Doonies 2: Shooting In The Sand
Just Add Sand

What is the ‘Doonies‘ anyways?

It’s Monster Energy and Dirt Shark’s idea of the ultimate shred session in the sand dunes, featuring all of their top off-road athletes.

Imagine hanging out with all your buddies, and they all have the meanest machines – from two-wheel to four-wheel, and even no wheels at all.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_02

For the second year running, all these athletes and their closest friends gathered in the Glamis Sand Dunes in Southern California. All of the racing series are done and dusted by winter, so it’s the perfect time to shoot an epic video.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_03

Who would have known that Harleys work so well in the sand?

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_04

But what about snowmobiles? They were never designed for this kind of duty, yet to a certain degree they work just great.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_05

Then there are the guys who are insane enough to ride on two wheels, let alone do massive jumps in a sand environment where you can only pray there is a landing area on the other side.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_07

Of course, the Head Hoonigan In Charge, Ken Block, made an appearance as well. I had no idea that he was so good at riding motocross.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_08

At first he was a bit rusty, but with a bit of practice he was shredding the dunes like he’d never left the two-wheel world.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_09

In terms of desert racing, it’s hard to not mention ‘Ballistic’ BJ Baldwin.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_06

He brought out his trophy truck and fitted it with some sand paddles to join in on the roosting fun.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_10

Welcome to camp Doonies. When the sun goes down, the party’s just getting started.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_11

And you can bet the Monster Energy girls were on-site to guard the helicopter.

Ground Level
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_12

For the first day of shooting I started off on foot. Well, kind of…

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_13

As easy as it sounds, it was actually quite difficult to run from one dune to the next. It’s just so hard to find your footing when climbing up these massive sand hills.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_14

Enter the big daddy Ford F250 driven by my buddy Bryan Moore of Tempt Media. These guys also have that awesome F150 camera car, but the F250 proved to be the perfect media shuttle and camera mule out in the desert.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_15

So how do these shoots go exactly? It’s actually quite simple… We were out in the desert for four days, and each day they just let the athletes run loose.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_16

Whether it be the two-wheel guys or the four, they just pick a spot that they want to shred and go at it; all the while the cameras are rolling.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_17

Having no script or storyboard does present some challenges though. For example, you don’t actually know if anyone is going to pull off a trick – you just have to go wherever there is action.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_18

If you guys were wondering how it’s possible that such a heavy beast like an F250 could float around on the sand, well, we did eventually get stuck…

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_19

But lucky for us, a few Monster girls came by to help dig us out.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_20

Then word got out and even more help arrived.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_21

This is a scene out of a dream or your worst nightmare. Getting stuck is not so bad after all.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_22

Considering we were buried to the diff, there was no way we could dig ourselves out.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_23

It turns out the girls were not much help either.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_24

So BJ Baldwin brought over his truck to pull us out. Fun times had by all.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_25

With the truck released from its temporary sand grave, it was pedal to the metal once more – there was lots more shooting to be done.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_26

It’s just so amazing how quickly the light can change in the desert; the shades of color and the way the dunes look later in the day is unlike anything else.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_27

When the sun dips below the horizon, all the colors of the sky come out. Purple, red and orange – just amazing.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_28

Once it was pitch dark, Ken brought out his Ford F150 Raptor Trax for a bit of fun in the sand.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_29

While he knew that it worked great in the snow, how it would perform in the sand was unknown.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_30

With sand being sprayed forward and lights illuminating the dunes, it definitely looked awesome.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_31

Although, without the additional cooling from snow and ice, it was limited in how fast and far it could drive.

Air Time
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_32

The next morning I tagged along with the Tempt Media crew in their helicopter.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_33

Here’s Bryan cheesing it up as he set up the Shotover F1 camera before we took flight.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_34

The pilot was Dave Vernick, the owner of Icon Helicopters, which specializes in filming. He also flew for the aerial shots in Gymkhana 7.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_35

Behind the camera was my good buddy Eric ‘Redwood’ Everly. Aside from working with Eric on some major film projects over the past few years, he also owns Tempt Media.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_36

Believe it or not, this was only my second time shooting from a helicopter. However, I have shot out of a fixed-wing before, and of course I ended up losing my lunch from that.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_37

Being in the air really gave me a different perspective on the dunes.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_38

Not only did I have a higher vantage point and the ability to see much further, but I fully understood the advantage of being in a helicopter versus just flying my drone.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_39

Because when you are shooting from a drone, you can’t be precise with a telephoto lens.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_40

It was nice to be practically everywhere at once, especially when there was new action going on.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_41

It was awesome to be able to follow the same driver as they were running their own line.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_42

That’s how I caught the boys giving BJ Baldwin a sand shower after he broke down. It’s what friends are for, right?

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_43

Rodrigo Ampudia of Papas & Beer Racing loves to catch big air with his short course rig.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_44

It’s just such an awesome sight when he jumps, because he’s absolutely fearless.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_45

I also had a chance to catch one of my favorite shots of the year. It’s just so amazing to me how fast the guys on the snowmobiles would accelerate going up a dune.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_46

But the fact that the trail of sand here was lit as Heath Frisby dove into the shadow makes this one of my favorite shots of 2015.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_47

There’s nothing like seeing these epic roosts from the air.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_48

Steven Eugenio is also fearless when it comes to going off the big jumps.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_49

Here’s one of my favorite shots a Pro4 truck driven by Kyle LeDuc as it kicked up a mean roost from the front tires.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_50

These guys really had to show a major level of trust being able to drive and ride together, because there is really no way to see what’s on the other side of a dune when you commit to hitting it hard.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_51

Plus, with the sun as sideways as it was later in the days, it was easy to get blinded as you crested a hill.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_52

Then there’s getting lost in someone else’s sand roost…

Snow Sports
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_53

For the last day I decided to focus more on pick-up shots, especially with the snowmobile guys. Because how often do you get to see these guys in the sand?

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_54

Paul Thacker came all the way from Alaska just to be able to shred some sand with his buddies. That is some serious dedication.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_55

It was such an amazing scene, and it boggles the mind when you see these things meant for the snow playing in the sand.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_56

The mechanics actually had to fit custom cooling fans to prevent the 2-stroke motors from overheating. Just like Ken Block’s Raptor Trax, the snow provides the required cooling for these machines.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_57

Just how cool does this look? Although it was very difficult for the riders to turn, it still made for some awesome shots. Talk about air time!

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_58

At the end of the week, it was fun to look back and see all the cool shots that we may or may not have captured. The awesome thing is, all this actually happened out in the desert – no camera tricks, no post production.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_59

These riders, drivers and overall crazy athletes are pushing the limits of what is extreme on a daily basis. And that’s why Doonies is so amazing; it’s just a melting pot of talent and guts… Mostly guts.

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
larry@speedhunters.com

Bonus Images
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_60
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_61
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_62
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_63
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_64
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_65
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_66
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_67
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_68
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_69
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_70
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_71
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_72
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_73
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_74
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_75
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_76
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_77
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2015_doonies2_monster_energy_78

Tags: , , , , , ,



23 comments
tbtstt
tbtstt

This looks like hell Larry. Between the helicopter ride, scantily clad monster girls and epic back drops I don't know how you managed to cope...

T Melton
T Melton

I bet you didn't loose your lunch this time with Dave behind the stock. Him and icon are great. Dave's my big brother and it's awesome to see stories and videos he gets mentioned in.

koko san
koko san

Drool! Please invite me next year!  :)

Larry Chen
Larry Chen moderator

@Lewis Binksy She is definitely a tough cookie.

L1kw1t
L1kw1t

Reminds me the Supercross movie

TylerHorne
TylerHorne

Did the women do anything besides just be eye candy? Dianna Dahlgren seems to be the only overlap between Mosnter Girls and riders.

bluestreaksti
bluestreaksti

'to infinity and beyond' - Heath Frisby probably.  You're a wizard Larry.  

MikeyC_27
MikeyC_27

This is the dream day out! good to see some bikes making an appearance on here!

fiatdude
fiatdude

@GregoryS Hey Larry, Where's the guts in this picture??? Just asking....

Larry Chen
Larry Chen moderator

@fiatdude @GregoryS She probably has more guts than all of us combined.

Roman64
Roman64

@fiatdude @GregoryS Drop something shiny in the sand then you'll see some guts.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS