The 199 Lives of Travis Pastrana

Webisode One of Travis Pastrana's 199 Lives

As fast as Travis innovates, he perfects, and adds another tweak so you'd better keep up with the action. 199 Lives is the story so far of Travis Pastrana straight from the beginning. The film chronicles Travis from his rise as a motorcross race star, through his desire to progress which led to him leave racing, through his ruling FMX career and then taking three National Rally Championships. Along the way he's had some really close calls but he's come out on top almost every time. We caught up with Travis to talk about his adventures making 199, where he's been, where he's going and what it takes to walk in his shoes. —Bill Lockwood

I saw the premier and the movie is dope. How would you describe 199 Lives to someone who has never seen it or heard about it?
199 Lives is about the psychology behind action sports and what an entire family has to do in order to make a kid's dream become a reality. The movie has a lot of action but at the same time it doesn't hold back on any part of my personal life.

You've been evolving as Travis Pastrana for your whole life: moto, rally, BASE jumping, etc. How long has it taken to make 199 Lives?
I had been working with Gregg Godfrey and Godfrey Entertainment for a long time and we had always talked about doing a film with more heart and personality than our typical wide open, music videos. We mentioned the idea to Subaru, and they jumped in full tilt to support the project.

Filming is nothing new for you. Every time something funny or rad is about to happen to you there seems to be a camera rolling. When did that start and how long did it take for you to get comfortable in front of the lens?
It seems that my entire life has been documented because of racing motocross and growing up competing in National Championship events. But it wasn't until I started filming and producing movies with Godfrey that it became a big part of my life. I've helped film, edit and produce nine motorcycle-related films. 199 Lives is a lot different for me because I didn't want it to be one-sided or biased. I told Gregg how I wanted the flow of the film, and they took it from there. I really enjoy how it came out. It's true-a true story. It tells the lows and the highs and everything in between.

Has anyone ever captured anything on film that was embarrassing for you whether it came out or not?
I'm not easily offended or embarrassed, but I have to say that I really do wish now that they didn't put anything in the film about my night terrors. Now, people come up to me and say either, "You're the double backflip guy!" or "Is it true you run around yelling at night?"
YES, I was the first to do a trick that thousands more will probably do in the future! And YES, I run around screaming almost every night! NO I don't know why! Come on people! Be original! (Laughs)

So in the making of 199 Lives, what was the most exciting stunt for you?
At the end of filming, I saw the film, and decided that we needed a more powerful start and a stunt at the end that kind of summed up the movie. Jumping out of a plane without a parachute, I thought, would be a great opening. It was also something that I'd wanted to do for a long time but couldn't find the right people that were both good enough to trust with my life and willing to take on the responsibility of "what if?"

I wanted the end to be as random and sketchy as my life, and thought it would make a great shot to have a heli following me riding a street bike through the desert with a girl in Daisy Dukes on the back. So we did it. We rode through the desert, then all of a sudden the desert ended and BAM! We fell into the endless abyss. It was really sketchy because I'm not a great BASE jumper, and I decided to take a good friend of mine, Jolene Van Vugt, who had only done 30 skydives, along for the ride. I felt a lot of responsibility, but she came through with flying colors.

What about the process of making the actual edits? What's that like and how much of it do you have to do?
The only parts I edited are the parts in which I wanted to make the viewer truly walk in my shoes. There are a few sections that I explained my way through exactly what went through my head. Most people won't ever compete at the X Games or drop-in to do a trick or stunt they truly don't think is going to workout in their favor. Self preservation usually takes over and freezes people up. I find it interesting that most people in our sports take that adrenaline and make time slow down. In essence, it is the ability to make the impossible, possible.

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