The Making of Red Bull Moto Spy | Part I

The conclusion of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season is upon us this evening. It’s been a long, hard fought battle for our friends at Feld, but it’s safe to say this logistically impossible season has proven to be overly successful and potentially even provided some of the best racing—in every class—than we’ve seen in some time. The industry mocks that “every year is going to be the best yet” but I’d actually venture to say 2021 delivered on that mantra. Every championship is coming down to this final race. Based on probability most would bet they’re all locked, but we all know lady luck can change course whenever she rears her head back. However, I definitely side with probability on this one. Why even mention that then? Well, you asshole, it’s the only lead in I could manage to bring us to the topic of Red Bull Moto Spy and the ever-evolving storylines we have to be prepared for.

If you’re reading this, the chances that I need to educate you on Moto Spy is probably slim… so I won’t. Give it the ole Ask Jeeves if you’ve been under that big of a rock the past few years. But what you might not realize is that your favorite friends here at vurbmoto are the ones that produce it. Please, please, hold the applause. Thank you. We do love it and frankly think it’s by far the best series in the sport of Supercross! Wait, it’s the only series in Supercross? Well, shit, we win by default then. For real though, I definitely need a plaque with those accolades inscribed. (Let’s add the word YOUTUBE in here just in case they google themselves, read it, and take notice at the YOUTUBE AWARDS.)

Moto Spy, for us, is essentially a seven-month sprint that seemingly never ends. We’re a small crew that accomplishes every single part of the process, top to bottom, and to say it’s a daunting task is an understatement. We literally have to live, eat, and breath this production for the entire Monster Energy Supercross season in order to follow the right stories, capture the highs and lows, listen to millions of podcasts, lay out storylines, get it all shot, travel to the races and training facilities, get it cut in the editing bay, and ultimately predict the future so we can always be in the right place at the right time. We’re basically superhuman, ya know? Straight up Buzz Lightyear kind of stuff.

And all the YouTube comments that scream, “WHY DOES IT TAKE THREE WEEKS TO PUT THESE OUT?!” You can shove a really, really dirty sock right into your pie hole.

With one episode left in our delivery calendar, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Backtrack to December, though, I can honestly say I had no idea how we’d pull it off. Thanks to our ugly friend COVID, we went from having essentially full access the previous years to being confined to the pits. And not a team of people like we would normally have, which is typically two shooters and an audio guy that can roam the stadium and pits at will. For 2021, we were limited to one person PER pit if and only if the teams agreed to give us access. KTM and GasGas were shoe ins, but multiple star players for the series—Ken Roczen, Jett Lawrence, and Hunter Lawrence—all called the red tent home. That one quickly became tricky and as Houston 1 approached we found out our access there was basically non-existent. That was a gut punch to say the least, but got to roll with it, right?

So how the hell do we make a series based on six guys, three of which we have zero access? To be real, I still don’t know. We just did it. Obviously we pivoted to many more off race shoots with them, but it definitely meant losing the epic behind-the-scenes highs and lows with all of them. Thankfully our friends at Feld gave us some very badass floor footage from each night, but we definitely missed out on some emotional moments that could’ve likely won at least 6 or 9 more YouTube awards. It hurts me inside knowing what was left on the table, but overall I’m very grateful we had the access we did and that Moto Spy still pushed on without a glitch. I don’t even think most of our Red Bull producers realize we weren’t on the floor. So huge shoutout to all the Feld crew for allowing this to happen and giving us the goods!

That brings me to our last episode that just launched. We convinced Honda to let Jordan Troxell, Kenny’s mechanic, to wear a mic for us, which then allowed us to shoot from afar, while Carlos Rivera, Cooper’s mechanic, also graciously accepted our microphone offer. And for that reason, I think we were able to cover the most epic championship showdown that we’ve ever seen. Roczen vs. Webb has been one for the books and heading into Atlanta 3 the tensions were high. Having this access meant we were finally going to be able to appropriately cover both camps in what I’d consider the pivotal race of the season. I look at some of the moments in the episode and they straight up give me chills. And if it gives me chills, that definitely means it’s epic freakin content. After we finish every episode, we always think, “This one is our favorite yet!” But for real, this one might be our favorite yet. Be curious to hear what you think? Click below, subscribe, say hello, do what you do.

Episode six of the series! Watch it, love it, and leave only good comments. Thanks!

If any fellow nerds are out there and curious as to how we do any part of the process, leave me some questions and I’d love to answer them or perhaps cover them in the next installment. Hate to cut it short but my snack box just showed up to my seat on the way to Salt Lake City and I can’t resist digging into some of the Biscoff cookies.

Watch all six episodes!

Vurbwes Chilidog – over and out.

Main image: Octopi Media

2 Comments

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  1. Can’t wait for part II! Gotta address the “These don’t come out fast enough” comments on the youtube.

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Written by Vurbwes Chilidog

Been 'round these parts making dirtbike movies since '02; a weathered veteran with moto and camera related back issues, the hearing equivalent to my great-great grandfather's, and a dirt tan that will literally never come off. But I'm still in way better shape than every other dog in this joint, but that's because I use Chili and no slaw.

Riverside Raceway Pitbike Mayhem at #vurbshredtour

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