Friday, October 30, 2009

The writing continues - furiously

Concurrently writing interviews for Phil Liggett, Cavendish, Pierre,
Eddy Merckx, Bernie Eisel, Bob Stapleton. It is a supreme juggling act
of concentration. Every hour or two I stop and can't believe more than
5 minutes has gone by. I typically listen to music while I work but
not today. The voices in my head are plenty.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writing, 11pm

I've been sitting here all day. It's pouring rain in DC and a bit cold out (or so it looks). One might not think there is much 'writing' involved in a documentary but that's far from the case. I'm taking a micro break from writing 5 interviews at the same time. That's on top of mapping out the general flow of the film from start to end. I need the interview's to go as planned - for the answers to be as spot on as possible and that only happens if you ask the right question to get the answer you need... so if I need Cavendish to blurt out, "I hate time trials, I'm a sprinter!" then I'd better set up the question to get that answer. Every question has a purpose to match action I know I have filmed. Every interview must be filmed with style and precision to establish the look I want since there was little time for setting up stylish shots when we were on the run chasing the Tour. There's no room for mistakes and next week will be one of the more intense weeks of the entire project. Finally I will interview Phil Liggett in London, possibly Cavendish in his home town, Isle of Man and then I'll hop over to France to interview someone very special whom no one would have predicted but all will love to see. The pressure is building, time is running out and I've got one shot to do it all right. But I must admit it's a bit thrilling and I guess that's what keeps me fueled on days such as these.

Ok, another glass of vino has been poured, it's back to work for this guy.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Wish I had time to edit and just watch footage. Today I'm working on bringing in some funding for the film. And as we've learned in the past nothing - especially funding - comes easy. A small part of me is happy about that, keeps every person who owns a video camera from making a 'real' movie.

It used to be about who had connections and money, then talent, then the drive and motivation to get it done. Now cameras are cheap (relatively speaking) and editing isn't quite as hard as it once was. So it comes down to money and motivation. Gripped has never had money so that didn't even factor into the equation. We dream it up and we get it done. But having some money sure would help. I guess if we have the talent part the money will come... one day.

We were accused once of "not keeping it real". That fueled me for years, probably more than money would. If 'real' is making a feature-length film about a sport that entertains people not associated to that sport as well as those who are and entertains through the use of character development, story telling, custom composed and performed music - and funding it ourselves, I think we're doing ok. I think it would be more fun with a paycheck tho.

Guess I'll stop rambling and get back to work. And hope like hell I'm talented.

Did you know Big George was in 5 Olympics? And he is afraid of snakes. I look forward to his interview for the film.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Crew

Ken navigating.

Jeremy and Curtis minutes before the emotional crushing of a young girls balloon dog.

Jason managing a smile amidst his stress.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rest Day

The RV was full of drying laundry so we took the party outside. Jan
joins us for a quick beverage.

Friday, October 9, 2009

There are good reasons

people don't make feature length films on their own. We are stretched
to our absolute capacity now. Trying to get through the footage we
shot, the footage ASO and Versus shot and schedule retrospective
interviews to shoot MORE footage. It's daunting, overwhelming,
frustrating and downright abominable. There are usually entire teams
of people to handle the promotions, computer/tech issues,
communications & scheduling, funding/accounting, travel, legal,
research, writing, editing and and directing. We are 3 guys.

Needless to say we're a bit Gripped.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Living Dangerously

Life in the RV was usually tranquil albeit cramped. On the rare occasion when Jason wasn't in a team or sougnier car during the stage, he would diligently copy footage while the RV traveled. Curtis followed suit.

Usually this happened after filming wrapped for the day, late after dinner. Then we would wake at 7am, drive to start of the day's race and park as close to the action as possible yet far away enough to not get caught in the departing traffic. Jeremy became adept at squeezing that pig into any available space.

By no malice or cruel intention, Curtis livened up one evening by nearly incinerating the RV from the inside out. We often ate dinner with the team but would occassionaly eat in the RV. Post dinner with 4 guys in a small space the air would quickly become, ahem, unpleasant. We had a plan for this and would light a candle in the sink - a seemingly safe place to have it. Curtis, most likely focused entirely on his work, accidentally placed Jason's very new Patagonia rain paints over the sink for just a second and WHOOSH - up they went in a blinding flash of flames. His rain gear was the first casualty of the trip. Unfortunately the camera wasn't rolling. There will be an entire out-take video on the DVD of our RV mis-adventures.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not always fun

Curtis and Jason head out for a day of filming in the rain - after
getting stuck in traffic, lost, turned around and generally frustrated
to no end. Glamorous. At least Jason scored a 4th floor view speaking
to the locals with broken French. While it looked inevitable there
were no crashes on this corner.