Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 ThunderDrift ProAm Series Competition - Finally!

First off, I am sincerely sorry for taking so long to complete this video. I set out to do more for this video than I've done in previous ones, and it really opened my eyes on how much work is really involved when multiple people are needed for a project. I never intended on taking this long to complete this video, but with busy schedules, music being produced, me trying new things, getting extremely sick, oh and dealing with the regular daily routine really dragged the project on much longer than expected. I can only hope the drifting community can accept this video for what it is, a big risk on my part for taking a totally different approach to it, and understand that it took many people to finish this project, all of which have had zero drifting experience prior to this. I joked around when I started this by saying this video would be broadcast ready. Meaning a 22 min video giving a network 8 mins for commercials. Well, I guess the joke is on me. I kept an eye on that, just teasing with the thought, and the final result actually came out just above 21 mins. I hope you enjoy the video, but I also hope you are interested in what went on in the making of this video. Whatch the video, and please return here to read up on what took place during the past few weeks.
Enjoy
http://vimeo.com/10221152


Music
I really wanted this to be a true independent video and using commercial music that I did not have the rights to would totally go against that. The first call I made was to the very talented Producer, Eddie Z. It was an easy decision. Not only is Eddie a talented Rapper and Producer, but he lives only a few mins away from me here in Woodland. He created the music so seamlessly. I gave him the mindset I had and a few "drift terms" and out came the "ThunderDrift Theme". Need I say more? I was ecstatic when I heard the first cut. Soon after, he quickly produced what I called "Bracket Beats", for the back ground music I needed. For more of Eddie Z's music, please visit his page at

I was pretty content with the music I had, but like a $20 bill next to a chip you find in your couch, EdotC comes out of no where with more music. Hailing from Alameda, EdotC blessed me with some of the nicest beats I've ever heard from a local underground Producer. I listened to his first album entitled "Fresh Brewed Music" and instantly fell in love with the track "EdStrumental". After I was given the green light to use the instrumental, EdotC passed along some randoms for me to use. In those "randoms" as he called it, I found another gem by the name of "Stop Hold" the remix from DBG featuring - Cash Dreed and EdotC and produced by Monsrock. I wish I had the excuse to play the entire track, but I only needed to loop the first 8 bars. You can find more music from EdotC, Monsrock and the whole crew at:
Be on the look out for a release from this camp coming this summer!

Sally Sidewayz
What can one say about Mrs. Sidwayz? Well fresh off the set of NBC's show "Trauma", Kenyon Page fit the character just right. Once Kenyon arrived back from Treasure Island where they were filming Trauma, we started talking about what direction we would go in. I don't know where I got the idea for a Drift enthusiast from Camden, but some how it worked. I remembered Kenyon holding an entire conversation in a British accent as if she had grown up in London, so I asked if she could pull off the entire video in that form. With no hesitation, she jumped right into character and got to work. Now, before this project, Kenyon knew nothing of drifting. No drift cars, previous movies, terminology, nothing. After a few scripts I wrote for her, she was able to get a handle on things and delivered a more than adequate performance. With Sacramento's own Lindsay Rickman lacing up Sally with the fresh wardrobe, Mrs. Sidewayz was set. A huge thanks to Kenyon for making time and jumping into a project with out knowing what to expect.

Putting Sally Track side
From the video, you can see that I am no expert on Green Screen. With out the help of Franco "Steve" Leopold, the picture quality would not have been no where near what it is. Steve has been my mentor for a while now and is always willing to help. Normally, he is the one calling the shots and I'm just trying to listen, learn, and follow directions. This time around, I was behind the camera and the man in charge. Steve came through HUGE with help on lighting up the set for the green screen footage. Its a bit amazing how much ones brain can know. It seems that Steve can teach you anything you need to know when it comes to film making. He set up the lights, gave me a tutorial, and really helped this video get to the next level. Big thank you goes out to him for helping out with such a busy schedule.

Editing
This is the part I like. I have (almost) everything I need and its time to get to work. Text and intros are something I really wanted to pay more attention to. Its no secret, you can view any of my previous videos and see that my text effects and things of that nature are sub-par. I finally dipped into Apple Motion on this project, and what a program that is. I built the moving brackets and tandem titles in Motion. I know I know, anyone who has dealt with Motion is probably laughing at the fact that I am proud of those two Motion projects, but to me, they are MUCH better than anything I have made before which has opened up so many doors and the creativity will soon be spilling out of this computer. Other than that, it was a fairly easy edit. No quick cuts, no special effects, just a video showing you what is going on. Something I haven't seen since an old NCDA video from years ago. To the best of my knowledge, a drifting video with all this has never been made for NorCal Drifting. Although there are many parts that could be much improved, I can be proud that my name is on this one.

Here are some behind the scene photos

When in a pinch and in need of a sound booth, make your own:
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The Audio work station:
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Numerous cups of tea, chi and what not:
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Green Screen Prep:
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Sally Prep:
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Filming Green Screen:
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Would I do things differently? Maybe. Will the drift community approve? Possibly. Have I pushed NorCal up a few notches, Hopefully. Am I satisfied with the final result? Nope. I am my biggest critic. If I'm ever fully satisfied with any video, someone please shake me. I feel I can always improve on any video. Am I happy that I set out to try something new, and maybe succeeded? Absolutely. Some will love this, some will hate it, I can't please everyone, I can only try to put out the best product possible. I learned a great deal on this and I can only move forward. I do not regret any decisions made on this project, good or bad. I would not have been able to experience what I did had I taken the easy route. I left all the over used slow motion artsy stuff in the bag and tried to bring a broadcast style video for the world to see what a real grassroots competition is like. I can only hope that I've pushed the motor-sport that I love in a positive direction. If I've done that, all of this was worth it.

Thank you,
Andrew Zaragoza

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