Tag Archives: Come Drive With Us ’18

“The Dirt” Nitro Challenge

We will be filming for DNC II, our second sequel of the “Come Drive With Us” series, at the Nitro Challenge this year. We’re looking forward to telling the story of this amazing race, now in it’s 20th year, at a brand new venue!

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 19

Given that I’m leaving for the 20th running of “The Dirt” Nitro Challenge tomorrow, I’m not sure how much I’ll be working on the IFMAR edit over the next week or so.

I started editing the first of the footage though.

Like the Vegas worlds, I’m starting this Episode with a recap of the past two years. This episode basically starts immediately after the 2016 IFMAR Worlds ended.

There were some cool shots that just didn’t fit into the end of the Vegas Worlds Movie, so like the 2016 episode, this one will have a significant “Cold Open”. Because the 2016 Worlds were domestic, I certainly was a lot more active at shooting B-Roll for those worlds at various events. I believe I did B-Roll shoots at DNC, Silver State, the Pro-Line Gas Champs and the Worlds Warm Up race. I don’t have nearly as much footage for this one so the lead-up to the episode likely won’t be 20 minutes like it was for the last Nitro Worlds.

It’s still got some great stories though!

  • CJ Jelin’s first race as a Pro
  • Jared Tebo on his future (Closing off theme initiated at the Xiamen Worlds)
  • Ryan Maifield pulling off a trifecta of Pro-Class wins at DNC’17
  • Ty’s streak of bad-luck in 2017
  • First foreign driver winning the DNC’18
  • But wait…there’s MORE!

So I end this week with the “Cold Open” completed. Now I’m starting on the Opening Credit Sequence. I haven’t quite decided on what this will look like yet; sometimes I get ambitious/inspired and do a full-on After Effects motion graphics intro; other times I keep it pretty simple. Since I did a cool intro sequence for Silver State II, and have a really awesome one planned for JBRL, for the sake of consistency I think I have to do something for the Perth Worlds movie too.

Now to send a whack of e-mails to a few music providers to get the licensing process initiated. Going for an Ozzie (thanks Ben hehe) theme with the opening credits music, but I have to deal with Warner Chappell for the first time. I wish I had a PA for this part of the job…hate it!!!

New B-Camera!

After forgetting my Electronic View-Finder for my A-Camera and having to spend $184 to have it shipped to me in Australia, I am glad that I packed my B-Camera. However, it is another full-size production camera
(SONY FS700R); so it made my Carry-On really freaking big. I started doing this for the 2017 season and it hasn’t been an issue until Qantas Airways. They’re real dicks sticklers on the size & weight of Carry-On and made me check one of my carry-on bags which made me more than a little nervous. So I kept my A & B cameras, Laptop & Lenses and let them take my drone and clothes. Worst case scenario, no aerial footage and I’d be filming in my underwear. Fortunately there were no issues with any of my luggage but I had everything with me to successfully complete the production.

At the worlds I noticed that Mat McCallum was filming a video for the all new RCGP series on a Sony A7III. I believe that David Ronnefalk’s official Videographer was using the same camera (could be wrong on the model, but it was definitely a SONY alpha). So when I got home I rented an A7R III to do testing to see if it would work for the Cinematography I do for my series. I ended up doing an internal team video for Ledcor with this camera exclusively and it worked out great!

So I bought one.

SONY A7R III Mounted atop a DJI RONIN-S Gimbal

In keeping with my light-weight theme, I also picked up a DJI Ronin-S Gimbal. When compared with my Ronin 1 setup (below), it’s a huge savings in both size and weight. My DNC trip will be the first time out with this new B-Camera setup.

The FS700R Mounted on my DJI RONIN 1 weighs in at just under 20 lbs.

I still might bring my Ronin 1 along to DNC for use with my A-Camera but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it just stayed in the case for the entire 5 days.

If you’re coming to the Nitro Challenge be sure to stop by the Pro-Line Truck and say “Hi”.

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 14

Hard to believe I’ve been working on this Movie for two weeks now! Some of you may not know this, but I actually have a day-job completely unrelated to Video Production (for now). I am a manager of an I.T. Team at a 3 Billion Dollar / Year construction company called Ledcor. So all the productions I create are in addition to my day-job. Never the less, as much of my free time that I can spare has been dedicated to this Episode.

I was actually on one of my many business trips for Ledcor, sitting at YVR waiting for my flight home when I finished watching & tagging the last of the footage. Final count is 2,599 shots; I’ve never actually counted, but I think that I typically use approximately 300-600 shots in the final cut.

The Footage

Given the pressure at a worlds and the aforementioned “Challenges” I had on this shoot (I stand by my words), I’m really happy with the footage. The story lines are really good and will make for a compelling episode. I ran across a few shots that I would like to talk a bit about.

Father & Son

The first one is a beautiful moment shared by a Father and Son. This isn’t a new theme for “Come Drive With Us” as I touched on it at Surf City, but I found a new perspective on the Father/Son dynamic. Finishing in the 183rd spot was a youngster named Mica Thompson; he was quite disappointed with his performance; he just couldn’t quite figure out the critical double-triple combination. His Dad, unlike a lot of other RC Dads I’ve come across over my 25 years in this sport, was there supporting him all the way. This shot really says it all:

Statler & Waldorf: Famous Hecklers

Granted the sport of RC is still a “Hobby” for the Thompsons and the stakes aren’t as high for them as other Father/Son teams in the industry. Mica’s dad really did show what the role of an RC Parent should be. Supporter…not the angry heckler. Hopefully as Mica starts to take the sport of RC more seriously, he and his father keep focus and always remember that this is how it should be. The last thing we need in this sport are more Muppets (insert laugh track).

The Incumbent

I saw this shot upon my first walk of the track. I knew the angle I had everything planned out and was ready for the shot. You would think it would have been as simple as waiting for the required Buggy and hitting Record, but I literally tried taking this shot for 7 days! Each time I thought the moment was right, either the driver would take the jump in the wrong spot, or I had the wrong buggy, or the wind wasn’t behaving, or, or or…

I have all but given up on this shot. Until the even Semi-Final, when I noticed that the wind was finally blowing in the right direction. I set my focus and waited for David Ronnefalk to take the Step-Up Jump. Nailed it on the first take; it’s a wonderful Slow-Motion Shot. I did two more takes on subsequent laps, but the first one was the best one.

David Ronnefalk over the Step-Up

I’m not going to Lie; I do wish that there was a Canadian Flag here, and I was tempted to do a midnight swap…but this shot is definitely a keeper. With David being the incumbent IFMAR World Champion, this shot will have a place of prominence in the final cut. It has to! I WAITED 7 DAYS TO GET IT!!!

Detailed Synopsis

I’m sure there are more than a few shots I will come across over the next few weeks that might be blog-worthy, but for now it’s onto the next step. While tagging all the footage, I’ve also been working on a fairly detailed synopsis.

The synopsis for this episode is the most detailed one I’ve created; in point of fact, for Silver State II I dove right into the edit and that one worked out not too badly. I’m curious to see what affect (if any) this will have on the Perth Worlds edit. Today I am still making a couple decisions, like what the opening scene will be, then I’m going to go through the Synopsis again visualizing what this movie might look like. Finally, it will be time for my favorite part of the project…

…THE EDIT!

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 7

I pretty much finished reviewing the media coverage of the worlds last weekend. Found some really good stuff that I TOTALLY forgot happened! My pal Daniel “Coogs” Cuglietta also pointed me to a VLOG by Lee Martin & Chris James that shared some really good insights also. Check it out; it’s a pretty good:

…although…I don’t think its name is applicable…

Lee Martin Sending it at the Xiamen Worlds…pretty sure this one needed a marshal…

Since last Monday, I’ve been watching the footage I shot at MORBC. There are definitely some gems here.

5150’s new DJI Mavic II Pro at Pinnacles Park in Western Australia

For many CDWU shoots, I walk away from it disappointed with my Aerial shots. I think that just might have been because of the budget drone I was using (Free isn’t always better). Just prior to the Auzzie Worlds, I purchased a DJI Mavic II Pro and am super happy with the shots! Especially the Hyper-lapse shots I took of the track.

2,944 SHOTS!!!

Over the years I’ve developed a nice clean folder structure that works for me; it makes it easy to find clips when I need them; even if I’m outside of my editing suite (Adobe Premiere). Given the volume of shots that I tend to take whilst on a CDWU shoot; having a clean folder structure is crucial.

This part really sucks…

While my A & B Camera’s both have the ability to manipulate the naming of clips slightly, they’re still not overly descriptive.

CDWU_P5_0120.mov

This is an example of the file names coming off of my SONY Cameras. While this naming convention helps me during the cagaloging process, the only thing I really know for sure is that this clip is from the 5th practice round. I have no clue whatsoever what the contents of this clip is. So before the edit can start, I need to give this clip a good name. This way, if I need a shot of various drivers wrenching, all I will need to do in Premiere is filter for ‘Wrenching’ and every single shot of this type will come up.

Saturday P5 – Tanner Stees Wrenching

Turns out this was a shot of Tanner Stees wrenching on his XRAY Buggy.

1 Down…2943 to go…

No Pain…No Shot!

As I’ve been going through, and calaloging all my footage I’ve come across a few shots with some stories behind them. I suppose I’m known as being a bit crazy when it comes to getting the perfect shot. My fellow media pals have often said

“You’re Insane!”

And they just might be onto something.

At most IFMAR Worlds I tend to get in-field shots during all practice rounds as well as the all warm-up sessions in the qualifiers. This would not be allowed at these worlds; which I’m fine with. What this did mean however, was that I would be getting shots of the top drivers that I would be covering, who were on the track with…shall we say…lesser drivers.

I really wanted to get a shot on the opposite side of the Step-Up as it had a perfect angle on the jump as well as the Driver Stand. The catch was…my back would be to a double jump on a corner. I hunched over so that if I did get hit, my Camera would be fine.

The good news; I got my shot!!!

The bad news…it took two Buggies (one in the shoulder and one to the ribs) to get the shots I needed of all the top drivers from this angle…

Anyways…I’m about halfway through Cataloging; next up will be creating a synopsis of sorts and then the edit really starts…

*Feature photo credit: NeoBuggy.Net

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 0

Now that I’ve got the Silver State II release behind me, and have finished a quick edit on the Mike Reedy Heritage Video for the Reedy Race, it’s time to focus on the next project. I’ve decided to start a blog of sorts on the edit of the IFMAR World championships which were held in Perth, Australia last November.

I truly love the IFMAR worlds…especially when it’s a 1/8 scale year! For me, as a fan of the sport of R/C, the excitement of crowning a world champion for the next two years is hard to beat. Plus, I have access to all the drivers, not just the North American ones thus, IFMAR events are my favorite stories to tell.

The shoot at these worlds wasn’t exactly memorable. 45 minutes into 25 hours of travel I realized that I forgot the view finder (EVF) for my A-Camera. Fortunately I packed my B-Camera which has basically the same quality as my A-Camera so it would only be a minor inconvenience until I received my EVF kit it in the mail on day 2 of the 7 day shoot. Next crisis was blowing out two tires on my POS rental car, then I got hit by two buggies while filming, the live broadcasting company turned out to be a bunch of douche bags and MORBC really had no clue how to treat accredited media…

…even with all these issues, this was a very fun Worlds. Over the course of this 7-day shoot I still managed to capture an amazing event. Once the dust settled, and the nitro fumes subsided, I had 2,944 shots!!!

So where do I start? Well, on Day 0 of this edit, which I am going to assume is going to last around 6-weeks, I am adding all the media coverage and race reports from RedRC.net and from NeoBuggy to my SharePoint Portal. I also go through all my notes I took at the event, and add pertinent content to my site. Once I’ve got everything uploaded…I start reading it…all of it.

The next step…watch every single shot, catalog it and add META data. That’s a task for another day. For today, it’s a refresher course on everything that happened in Perth.

*Feature photo credit: Kai Jaeger

COME DRIVE WITH US – SILVER STATE II

It’s finally here! Pro-Line Racing & 5150 Media Productions are very happy to present Come Drive With Us – Silver State II.

It’s been a rough few years in this industry; Companies being sold, others going into financial restructuring or disappearing all together! Tracks closing all across the United States, including RC Tracks of Las Vegas. This one hit us hard because of all the time we spent there in 2016; it was a hard blow. No one will ever really know what happened, and it was hard to make heads or tales of the ‘he said / he said’ around it’s closure…but it was a blow for the industry. Then there was the social media fiasco caused by he who shall not be named…It was just blow after blow for the sport loved by so many.

With RCToLV closing, most of the industry just assumed the Silver State Race was dead too. So when the news hit that Joey Wolters Christensen was taking it over again, it started a buzz throughout the industry. We were really looking forward to this race and he knew it would be more like a really big high-school house party right out of the 80s (hence the sound-track I used). This race did not disappoint, and it was exactly what the industry needed.

Join Charlie Suangka as he tells the story of this amazing event.

1/8 IFMAR Worlds

“Come Drive With Us ’18” Wraps the season with another Nitro Worlds. Held in Perth Australia this even will be another epic showdown between the top drivers in the world. David Ronnefalk will have his work cut out for him in defending his title from 2016. Will he be up to the challenge? Ty Tessmann looked incredibly strong at the final Nitro Race of 2017 which was SiKCross. Does the Tessmann camp have the XB8 gremlins figured out? Is Ryan Maifield still in beast mode? Or will some completely unknown driver walk away with RCs ultimate prize?

Similarly to what we did at the Vegas worlds, we’ll be shooting B-Roll at many events across the United States and Canada this  summer including DNC, The ROAR Nats and various events leading up to the finale in Perth.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the races.

Three Weeks in May

Like basically everyone on the planet…

…Nickelback bugs me more than just a little bit. I mean, since “The State” all their songs essentially sound exactly the same. That being said, they have one song that has has truly inspired me; it’s more the lyrics than the melody (Duh?)…and said lyrics to the song “If Today was Your Last Day” are absolutely beautiful. Here’s an excerpt:

Against the grain should be a way of life. What’s worth the prize is often worth the fight…

For a few years now this has been my professional motto; and it really helped in this crazy Month of May where I had 3 consecutive shoots for 5150 straddling a conference for my day-job (Which was awesome – I have the best Boss ever) and a trip to head office.

The Silver State Race

This event was the 3rd best event I’ve ever gone to. Period. In case anyone was wondering…first is the Messina words cause I’m patriotic and I consider the Tessmann’s to be friends. Plus Italians are nuts about racing and that post win Mob was absolutely amazing. Second place…AXIALFEST. I can’t explain why it’s awesomeness is so awesomely awesome, but it’s awesome! Silver State II, as I have dubbed it, has now joined “The Drach” elite!

When word got out that R/C Tracks of Las Vegas, premiere facility hosting the World Championships as well as many other Events  was closing…I was gutted. One of the first things I thought was “What about the Silver State Race?” Enter Joey Christensen; famed Track builder and event Promoter to the rescue!

Joey had worked out a deal with the Southpoint Hotel & Casino to host Silver State indoors for the first time in that races history. Not only that, it was the first major indoor race on the west coast. The equestrian center made for the perfect venue; add to that the amenities that the casino had to offer and this was almost guaranteed to be a great race.

While there were a few things that could have been improved, like the Driver Stand (or lack of one), and the smoke coupled with an endless cloud of dust, this event went off smooth; without a single hitch actually. While there might have been a few “Driver Stand” shenanigans, there really wasn’t a lot of negative drama. After #WaldoGate this is exactly what the industry needed. A highly competitive race with an overwhelmingly positive vibe!

The track developed TONS of Character #bing and made for some absolutely intense racing. It started off with an epic Truggy final which saw Ty drive his XT8 harder than I’ve seen him drive a R/C vehicle ever. It was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen; it was almost as impressive as the rough track driving clinic that Jared Tebo put on. This was the perfect track for Jared and he won the Truggy event with what looked like relative ease. He wasn’t as fast as Ty, but he was nearly flawless over the course of the 45 minute Truggy Final.

Fortunately for Ty, he’s a quick study; he used the lessons learned in the Truggy main and applied what he saw Jared doing in the Truggy final. There was just one tiny obstacle…Ryan Maifield. Even though Maifield and Ty swapped the lead several times, Ryan led most of the race. Ty with much improved his consistency in the second half of the race pressured Ryan and took the lead for the final time on lap 68. Ryan would finish 2nd with Jared Tebo rounding out the Podium.

I’m absolutely stoked that I was there to capture the entire story of this inaugural indoor Silver State Race. Joey Christensen, you are the man! This was a Brilliant Event!!!

Look for “Come Drive With Us – Silver State II” to hit my YouTube Channel sometime in 2018 🙂

Service-Now Knowledge 18 Conference

When I tell some of my fans that I actually have a day-job outside of film production many of them are dumbfounded. But it’s true, I have an amazing job with an amazing company. I manage a software team for the Ledcor group of Companies. Between shoots, I attended the Knowledge 18 user group conference, it was awesome! The size of the conference blew me away; with over 18,000 attendees this was the biggest conference I’d ever gone to. My team learned a ton about this amazing platform and we’re excited about expanding our use of Service-Now.

 
JBRL Round #2 – Palm Desert RC Raceway

Immediately following Knowledge 18, I rented a C7 and zipped over to SoCal for another shoot.

JBRL is a series that runs 8 events in Southern California; and in so many ways, it’s exactly what the industry needs. To me it felt more like a club race that your typical SoCal event. The only pro drivers were my pal Adam Drake and Tekno RC’s Mason Eppley.

I’m trying something a bit different for “Come Drive With Us – JBRL“; the plan is to go to 3 JBRL races and edit them together into a single episode. I would liked to have made the season opener at Thunder Alley, but family responsibilities and an ailing father prevented it.; round 2 will be the firs of the three events I cover. Held at Palm Desert RC Raceway, this was the first JBRL I’d ever been to and it was also the first race I’d been to with such a low pro driver count. I expected this to make the event a bit more low-key. This was not the case. There were some very big personalities there!

The track was cool, the racing was exciting, but I didn’t really find a good story to tell yet. Looking forward to the next JBRL race; I believe it will be July 14th at Dialed In RC Raceway!

Pro-Line’s “By the Fire”

Yesssss! We’re slowing things down again….well on the rocks at least. Enterprise gave me a pretty dialed upgrade…now they call me KOWALSKI.#DidNOTMeasureTreadDepth #Hemi #SmokeShowX4 #24MPG

I absolutely love covering Rock-Crawling events. It’s one of the fastest growing segments in all of Radio Control; and with each manufacturers are showing off new innovations. This event had Pro-Line Release their new “Predator” compound as well as Hobbywing released their new “AXE” completely waterproof sensored brushless system specifically designed for Rock Crawling.

The location was amazing and the rocks made for some very challenging course that took over 4 hours to complete. Rock crawling was only a small part of this event though. Here’s a few things my Video will cover:

  • Show ‘n’ Shine
  • Scale Crawl
  • Comp Crawl
  • Comp Scale Crawl
  • Dead Lift
  • Monster Truck Race
  • Scale City
  • Mud Run
  • Night Crawl

  

While this is a lot of content, the event was a bit too short to include it into the “Come Drive With Us” Series. This one will be a stand-alone video and we’re looking at releasing towards the beginning of July.


Now back to editing the 2017 Xiamen Worlds…it’s going to be something very very special.