Spotlight: Corinne Walder

Friday, July 31, 2015
If you ride BMX (which I hope you do since you’re on this site), you most definitely know a friend who is a filmer or photographer in the group, or maybe that person is you. Have you ever thought of stepping up your game and making it a career? There is really no better person to ask than Corinne Walder herself, who has done many emotional and in-depth documentaries starring Sam Willoughby, Shanaze Reade and Steven Cisar (to name a few).

Originally from the UK and now based in California, Corinne started her career by studying broadcast journalism at the London College of Fashion. Most people would probably say they've made it after working for renowned company like the BBC; but she later made the move to freelancing, which she’s now shooting for a number of companies, and producing in-depth documentaries like the one below.

“Steven Cisar started out in Motocross as a child, later into his teens he focused on BMX racing full time and quickly became a known name on the circuit picking up good sponsorships. In 2008 he got 2nd at The BMX World Championships and was on the USA Olympic trials team. The Olympic trials race took place just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This would be a race that would define his career, if he did well he would have been selected to represent USA at The Olympics, unfortunately Steven crashed out which meant he wasn't selected. A few months later Steven started getting into drugs, smoking weed, drinking alcohol and started using prescription pills to get high. He didn't realize but his body started slowly getting addicted to them where one day his friend noticed it and told Steven's family that Steven is addicted and needs help. Steven went into rehab in 2009 due to his addiction, he went in a few times over the course of two years. At one of the rehabs he met a guy who told him about Heroin and convinced Steven that it is an amazing drug to try, it's cheaper, easier to get and you get an amazing high. When Steven got out of rehab he went to get heroin with this guy and used it for the first time, he quickly became addicted to heroin without any of his family knowing. His mother started noticing Steven selling everything, Steven even got arrested twice with possession of heroin and the court ordered him to either do rehab for the last time or he would have to go to jail for 6 years. Steven went to the last rehab in the desert in 2012, this was serious and Steven did whatever he could to get off heroin, he did it the hard way, without medication. He was in rehab for three months, until Christmas 2012 where he was released and spent his first Christmas for a few years, clean. Early 2013, Steven started getting back into BMX and started racing again with help of Derek Sipkoi. Since then he has been gaining sponsorship again and making it back to the top of the sport. This year Steven was selected to race the 2014 BMX World Championships in Holland. Steven made it through to the Semi finals, missing out on one place. HIs goals for the future are definitely the 2016 Rio Olympics, he is training and racing hard to become one of the best in the world again."


At what age or moment did you decide to go into the career you’re in now?
I studied Broadcast Journalism at University, in our last year we had to produce a short film - I decided to do a short documentary on an athlete ahead of the 2008 Paralympics - his story was incredible. From there I realised I love filming, editing and capturing someone's story.

What advice would you have for ladies who are looking to get jobs in your line of work?
If it's something you really enjoy doing and have passion for it you won't need advice... Just start putting your work out there.

A capture of Sam Willoughby in "Every Pedal With You"

How do you approach companies? / How did you get your foot in the door?
I first started by selling my graduate film to the BBC, I was 20 at the time so it was a massive stepping stone for me, I think this gave me the confidence to carry on and from there.

I feel like you’ve worked with a lot of big pros, on some really intense topics. When was your first big break… or, do you feel you’re not there yet?
Definitely not there yet - Steven Cisar's short documentary was intense, I was so glad he could be so honest with me and make my job so easy. I wish I could have done a longer version there was so much to fit into such a short timeline.

Sam in "Every Pedal With You"

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully making more feature length documentaries, there's a few things in the pipeline and I am looking forward to collaborating with people on the next projects.

How was "Every Pedal With You" approached, did you contact Alise and Sam one day and was like “Hey, can I follow you for 12 months” or was there more of a collaborated process?
I was filming Sam for a few webisodes and got some content we didn't use, I then continued to film him and contacted iTunes and sponsors to see if it would be of interest.

Alise Post in "Every Pedal With You"

There were clearly some intense moments during these 12 months, were there times where you felt filming should have been off limits, or moments where you questioned yourself if it should be filmed?
For all of Alise's moment's about her mum, we didn't do any filming, only at the end of the year it felt right to do an interview about what happened. After Sam's crash at the Grands this was difficult and I didn't interview him until after we got back to San Diego.

Who are the list of riders we can expect to see in the doc, other than Alise and Sam?
I did sit down interviews with Maris Strombergs, Nic Long, Tyler Brown, David Herman, Jelle V Gorkham, Mariana Pajon, Brooke Crain, Alise's family and Shannon Gillette.

Alise and Sam in "Every Pedal With You"

When will this be available for iTunes, and can riders purchase a physical copy in the future?
It's out now (UK + Canada)! Physical copies will be out at the end of the year in the third season of Gate 8 DVD.

Thank you to everyone who sent in their questions, and I apologize for not being able to credit them as it's been a year in the making of this interview. American riders can expect "Every Pedal With You" to be available by next week on iTunes, Amazon, XBOX and Google Play.

Trailer to iTunes documentary film "Every Pedal With You".
A documentary film shot over 12 months in the USA following two athletes on their journey towards winning the ABA title!

Filmed and Edited by Corinne Walder

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