DIRT TRACK DATE
The rain poured all night. I stared up at the skylight from my bed listening to a monsoon of a rain storm coming down. Call time was 9am. Not too early, since we were going to shoot into the evening, but, not enough time for Noah’s flood to subside. I had waited till September to direct this piece with the hope for warm weather and brilliant, sun drenched sky. I had wanted to shoot at an old dirt track for years. The idea of a dry, dirt track kicking up a fog of dust, like something from Rat Patrol was all I had imagined. What I had was el Niño pissing on my shoes.
The plan for the shoot was to rent out a fairground with a dirt track for the day and set up a series of scenes/vignettes. We had planned for about ten on camera talent to arrive with their own vintage and custom bikes along with products from the client, Black Arrow Exchange Co. We would style them and set them loose with camera in tow. Everything was storyboarded and planned loosely enough to allow spontaneity.
The skies began to clear by 11am and the weather was beginning to look better. The track on the other hand wasn’t. Jake (co-director) and I stepped onto the field and immediately sunk into six inches of thick muck. “Why”, I asked myself, “why do I keep doing this?”. I am a glutton for punishment.
By noon, talent was arriving, but instead of ten, we were facing somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty. For the first time, crew was outnumbered by talent.
Within minutes, 12-packs of Busch were flowing one after another. The party had started. I looked at my shot list and then at the scene unfolding before me. Bikes were drag racing up down the back streets of the track. Wheelies and riders standing on a moving bikes were going back and forth. Yelling “action” or even “cut”, was as effective as pissing in the wind. I realized any true sense of control was waning. It was officially controlled chaos in effect.
It wouldn’t be until we got into editing before we knew if had captured what we were after. I was anxious throughout. The end result actually came out better than I had imagined. I wanted something raw/real, a fantasy land gone wild. These folks aren’t actors and that’s the secret sauce. It’s got to be real to look real.
#dirt track #motorcycles #girls #road flares #mud #Busch beer #hot rods #racing #Harley Davidson #America #Southern Culture on the Skids