Two teens hope to escape one of London’s toughest gang neighborhoods and race in the BMX World Championships – all captured in 3D!
On a spit of land between two tower blocks controlled by rival gangs is a tiny dirt track that defies the conventional image of Peckham, London, an epicenter of the 2011 riots. This is the site of the Peckham BMX club, founded by former BMX racer and DJ, CK Flash. He believed that BMX was a way off the streets and within a few short years, Peckham BMX riders were on podiums around the country and meeting the Prime Minister.
One of these is Tre Whyte, whose two brothers also race. Ranked third in the nation, CK is pushing him to win the National Championship and compete in the Olympics. Family volatility and impoverishment have caused Tre to move out of his home, forcing him to make adult decisions at a young age. Without support, it will be a tough climb to the top.
Quillan Isidore, 16 and already a 3-time British BMX champion, also has two brothers who race. Unlike Tre, though, Quillan’s family is able to provide continuous support despite divorce. But even as a champion he’s still subjected to continuing gang pressure in the neighborhood and the competition to become World Champion from better equipped riders with sponsorships and slick tracks, is steep.
THE 3D and ANIMATION
All of the action and the personal drama are captured in 3D including super slo-mo “phantom” cameras and 3D Go Pro’s mounted on bikes and riders. The 3D experts at My Therapy in London are doing the 3D post-production making the race sequences that much more real. Animated illustrations punctuate interviews, races, and archival footage of Peckham’s past.
The soundtrack pulsates with the sounds of Peckham thanks to several local musicians who reflect the rhythm and soul of these youth caught between the two worlds of their violent streets and their BMX bikes. The up and coming female rap/hip hop artist Phreeda Sharp (recently featured on MTV UK’s Brand New Unsigned and called “London’s hottest female rapper”) has written the title track for the film and is featured in the music video segment. We dare you not to get her song stuck in your head.
“Black boys in hoods” are negatively stereotyped, especially by the media, exacerbating the very real problems many young black males face: unemployment, poverty, violence, and the lure of gang life. 1 Way Up is the story of the determination of two young athletes to defy this stereotype and strive for their personal best. It is also the story of a coach’s faith in the talent of his riders and his willingness to sacrifice his own career to help them succeed despite all odds. From the Academy Award® winning producers of Inocente comes a 3D sports documentary that takes you to the heart of today’s teenagers striving to overcome their circumstances through the one thing that everybody grows up with — a bike.
WHO WE ARE
Amy Mathieson is the first time director of 1 Way Up who used to live in Peckham herself and, with Co-Producer Charmain Falode, was determined to find and share a positive story – which became 1 Way Up — with the youth of the area. She has worked in every part of the film industry, from runner to lead actor, on hundreds of productions with more than 20 film and production companies in both the UK and the US before she founded Jet Set Films.
Albie Hecht’s credits include producer of the Academy Award® winner Inocente, the Academy Award®-nominated films War/Dance and Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius as well as Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The SpongeBob Square Pants Movie and many other films. He is also the creator of Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards. Albie is the producer of 1 Way Up and co-founder of Shine Global, Inc, the non-profit film production company co-producing the film.
Denny Sheehan is an editor with a diverse background of production experience. Working for the BBC, he was a producer/editor on “Top Gear Top 40”, and cut “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me…A Royal Pain in the News” on which Albie Hecht was executive producer. He also directed and edited a national spot for Freshpet, appeared in an episode of Dan Rather Reports, and has self-published a novel, The Newest American.
Susan MacLaury is executive producer of the Academy Award® winning film Inocente, the Academy Award®-nominated film War/Dance and, as co-founder and executive director of Shine Global, directs the outreach and engagement for all of Shine’s films. Susan is the executive producer of 1 Way Up.
Alexandra Blaney is the Associate Producer of 1 Way Up and director of marketing and production for Shine Global. She also was an Associate Producer on Shine’s Academy Award® winning short documentary film INOCENTE and helps develop and manage the outreach programs for Shine’s films.
***Shine Global is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax-deductible***