While many production outfits took the wettest winter on record as a natural break in their calendar, our friends at Mt Barker Entertainment have been braving the elements, running sideline and carrying the water bottles for the Cook Islands Rugby team.
One More Win (for the right to be counted) is a documentary feature chronicling the struggles of one of the minnows of the international rugby scene.
“Once we were introduced to the Cook Islands Rugby story and understood the magnitude of the mountain they were climbing, we knew we had to tell this story,” says MBE Development Producer Greg Buckley.
Ranked 46th in the world, the Cookies got up and defied odds beating Papua New Guinea in the Oceania Cup, opening the door for them to take on the might of the Fijian Flyers ranked 11th in the world, in a show down for the final spot in the Rugby World Cup 2015 – in the opening game of the tournament at Twickenham... against England.
The Cook Islands team budget was peanuts compared to the might of the multi-million dollar corporate sponsorship deal of the Fiji team. Village groups pooled resources to help feed the players, and members of the voluntary management staff paid for boots and equipment for the players.
It quickly became evident that this was a story far bigger than just a rugby game, rather it was an insight into the inner workings of an international sport not previously seen before.
The weather wasn't the only challenge the production faced.
Filming equipment being seized by Fijian authorities was one of many. The project’s Producer Andy Patrick says “We had to make sure we didn’t miss a moment, so when things like gear inexplicably get held up in Fijian Customs for five days, it certainly gets the blood pressure up. Wherever we were, whether in the freezing rain of the Thames Valley or the humid heat of Fiji, this project presented some real production challenges, with no do-overs, a small crew and a multitude of key stakeholders. Rugby unions, governing bodies, sponsors, even governments got involved.”
Now in post production, One More Win boasts a highly engaged Facebook community already owning and anticipating the release of the finished film, and with multiple edits being designed to cover cinema, tv and digital release, One More Win is set to provide some inspirational viewing leading into next year’s Rugby World Cup.