The granddaddy of the media-rich ocean races is of course, the Volvo, and we’ve frankly been disappointed at what we’ve seen so far. It’s not that the footage is bad – quite the contrary – there are amazing sailing shots and dozens of hours of vids with plenty of dramatic footage, but that’s not the problem.
The problem is that it is boring. A boat sailing 35 knots in the Southern Ocean on the edge of control is incredibly exciting…for about ten minutes. After that, it’s just a boat, and as long as the artists insist on focusing their videography on the gear, sailing videos will continue to draw a minimal number of viewers compared to even the most basic dramatic story.
Word is that the Media Crew Members have had a tough time drawing their audience into the characters on the boat. These are some of the world’s most experienced pro racers; they’re not the most open people in the world, they don’t cry much, and the jokes they tell all day long are mostly too dirty to put on camera. The result is an incredible volume of imagery coming off the boats, with very little need for the audience’s investment. You’ve seen movies where you just couldn’t sympathize with the characters because of their lack of development; that’s how the Volvo’s been. Until now.
We don’t even know who RipeTV is, but they’ve produced exactly what we’ve been hoping to see all this time – a real reality-TV type show centered around an ocean race. Working with Puma, the series is delayed quite a bit from the Volvo, but it is well worth it. Focusing on the Puma team, including designers, builders, sailors and their families, each episode so far has been funny, interesting, and easy to watch – and it’s made us that much more interested in what is happening on the race track. The latest episode is the start of the VOR, along with a great introduction to the crew of Puma. One Anarchists will be meeting the crew next week in person, but you can meet them on screen in the episode below – and if you want to watch all the design and construction stuff from the earlier episodes, you can start here.