The production of Scottish cyclist David Millar’s final-season documentary, which has been filming throughout 2014, has been joined by Hollywood producer, and fellow Scot, Iain Smith.
The 65-year old producer, who worked on films such as Seven Years in Tibet, Children of Men and TV series 24: Live Another Day, joins a third Scotsman and BAFTA nominated director Finlay Pretsell on the feature’s production.
Cycle racing film production company, Cycling Films, have joined forces with the Scottish Documentary Institute, to form the team behind what has become a very Scottish project.
Millar’s rollercoaster career in which he’s transformed himself from disgraced EPO cheat to anti-doping spokesman and campaigner, will not be the focus of the film.
In an interview with Rouleur cycling magazine last year, Millar said that he wanted use this film to focus on the racing and to “to send a postcard of my love of pro bike racing.”
Today, Millar finds himself as a representative on the Athlete Committee for the World Anti Doping Agency, as well as a shareholder in his team, Garmin-Sharp’s, parent company, Slipstream Sports.
As he inches ever closer to his 40s, the current Commonwealth time trial champion has decided to hang up his cleats to spend more time with his children - and film the process.
In the interview with Rouleur, which took place in December last year, Pretsell, the project’s director, and Millar spoke about what audiences should expect from the documentary.
“We want to create something that people finish and go ‘fuck! That’s what pro bike racing is like. I had no idea it was like that.' Really change the perception,” Millar said.
When asked about how the film came about, the pair spoke about meeting at a Revolution track event in Manchester, and discussing the idea.
Moving ahead a few years, Millar’s career looks to be coming to a close and so it was decided that the film had to be made now or never.
“It’s actually serendipitous in the fact that it gives the film a natural narrative,” Millar said. “It’s the Tour de France starting in the UK, Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, then finishing in Spain, which is where I live now, with the Vuelta and the world championships. It closes a lot of doors.
On closing doors, Millar was keen to highlight that this film won’t be about his chequered past, and will instead focus on the present.
“I’m sick of talking about my past. I think it’s necessary but at the same time, I want to live in the now and kind of love my sport again.
“It’s kind of a positive finish: I was a doper and I was part of that generation, this is where the sport’s been, this is where the sport is now. The film's got to be very much be about bike racing now, today… I’d like to send a postcard of my love of pro bike racing [with this film].”
Having worked alongside the filming team for a while, and trying out a number of different filming techniques, Millar and Pretsell seem to think they’ve found the recipe for something entirely new.
“What we’ve tried looks different and looks amazing, we’ve realised there is a way of filming cycling that’s not been done before,” Millar said.
The film is pegged for a 2015 release, as filming is set to continue throughout the year.
That would not surprise me in the least!
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