"If you're lying, I'll skewer you and roast your liver!"
Making Tracks is a never-released film based on the true story of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. The film was officially announced at The First Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards, then lagged in pre-production before being canned. It was planned as an entry to the Bricksinmotion.com contest Tales Of Yore.
While no script was ever written due to writer's block, preliminary documents that exist suggest that the film would have looked at the events of the construction through the eyes of Studs O'Riley, an Irish laborer, and Cha Lee, a Chinese worker. Some of the events suggested include blasting through the Sierra Nevada's, building across the plains, the workers' strike, and a possible cameo for Ulysses S. Powell. However, as the script was never written, there is no way to determine if all of these events would have occurred in the film.
On December 19, 2010, the contest "Tales Of Yore" was officially announced on Bricksinmotion.com, to mixed responses from the community. Andrew Bermudez, however, liked the theme and began to search for a historical event to re-create. Mid-way through January 2011, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad was selected as the event to re-create.
The film was officially announced at The First Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards on January 28, 2011, with a scheduled release that summer. Concept art exists for the movie, showing how the train engine Jupiter would look, but then development halted. During this time, focus turned to other movies, such as Forest of Fear and An Afternoon at the Zoo. This halt was mainly made because of a dispute over the story. Ultimately, right before the contest ended, the film was cancelled.
Ironically, just a few days later on July 17th, 2011, the day the contest ended, a solution was reached to help the project move forward had the movie not been cancelled. This solution was not recorded and has now been lost.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
Making Tracks contains examples of the following tropes.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The names of the two protagonists, the Chinese laborer Cha Lee and the Irish laborer Studs O'Riley, are about as close as you can get to ethnic stereotypes. In hindsight, this fact has led many to be relieved that this film was cancelled, because otherwise the implications of these names would have led to much worse push-back than the Indian thieves in Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo ever did.
- Chinese Laborer: The character of Cha Lee, along with his co-workers.
- Continuity Nod: Some production documents suggest that Ulysses S. Powell from When Barrels Fly was going to appear in the film, though how is unknown.
- Cool Train: Both the Jupiter and Engine #119 fall under this trope, though how accurate they were intended to be to their real-life counterparts isn't entirely known.
- Ethnic Menial Labor: This being a historical film about the Transcontinental Railroad, this was intended to be used heavily, with Chinese laborers (see the entry for "Chinese Laborer" for more info) and Irish laborers aplenty. The film's two protagonists, Studs O'Riley and Cha Lee, were even going to be laborers.
- Historical Fiction: While the two protagonists were entirely fictional, the film itself would have revolved around actual events that happened during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
- When the film was cancelled, all that had been built for the film was a replica of the train engine Jupiter. When production began for Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients later that year, the engine was re-decorated for that film's train escape sequence.
- Just like the film Remember the Alamo, this film was partially inspired by a visit to the actual location where the events took place.
- The film was planned to be an ambitious project, with full mountain sets, big effects, and several characters.
- When the film was announced, the studio made plans to buy set 10205 My Own Train and convert it into Engine 119. Alternatively, concept art exists for converting the set into the Jupiter. When the project fell through, these plans fell through as well.