(We attended the Born Racer premier last night – no hard core spoilers yet. Obviously we all know how the 2017 season goes, but I’ll refrain from dropping hints about big scenes. We’ll be having a full review later in October once it’s been on general release on our podcast.)
What happens when a camera crew follows Scott Dixon around for a year: an epic documentary. Born Racer. The movie is produced by the same individual, Matthew Metcalfe, who produced the Bruce McLaren documentary. As Matthew talked about after the movie, being a fellow New Zealander, he knew about Scott prior to making the movie. After the production company did one documentary about a famous New Zealander, it was time to do one about another famous New Zealdander (Dixon). As we chatted with Matthew prior to the movie, he lit up discussing INDYCAR. He was excited to talk about what he learned during the process, including everyone’s favorite tidbit about the cars crossing the length of a football field in a second. The film crew was given unfettered access to the Dixon family and the INDYCAR paddock. The result – an amazing movie.
The movie is beautifully shot. It takes you through the full range of human emotions, sometimes within a matter of minutes. The editing of different moments both on track, off track training, and more intimate family moments could be jarring if it were any other racer. As an example, it discusses the wreck in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, which as we watched the movie we all knew it was happening. Unlike playing the wreckage just to show the wreckage, the movie does a respectable job of showing the wreckage, talking about everything that happened in those split seconds, and then what happened afterward. You watch that section walking away with a greater understanding of that moment. Scott Dixon is an amazing race car driver, and watching him come back from that crash is very encouraging. We talked to a good number of drivers before the movie, and everyone had a similar theme when asked about Scott Dixon: consistency and talent. You see that in this movie.
While it is clinical in its breakdown of the activity in the track it is also voyeuristic in the intimate moments within the Dixon household. Yet even the moments on the racetrack seem voyeuristic. The film crew had complete access to the whole operation during races using audio from the whole #9 crew, and it is creates a very genuine view of a race team in very stressful moments. Some may worry allowing a crew access to home life and driver life, and then having a third party edit all that footage could create an individual who isn’t true to form – but don’t worry. The experience is humanizing, it takes the driver that we all have placed on a [well deserved] pedestal and turns him into a human. It’s Scott Dixon though so he’s still a superhuman.
All INDYCAR fans should watch this movie: it shows a side of one of the greatest drivers it shows the behind the scenes training that creates the drivers we all cheer for; and it elevates the crew to the status of family. Chip Ganassi gave the best word when we talked to him about the movie “commitment”. It rings true, you see the commitment of everyone involved. If that doesn’t sell you on watching the movie, there are family videos and photos of young Scott Dixon, it’s edited into the larger story in a way that again goes back to what makes a person a great racer. Also though and as a fellow ginger: way to show there is hope for all of us growing up Scott!
It’s my hope that this paves the way for future movies/series about INDYCAR and drivers. There are a few movies/television shows about Formula 1, NASCAR, and Le Mans – it’s time for INDYCAR.
The movie is on a current release but will be out on October 2nd. All of the information may be found at https://www.bornracermovie.com/ . You can preorder it on Amazon.com and it should be at your house by October 2nd. https://amzn.to/2xPI5mu