So here we are and it’s Wednesday, at the beginning of this week I set out to shoot a 5 minute short film (in this case a documentary). I decided to go with a subject that is already close to me personally.
As a documentary was the plan I started looking at things that were the most straightforward for me to shoot and also find a compelling story within. My initial thoughts started stirring around people I know and what they are up to. I had actually already briefly outlined a little feature I wanted to do on a guy called Dan Chapman, he’s been a personal inspiration to me since I first started drifting. He’s driving ability is right up there with the best and I was and continue to be a massive fan of his aggressive style of driving. He was also very much there from the beginning in my attempts to learn how to drift which for the most part he found amusing, I think he was stunned at how I’d managed to drive myself to the track let alone try and get the car sideways.
I digress, Dan is all set to make a come back to competitive drifting this year so it seemed fitting to make a little film about it, so naturally when the opportunity came up to enter a film into the sony production awards it seemed like a good fit. My only problem was that by itself the idea didn’t stand out as compelling enough to stand a good chance of winning. The video I wanted to make already assumed a lot about the subject, it was going to be a segment of his life rather than the full story.
So I went back to the drawing board and whilst researching some contingency in case Dan was for what ever reason unavailable I remembered my good friend Joe Osborne. Joe is a British GT driver and every bit the professional racing driver and he has just been inducted into the BRDC super stars proving not only his talent but also providing him with assistance in continuing his career. In this case the documentary would be a brief snippet of the reality of what it is to be a professional racing driver. Aside from what a great deal of people would think about being a racing driver it’s extremely hard work to just have a career at all let alone a successful one.
Joe would also be testing pre season very soon and a quick catch up confirmed his availability so game on.
Then my thought process went along the lines of combining the two drivers, what if I could shoot both people and focus on their differences as people, the contrast of both of their lives but ultimately focussing on their underlying similarity which in this case is a passion for motor sport and competition. Highlighting what it is they both love about driving and what it is that compels them to pursue it as more than just a hobby, the want to succeed and the dedication required in both disciplines (drifting and racing) required to do so.
The stage was set and my idea (as far as I could muster) was a solid one. No idea if it was capable of winning but a solid idea none the less that would also provide me with some great footage and something I was proud to produce regardless of victory.
BUT then after attempting to contact Mr Chapman his availability seems scarce, he doesn’t answer a few e-mails despite otherwise showing his interest and willingness. This isn’t going to destroy the plan so I go to plan B, Joe was a solid back up.
A few attempts to get hold of Joe on Tuesday fall on deaf ears.
Tuesday night and the phone goes, it’s Joe, one of his team mates has crashed the Aston Martin the day before we are due to shoot.
In my attempts to salvage something from the endeavour despite having lost an opportunity to get a ton of great footage I suggest we film the interview portion at his home but he’s already taken work at another race track. There is no plan C at this stage.
So Thursday morning and I’ve got three days to come up with another original idea, shoot, edit and upload in order to make the Sony Production Awards deadline and stand a chance at winning the camera.
It can be done.