Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to see Richard Moore quiz Graeme Obree on his career at the Glasgow Film Theatre.
He was his usual eccentric yet inspirational self with several lines sticking in the memory and making you think again about the way you view things – which is his default way of looking at the world.
He talked about owning his bike shop and being in the comfort zone, as many of us often are, like a ball sitting on a flat surface. Sometimes something comes along to nudge that, and sets the ball off in a new direction.
Motivation and determination are key to his make-up: for example, he asked: would Moser (the previous hour record holder to Obree) have ‘chucked’ a training session in the snow, if he had had two punctures and frozen hands?
Being ‘willing to die’ and ‘getting the ‘last bit of toothpaste out of the tube’ were two ways of describing 100% effort needed to break a record that stuck in my mind.
During the evening, we watched a short rough cut of footage shot at Obree’s world speed record attempt in the USA. Read on to find out more of the background to his record attempt and Journey Pictures’ kickstarter campaign that will transform the thousands of hours of film into a documentary.
Two years ago Graeme Obree set himself the challenge to build a bike capable of competing at the IHPVA World Speed Championship at Battle Mountain, Nevada. True to style Obree kept the approach simple, building his bike, The Beastie, in his kitchen using a mix of recycled bits and pieces, including an old sauce pan. Obree is a man well known for adopting an unorthodox approach, well known for his battles with mental illness, well known for extraordinary achievement. The challenges to his ambition, to make the journey to Battle Mountain and mount a bid for the human powered world speed record, came in many shapes and forms and ultimately turned a one year project into two year marathon. Obree finally made the start line of the IHPVA World Speed Championship in Battle Mountain Nevada during September 2013.
Journey Pictures has followed Obree every step of the way and has massed over 200 hours of footage which chronicles Obree as he faces up to the size, the scale and complexity of the challenge of propelling the human form through the atmosphere, of training the human body to perform to its maximum. The documentary footage gets inside access to Obree like no other and witnesses the unfolding of a human and personal drama of raw and emotional intensity.
However, in order to finish the project Journey Pictures needs to put in place the funding to allow the completion of what has been a very complex jigsaw. With such a diversity of footage the challenge to complete a final edit is time consuming and expensive. Journey Pictures has set up a Kickstarter campaign to enable Graeme Obree fans all over the world to become part of what may become his greatest legacy. Journey Pictures requires £20,000 to finish the project which started in 2011 and deliver what will be an inspirational, captivating and dramatic documentary about one of life’s most enigmatic, interesting and iconic individuals. Individuals who choose to invest in the project will play a vital role to help bring this documentary to fruition.