Behind the Scenes - Strega Video.

Strega /ˈstreɪɡə/

What does Strega mean? Strega means witch in Italian.

A witch is a woman who is believed to have magic powers, especially evil ones.

Why the whole witch theme? We were on a riding trip in Molini Di Triora, Italy, which is a tiny little town tucked away in the Argentine Valley which happens to have some of THE best mountain biking in the world. This little town was one of the last towns in Europe where they still burnt witches. This whole story intrigued & fascinated us so much, we were surrounded by this dark eerie history & amazing trail network, so the name Strega seemed pretty fitting for the new women’s Nomad that was launching, as this bike, aimed at the non conventional woman, the outsider, the one’s willing to take risks, it just seemed a perfect fit.

“People fear what they don’t understand. A 170mm travel trail bike aimed purely at women? Are they mad? Burn them! Drown it!!!”

Where was it filmed? We filmed mainly just outside of Glasgow in Scotland, as we had to find a location where bikes & horses were allowed to ride together on shared trails. We also needed to head somewhere that still looked pretty cold & wintery; for once we didn’t want happy, cheery blue sky & sunshine, we were seeking dark moody skies and eerie forests. Some of the riding scenes were also filmed in Molini Di Triora, Italy & in Sospel, France.

“The Strega is for those who fly in the face of the naysayers. The riders who blaze a trail that others will follow. Mountain biking is their means to get far from the masses, and the Strega is as far out as it gets.”

How long did all of this take? We had a whopping 4 days to nail the filming scenes, but the costumes, planning, permissions & music took months of preparation ahead of the time. We had one afternoon to film the mob scene with all the extra’s and the flaming torches. It was a long, but really amazing 4 days! Working with live animals proved to be a real challenge (and really scary), as you cannot push them, when they’ve had enough, they’ve had enough. The guys from Cut Media were amazing & to see it all come together in the end made all the hard work seem so worthwhile.

Believe in magic believe in lore legend and myth
And the hand that guides in the cunning if hope in the weaving of dreams And the lady of the lake takes my hand and leads me
To the holy isle and the fairy rings and the circles of stone Forever and again

When was the last time you felt really out of your comfort zone? A quote that I really like and try to live by is the one that says you should do something that scares you every single day....well I can tell you, I had no idea what I was in for when I headed off to shoot the video. Sweet, I’m off to shoot a video in Scotland, I’m going to dress up as a witch and try to ride my bike really fast, easy right?! I’ve only ever done a few short video type things, so just assumed it would be similar. Boy, was I in for a surprise and a solid week of pushing my comfort zone to the next level. Once there I quickly realised that this was WAY more than a shredit edit. I was in for a full on proper movie like production piece and I was going to act way more than just ride my bike. With no previous acting experience, I was literally thrown into the deep end, so I had two options here; 1) keep feeling stupid & awkward and re-do takes over and over or 2) Let go of all my inhibitions & learn not to give a shit about a bunch of people watching me trying to act and look stupid so I didn’t have to do a million takes. As soon as I completely embraced the latter, I fully emerged myself into character & kind of loved it.

Give me, give me, give me, deliverance Brother, sister, give me, give me Deliverance, deliver me

Costume: First up was the outfit. No riding gear needed for this one. My kneepads and shorts were replaced by skintight black faux leather stretch pants (no room for knee pads), my merino wool riding shirt replaced by a fishnet long sleeved top, a snood hood thing over that to give me a medieval look, some faux woolie leg warmers wrapped around my legs and to top it all off a big old hooded cape to make me look evil and cover my helmet (and my eyesight). Modern, medieval, bike riding badass bitch, I mean witch was the look we were going for. With the costume all done, I had to now actually try to ride my bike with all this garb. Thank God for the cold temperatures in Scotland, because I was dressed for a bloody snow storm! Everything ended up working well on the bike, I actually grew really fond of riding in leather pants. The cape was a little tricky, it needed to be long enough to move & flow graciously in the wind but at the same time not get wrapped up in my rear wheel. That worked as long as I kept moving fast! Ok, sorted. Next step was figuring out how to actually ride & look semi aggressive with the cape, which was ok, but then we had to figure out how to get the cape ripped off my back (quite violently) by the horse rider chasing me, without ripping me off the bike or choking me! Good old heavy duty velcro & safety pins to the rescue. The force of ripping this cape off my back by the horse rider was so strong, it ripped holes in my shirt where the safety pins were.

Surrender to the wisdom of age and the spirits of time Remember our souls entwined for eternity
And the healing hand of the fairy queen will come to all who have faith in her And the apple tree will bear it's fruit in the gardens of Avalon Forever and again

Make Up: Then came the make up. Black, black, black and then more black. Everywhere. Now if you know me, I don’t ever wear make up and I don’t own any, so this was sort of exciting, sort of scary when that eyeliner pencil tip headed straight to my eyeball for some colouring in. Getting the shit on my face was one thing, and a whole other struggle to get the black stuff off again. (Hotel towels & bed linen will never be white again). After the first night, I gave up trying to clean my face and just rocked the full make up, smudged, rockstar (druggie) look, to dinner for the rest of the week. Hair was next. I’ve always wanted dreadlocks, so this was my chance! Recipe to F- up your hair really quickly: Don’t wash it for a week, take a fine comb and brush back your hair until it looks like a rat’s nest. Spray some very potent non ozone friendly hairspray everywhere (great for working with fire), add some talcum powder and keep repeating all day long and voila, instant, rats nest witch dreads for the week. Perfect. I’m still trying to get rid of some knots...

Give me, give me, give me deliverance Brother, sister, give me, give me Deliverance, deliver me
Give me, give me, give me, deliverance Brother, sister, give me, give me Deliverance, deliver me

Horses: Time to add some live animals. Yep, two of them. Stallion stunt horses to be precise. These ginormous live animals had a mind of their own. I’m terrified of horses. I tried to pretend to like them, but they picked up on my non horse vibes right off the bat and I couldn’t fool them. They were buck wild and they made me pedal so damn fast. Try getting clipped into your pedals, while at a standstill watching them charging full speed towards you, but having to wait until they get close enough before you get going. Unnerving to say the least. In one scene I was getting sandwiched between these two massive beasts, closing in on me, and all I could hear was snorting, breathing and their hooves smashing around me...definitely not in my comfort zone.

Let me sleep for awhile and dream of Avalon and the Beltane fires And a silent kiss steals away into the mist and out to the lake Where the sword will rise again from the water into the Hands of the chosen one the righteous one
Forever and again

Pyrotechnics: Fire. My witch house for the shoot was a yurt hidden in the woods covered in loose flowing fabrics and surrounded by all sorts of Pagan like symbols. We had a real white witch as who styled the whole scene to make sure that everything was legit and proper witch like. Inside the yurt we had a million lit candles creating the dark, moody, spellbound ambiance with Myrrh & Frankincense creating a blurry fog around us. A perfect fire hazard set up.. I only caught on fire once, thanks to my very synthetic faux furry leg warmers. Good thing I was also covered in hairspray. Doh. I did smell something burning, but the camera’s were rolling, so I just carried on with the scene. Cheers Gary Perkin for waiting extra long, and being extra cool & collected before giving me the heads up that my entire leg was on fire. My furry leg warmers were slightly less furry after this. We also had about twenty plus mob extra’s running through a dense, dry forest, violently chasing me down with flaming torches - a fireman’s nightmare. Needless to say we had more than a few scorched eyebrows & arm hair after filming those scenes. Everything was so spot on though, that once you let yourself go and immersed yourself into this whole “culture” it was incredibly powerful and the few of us who were filming inside the yurt that day could actually feel the power of the witch craft. Something happened in there, we all felt it...

Give me, give me, give me, deliverance Brother, sister, give me, give me Deliverance, deliver me
Give me, give me, give me, deliverance Brother, sister, give me, give me Deliverance, deliver me

Video Music: Deliverance by The Mission

Strega video: https://youtu.be/2zGEtQgrmTs

 Gary Perkin

Gary Perkin

 Anka's snaps.

Anka's snaps.

 Gary Perkin

Gary Perkin

 Gary Perkin

Gary Perkin

 Gary Perkin

Gary Perkin