The Crash Reel – KP Rides Again

How much risk is too much?

 

That’s the question Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker asked herself during the making of her latest film The Crash Reel, released in theaters December 13, 2013. The film is among 15 documentary features in contention for Best Documentary in this year’s Academy Awards.

How much risk is too much?

That’s the question Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker asked herself during the making of her latest film The Crash Reel, released in theaters December 13, 2013. The film is among 15 documentary features in contention for Best Documentary in this year’s Academy Awards.

Documenting the epic rivalry between halfpipe snowboarding legends Kevin Pearce and Shaun White, the film is a bittersweet examination of the rigors of extreme snowboarding, as rivals Pearce and White tempt fate with increasingly dangerous tricks to prep for Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics.

All comes to a crashing halt when Pearce, a U.S. champion and XGames silver medalist, crashes in training in Park City, plunging into a week-long coma and emerging with a traumatic brain injury. Post injury, Pearce had a whole raft of health problems, from language to vision, motor skills to memory, impulsiveness to poor judgment.

Yet with his nemesis, Shaun White, standing on the Vancouver podium, Pearce insisted he’d one day snowboard again. In The Crash Reel, filmmaker Lucy Walker captures both the fear of the Pearce family as well as Kevin’s steel as he defies doctors to return to his passion.

“(When) I met Kevin and his brother Adam, it was early days after his accident and Kevin’s head was shorn, his eyes were looking different directions, he couldn’t read or stay awake for long, he kept re- introducing himself to me because his memory was so impaired he couldn’t remember that we’d just been talking — and yet he still had a star quality,” says Walker. I found him completely charming and compelling and was drawn to talk to him and Adam as much as possible.”

Reluctant to make a “sappy rehab story,” Walker—whose Oscar nominations include Waste Land and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom—wasn’t immediately hooked on the Pearce concept for a film. “But then I started to notice that Kevin was desperate to keep up with the other athletes around him,” she says. “His brother told me that if he hit his head again he would die, and that he wasn’t allowed to snowboard again, but everything he wanted to do was active and dangerous and he lit up when he talked about his passion to return to the sport. I wondered what he would do next and I realized that the story wasn’t over, it was about to get interesting.” Says Walker: “Kevin’s life was snowboarding, but it would kill him if he returned to it. Suddenly I saw a dramatic three-act film. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I wanted to film him to find out.”

The Crash Reel’s December 13 theatrical release will be followed by a January 14, 2014 release via download on iTunes and Amazon, followed by a February 4, 2014 release on DVD.

The film is currently among 15 semi-finalists for an Academy Award in Best Documentary, up against films including The Armstrong Lie, Stories We Tell, and 20 Feet from Stardom. The top five Oscar finalists will be announced in January.

 

For a preview of The Crash Reel, see: http://youtu.be/mIB_D_JAVCw

 

For The Crash Reel on twitter, see: https://twitter.com/TheCrashReel

 

For Kevin Pearce on twitter, see: https://twitter.com/KevinPearce

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error