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Update: Double Senna trailers online, could an F1 film be next?

AyrtonSenna.jpgTwo trailers have arrived for Senna, the film about the legendary driver Ayrton Senna who won the Formula 1 championship three times in a row.

The trailers have some great images, really great images, and not only does it capture the spirit and the passion of F1 but also the speed, and then there's the story it already sets up for Senna and I'm surprised how dramatic it looks already, and that's mainly for the off-track moments.

The film charts the life of Ayrton Senna who was killed aged thirty-four in a terrible racing incident that shocked Formula 1. The man inspired so many people from around the world, not just racing drivers, and embodied what racing should be about, and that line from the trailer, both of which I've just watched twice, captures it for me.

”You are competing to win, and if you no longer go for a gap you're no longer a racing driver”

No matter the statistics his name will never be knocked from the top of F1. I doubt we'll see someone of his calibre again, and a big reason for that is that F1 will never be the same as it was when he was at his height.

The film looks a powerful documentary, and according to those who have seen it, it is far more cinematic than the average documentary and relies on a lot of previously unseen footage. It's more than a film for F1 fans, and it does manage to show some powerful moments from off the track too, capturing some of the strong rivalries between drivers and also with teams too.

Here's the English language trailer:

Now here's the Japanese language trailer:

The film has been seen in Japan, and in fact that's the DVD release trailer you're watching, it's also been released in Brazil too, and we're waiting for a Grand Prix timed release in Germany and the UK, 12th May and 3rd June this year respectively.

As much as I'm excited to see this film there's something else I'm hopeful for. That this documentary coupled with the James Hunt biographical film will pave the way for a film about F1, a new film that will capture the essence of racing and of team rivalry in the sport, that will capture the passion and the politics. After all these trailers look like they've managed it here, why not in a film?

However there are four things that stand in the way of a film about Formula 1, and I'll list them here:

CG and reality:
None. Not a jot. You cannot make an F1 film with CG you need real cars going at real speeds. The only film that's managed that so far for me is John Frankenheimer's stunning Grand Prix, a film of the like I think will never get made again. You can hear us argue about that film over on the Filmstalker Film Club Audiocast.

The people behind F1 and the FIA will want so much control over the film and want it to portray F1 in such a way that I think it would be difficult to get a real story made. The rivalry from the track to the courts between McLaren and Ferrari would be a great story, not just with the drivers themselves, or a film about any of the pit lane politics that go on, but that would cast a darker light on the FIA and I doubt they'd get the sanction to make a film that revealed that.

Tied with the one above. There are a couple of big costs, first the money to those behind F1, and then the cost involved in filming. If it's going to be done properly you follow the Frankenheimer method, film at the real race weekends with real cars and real drivers.

For Frankenheimer's Grand Prix a lot of the added realism comes from the stars being taught how to race, put in actual F1 cars with high end cameras strapped to them, and then put on track with actual F1 drivers racing around them. That would not be allowed in this day and age and they'd have to film them in a studio against and employ CG or pull them around behind a lead vehicle. Not a problem you might say, watch Grand Prix and see some of the shots they have there, they are amazing. Then watch the moment where James Garner leaps out of his car which is on fire and falls to the ground as his coveralls are alight. That's a very real accident with Garner himself.

An F1 film? Perhaps not then. However there's always the Senna and Hunt films, and as fitting, Senna's film comes first.

Update: The trailer has now arrived in Quicktime high-definition over at Apple Trailers. It's the new U.S. version for the film and carries the following blurb:

Senna's remarkable story, charting his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection, and the mythical status he has since attained, is the subject of SENNA, a documentary feature that spans the racing legend's years as an F1 driver, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later. Far more than a film for F1 fans, SENNA unfolds a remarkable story in a remarkable manner, eschewing many standard documentary techniques in favor of a more cinematic approach that makes full use of astounding footage, much of which is drawn from F1 archives and previously unseen.

Pretty much the same trailer, but every time I see it I get excited. More F1 films!



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