Understanding what goes into running a 100 mile trail race makes you appreciate why 1.) a person would want to take on the task and 2.) what journey they took just getting to the start line. "This Is Your Day" is a film about exactly those two elements, piecing together the stories of three athletes while preparing for and running the oldest and most well-know 100 mile race in the world, the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.
In this behind the scenes interview with Director Mylse Smythe of Sierra Studio Films, you'll get a good idea of where the project originated and what it was like to film such a mammoth task, not only to ensure that the audience would gain the best possible insight into the process, but also to be captivated by the story of these three individuals, all of whom heavily relying not only on personal perseverence and ability, but also on a support network that includes family and friends devoted to helping them cross the finish line. More about the production here.
Questions we asked him included:
1. How and why did you choose Rob, Karl and Caroline as your characters?
2. All three characters have significantly different stories, goals and finishing times - what did you hope to achieve by combining their stories in the film?
3. Where did the idea and concept of the film come from - what made you want to tell this story?
4. How long did it take you to shoot the film, from the day the idea was born?
5. Were there any challenges during or after filming?
6. Did you have an idea for the title, or was that all Rob’s doing?
7. The movie doesn’t just focus on the runners, but also takes a look at their crews and explores what it’s like to be a part of a support team - why did you feel it was important to focus on the support crews too?
8. The support crews, family members, volunteers at races, etc often go about their jobs without any recognition - yet they continue to support and help out. How significant are their roles in an ultra runner’s career?
9. You worked closely with family members of Rob, Karl and Caroline, how are their lives affected pre-event and on the day?
10. How did the athletes respond to being filmed during the build up to the race, were there any interesting moments?
11. During post, did the story ever shift or change from the original storyline due to footage, results or the runners’ performance on the day?
12. What equipment did you shoot with, and how many people worked on your crew?
13. Do you have any advice for aspiring trail/sport film makers?
14. What’s next for Sierra Studio Films?