I was recently hired by Shoot First Media and The Hoonigan crew to film the latest webisode of Tuerck’d: Game of Drift and the general craziness that goes along with being around the Hoonigans. To say it was a blast would be an understatement because we weren’t simply filming drifting, we were filming professional drifter Ryan Tuerck and Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. doing insane tricks in super-slow motion! Here’s a behind-the-scenes look of what went down.
I arrived at Englishtown Raceway and parked the rental car since my car was in the shop. After walking around the pits for a few minutes, I realized that everyone was still on the track. I hopped back in the car and drove on the track where they were shooting. As I approached, I wasn’t sure if I’d be in the shot or not. I rolled the window down and checked in with Jake, the producer for Network A, who told me to park and build the camera before the crew broke for lunch.
From there it was one surprise after the other. First, I found out that Brian Scotto, Creative Director at Hoonigan Industries, and the crew were all on set. The team was filming a separate video with Chris Forsberg and all his drift cars on a separate part of the road course. Some say that Scotto is Ken Block’s right-hand man, so to have the chance to work with him as well was really an honor.
It only got better because I found out shortly after that I’d be filming with Keep Drifting Fun co-founder and automotive film making idol Josh Herron. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve followed both his and Will Roegge’s work for years and have been a big fan of nearly everything the two have done. Now that I knew that I’d be working with him, my excitement level rose significantly.
During our downtime, I had a lot of opportunities to chat with Herron. Aside from our passion for automotive filmmaking, we spent a decent amount of time talking about the “Newer Guys” and how DSLRs have really changed the game.
It is no secret that these cameras have completely changed how films and even some television shows are made, but the impact they’ve had in the motorsports and automotive industries has been huge as well. Now any aspiring filmmaker/automotive enthusiast can affordably pick up a DSLR, shoot a promotional or event video for little-to-no compensation and call him or herself a filmmaker. They can color grade with free software from DaVinci and, if they haven’t purchased (or somehow downloaded) Final Cut Pro or Premiere, can edit quickly using iMovie.
With that being said, it was really great to be on a professional set where the track was reserved just for us and were actually working with a shot list. We all had plenty of time to goof of and joke around, but when it came time to shoot, we were working. Best part of all, I had the opportunity to apply many of the skills I’ve learned working in the commercial world to the shoot.