The Old World – a dedicated European bike movie

6 min reading time
The Old World is the first dedicated European bike movie that is bridging the gap between mountain bike and BMX riding but also between action sports movie and feature film. Four years in the making The Old World was produced on the highest of filmmaking standards and with help of a BMW X5 and BMW X3 to bring a high class sports movie to the screen. From remote fjords in Norway, magic scottish highlands, rough alpine mountains to metropoles like Paris, the team travelled for two years to portrait the rich European riding landscape and its mountain biking stars. In this making-of review, producer Andi Tillmann recounts for us the memorable experiences from shooting and producing the movie.

30 November 2020

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From super tech setups with night camps to the most remote spots. The Old World was demanding for the production crew having to adapt to everything nature throws at you but still produce on the highest level possible.
Andi Tillmann
The Tillmann Brothers and their X5 all ready to shoot in France. From left to right. DP Toni Tillmann, Head Editor Michi Tillmann, Director and Producer Andi Tillmann

3 brothers, 1 idea, 70 terabytes of footage, 70 000 pictures, two years of principal photography, more than 30 000 kilometers travelled, hair lost and recovered, cried and laughed. This could go on forever to describe what went into creating Europe’s first and most ambitious bike movie to date. Created and produced by the Tillmann Brothers, co-produced by Red Bull Media House and captured in pictures by photographer Julian Mittelstädt this journey through Europe will show you the continent in a different light and hopefully inspire you to grab a bike and explore the beautiful landscapes our home has to offer. Let’s take the passenger seat, fasten the seatbelt and get on a journey with BMW through a breathtaking and cutting edge film project about a special sport.

 

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Watch the Official Trailer here:
Martin Söderström doing what he does best. The level of mountain biking today is just incredible.

In a unique way The Old World portrays the various disciplines biking has to offer while telling the story of imagination and passion. Something every rider, sports fan and dreamer can relate to. Did you ever ride the contours of the passing landscapes with your hand on the passenger seat? Did you ever stare into a beautiful picture and it becomes alive in your mind? It’s this kind of imagination we all share. In an artistic side story unusual for sports movies you will follow newcomer actor Bless Amada who is playing the role of a passionate mountain bike fan and analog photographer on a mindtrip through a fantastic world of imagination that opens up to a new dimension of biking. Shot in a dedicated way each segment portrays a certain discipline, mindset and landscape to show Europe’s diverse riding culture and landscapes. The essence of European biking.

ConneXion

Diversity and contrast. Europe is a continent full of colours, facets and mountainbike stars.

To maximize the outcome next to The Old World Production the Tillmann Brothers shot this short commercial about the mindset and correlating world of mountain biking and driving experience. Showing the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian region Stranda BMW ambassador Martin Söderström is giving a glimpse of an insight of what drives him as a rider. To master all the elements of Europe during this production the Tillmann Brothers partnered up with BMW to create a powerful bavarian film combination and specially rigged X5 was built for filming and off road purposes. Equipped with the impressive off- road BMW package with height adjustable suspension, off road tires and custom rigging like a roof rack for equipment and camera mounting as well as a pull-out work bench in the trunk from PEPEC this car is ready to hit the mountains and get the shots.

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From super tech setups with night camps to the most remote spots. The Old World was demanding for the production crew having to adapt to everything nature throws at you but still produce on the highest level possible.
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The beast waiting to get unleashed.
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Camcar, workbench and workhorse.
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Tillmann Brothers with their customized BMW X3.

The journey through The Old World:

FRANCE

A prime example of what goes into creating a single shot. A lot of specialized people, with a lot of gear and a very special athlete.

After the first film stop in Barcelona and a long winter … ah wait no the team did shoot in the winter. Mountain Biking in winter? Yes you heard it right. Deep in the french Alps lies a gem of a ski resort called Chatel. In the summer this resort offers one of the most progressive bikeparks (similar to a ski resort in the winter) and is well known within the scene. It happens that one of the local mountain bike stars Vincent Tupin is also the best rider when it comes to riding on snow. To show the diversity of riding and seasons in Europe The Old World shows a unique winter segment with this amazing combination. It was hard to get it all together because the warm winters made it nearly impossible to finish the segment but with the hard work of Vinny and the amazing support of Chatel this segment will keep your heartbeat high!

Vincent Tupin wishing for some xDrive support.

GREAT BRITAIN

Endless valleys and endless roads. The Scottish Highlands are something else.

The next stop happened to be on royal ground. The UK plays a vital role in European mountain biking by being home to some of the best riders on this planet throughout all disciplines. It is especially well known though for its downhill racing (comparable to ski downhill race) and trials riding stars. To show the incredible nature and diversity this island has to offer two different segments were shot here with two incredible athletes. Rachel Atherton - an english and legendary athlete that chose Wales as her new home - was delivering world class downhill riding in her hometown and later that year Chris Akrigg showed what it means to interpret the landscape in his unique way. Two segments that are very much worth a watch. Sidenote: The Scotish highland roads also happened to be an incredible funpark for the BMW X3 M that was part of the film works! Location scouting has never been more exciting!

Michi and Toni Tillmann manouvering a drone in their mobile X5 production office.

NORWAY

What looks overly dramatic for most of us is the standard view for scandinavians. Just straight beautiful.

Next up on the shooting list is a location that is or at least should be on everyone’s bucket list. The mountains and fjords of Norway. Being one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world The Tillmann Brothers made their way up to the stunning area of Stranda. Trying to minimize the CO2 footprint the production managed to execute the whole project by car avoiding airplane travel with the only exception being the UK. Having said that, it’s fair to say that traveling tens of thousands of kilometers having the comfort of massage seats and assistant driving was a very much appreciated treat.

To get some extra fancy shots The Tillmann Brothers developed a backpack rig so that director and mountain bike athlete Andi Tillmann can ride with the protagonists and get some new perspectives.
Maneuvering through some spicy segments of the daily route.

For shooting this segment the X5 was a vital part of the production as it helped to access the local mountain every day by bringing gear, riders and team up and down on a challenging off road route.

SUV or offroad beast? The Old World movie didn’t care. The most fancy bike ride shuttle ever.

After 14 challenging days on the mountain with mountain bike superhero Martin Söderström, trick machine Emil Johansson and style weapon Simon Johansson the team came home with an exceptional bag of amazing footage both for The Old World.

The Movie

Watch the digital premiere of The Old World exclusively on Red Bull TV on December 4, 2020.

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Sometimes you have to mark your territory.
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SUV or offroad beast? The Old World movie didn’t care. The most fancy bike ride shuttle ever.
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Martin Söderström and Andi Tillmann discussing the next steps on the ConneXion film shoot while Toni and Michi are getting ready.
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Fistpumps noramlly are a good sign. And this was even before Covid made them mainstream. Martin and the Tillmann brothers agree that The Old World will be something else.
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The brother trio that bring your The Old World: Toni Tillmann - Director of Photography, Andi Tillmann - Director, Executive Producer, Michi Tillmann - Art Director, Head Editor
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Thumbs up to a great collaboration and one hell of a ride!

Photos: Julian Mittelstädt; Author: Andi Tillmann