Robbie Maddison & Dana Brown On ‘On Any Sunday’ [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
Motocross and FMX pro Robbie Maddison has won gold at the X Games and broken world records by performing jaw-dropping motorcycle jumps taking him across the globe. His most recent venture has him working with filmmaker Dana Brown, on On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, a film that chronicles the passion for motorcycles from the thrill of riding to the humanitarian roles bikes can play. The film is a celebration of the motorcycle world and a modern take on the original On Any Sunday (1971), which was directed by Brown’s father.
Maddison, who has performed incredible stunts, from backflipping over the Tower Bridge in London to jumping the Corinth Canal in Greece, is still looking for more jumps. “I’m always searching for ideas,” he told uInterview. “I’m a very open person just kind of filtering through everything I see in life and always trying to apply a motorcycle to it.”
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ROBBIE MADDISON: I first fell in love with riding just at a young age. I was three years old. A kid in the neighborhood who I looked up to was riding his motorcycle up and down the street in front of my house. I still remember that day like it was yesterday, it's sort of instilled itself into my DNA. It really made me wanna have a taste of that freedom that he had, he could go anywhere he wanted to. Shortly after that, I had a motorcycle at 4 years old, and I’ve been riding them ever since. One thing led to another, I used to race. The passion I really have is jumping and the freedom in the air. I’ve always wanted to fly and the closest I can get to it was jumping my motorcycle as far as I can.
RM: First and foremost, you need to be able to visually see it in your head. You’ve gotta picture it and see it all the way through and totally understand what you need to do. If there’s any question or any uncertainty it will definitely show in your landing, something is bound to go wrong, if you can't visually see it. So it's really important for me to be able to always totally know it's gonna go off perfectly, and I understand what I need to do. You got the weather that’s a huge factor and then you box it up. You need to be at one with your equipment and know that every nut and bolt is tight, and it's put together meticulously. It's very important when you’re jumping the length of a football field or over a building or 'On Any Sundays’ case, jumping down the Olympic ski hill at Park City, Utah. So, having that relationship knowing everything is checked off and where it needs to be, and you’re fit and healthy. That’s the recipe I’m always looking for a safe jump.
RM: I’m always searching for ideas. I’m a very open person just kind of filtering through everything I see in life and always trying to apply a motorcycle to it. To drive around this city here in New York, seeing all these big buildings is always an overwhelming experience when I start visualizing my motorcycle there. For this specific jump, a friend of mine was talking about it. There’s a French dare devil back in the early days, he tried this in France and set a world record, jumping down a ski hill. I did it on a much smaller scale jump and just wanted to take things to the biggest limit I could. With Skull Candy and Red Bull Media House, we were able to create the opportunity to jump down the Olympic ski jump, the K120 in Park City, Utah. I was able to jump the length of a football field while dropping 20 stories all in one jump. For me, that’s taking it to the next step of where I want to go. I’ve grown up always looking at mountaintops when I’m driving around in cars, thinking, oh it’d be so cool to jump down these huge mountains, and I’ve always wanted the opportunity of jumping as far as I can down a hill. It was a really good opportunity to be able to do this and have it covered in the film and have the helicopters fly around and capture this. Some of the shots from on board, when I watch it, I feel like that’s exactly what I saw. So to be able to give the viewers the experience the way we can with modern technology and the way Dana’s shot this film; it’s a delight to be apart of it.
RM: I 100 percent feel scared. I’m by no means Superman or some freak of nature. I just take it seriously. For me to be able to get to this level and do the jumps and face the fears I face, I had to grow as an individual. I had to go to the depths of my inner core and to really ask myself the question; do you really want to do this? I’ve been through the highs and lows and getting my mind and body to the point of allowing me to do it. When of the main things I do, which motorcycles do it naturally, is they take you to the moment. You can’t be thinking about what you’re going to get on your tax return when you’re riding your motorcycle through the jungle at a hundred miles per hour. It really makes you be in the moment. If you are not one with your bike and not in touch with exactly what’s going on. There might be a low lying branch or a rabbit runs across the road or someone at traffic light. Your senses need to be in the moment. Bikes do that for me. So for me to get over the fear of it I really had to just be able to foresee what I want to do. I have a plan and I know what I want to go and achieve. I cross off all the things that can go wrong and have a strategy in place to make sure that I don’t make mistakes. When fear comes knocking on the door, I just don’t answer the door.
DANA BROWN: Well, we kind of threw a bunch of ideas on to the table and wanted to pick different stories to represent different aspects of it. In Robbie’s case the idea of the daredevil, which has existed since probably they second day they rode motorcycles, like let’s see what can we do with this thing. Robbie being the 21st century Evil Knievel came up. I didn’t know Robbie at the time, and I got to know him. I was kind of fascinated by what a good family man he is, how serious he is about what he does and the fact that what he does still seems kind of slightly insane. That was neat mix. He represented one end of the spectrum. We show people using motorcycles to get medicine to really remote villages in Africa, to people racing on the ice for fun, to Moto GP, which is the highest form of motorcycle competitions.
DB: A singular mindset, a focus and the ability to face fear. I don’t want to say make friends with it, but to be able to compartmentalize and push past it and to find bliss in doing that. I think most of us, when we scare ourselves we don’t want go back there. They seem to keep wanting to walk back up to that edge. They are very calm about it. There’s an interesting thing with the top guys that they seem like the most normal guys in the world and then you see what they do on the bike and that makes it seem fairly abnormal.