Danny Macaskill’s 5 Inspirations

Danny Macaskill, Edinburgh, August 2019. Photo: Tozer

1. His parents

“They were a huge influence, as with everybody, especially their hands off approach during my childhood. They gave me a lot of freedom – maybe a little bit too much. It wasn’t calculated, it was just how you were brought up on Skye. There’s a lot of space to you can use to expend your energy. So I would leave the house and go camping in the hills, or explore the woods just riding around on bikes, and not come back for several days. I would come back to the house covered in blood or something sometimes. Them not worrying about what I was doing made me test out my own limits. They were also really supportive about me going to work in the bike shop. They were just happy that I was doing something that I love doing.”

2. Martyn Ashton

“Martin was one of the first riders I’d ever seen riding trials. He was in a film called Chainspotting and I was mesmerised by it. I used to love jumping around on my mountain bike and after that film I started reading all the mags where he would regularly feature in. Growing up, he was my riding hero.. Whenever I did a trick I wondered what he would do at that spot. Now we’ve done several films together. It’s really inspirational to see him riding again after such a horrible injury.”

3. ‘Fully Flared’

“Around 2007 or 2008 I started really getting into watching BMX and skate films not just because of the riding but also because of how they were edited. When I watched Fully Flared for the first time it completely blew me away – especially the intro. They rebuild what looks like street obstacles and they would blow up. My eyes almost blew out of my head when I watched it for the first time. The whole soundtrack and the CGI was just all around amazing. That first intro really sums it up. The music, the filming, the editing. It can kind of unleash this emotion and I definitely think about that when I choose music for a film or something. It made you realize how important the music is for a film.”

4. Music

“I’m looking for music all day, everyday. I would sit on a 9 hour flight and just go through my playlists not looking up one time. I just think music can take you to a different place. You think of a location that you’ve been and how the music could fit. It’s an amazing time to be looking for different music and new artists. If you’re really lucky, you find a track before making the film. Maybe that’s even the inspiration for the film in the first place. That’s how it was with National Express from Divine Comedy, which kind of had that happy-go-lucky feel to it.”

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5. The spiky fence

“The spiky fence taught me a lot about perseverance and how to overcome things. I don’t know how many tries it took but I remember it was really cold and it would bring up a lot of emotions. Each time you would be totally committed but you would just not make it and get hurt. I think the nature of what it was taught me as well. It was not just something for the core scene but also for the mainstream. Everybody can relate. You don’t want to be falling on a spiky fence. It was the single thing that kicked off the last 10 years of professional riding for me.“