Synopsis: Back-of-pack endurance athlete Cath Wallis has found training for and taking part in ultramarathons to be life-changing. Wanting others to share this transformative experience, she decides to recruit a team of ‘unlikely adventurers’ from around Australia to train and compete in a desert ultramarathon. Eighteen women join team ‘Normal People Would Drive’, united by their desire to challenge their own belief that they are not ‘athletes.’ They head to the Simpson Desert Ultra, a new trail running ultramarathon in the remote Australian outback town of Birdsville, created by local resident Jenna.
Against the backdrop of red dunes, gibber plains, starry nights and endless swarms of flies, the women head out to challenge their bodies, and their perception of what they can do. In this tough event, with heat, soft sand and no paths, there is no guarantee of a finish for even the most experienced.
While the team event results are mixed, ultimately this is not a story about finishing. It is a story about choosing to be brave enough to start. And about stepping out of what society tells middle-aged women that they are, and what they can do or should do. It is about women supporting other women to achieve their goals. And the self-belief to be whatever they want to be.
When first approached to create this project – we had no idea what to expect!
Despite possessing years of experience in video production between us, neither had worked on a professional documentary. Throw in the limitations of geographical distance between us and the cast, the isolation of Birdsville and Covid-19’s unpredictability – we felt like we really had no idea what we would be in for.
Our worries were soon eased upon arriving at our shoot location (unknowingly on the plane with the stars of the documentary) and we were warmly welcomed into the Ultra Marathon community.
Upon meeting the inspirational, Cath Wallis, our trepidations completely faded and were replaced with excitement and inspiration to tell the story of her and her team, Normal People Would Drive.
Each member had overcome unique challenges and were living, breathing proof that our greatest obstacle usually comes from within. We were deeply moved hearing their stories and soon recognized what a fantastic and important message they could convey to potential audiences.
We hope that this documentary does their grit and determination justice. It has been a highlight of our careers so far getting to know and work with these exceptional women.
Throughout his childhood, Pat has had the incredible opportunity to live in many different parts of the world including The Netherlands and The USA. Travel eventually grew into his passion – taking him to 33 different countries and all continents (other than Antarctica!).
During these travels Pat would shoot, edit and share vlogs with his Facebook community. When returning to Brisbane, we was asked by friends and family to shoot small events, music clips and headshots. Organically, his passion evolved into a career as a professional photographer and cinematographer.
An entrepreneur at heart, Pat expanded his capacity by employing staff and thus, Tempus Media was born. For 3 years now, Tempus has gone from strength to strength – delivering work that Pat and his Team are really proud of.
When offered the opportunity to assemble a team to shoot a mini-doco and ultra marathon in the Simpson Desert – he grabbed it with both hands. This took Pat back took back to his cinematography roots – travel and storytelling. Shooting Normal People Would Drive required this duality of fast-paced shooting style and capturing these slow, beautiful golden moments of the day.
Normal People Would Drive is his first attempt at a mini-doco and has been a highlight of his and Tempus Media’s portfolio so far.