Tipping Point

Image Tipping Point DVD Review

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Many people will have watched Clay Porters work with the Yeti team from the ?08 season. Yeti led the way, producing high quality, professionally filmed and edited shorts as pod casts throughout the season. This format has taken off massively over the past year with almost every big team now boasting a pro film maker tasked with getting that all important brand exposure. Crucially though, these guys are getting their work out fast – I know I?m not the only one who checks dirt mag every couple of hours over WC DH weekend, just praying for the next instalment from the Parkin brothers. Couple that with the wonders of live feeds and we?re faced with an important question: is there still a place for the post season DVD? Well on the face of it maybe not, but then you only have to watch The Tipping Point once to realise that it offers something that simply isn?t possible with live or nearly live internet videos – all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. The Tipping Point presents the season as a whole – while each WC internet video instalment is brimming with close racing and plenty of drama, on their own they lack context.
 
 
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Following the whole season from start to finish, Porter focuses on the devastation caused by Sam Hill?s performance in 2007. Hill was without question the most talked about racer coming into the 2008 season, to the extent that most of the other top pro?s must have been getting a little tired of all the hype. Sure he was the best, but he was being portrayed as unbreakable, the new Nicolas Vouilloz perhaps, but even more revered.
 
 
 
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From the outset this is captured, using one of many ?talking head? scenes (where the riders effectively substitute the narrator – a good thing in my opinion after Porter’s monotone attempts in ?Between The Tapes?, and a far too ?movie trailer? type voice in ?F1RST?) where Hill proclaims that people don?t necessarily want to win, they just want to beat him. That may seem arrogant, but the truth is that he was almost certainly right. It must have been interesting to see the reaction of all the top pros at the premier, with Hill the opening and closing topic, and of course the subject throughout. In a season where he won no titles some must have found that hard to swallow.

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Because Porter is so well regarded and liked on the WC circuit he manages to capture that bit more than some of the other film makers. Incredibly Porter can be credited with creating the tipping point of the whole ’08 season, when he asked Minnar, who up until Andora ’08 hadn’t won a race since his ’05 series win, how that made him feel. Minnar reacted with real emotion, cutting Porter short and showing his frustration at his great but never quite great enough form over the past few years. This, it would seem is the moment that changed the course of the season, as Minnar went on to win Mont St Anne and ultimately the whole series. Pretty amazing.

 
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Steve Peat (sorry World Champion)’s contribution to the sport is celebrated nicely with a great section of him riding with the many young British riders he?s taken under his wing over the years. Its great to watch them all tearing about in a DH train, and watching Brendog ride in jeans and a hoody like a man possessed is pretty awesome too.
 
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The music is perfectly matched with each scene enhancing the emotion of what you?re seeing on screen, particularly during the Atherton Andora WC scene – where Clay’s documentary style is at it’s best. In fact the whole film was exceptionally well produced, and is a cut above most other MTB DVD productions. The quality of each shot is breathtaking, and worth watching in slow motion so that you can appreciate them in full. The only things that let the film down were the grainy black and white talking heads, some deja vu inducing yeti scenes and the choice of yellow for the subtitles.
 
 
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The clear highlight of the film (in my opinion) is Matti Lehikoinen?s section, at home in Finland. Matti?s riding is the most naturally stylish I?ve seen in a long time, and seeing him on home turf is pretty awesome.
 
 
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The Tipping Point is a great example of why the post WC season DVD still has its place, and with Porter being so popular with the riders you can always be sure of some extra insight. Recently Porter has been working hard producing the Atherton?s reality TV style podcasts ?The Atherton Project? – Each episode is so slick you?d be forgiven for thinking that MTV were responsible for the output, and ?The Tipping Point? is of the same calibre. But with the recent ?09 season being the most exciting for years lets just hope he squeezed in some time to put another DVD together?.
 
Denham
 
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Photos – Screen shots from Film
 
 
Tipping Point Trailer
 
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