So – its a weird one… tuning into the rhythm and the heart of the film as it is being made, as it is being shot and editing between the first days shoot and the second. My role of writer is more editor talking to the director, watching what’s been shot, interviewing people and listening between the words – trying to create a space for the meaning to emerge between what we see, hear and subsequently take away from the film. We’re trying to create an impression in the mind of the viewer that connects into everyday life – something universal. Its difficult, especially when i feel the weight of truth on my shoulders – on the day of the shoot, a number of the cyclists came up to tell me things – it needs to be their story and yet connect into the non-cyclist. i want the film to be inspirational – i was inspired by these guys – men of 70 and 80 flying round the track.
i know that there are mirrors of real life in track cycling – so much unfolded around me on the day of the first shoot. As i talked to people i could see the pure enjoyment of just talking about cycling. There was a man who’d had a heart attack and was on his road to recovery and keen to get back on his bike, waiting for the all clear. They share a passion – and for those who don’t cycle that’s an element of what we want them to come away with – find your passion in life and nurture it – dedicate your life to it. One potential starting point is a family who are connected through cycling and the passion has spread through the family. Another is a coach who understands that there needs to be goals set and a basic level of fitness in order to achieve the wins or to just stay on the track and another coach who really understands this group and how to work with them, even in just the way he introduced me to everyone. Then there are the benefits that cycling brings – the camaraderie, the sense of freedom. There is also the director’s connection to the film and her passion for cycling which was the starting point.
My job now is to get something in a nutshell. Its elusive but at least with the director the start of the film has emerged and we are communicating properly so the good stuff can flow. Its having faith at this stage that we can pull it off – find the voice – you have to try different things – talk about it, fall asleep and wake up dreaming about it.
I did fall asleep thinking about the film and some insights slipped through just before i fell asleep. I woke up still thinking about it. Indeed this is the thing that needs to grow – its a red light in the dark – of someone riding home from the velodrome – its images like this that becoming a touching point – and this out of context image helps to make a connection with something in the non-cyclist. It could be like a red heart – a signifier for passion. unspoken but true. (Note: must talk to director about this – she didn’t like it).
My instinct is that the monologue is wrapped in a cacophony of telephonic voices and sounds that tie the ‘soundtrack’ together. I feel i won’t get the story i need from one person and i won’t get it from interviewing people on the track. They need to be interviewed in their homes away from the track so that they can dip in and out of their lives. I need to look at the Zidane monologue and what that achieves. I am on an uphill slant at the moment and the trick is to keep trying things – to go away from it and come back to it. There’s progress… and later today we are shooting again…
We know in today’s shoot at least that we need to film the blue line – film the lines of the track – that’s really important. And also the corridor perhaps with people but also empty – so you can hear the footsteps and imagine the people walking away. This is kind of a legacy poignancy shot. Hearing the footsteps and not seeing the people makes the mind imagine them – their laughter their cacophony and the poignancy that these old guys will be gone… see i am welling up with tears now – i know i have hit on something… and that’s the beauty of writing.
On the weekend, the director also captured blue sky and road shots.
Its slowly coming together.
The basic story is this living a passionate life – not quite knowing why you are doing it but doing it anyway – you know you are going to die but you have lived a passionate life and shared it with others. The tiny revelation in this film is that they are men of 70 and 80 whizzing round the track.
I am still worried about the middle – but then – conventionality would worry about that.