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Lucky!

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Bernie Ecclestone

Editing the incredible Bernie Ecclestone story.

Carney was, himself, lucky enough to work with the team at Jiva Maya on the incredible documentary Lucky!, which is now available to stream on Discovery +.

From the makers of Senna, created and directed by Manish PandeyLucky! tells the story of the ultimate underdog – Bernie Ecclestone – and his quest to turn Formula 1 from the lethal pastime of rich amateurs into a televised global super-sport, rivalled only by the Olympics and the Football World Cup. His extraordinary journey also reveals the story of a fundamental conflict: the balance between a pursuit and money.  

Combining exclusive, and very personal, interviews with Bernie Ecclestone himself – filmed in September 2020, May 2021 and July 2021 – with spectacular archive and specially composed exquisite music from the supremely talented Antonio Pinto, Lucky! provides both a visual feast and a compelling story of history, betrayals, rivalry, politics, war, death, money, friendships, business and drama – both on and off the track.

Carney worked as an editor on the 8 part documentary series, along with Jeremy Gildersleve, Chris Armstrong and Mark Harvey at Jiva Maya.  He said "A few things were absolutely wonderful about working on Lucky! One being the incredible amount of access we had to Formula 1 footage from the beginning of Formula 1 to the present day.  That was revelationary, being able to use all of that.  Being able to work with both Chris and Jeremy who I've known since I lived in Rome when I was 20 years old was also incredible, and so was being able to commute from Jeremy's house to Soho on my bike.  We used Avid on a Unity system so 4 editors could work simultaneously on the same edit.  By coincidence, the building that The Farm are located in is where Fleur worked as a Production Manager for BDA some 12 years ago, when she was pregnant with our daughter."

Having dominated F1 for over 40 years, Bernie Ecclestone was moved aside in 2017 as Liberty Media stamped their ownership on the sport, but now Ecclestone, 92, is having his say.  As the sole protagonist of this new eight-part docuseries, written and directed by Pandey, Ecclestone tells his story from 1950 up to the fateful day in 2017, when Liberty’s newly installed F1 CEO Chase Carey gave him his marching orders after over 35 years as the sport’s ringmaster.

The producers set themselves quite a challenge by making Ecclestone the main narrator of the series; the story is entirely seen through his eyes. Other leading figures from the sport’s history speak, but only in snatches of contemporary interviews; figures like Graham Hill and Colin Chapman were captured in their time.

  

James Allen's Autosport review states "there is emotion, some regret, plenty of humour, and wry moments of score-settling. Ecclestone has made several headlines for the wrong reasons in recent times with controversial pronouncements on Putin and Saddam Hussein. But this exercise is not about headlines; it is very clearly a legacy piece for his young son Ace, who is 89 years Ecclestone’s junior and unlikely to get to know his father’s story in detail from his own lips."

The early programmes, covering the ‘50s, ’60s, and ‘70s, inevitably feature many driver fatalities.  The woefully inadequate safety of cars and race tracks in F1’s early days is depressingly familiar as the decades pass and more great names are lost: Hawthorn, Collins, Rindt, Cevert, Villeneuve. Ecclestone played his part in pushing safety, particularly when he got control of the sport in the 1980s, installing Prof Sid Watkins as F1’s medical supervisor and empowering him."

Ecclestone is at his best here when describing the behind-closed-doors deal-making, which was his stock in trade.  As it is close to impossible to illustrate these anecdotes with an archive, the producers hit on an elegant solution with comic book-style animation that sounds cheesy but actually works well. That said, the archive researcher has played a blinder, and there is actual footage of race promoters handing wads of cash over to Ecclestone, who arranges them neatly in his briefcase and thanks them for their business. There is also wonderfully atmospheric footage of the kerbside second-hand car trading in London’s Warren Street, where Ecclestone cut his teeth as a dealmaker."

But the series must feature the largest F1 video archive purchase in history, and as well as racing action, there are some gems, as we saw in Senna. Jean-Marie Balestre, the 1980’s president of the FIA, whom Ecclestone wrestled for control of F1 and who played a starring role in “Senna,” is again portrayed as a pompous buffoon, whom Ecclestone runs rings around in some scenes of exquisite humour and awkwardness." 

Warner Brothers Discovery for the UK

Viaplay for Nordics, Poland, Baltics, and the Netherlands.

DAZN for Japan, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

ESPN LATAM South America

For other territorie you can check Facebook/LuckyTVSeries or https://www.luckytvseries.com/.