Friday 24 January 2014

Help a new film about motorsport marshalling: Trackside

Sometimes if a maxim is overused we can close our ears somewhat. But one that us F1 fans - indeed fans of any form of motorsport - should never forget is that we owe volunteer marshals a considerable debt of gratitude, as almost no motorsport could take place without them. And all the while, on top of giving up several weekends a year whatever the weather, the skills and professionalism that marshals exhibit is astonishing. I know this from personal experience

And it's with this in mind that Edward Sanchez has decided to make Trackside: an independent feature length documentary film following UK track marshals working at various forms of motorsport, with the strapline 'No Marshals, No Motorsport'. It is produced by Soft-Focus Productions

The film will seek to portray what it's like to be a marshal trackside, and will tell the stories of many of them from trainees to the most experienced. It will also tell the story of Steve Tarrant who lost his leg due to an accident while he was marshalling at Goodwood in 2000, and still marshals! Trackside will also contain interviews with several drivers, including with WEC World Champion Allan McNish.

The plan is that Trackside will be shown at various film festivals around the world initially followed by a release on DVD and Blu-ray.

It is an independent production and they have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help build up a budget for the film, with the aim of raising £5,000. If you'd like to see the film and want to make an investment to help make it happen then you can on the film's Kickstarter page via this link. You can choose the amount you'd like/are able to pledge.

You'll also see that pledging various amounts also gets you a range of rewards, from access to the film's online blog, through film merchandise, a digital download or DVD of the film, merchandise including a signed Caterham shirt and Daniel Ricciardo cap, right up to having an Associate Producer credit!

I also spoke to Trackside's director Edward Sanchez about the film. Here's what he had to say:

Graham Keilloh: What inspired you to make a film about marshals?
Edward Sanchez: Soft-Focus Productions have produced a few documentaries over the past few years ranging from Bull Fighting in Spain, to professional wrestling in Texas, USA. I felt personally as a director I wanted to work on a film about a subject I was particularly passionate about. I've always loved motorsport, particularly F1, and thought right now would be a great time to make a documentary after the successes of Senna, Rush and TT: Closer to the Edge. I was watching one of the BTCC races and started to properly notice the marshals, did some research and realised I had a really interesting story on my hands here!

GK: What can us motorsport fans expect from the film?
ES: We are trying to make the film appeal to as wide as audience as possible, but obviously this will be a film for motorsport fans. What we want to try and show is the wide range of roles that marshals do, and show audiences all the different jobs that marshals do. We also have interviews with some world famous drivers, so you will have the chance to see some of these drivers talking about some of their worst incidents.

GK: What's done, and what's still to do?
ES: We are still only really at the start of this journey. Obviously we have been working flat out on it already for about seven months and it's been nearly a year since the idea was first thought of. We've started Principle Photography, but we will be actively in production for almost an entire year, telling as many stories as possible. We are also going to be following a trainee marshals from their first training session throughout their first year.

GK: And if we make a pledge, what will you do with the money?
ES: Whilst we have been producing documentaries for many years and built up quite an big set up of cameras, there are still a few more bits of specialised equipment to help up capture that we will be looking to get. But the main costs will be the expenses of the film. We are going to spend the next year with almost every weekend at a different race meeting so will end up traveling all around the country, taking a full crew everywhere will start to add up. The more money we get invested, the more races we can make it to, the more stories we can tell.

It you want to know more about the film you can visit its website here as well as follow it on Twitter. And don't forget to pledge here.


  1. Just a correction - my accident at Goodwood was on 24th June 2000, not 2010 as per the article!!!!

    1. Ah, please accept my apologies Steve. My mistake. I've corrected that now. Thanks very much also for getting in touch!

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