter!

Middle image: Bear Manual to Whip by Tom Garcia
We were out for the first session filming for the Vans The Circle video competition and needed to get some photos to send Vans for the pre launch campaign, we had been riding in Manchester and went to the classic uni spot across from Projekts skatepark, the place has quite a few things to ride within one single plaza. We were out in a big group with the Foundation BMX lads and Bear had eyed up the manual on the two tables, he had done it a few times to barspin out the other end. Edwin was also out with us and called it our for Bear to do the whip and he could film it fisheye while I was taking photos of latest team addition Andy Kay doing a rail to bar opposite. After seeing him bang it one go I instantly needed to take a sequence shot of it and asked him to do it again without Edwin in the frame. Bear quickly got up and did it 2nd try and the sequence was done.

Lower Image: Chris Smith Curved Wallride by Toby Richards
Again out filming for the Vans the Circle video project, we had been filming in Preston after riding Chorley in the morning. It was a heavy day for clips and we got loads that day, after working our way from the football stadium into town we ended up at the bus station. Its some crazy brutalist style building (Has actually made several top 10 brutalist structure lists) but at the end there's an odd tiled structure including this wild curved wall ride with a pole in the center. There was some tourist who kept trying to take pictures of us on the sly and eventually the team started showing off with barspins and that, he was super chuffed. Chris started checking out this wallride while we were all chilling, its super tight because of the pole in the center and Chris felt it out a few times, got it his regular way then went full send to do it opposite! Luckily Toby was there to grab the snap fisheye and the rest is history.

Inset photo: Tony Holland by Nigel Higginson
One of a series of photos that Nigel took for BMX Weekly magazine over the last jump at the 1983 UKBMX National on the Isle of Man. A'ME goggles and mask, 1 3/8" rims, Max gaiters, no socks or gloves. If there is a photo that says FACTORY more than this, then we'd like to see it. 

Now THAT'S a drop.

Our 30 years print ad in The Albion, 2011. 

The original Tony Holland photo that we used in both ads. 


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