Diamond in the rough


Smith’s fifth thrillseeking DVD just the trick.

Matt Smith went to extreme lengths filming Queenstown thrill seekers for the premiere of Revolver’s second Summer Sessions DVD.

The 26-year-old harnessed himself to a cable high above Wynyard Freestyle Park to get the perfect shot of mountain bikers at a jam last month – one of 15 events he’s captured for 80-minute flick Diamonds In The Dirt.

He’s been filming Wakatipu mountain and BMX bikers, base jumpers, skateboarders and wakeboarders all summer – and spent 65 hours chopping 30 hours of raw footage to size.

It’s the fifth DVD Smith has made for Revolver, where he works full time. He gets three days off to film, but would often close the bar at 3am and head home to edit till sunrise.

His latest release builds on past projects since 2006, which have shown the summer and winter exploits of a “wide circle” of local amateur and professional adrenaline junkies

“It’s great to be able to rock up to an event in Queenstown and film the locals and feel as though you’re not intruding,” says Smith, who studied media arts in his native England.

“When I first started [my first project] The Big Cheese in 2006 I felt so awkward going up to people and being like, ‘Hey, can you do a trick for my camera’.

“Now people are coming up to me and saying, ‘Can I do a trick for your camera?’”

The thrills and spills are synched to a soundtrack of tunes from bands that have played at Revolver, including The Breeders, Katchafire and local group The Flaming Drivers.

More than 250 people attended last winter’s launch of Smith’s film The Snow Circus, and DVD sales raised $2500 for the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club.

Diamonds In The Dirt premieres at 9pm tomorrow at Revolver on Shotover Street.