INVENTION & THE DREAM OF FLIGHT
The motor sports documentary Air Racer: Chasing the Dream (65 min.) tells the story of dreamer, inventor, and race pilot Jon Sharp. It is a story of do-it-yourself ingenuity and determination on a grand scale. Air Racer follows Jon and his wife Patricia through a six-year struggle to create the world’s most advanced racing airplane, the Nemesis NXT. They put everything on the line, including Jon’s life, to realize a dream that's much larger than just winning a race. They intend to change air racing forever by offering their revolutionary design to other pilots.
Air racing is the world’s fastest and most dangerous motor sport. Once a year, some three hundred thousand fans flock to Reno, Nevada to see pilots push their tiny propeller driven planes to speeds of over four hundred miles per hour, while flying as low as fifty feet off the ground. The airplanes race in a close pack around a six-mile course marked by brightly painted telephone poles. There is no chance to use a parachute if an accident happens, and split second decisions often separate winners from casualties.
They must find a way to carry on and keep their dream alive if they hope to realize the true potential of what they have created. In the end, the reality of their achievement reaches so far beyond anyone’s expectations that air racing will never be the same again.
In true documentary fashion, Air Racer closely follows its subjects through moments of discovery and triumph, and times of danger and despair. With cameras rolling in the cockpits of four competing teams, in the pit areas, and at their respective home bases, viewers are able to share in the heartbreak and euphoria of this stirring story.
AIR RACER: CHASING THE DREAM TRAILER
PRAISE FOR AIR RACER: CHASING THE DREAM
Today Air Racer holds a substantial fan base in both the documentary and aviation motor sports communities. The U.S. television premiere for Air Racer: Chasing the Dream was presented by The Documentary Channel in 2010. This marked the project as a successful crossover story with appeal to both motor sports enthusiasts and a general audience.
Over three thousand people attended special screenings of Air Racer: Chasing the Dream at AirVenture 2009, the largest aviation event in the world. Praise for the film was unanimous among aviation fans and the general public in attendance.
“This is without a doubt the best movie ever made about air racing ... a racer has to appreciate the authenticity and soul of this movie.”
Bob Axsom, Sport Air Racing League
“Air Racer is a documentary about the elite world of air racing. The movie profiles a husband and wife team that try to create the most advanced, purpose-built air racing airplane ever built. The result is an exciting look at the competitive, but rarely seen world of air racing.”
Jason Paur, WIRED.com
“Unbelievable. Breathtaking. And above all... REAL. This is a movie about air racing that looks like it can hit the holy grail of appealing to the general public and also be something we can all get behind.”
“Air Racer is a skillful blending of the personal and technical aspects of air racing that spectators never get to see. It’s all there... The next best thing to being at the Reno Air Races. Highly recommended.”
Jack Cox, Sportsman Pilot Magazine
The goal of this project is to present an authentic portrait of a world known by relatively few people. Air racing is a motor sport of fanatics, genius mechanics, and fearless pilots with giant personalities. For Air Racer: Chasing the Dream, filmmaker Christopher Webb and his team meticulously documented the story over a six-year period. They shot over four hundred hours of material, mixing High Definition video and Super 16mm film to achieve rich visuals with cinematic flare. The production team made numerous trips to the Mojave Desert’s famed "Space Port" to follow the progress of their subjects, Team Nemesis. Filming the annual Reno Air Races in Nevada proved to be incredibly challenging, with eight or more aircraft roaring past only fifty feet overhead, at hundreds of miles per hour. Air races last only about nine minutes, yet anything from total catastrophe to winning a world championship can happen during each event. This required the filmmakers to be ready for anything and to coordinate cameras shooting simultaneously on the racecourse, in the pit areas, and in the cockpits for every race. The result is a film that captures the life changing experiences of its subjects in a way that speaks to anyone who has ever dared to chase their dreams.