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Behind THE Barriers Director’s Cut: The dog days

Sam Smith, on the dog days

So, ’cross season is officially over. The Behind THE Barriers season is almost over. This worlds episode will be followed up by the season finale Tokyo episode, and then we’re done until September. Right now is usually that time when everyone’s attention is shifting to road and mountain bikes and other warm weather stuff. But, this year, I think the question that’s weighing heavier on most people’s minds is “what’s Sam Smith doing for the next six months?” You see, for the past few years in February, I’ve just cruised back into the grind of the old day job, and nobody worried about me. This year, the day job is gone, and Sam Smith is a free man to do whatever.

I have the next two months mapped out pretty well. This week I’m going to finish off the season finale Tokyo episode. After that, I’m going to spend at least five days without Final Cut Pro or a computer in my life. It will be a bit of a staycation — bumming around Boston and maybe going to New York to visit little sis’. When that’s over, I’ll dust off the old editing machine and get back at it.

There’s a project that I’ve had in the works for over three years called Working Dogs. I spent the 2010 mountain bike season following Geoff Kabush around the world. We shot at World Cups, world championships, and on Hornby Island, British Columbia, which is where the whole mountain biking thing started for Geoff.

There was this other little part of the film that involved sled dogs in Quebec. The original plan was to shoot the dogs once winter hit that year. That winter turned into the next winter, and the next winter turned into this winter. The combination of schedule conflicts with the sled dog organization and my never-ending battles with border control, meant the shoot got pushed back two years. But I’m happy to say we finally made the trip up in January and shot dogsledding for an entire day, and now we have all the footage we need.

So, March and April will be fully dedicated to the editing of Working Dogs. Then, my plan is to do a screening tour. It’s something I’ve never done with a film, but I’ve always wanted to. I feel like such a huge part of making films is actually showing them to people in person. Putting something out and just selling downloads and DVDs is like being in a band that only puts out records and never plays shows. And we all know that the best part about being in a band is playing shows. It’s that exhilarating feeling of getting up there and sharing something you’ve worked really hard on with a room full of people. So keep your eyes peeled for Working Dogs to come to a town near you. I’ll be there. You can buy me a beer.

After all of that is said and done, I’ve got some time on my hands. ’Cross season doesn’t start until September, and according to my calculations, that means there are still several months in there where I’ll get really bored, depressed, and poor if I’m not working. I’m definitely one of those people that has a hard time not working, and I will literally get depressed if I don’t have some sort of project to do. So for all you bike industry types out there looking out for my well-being, here’s my email address. Meanwhile, I’ll be bracing myself over here because I’m sure everyone was thinking, “Oh, we really want the Behind THE Barriers guy for this video project, but somebody that talented is for sure booked solid all year round!” But now that you all know that I have some openings in my schedule, I’m sure my inbox is going to be flooded within hours of this blog going up.

So, I guess I’ll make an addition to my upcoming plans: respond to all the emails I get for prospective summer work.

Now that I wrote this all out, it looks like I’ve got a lot to do. I better get back to work! Hope you enjoy this massive worlds edition episode, and are looking forward to the season finale from Tokyo! Thanks for tuning in all year long.


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