By Kristina (Scorsese Group)
Two days and five hours of footage later, the Scorsese team has filmed the filming of the Birch Bay Marathon north of Bellingham. Our objective: Capture the process of creating a film using consumer technology (specifically the flip camera).
While we have a full cast of characters, it seems like everyone fits into three main entities:
1. Us, the film crew
2. Joel, the race director, and the rest of the volunteers who made the race possible.
3. The runners
What’s the common thread in these three entities? One possibility: Lots of work leading to a moment of accomplishment, exhilaration and exhaustion.
Scouting the course
On Saturday afternoon, Sarah, Adam and Garrett pulled into my driveway and we loaded my bike into the back of Sarah’s vehicle and headed to Birch Bay. Armed with a map and GPS we found the starting line, but there was no sign that this would be where 60 people would line up at dawn the next morning to run 26.2 miles.
Since I live the closest to Birch Bay everyone stayed at my place Saturday. I worked Saturday evening so the rest of the Scorseses made themselves at home editing video and preparing for the next morning’s early departure.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to sleep at all Saturday night. It probably had something to do with the fact I went to bed about two hours before I normally would. At 5 a.m. my alarm went off and I reluctantly got out of bed and found Garrett and Adam awake but bleary eyed, still under the blankets on the living room floor and couch. After a quick breakfast of bagels and bananas we hit the road. As the first rays of light appeared on the horizon, Sarah and Garrett narrowly missed hitting a deer that strayed onto the road.
When we arrived at the starting line, Adam and I bearing gifts of coffee we stopped to get at the AM/PM, we interviewed the first people who had the luck (or misfortune) to walk past our vehicles and sign a release form: David, Rick, Narvie and Narvie’s wife, Amy. These would be our main characters and we would film them at every checkpoint in addition to a post-race interview.
Watching a marathon can be a trying experience. After the runners pass one checkpoint you race to the next checkpoint. And then you wait. And wait some more. Luckily we had beautiful weather and gorgeous Birch Bay as a backdrop while we waited.
As the runners finished we used a combination of the flip camera and a digital audio recorder and lapel mic to record post-race interviews. I waited about two miles back on my bike to get some footage of the running and phone ahead when one of our main characters was close to finishing (more on the bike cam to come).
Being a spectator at the marathon did make me want to run another one. I ran the Seattle Marathon about three years ago and had enough injuries and sore muscles that I was not in a hurry to run another one, but after I finish the MCDM program, I might have to reconsider — or at least go for the half.