Ok, first things first, as I am sure you have guessed, considering it is currently early February. The films going to be a bit "late". Originally I estimated early spring 2013, now I am estimating early summer 2013. I think you will agree that continuing to work and shoot to make the best product possible is better than trying to meet an arbitrary deadline. So that's out of the way. Cool.
This is what we've been up to since we last spoke.
First, I went down to Jamaica for their one big rally of the year. Part of the Caribbean championship they've got going on down there. Super cool event, awesome people and great chicken.
Very island style. I posted this little story to my personal Facebook, but don't think it ever made it to the ESTD or anywhere else, but it sums up rally down there pretty well. The first day I was there I visited the HQ hotel room to get my media credential and ask a few questions. The head organizer was in there and I asked him if I could land a helicopter somewhere close to the start of stage 1. He gives me this weird look (probably thinking WTF who is this sunburnt gringo) then hops on his phone, and calls a land owner. The conversation goes like this: Organizer "Hello, yes, can someone land a helicopter on your cricket field? - Yes, yes, ok mon". Then to me "Matt, yes, you can land on their cricket field, if they are playing on it, just buzz them twice and they will move".
Cool, and pretty much what you'd expect from Jamaica, and I mean that in the best way possible. Great experience. Although the actual helo ride was a touch on the dicey side, but that's a different story.
In an adventure in climatology I went direct from Jamaica to Big White Winter Rally in snowy Kelowna BC. A great little Canadian regional event. Cold. Especially cold when the day before you were sweating in shorts. Bonus I got my tickets entirely on award miles. Thanks United.
A couple little interviews and visits and 8 days off for Christmas, and then just 2 weeks ago the Rally America championship started again with my "home" event, the Sno*Drift rally. Always a good event, always well run and I also managed to squeeze in 2 interviews with Antoine L'Estage and rally legend John Buffum. John had a few interesting stories and anecdotes. He asked me not to use them. I'm not sure if I'm going to adhere to that.
Then 4 days home and off to WRC Sweden. Where I spent the first 2 days hanging out in the workshop of none other than Petter Solberg. As you might imagine a very cool dude. We sat down and talked about rally, life, getting started, retiring and a bunch more. I wanted to continue the interview for hours, but he had a MkII Escort to finish prepping for the Sweden rally.
And that's where I am today. This event is tough. The WRC isn't terribly stoked on handing out media credentials to people like me, so I am here shooting high speed phantom shots around drunk peoples heads. Fun drunk people though, they are one of the things that makes this event so special. As I was telling one of my new inebriated Swede friends on the side of the stage this morning. The shakedown stage at Sweden probably has more spectators than an entire U.S rally. Actually, maybe all the U.S rallies, combined, and they love and are so knowledgeable about the sport. I'm a huge fan of Scandinavia. My rental car also came with studded tires, so, that tells you something.
So whats next? In my original plan Sweden was going to be the last of 2 events for the film (the other being 100 Acre Wood Rally) but with the WRC being so tough to access I might add another 1 or 2. I've been busy on my few days home from regular work and film work putting together rough timelines, and going through and trying to lay down a solid story. Looking at what makes sense, what doesn't, and what I need to fill the gaps. Then booking the shooting needed to fill them. Then you know, finishing this thing up :)
More details on that will be coming when I know them. But you will be sure to be informed. If you haven't already, check out the Facebook, It is getting busier there as I start tying loose ends and going through content.