On Aug. 21, "X Games 3D: The Movie" hits theaters for a whirlwind, one-week run across the country. The film is visually groundbreaking, using state-of-the-art filming techniques to present action sports in a mind-bending new way. But it's also groundbreaking from a documentary filmmaking standpoint, exploring the personalities behind skateboarding, motocross, snowboarding and rally, and the motivations behind what these athletes do. ESPN.com/action caught up with Travis Pastrana to learn about the film, how it was made and what it's like hitting water ramps with a canoe.
You were involved with the last X Games movie, which was shot for IMAX theaters in 2002. How did the process for "X Games 3D: The Movie" differ from that of the last film?
The 3D movie is way, way more in-depth. It really gets into who the top guys are, how they got to where they are and the mindset behind what they do. The shoot itself was way more in-depth, too. The cameras are amazing, but they take a long time to set up. And since they wanted to get the newest, most epic action from each athlete, the shoots were pretty difficult. It turned out amazing, though.
With all the Nitro Circus stuff you've produced, you're no stranger to film or TV production. Compare a day on the Nitro Circus set with a day working on the 3D movie.
The 3D shoots were very specific, and the level of production is way beyond anything we've done for Nitro Circus. A typical day on Nitro Circus -- right now, I'm at the Olympic Training Center in Salt Lake City, watching as Andy Bell is about to hit the biggest water ramp they have here -- in a canoe. Yesterday, we were trying to flip a car. The day before that, we attached a rocket to a tricycle. It's all about having fun with a group of friends.
With the film shoot, they knew exactly what they wanted to portray. That's not to say it's scripted. You can't script what we do, but they wanted to tell the story in a way that it hasn't been told yet. 3D allowed them to take you places you would never really experience otherwise -- not just inside the car, but inside the mind of the driver of the car.
So your involvement was strictly as a rally car driver, and not a motocross rider?
They had Ricky Carmichael and Kyle Loza for the motorcycle stuff. They used me for the cars. We had cameras in the cars, on top of the cars, outside the cars. It was difficult for me to even see over the cameras, let alone drive the course. You really feel like you're doing what they show in the film. They came up to Oregon and Washington to film, and we spent three days driving and jumping and sliding around these great mountain roads. And then they followed me through a whole race, too.
Which action sport athlete were you most impressed by in 3D?
Danny Way. The way his mind works is trippy -- even for a guy like me, who does the stuff I do. He really thinks outside the box.
Which action sports athlete who wasn't in the film would you most like to see in 3D?
Shaun Palmer. Just his style and charisma and all the sports he does. I'd like to see that. Uh oh ...
Andy just hit the jump.
How did it go?
About as well as can be expected. I think he's OK, though.