This past April, we had the pleasure of meeting the world-record-breaking-daredevil-wall-of-death-rider Pit Lengner, along with his wife Esther.
We were approached by the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, New York, and asked to create a mini-documentary based on the Legend “Kamikaze Pit,” as he’s known in his home country of Germany. Pit and Esther had brought their smaller Wall of Death, to be joined with their larger one already in place at the Museum. Both will now be on permanent display for years to come. It was the very first time Pit and Esther had seen their two walls completely built side-to-side, and it was great capturing those moments.
Pit Lengner has earned many World Records in his illustrious career and many of them involve his own creations – mini-motorcycles, the smallest one measuring a mere 4 cm. Not only does Pit build the tiny motorcycles, he’s able to ride them.
The scope of this project was very large because we wanted to make sure we captured all the important moments throughout the week – from the arrival of the truck carrying the wall parts, to it being set up for the last time. To record all of this, we set up a GoPro HD Hero 2 camera on the ceiling of the wall to create a time-lapse, while at the same time capturing the action on the ground with our D7000.
The second portion of the project was capturing the main event over the weekend, where Pit rode the Wall of Death with various motorcycles. Hundreds of fans came to watch the show, and in some instances, even became part of the experience. We used the Canon 7D in order to shoot some of the scenes inside the Wall of Death at 60fps, and even though we never used the slow motion shot on the piece, we wanted to have that option. We also used our HMC150 to capture some reactions from the crowd and to get extra coverage.
Finally, we shot the interview on Pit’s last day before returning to Germany using the Canon 7D and Nikon D7000. Even though he claimed his English was “not that great,” he did a fantastic job sharing some very interesting and touching moments about his long career and hopes for the future.
Overall, this was a great project to be a part of and we feel honored that Pit and Esther allowed us to tell their stories and preserve them for the future generations at the Museum and throughout the world.