Thursday, January 29, 2009

The best title for this film is...

Ah, titles.

Is 'The Sound of Music' a better title than 'Ishtar'? What about 'Gone with the Wind' vs. 'Heaven's Gate'? Is 'Tootsie' any better than 'Mrs. Doubtfire,' really?

And yet... and yet...

When you have a good one, a selling one, you tend to know it. For instance, I think we have three really great titles on board at my company now, three 'yep, I get it, and I want to watch it' titles:

* Goldtown

* Mother Knows Sex

* The World Without...

With all of those, the title pretty much says it all, or at least says enough to intrigue the viewer a little bit. Those three titles sell. Those three titles work.

And then there's the cycling film.

Here's the deal: it's a two hour documentary, which will air on the Sundance Channel this June, about a year in the life of an underdog American cycling team that is determined to clean up its scandal-ridden sport and ride to glory in the Tour de France. (First of all, that in itself is not exactly the pithiest description, which could be part of the problem - the film might be trying to do too much... Anyway....)

We want the film to appeal to cycling fans and non-fans alike (I myself knew nothing about the sport when I started this), and of course, in a perfect world, there would be a cycling term that would fit the bill -- a cycling term that somehow had already entered the lexicon -- something to embody the indomitable spirit exemplified by the riders, or their courage or bravery, or redemption, or the pain all cyclists go through, or something the film speaks to...

You know, something like BREAKING AWAY...

But we don't really have one. There was, initially, a great cycling term called 'Blast the Zone,' which meant something like: you're in that 'athletic zone,' riding as well as you ever have, but now you're spent, you've ridden your all, but your team still needs you, and though you have very little strength left -- from nowhere, like a miracle -- you find strength you didn't know you had -- and you blast the zone and ride to glory.

The problem with that one is, I made it up.

It didn't feel exactly kosher to go with a made-up cycling term in a documentary, especially in one about a bunch of guys who are so committed to, you know, not cheating.

We've cycled through a lot of puns about the sport, believe me, but now that we're nearing the finish line, we've really got to put pedal to the medal and come up with something.

I mean it. The Sundance Channel has rejected several of our offerings, and I can't say I blame them. But a few of our favorites do have some merit, and now we even have a few more.

So I put it to you -- please cut and paste this link and take this poll and help us figure out what to call this film. We're really proud of it. We just don't know what to call it.

(And rest assured, any and all of these films can have a subtitle like 'A Year in the life of an American Cycling Team' or 'A Year in the life of the clean team' - eg, "Breaking the Wind: A Year in the Life of an American Cycling team"...)

Thanks so much for your help. Choose wisely.


sloanecooper said...

Three word titles R Us

Anonymous said...

What about simply "Cycles," which can be both the vehicle and a reference to the doping process? Or a play off that double entendere.