THE FILM
THE FILMMAKER
THE RIDER
THE PRODUCTION
THE RACE
THE ISLAND
 

Everyone should have a dream...

In January 2002, at the age of 46, Canadian Mark Gardiner gave up his job, home and life-savings for a chance to ride in the Isle of Man TT, the world's greatest and most dangerous motorcycle road race…

One Man's Island is a documentary portrait of an obsessive quest to fulfill a boyhood dream. It is a human-interest story with universal appeal, not simply a film for motorcyclists. It examines the motivation, passion and risk associated with the quest. It chronicles first hand the events of the journey. It explores the question of why anyone would go racing. One Man's Island captures the experience of realising a dream.

Shot on location on the Isle of Man over the months leading up to the race, the film uses a distinct form and style to tell its story. In order to remain true to the experience, the film is composed only of images and sound recorded on location. Gardiner's story is expressed in his own words and through his own voice but framed by the visual style of director cameraman Peter Riddihough.

Riddihough worked alone, acting as his own cameraman and sound-recordist, and later, as his own editor. The result is a subjective visual essay that combines powerful photography with an intimate relationship between filmmaker and subject.

 

It is an approach to filmmaking that denies the existence of the wholly objective documentary and embraces the notion of "camera-stylo", camera as pen, to create a strongly personal work.

Many documentaries approach their subjects after the fact. One Man's Island captures the whole journey. In a world in which spectacle and celebrity are valued over experience, the film also offers a uniquely realistic view of success and achievement, a view that focuses on process rather than results. Perhaps most importantly, the film avoids the clichés associated with its subject; it is not about speed, it is not about winning. While One Man's Island is a film about risk, its focus is the risk involved in the pursuit of a dream.