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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Max Fischer, and I am a filmmaker and racing nut. In the past month, I have started producing a documentary about rally racing. This is not the typical "best of" or highlight film. This film is geared towards the average television viewer, not the racing enthusiast. It is not a reality show. Imagine a 1-hour show on the Discovery Channel, with the formula, quality, and production value of "Rides." I have done a lot of work with the Discovery Channel, and I know what they look for in a show.

The following is a treatment, working title for now is just "Show"

"Ask a boy anywhere in the world what he wants to be when he grows up. You will get a variety of answers. Some will be realistic, but many of them will be dreams. One of those dreams is to become a racecar driver.

Auto racing is one of the most popular sports in the world. It spans the globe: sometimes it's on ice, sometimes it's in the desert. It has hundreds of sanctioning organizations and types of events. It has an audience of millions. And, much like baseball has little league, the minors and the pros, racing has a variety of competitive levels.

We are all familiar with the highest competitive level of racing. We see it everyday on television, billboards, and even cereal boxes. In America, NASACAR's Daytona 500 race is now among the ranks of the NFL Superbowl and Major League Baseball's World Series. In Europe, Formula One is as popular as World Cup Soccer. The teams in these racing leagues have the best drivers. They have the best crews. They have the best technology. And most of all, they have sponsors. Even with costs in the tens of millions to run a race team, it's easy for a sponsor to justify the expense of racing for the exposure of their brand.

We are also familiar with racing on the opposite end of the spectrum. Small-town teenagers doing donuts in the parking lot, hot-dogging sport bike riders dodging through interstate traffic at 90 miles per hour, and the wrench-turning gearheads holding illegal drag races in the middle of the night. They break the law, they're annoying, and most of all, they put themselves and others at risk.

But what about that middle ground between the two? There are thousands of amateur racers, and hundreds of thousands of dreamers hoping to become racers. But how does one go from aspirations of racing to living the dream? Where do they do it? And with the chances of attaining that dream next to impossible, why do they do it? That's what "Show" is all about.

"Show" is not a reality show or a contest. It is not a "how-to" show. It is a one-hour documentary that tells the story of a self- supported race team. It shows that these racers aren't any different than struggling musicians. They have day jobs. But their day jobs exist only to support their racing. They dump all of their free time and money into what amounts to be only a few hours of actual racing per season. They're willing to drive across the country for a race, bunking up in cheap motels, and use converted ambulances as support vehicles. They sacrifice good food for more tires. But, they know how to drive, and they know how to have fun. And mabye, just maybe, they'll win their series, sign with a sponsor, and be able to get a ride.

"Show" follows a Rally team that runs in the Rally America Series, but many more "episodes" are possible, covering aspiring NASCAR drivers, road racers, motorcycle racers, etc. But rally racing is a good starting point. It's dirty, expensive to run, doesn't have large payoffs, won't make you famous, and is one of the most dangerous types of racing. And these teams just can't afford to wreck their car every weekend. There is a special passion in these racers that pushes them to live on the edge. The slightest mistake could mean a demolished car, or a life-threatening injury. This risk has created a bit of a cult following of Rally racing.

"Show" will cover:

The Sport: Rally Racing and the Rally America Series


The Team: Driver, Co-driver, crew, sponsors. Who they are, their roles on the team, what they do when they're not racing, why they race, their aspirations.

The Car: In-depth overview of the car, what it takes to build a racecar, what they could/could not afford.

Race Prep: Prepping the car, traveling to the race, setting up basecamp

The Race: How the race is run, in-car and aerial helicopter footage, in the service areas, competitors, broken bits, bloopers

The Aftermath: The long ride home, assessing the race, assessing damage, what's next

Conclusion: How the team performed for the season, what it cost to run, and a look at the future..."

I have already begun shooting with the Quantum Rally Sport team: Eric Langbein, Jeremy Wimpey, and Jeff Smith. Why them? Why not Travis Pastrana? Because the film is about the average person trying to fulfill his/her dream. The moment I met them, I knew they had the passion. And, it also helps that they are all "Characters," and are very articulate.
They are also based up the road from me, so I can get the inside, day-to-day action of what it takes to run a team.

A little background about me, which will help you get an idea of what I am trying to accomplish: This film is my "baby." My day job is working as a freelance cinematographer, and I shoot high-end commercials and music videos. I see so many low-quality racing and automotive films, and as a total car nut, I just had to do my own project, and do it right. For example, here's just a quick 30- second promo I put together from some of the footage I shot of the Quantum Team last week:

http://media.putfile.com/Delta-V

I just found out yesterday from JB Niday that Rally America likes the idea, and I hope to get them involved. I would also love to get YOUR input, stories, video footage, etc. I also need a name for the show!!! As a documentary, the story will write itself, and everyone can help. I really think that I can get this film on the Discovery Channel. It would do great things for the sport.
Please let et me know what you think! I can be reached at [email protected]

Sincerely, Max Fischer
 

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On the surface it sounds like a good idea and fun. The next Orange County Choppers show with personalities, etc, etc.... BUT....

Unless one can demonstrate that what these rally cars are doing is EPA legal, DOT legal, and not damaging forest roads and trees etc.....

I think this idea is playing with fire, and has a potential to raise eyebrows of those who would try to shut down rally.
 

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>I think this idea is playing with fire, and has a potential to
>raise eyebrows of those who would try to shut down rally.


TV coverage will not suddenly arm those who are concerned about motor racing with new information.

Anyone bent on making this an issue already has the ammunation and means of recourse to create any number of problems they desire.

If the sky is going to fall, let's get it over with.


edit: I re-read Max's post and am having a good laugh at the part about ambulances. I'm sure John C.'s repeated posts about theirs convinced us to get ours......
 
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You certainly could not have picked better guys to follow around and spend time with on this project. Top notch bloody wankers and excellent competitiors...
I can't wait to see it when putfile starts liking me.

Best regards, Matthew



Matthew Johnson
CarolinaRallySport.com
matthewjohnson.us
 

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>You certainly could not have picked better guys to follow
>around and spend time with on this project. Top notch bloody
>wankers and excellent competitiors...
>I can't wait to see it when putfile starts liking me.
>
>Best regards, Matthew
>
>
>
>Matthew Johnson
>CarolinaRallySport.com
>matthewjohnson.us

Top notch wankers indeed. They know how to enjoy themselves. Sounds like a good idea with good guys.
 

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>"Ask a boy anywhere in the world what he wants to be when he
>grows up. You will get a variety of answers. Some will be
>realistic, but many of them will be dreams. One of those
>dreams is to become a racecar driver.

I remember a very memorable Nike ad that said something to the effect of... "You can give a girl a ball, you can give a girl the clothes... and then you can give a girl a chance."

As one of the few female rally drivers around, I would love to see you and others cover our stories. We are totally grassroots, we're always up against the odds and the glass ceiling. We make do with less and always give 120% just so that the mostly male racing community will take use seriously.

I spent last year fighting to win the Western State Rally Championship for Group 5 and I did it in the end. I finally got to live one of my dreams in an older car that had much less power than my competitors. To me, that is what rallying is really about.

Good luck with your film project. I used to work at the Warner Bros. lot, so I know what you're going through. I hope can see it on TV.

Rally on!
Lisa

Live fast, drive faster! Buy rally stickers! http://www.rallyestar.com/merch
*Yes! the site is still in existence. It will be updated soon! I promise!*
 

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Hi Max, Sounds like a fun project. You might consider removing the gender bias from the voiceover:

>"Ask a boy anywhere in the world what he wants to be when he

Maybe you could ask a child anywhere in the world.

Best of luck with your show.

chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First and foremost, I apologize for the gender bias. And it's great to hear that there are women in Rallying, especially when they're beating the guys!

I have gotten such an overwhelming response from this thread. Probably 30 e-mails in the last 2 days, everyone sharing their stories, offering help/footage, etc. I would love to do a story about all of you!

That being said, we shot some fantastic interviews last night. Between that footage, and the stories you have sent me, the film is starting to take shape. All this, and I haven't even shot one frame of footage at a Rally! I really hope to make it out to Oregon, but STPR is a definite.

Keep your stories and suggestions coming. Also, if you offered up use of some video, (and some of it sounded like must-have footage!), I'll be sending you an email probably next week. It will include a release to give me permission to use it, my fedex #, and other pertinent info. And you will definitely get your name in the credits.

BTW, I've even gotten offers to help with voiceovers. But I'll also be looking for music, so if you're in a band, or know a band that wants some exposure, let me know.

Thanks again, Max. [email protected]
 

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Why do women continually think they deserve preferential treatment in motorsports? Please explain the glass ceiling that you cited as I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist. As far as I can tell, especially in cars, there is no barrier outside of having the $$ to play. And last time I checked there were quite a few woman who got more PR than they deserved based on their gender.

I wish most women in motorsports would take a lesson from Karen Krauss (National auto-xer). She doesn't whine about being a woman, instead she goes out and kicks mens asses in the men's classes and commands respect and attention because she deserves it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To those who offered me video footage...I tried to send you an email with all of the pertinent info. But my mail provider happens to really suck today, so if you didn't get it, let me know!
 
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