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SUPERCROSS THE MOVIE

The Making Of Supercross: The Movie
The idea for a movie about Supercross racing came four years ago to producer Steve Austin, the president of TAG Entertainment, a motion picture and television production company. "When I saw first-hand the intensity of the rides, I developed an appreciation and love for the sport,” says Austin. "I knew then that I wanted to capture it all in a film.” Austin committed to making a film true to the sport. "It has to be real,” says Austin, "because you have to please the fans; they'll accept nothing less than that.”

A strategic partnership between TAG Entertainment and Clear Channel Entertainment's Motor Sports division was critical in bringing this world to the screen. Over a two-year period, Clear Channel, which has been involved with Supercross for almost three decades, gave TAG Entertainment unfettered access to every one of Clear Channel's Supercross events. Most significantly, TAG had carte blanche at the Supercross finals in Las Vegas. "Authenticity was top priority, says Ken Hudgens, Senior Vice President of Clear Channel Entertainment's Motor Sports Division. And we gave the filmmakers the access they needed to make it real.”

The production took full advantage of this unprecedented access, to spectacular effect, staging a scene – a race-within-a-race – in the middle of a live championship event. In addition, stunt doubles for the actors actually qualified for the real race, enabling director Steve Boyum to track the stunt riders racing the real-life superstars competing for the Supercross crown. "We got incredible production value from our time shooting at the competition,” says Boyum.

For this pivotal scene, Dirt Works, a company that designs tracks brought in 400 dump trucks filled with 700 tons of sand and dirt. From this material, Dirt Works constructed mounds, jumps and "whoops” – vicious stutter bumps that send racers into orbit.

Steve Austin put together a team of filmmakers that appreciated the sport's unique qualities and excitement. Chief among them is Boyum, a former off-road biker and motocross competitor, as well as a noted stuntman (his stunt credits include "Apocalypse Now” – he taught Robert Duvall to surf in the film, "Rollerball,” and "Bram Stoker's Dracula”) and filmmaker.

Like Austin, Boyum was intent on creating an exciting and authentic depiction of the Supercross phenomenon. "I wanted to put the audience in the driver's seat, and do justice to this world, which I've felt close to for decades,” says Boyum.

The "SUPERCROSS: THE MOVIE” stunt riders, including Stunt Coordinators Jimmy Roberts, David Pingree and Dave Castillo, were critical to the film's authentic look and feel. They made sure even the smallest technical details were correct, such as the handling of the bikes' throttles and brakes; they even made sure the actors had correct posture while riding.

The stunt people certainly made a strong impression on the film's stars. Says Steve Howey: "Wherever we actors were shooting, the stunt guys were right there watching. And whenever they were riding, we'd all be watching them!” Adds Mike Vogel, who has some experience on street bikes but was new to the world of Supercross: "I've developed a real respect for these athletes, daredevils and madmen. They are true modern-day gladiators cheating death and injury every day.”

Cameron Richardson, who portrays Piper Cole, was impressed with the film's scale, particularly the end race sequence, filmed in Las Vegas' Jack Boyd Stadium. "There were 60,000 people jumping to their feet in sheer excitement over the action,” says the actress. "It left me breathless!”

Most of the movie was shot in Southern California, the heart of the Supercross and Motocross worlds. The high desert towns of Palmdale and Lancaster were principal locations, and the production filmed a key scene at the Outdoor National Series in Glen Helen, in Central California.

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