Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thunder Drift Jingle Bells Jerift Event 2009

Thunder Drift is one of the very few organizations in the area that has held an annual full track event every year for the past three years. Each year seems to get better and better. The schedule was no different then previous years, open practice Saturday, Drift Competition Sunday. Only this year's Sunday Competition was a little different.

Xander Newell, seasoned Drifter/Judge, came up with a different type of competition that I feel made the day much more enjoyable, and probably one of the better events I've been to. Definitely the most exciting drift event to film since All Star Bash this past summer. The categories for winning prizes varied from "Longest E-Brake Slide" to "Milk Chocolate Award", which went to the whitest car that ended up the brownest.

Drivers knew where the judges were, but didn't have strict "drift criteria" to focus on. They didn't have to worry about scoring points and getting 1st place. Picture an open track event where there is no pressure, only pressure from yourself to push yourself harder, and at the end of the day, you get prizes for having fun. That is the best way I can describe it and I can tell by the driver's reaction to each award, they had a blast. I had tons of fun being there as well.

The sprinkling rain and fog made for a hard shoot. I faced similar conditions in Marina for UFO's event, but that was on a close skid pad. Trying to focus in on cars at far distances at much faster speeds was a little bit harder. Luckily, I didn't have to color correct as much in this edit, so I was able to release it sooner. I did not plan on using the award ceremony that I filmed in this video, but it felt like it went well and told a bit of a story. Shaky camera and BAD angle of the awards being handed out made me want to skip that, but I think I made the right choice. For future events, I will make it a point to place myself in a better position to get these types of shots.

This years annual event marks one full calender year since we lost a fellow drifter. David Andrew Kula participated in last year's Jingle Bell Jerift Event. A tragic accident following the event last year would turn out for the worst. No, it was not reckless driving or misbehaving behind the wheel. Kula used a pacemaker, but I'm unsure if that was determined the cause of death. Instead of focusing on our loss that night, I'd rather have everyone who knew David remember the time we had with him. From what I remember, he was a really chill guy. Didn't seem like anything could ever get him riled up. Real relaxed dude, and the drift world will miss you. Rest in peace, or better yet, Slide in Peace, friend.
-Andrew Zaragoza
Video: http://vimeo.com/8347246