Static Magazine was invited to attend the premiere of Unchained: The Untold Story of Freestyle Motocross at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar in Austin, Tx. Bright sunny day with clear skies welcomed ESPN, X Games, and those involved with the movie to town to showcase the film. Attendees included Josh Brolin who is the narrator of the movie along with freestyle motocross pioneers and legends; Brian Deegan, Mike Metzger, and Seth Enslow. We had the chance to speak to a few of the athletes, Executive Producer Susan Cooper, and director/producer Paul Taublieb who also appears in the film whose interview segments you can read below.
What is one of your favorite moments in the movie that will give that full circle feeling to the audience?
Paul – My favorite moment in the movie; what I think really captures the movie is one of the stranger chapters in the sport. That was Winter X Games when we brought the desert sport of freestyle motocross into the ice and snow of Aspen, Colorado. What happened there was Brian Deegan crashes really bad one year and has every reason to never throw his leg over a bike. He goes back the next year, the same setup, the same drama, the same stakes and pulls it off to win the gold medal.
When you made this movie, was it more personal to you or was it something like a collaboration of ideas of others?
Well I made a movie a couple of years ago that I won an Emmy award for, ESPN 30 for 30 movie about Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau. Which I’m a big surfer and it was passionate. This movie was different, I was part of this history. I’m actually in the movie a little bit because I helped create the sport of freestyle motocross and I was there as a promoter and a producer. So I didn’t want to be in the movie but it was necessary because there was stories and insights. I was an eyewitness and a participant in everything that happens so it was a highly personal film. It is satisfying that a big part of my life is now going to live forever.
Can you share a few words about the movie. The work that you put into it, what you were looking for the final product to be, and what we can expect tonight.
I was inspired by the true-life stories of these men because I see them as heroic. They are athletes, they train as hard and harder than any athlete in the world in any sport. I felt that they were misunderstood that a lot of people might look and approach what they do, as a comedic thing. As something that is wild and crazy & what I came to see is that these characters and these men. They’re extraordinary people. They’re brave. Every day they wake up in the morning and face their fears. It was so inspiring to me that what we really wanted to show was the gravitas of the importance of these men. Today they are fathers, most of them have children of their own and like Mike Metzger’s children are living with him. Brian Deegan’s children are competitive racers doing well in the world. That’s not the impression that people got from them in their youth. When you saw that they were wild it looked like they were doing crazy antics. So from a character point of view, I’m always interested in the human condition and these are extremely talented, devoted, self-disciplined young men and women & their wives love them so deeply. They go through so much tragedy because they care so deeply about the men they love. They take care of them and watch them, they know this is what it takes to make them happy. As a film maker what’s key to me is to try to bring in elements that are equal to the talent of the guys in the film. My job would be to go bring in a Josh Borlin lets aim high, lets bring in that kind of talent. Usually as an executive producer what I’m trying to do is assemble the elements that make the movie strong. Sound effects, visual effects, and all of the elements that make an emotional experience for the viewer. My job is to respect the viewer and their experience, I hope that they walk away inspired and look at their own lives. Say how can I live my own life with deeper passion. They don’t have to grab a motorcycle necessarily but for me I struggle with my own fears and issues with self-esteem. So it was really important to me to over come those and these guys are inspiring people to do that.
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Photographs taken on May 4th, 2016 at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas
Disclaimer: All photographs are copyright Clark Terrell Photography and cannot be used/cropped/printed without the consent of the owner.
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