So after 6 and a half days lounging around Venice I met up with the crew from Anattic in preparation for the Race Across America. James who heads up Anattic, was Directing his first full length feature documentary and had asked me to get involved. The doc would follow team CFC – Cyclistsfightingcancer as they competed in whats known as the toughest endurance cycling race in the world; travelling from Oceanside, CA all the way over the country to Annapolis, MA (west to east). The cyclists would endure a non-stop time trial over 3000 miles, across 12 states and over 170,000 feet of elevation. CFC aimed to raise over £250,000 for their own charity, which provides Children diagnosed with cancer help and support and free cycles to help try and keep fit during therapies.
So I’d jumped in a cab to meet the media crew at LAX for their arrival and we picked up our car rental car. Amazingly one of the producers James Stier had been in communication with Sixt USA and had been granted 5 vehicles free of charge to get us from Oceanside to Annapolis. One for our media team and four more, one for each cyclist.
We had the luxury of sharing a mansion with the entire crew in Spring Valley, south of Oceanside and east of San Diego. This was a crucial week for the team to adjust to their new environment, iron out any creases and prepare everything for the event ahead. The team varied in professions, with physicians, dieticians, mechanics, planners not to forget a professional chef! The idea was that each of these people also have roles to fulfil once out on the road too, each vehicle had up to 4 people in, including the riders when they weren’t on the bikes.
This prep week was useful for the documentary as it was character building and would be useful for getting the audience to understand what roles people played. Both the racing team and the media team had to attend briefings in Oceanside down at the Race headquarters, and get all vehicles examined by the race officials. This wasn’t as straight forward as you think it is, theres a lot that can potentially go wrong on the road and they obviously had to cover their backs!