Chasing Great is making its US debuts tonight in New York and I was lucky enough to have a chat this morning with Director, Michelle Walshe.
Firstly, if you’re a rugby fan and haven’t watched this documentary yet, I have to say ‘What are you thinking?’ go out and watch it now. In fact, if you’re a sports fan, than this film will be for you and you should watch it.
As a fan of Richie McCaw myself, I was hoping to find out more about the allusively private individual. Perhaps that is always what has added to his charm, the down to earth attitude and utter disbelief or acknowledgment his greatness as rugby player and role model? Whatever it is, and no matter your rugby allegiances, there is no denying that McCaw is one amazing individual. Or as many would call him, the ‘GOAT’ (greatest of all time).
Filtered with great at home movies of a young McCaw, together with up close and personal shots of private moments leading up to the Rugby World Cup in 2015, Chasing Great proved to be insightful, emotional and beautifully shot.
While the final moments of the film show the devastating loss the Wallabies suffered at the hand of the All Blacks (traumatic for a Wallabies fan), I couldn’t help but appreciate the sheer effort it took for McCaw and the team to break the hoodoo of the previous World Cup campaigns.
What really stuck with me was the sheer determination McCaw had to better himself at every turn to become the ‘Greatest All Black’. The fact that he started working with a forensic psychiatrist after the loss to France in the 2007 RWC Quarter Final shows he was willing to do whatever it takes – Wallabies and the ARU please take note!!
Overall, I came away with a deeper respect for McCaw and a tinge of sadness that he had retired from the game.
Michelle Walshe, who directed the film, said it was a real privilege to have access to so much of McCaw’s life.
“I knew it was quite special, to get that much access to Richie. There was a moment in London when I realised how amazing it was that we were doing this,” Walshe said.
But it wasn’t just the big moments that made filming Chasing Great so special.
“The first shoot at Millennium stadium was late at night and Richie was wearing a hoodie, he mentioned that this was the first time he was seeing it from this view. He had never seen what it looks like as a punter,” Walshe said.
If you’re in the US, Chasing Great, is in theatres from March 2nd.
Chasing Great is available on DVD and iTunes in Australia.