Thursday, March 11, 2010

REVIEW: Driven to Race

Driven To Race documentary movie poster outside of premiere screening which kicked off the 2010 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Star Mazda Race Series season. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

REVIEW: Driven to Race

Driven To Race” or The best Documentary that every wannabe Race Driver should see.

This past Wednesday night March 10th, 2010 we got the chance to preview and see what could have been the basis of the best racing movie since LeMans. “Driven To Race”, is by far one of the best documentaries ever made about open wheel racing, and where the world finds these new up and coming drivers. While this is not news to those of us who have spent any time at all around Motorsports, it is eye opening for people new to our industry.

This documentary follows the 2008 Star Mazda Race Series. Interviews with Team Members, Sponsors, Drivers, Crews, Officials, and the behind the scenes look at what goes on in one of the best run race series in the US today. While not being the biggest fan of open wheel racing after Karting, I did spend many years working in almost this exact division of Motorsports. (I worked around Formula Ford, Sports 2000, and Formula Atlantic series, and shifted focus to production based series using cars with fenders, doors, and roofs).

But I watched this film with great understanding and also wishing above all else that this small production studio (three people) will have a far reaching effect on all those who see this film. Many movies, some with major stars and multi-million dollars budgets, have failed to covey to the viewer what this great independent film has accomplished, on a budget that most productions would have spent on “Craft Services” (snacks) .

“Driven To Race” if distribution can find a way to get this out to more than just the Teams and Officials that were filmed during the production could be the next Oscar nominee for a documentary.

Cargo Productions followed the series throughout North America for the 2008 Star Mazda Series. The men at Cargo Productions started with a plan to go to one race and see what would happen. They wanted to see if they found a spark, and if they had discovered a series, sport, or industry that would tolerate these outsiders following them around for an entire season. Had they met with resistance, or friction among the teams or officials, they would have called off the plan. Or if the subject matter have proven too dull, or hard to follow, again they would have walked away.

What this small but energetic group had found was the wonderful, real world drama that comes with a quest for victory sometimes against all odds. The people at Cargo Productions took hundreds of hours of film, countless interviews, and must have worn out many pairs of sneakers to follow the teams, officials and drivers around as they followed the exploits of the 2008 Star Mazda Series. While I'm sure there was enough footage shot to have made a complete multi week series for the “Speed” Channel, (and maybe that can still happen) the group at Cargo edited down all those hours first into a three and a half hour movie. Then with more thought about how long anyone can sit still and watch a documentary, they went back to the editing room and whittled it down to the final two hour version we got to see before almost anyone else in the world.

There is no romantic sub plot, evil team owner, or prima donna race driver with an ego bigger Stallone or Cruise as in movies past. What you do get from this film is an real understanding of what really goes on, and some of the hard work that goes on to compete in a race series.

It's not my place to tell you how they do it, or who wins what. But to tell you if you enjoy, understand, or have a friend who is new to Motorsports, than this is your film. I just wish they had made this film when drivers such as Pruett, Dismore, Lazzaro, Ave, Nadeau, Till, Fish, and others were coming up through the ranks on their way to Pro Driving Careers.

I hope the Discovery Channel, or Speed pick this film up and give it a good showing. This film is a must see if you want to make a career in Auto Racing, weather it be Open wheel, road racing, or any other form of Motorsports. The people at Cargo Productions hit the nail on the head. You only hope it will be this good, but above all else, this is the real story of what it takes. Luck, Money, Talent, Desire and Dedication.

Cargo Productions is an independent production company generating content for television, films and the internet. Founded in 2008 by Jeff Krueger and Brian Spillane, the company is currently in production on a documentary feature and reality television program focusing on the world of auto racing.

Jeffrey Krueger

Jeffrey Krueger (Producer) was Executive Producer for the award winning short film “The Salesman”, written by and starring Cargo Productions co-founder, Brian Spillane. His latest short film, “Intruder” (written by and starring Jeff), has been featured in the Long Island Film Festival and the Lake Havasu Film Festival, among others.

Jeff has been writing and acting in plays and films for over 10 years. He most recently wrote and starred in his original work, The Legalities of Love, which premiered at the Huntington Beach Playhouse in Huntington Beach, California.

Brian Spillane

Brian Spillane (Director) has been writing, acting and directing on stage, film and television for over 15 years. In 2001, his first independent film, “The Salesman” won Best Mockumentary Short at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Videos Brian has written and/or directed have been featured on The Discovery Channel and the CW Network, and in 2008, he received his first Telly Award™ .

Special thanks to Dean Case and the entire cast and crew at MAZDASPEED Motorsports.

This story compiled from Cargo Production web site, viewing movie, and personal experiences.

By: Dicken Wear, Editor-in-Chief

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