All posts by thedrach

Ruby Falls – An Overlanding Adventure

On Saturday February 12th, I joined a group on an adventrure to Ruby Falls Alberta; which is near Jasper National Park. On a good day this is a challenging trail; but with the unseasonably warm temperatures, what would the riverbed be like? Would our group make it all the way to the ellusive Ruby Falls?

Purists will call this an over-used trail; and that it has become less challenging than it has in years past. Will our expedition find the path to the falls easy? Find out in my documentary about our adventure!

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

For several years now, a trip to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” has been on my bucket list. GBU for short. This is the name the Ice Climbers have given it at least; for us in the off-roading community it’s known simply as “Ghost Falls”. Life always got in the way, and I never made the trip out.

Until Now.

I convinced a group of perfect strangers to join my good friend Markus and I on an adventure. We had a range of vehicles: JKs, JLs, XJs, WJS…and a RAM 1500…with Running Boards…and all season tires. This is the story of our trip to the Ghost Falls.

Special thanks to Markus & Sharla for just a bit of extra footage!

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Come Drive With Us ’20

With the COVID-19 pandemic systematically shutting our entire way of life down, more and more events are getting cancelled. Our original schedule included shooting B-Roll and the Big Barn Shootout & Silver State, with a trip to San Francisco to catch up with an RC Legend, shoot a full episodes at the Chili Bowl & the Quebec Classic then finish up the season in Brazil.

Chilly Bowl was cancelled by myself due to personal affairs that came up and didn’t allow me to take the time to travel to Oklahoma. Big Barn on the other hand was the first COVID cancelled race; followed shortly thereafter by Silver State. Today IFMAR announced that it would be postponing the entire 2020 season. This really just leaves the Quebec classic as part of CDWU’20 and this lone event just doesn’t justify putting together a season.

It’s not something I want to see happen but Come Drive With Us will be on hiatus until 2021.

It’s not all bad news. We have two more full episodes coming out:

Come Drive With Us – The Ice Breaker
Come Drive With Us – The Trenčín Worlds

Both episodes will not disappoint anyone. I’m also going to try to do some Live broadcasts with special guests. Look for more news on this in the coming weeks.

Everyone stay safe and I guess we’ll see you on the other side? Who knows what the future holds for 5150 in 2020. I have media certification now so I can leave my house even in a full lock-down situation; maybe there will be a cool end of the world documentary coming out?

See you at the races…

…in 2021…

Come Drive With Us – DNC II

Pro-line Racing & 5150 Media Productions are proud to present the latest installment of the “Come Drive With Us” Series: DNC II.

5 years ago 5150 filmed the first DNC; it was the 2014 edition and it was an event that was mainly dominated by Ty Tessmann. That was a good year for Ty; he doubled up at DNC and would go on to win the words that year. But he has since struggled; and Ryan Maifield has basically owned the DNC since then.

Phoenix was the home to the DNC for 12 years; and the DNC was synonymous with Arizona; but building code issues forced the Fear Farm track to lose this prestigious event; and it moved back to the state where it all began: California.

The move was not a smooth one.

Record breaking rain-fall leading up to, and during the track build nearly cause promoter Joey Christensen to cancel the 20th running of the DNC. While DNC is famous for the perfect storm rolling in just in time for the event, this would have been the first time in it’s history that the event would have been cancelled. Joey and his crew over-came this, and put on a DNC that will long be remembered.

This episode is once again Narrated by Mike Garrison and features appearances by Ty Tessmann, Joe Bornhost, CJ Jelin, Elliott Boots, Ryan Maifield, Jared Tebo, Ryan Cavalieri, David Ronnefalk and the current 1/8 IFMAR Off-Road Champion Davide Ongaro.

We hope you enjoy this episode.

Come Drive With Us – The Perth Worlds

Pro-Line Racing & 5150 Media Productions are proud to present the latest installment of the “Come Drive With Us” Series: The Perth Worlds!

Every year, IFMAR hosts a world championship race in one of the 4 blocks that make up the sanctioning body. For the 2018 worlds the “who’s who” of the R/C World were in Perth for the 1/8 Nitro World Championships.

The facility was nothing short of amazing; the track, with it’s high speed and massive jumps, was equally impressive. This would be Australia’s first 1/8 worlds; how would this event compare to other championship races held over the past few years?

Karting; Joes vs. Pros; watergate 2.0; rumors of gyros; Drivers getting fired; Coors; a last chance saloon; this worlds had it all!

Mike Garrison is back as the voice of the series as is our usual cast of characters including Ty Tessmann, Joe Bornhorst, Elliott Boots, Adam Drake, Bruno Coelho, Adam Drake, CJ Jelin, Ryan Maifield. We also welcomed some new faces to the series, so be sure to watch this amazing episode!

See you at the races!

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 129

The Widdow Maker

OK, I’m a bit late with the release. I know. I suck.

So usually I can hammer out a script for a CDWU episode in a week or two. For some reason, this one has been difficult, and I’ve actually been working on it for 4 weeks. I’ve had worse things happen; The AXIALFEST movie I actually ended up nearly starting completely over as I just wasn’t happy with how the first cut flowed. In the end, it’s one of my favorite episodes.

The most time consuming process has been fact checking. This is the part that I really wish I had a research department for. It’s tedious work and is often over-looked…and I had quite a few facts to check in this one 😉

I feel that the other reason that this script has taken longer than usual is that there were more than a few contentious issues that I wanted to cover the best way I could. There’s never a shortage of great stories at an IFMAR event, and that’s what I like so much about IFMAR!

  • The Flies
  • Consistency of the Watering
  • Maifield’s Motor Selection
  • Tire selection for the main final
  • Post-Final Gyro Tech
  • Impact of RCGP on IFMAR – Undecided if I really need to cover this so it may end up on the cutting room floor
  • The first worlds without Dallas Mathiesen at the helm
  • The length of the event and seemingly endless qualifying

This is a lot of story for a single episode and several of these topics are difficult to cover and fact-checking some of them has been an interesting process. I always try my best to tell the true behind-the-scenes stories and in the past, telling the truth has caused some issues for both myself and my co-producer Todd. #axiafest #brianparker

It’s always a juggling act with revealing the story behind the headlines; sometime manufacturers just don’t like the facts publicized. I fear that this episode just might ruffle a few feathers, but it’s a compelling story and I’m telling it in the most respectable way I can.

Minus a few tweaks here and there, the script is done, and IMO it’s one of the best ones I have written. This is going to be a great episode, and probably the longest one. Right now the edit is at 1:40…I would like to trim 10 minutes, but that would mean dropping one of the drivers I am featuring and I really don’t want to do that…but I might have to. There is always the directors cut at a future date right?

When is it gonna drop???

I shipped my audio equipment to Mike Garrison this past weekend, and depending on his schedule, I am hoping to record him next week.

So when is the release you ask? I’m going to take a page out of the Team Associated Play book…


IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 88

The Home Stretch

I have the first cut done!!!

This cut doesn’t include the Narration and the sound-mix isn’t quite completed nor is the color correction & grading. But this cut does help me get finalize the story and gives me a really good sense as to how well it flows.

I watched the cut last night and really liked the stories & people that I followed at this event. It’s shaping up to be one of my favorite episodes and which is good; because I was very nervous going into this event. More on that in a bit.

The next phase will be the script. I’ve talked about this in the past, and I still don’t know if my approach is widely used or even accepted. The edit is very close to where it will be come the final release and I don’t have a script yet. I haven’t even started it yet. While I edit, I basically visualize what the talking points will be and I have a good sense of how much time it will take to get my point across.

The script usually takes a week to write and sometimes it ends up in some changes to the edit, but I should be in a position to record the Narration mid-May. I haven’t set a release date but I believe that the week of May 27th will be when this one drops.

The Voice

Charlie was the perfect voice for the Silver State II movie. He’s exactly what I wanted for that episode; hence the change. IFMAR is a different type of event though. It’s less of a party and much more serious; Silver State was one of the most laid-back races I’ve ever gone to since I began filming “Come Drive With Us” in 2014. Not that there wasn’t fun being had in Perth, but it’s just different type of Movie. IFMAR events are much more serious; and the emotions and drama run a lot higher at an IFMAR event vs. a race like Silver State.

I’m happy to announce that my good friend Mike Garrison will be voicing this episode.

What’s next?

I currently have 3 productions queued up. JBRL, DNC II, an RC Cribs & the Ice Breaker. There is one small issue; well to me it’s a significant one.

I chase perfection. I’m probably my own worst critic. For JBRL, I decided to shoot 3 seperate JBRL events: Palm Desert, Thunder Alley & Revelation. The theme I was going with wsa “The Good. The Bad. The Ugly”. This is no small undertaking especially for a one-man crew. The first shoot at Palm Desert (The Bad) went quite well. There was lots of emotion (Wickham); the race was exciting, and I was really happy with the content.

The next shoot, which was absolutely critical to the production was at Thunder Alley (The Good). The weather was great; the characters at this event were on point, there was just one issue. My dad passed away just a few days prior to this event. I was going to cancel the shoot, but because it was a critical piece to the JBRL story; I thought I would be fine.

I was not.

Filming an episode of CDWU requires me to be extremely focused. I have to ensure that I’m following my stories effectively, and I wasn’t able to do this. I didn’t successfully capture the stories of this event. While my focus was better at Revelation (The Ugly) for the final race in the episode, I just didn’t really capture either of these events to the level of perfection that I feel I needed to.

At this point, I’m not convinced that the JBRL content is up to my standards to be released as part of the “Come Drive With Us” series. This is very disappointing to me as I was really excited about this episode. But with what I view as only 1 successful shoot it might be difficult to tell this story. I will be looking at the content after the IFMAR movie is done, but I’m just not totally convinced that there is a compelling story to tell here. It has nothing at all to do with Jimmy or his series; this is purely on me.

Or maybe I’m just over-reacting and the content is great; but I wanted to be transparent as my next episode may end up being DNC II.

I hope to see many of you at the Silver State Race next week (especially Mark Stanta Maria)! I won’t be filming (I don’t do re-runs); I will be racing!!!

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 72

Well it’s been an eventful couple weeks. I’m actually writing this while at yet another race! This time, I’m not filming…well…that’s a lie…I always film something when I’m at an R/C Car Race. Anyways, I am more participant than filmmaker at this one. As far as filming goes, I will be shooting what is affectionately referred to as “B-Roll”. This is supplementary footage that I will use at some point. I just don’t know what that point is. It will most likely go into the intro of the Brazil Worlds movie (If I decide to go). I got some really great footage this weekend, but nothing beats the scene of Britani Toszer and her swear jar. She made over $160 in just 3 days! I had to make more than a few contributions this weekend 🙁

I need to stop getting so fired up at these races!!!

The race that I am at is the 2019 Big-Barn Race in Chilliwack, British Columbia. This was my first time on the track with my new XRAY Nitro & Electric Buggy. Seriously though…XRAY, why would you put Blue air-filter oil in an eBuggy kit??? All my screws fell out!!!!!

I digress.

Both buggies broke-in quickly and were instantly competitive. Which was a good thing because the competition was very stiff here. I struggled with squid drivers in 40+ & in eBuggy and ended up 8th over-all in 40+ (should have been 7th but some guy ran out of talent and hacked me out). The quality of drivers in the open class was far better, but because of some costly mistakes in the B-Main I missed the bump by 1 position and ended up 19th in the class. I also struggled with traffic in eBuggy and finished in 30th or so. The race was a blast, but the lack of sportsmanship was pretty extreme. This was my first indoor Nitro race in at least 15 years; there was a lot to learn about tires & saucing, but I’m pretty happy with my results. As many tires as I packed, I didn’t bring any Pro-Line Slidelock’s and they ended up being the tire to have. I had to borrow some…but they were mounted onto white wheels 🙁

This year I will be doing a lot of indoor racing. I’ll be attending Silver State as well as the Southern Nationals. Speaking of Indoor races, I just got back from one that was real decent…

The Ice Breaker

First off, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Peter Husser & Indy RC World 2.0. They treated me awesome…thank you so much for everything you helped me with ranging from feeding me to turning off the music in the pits (YouTube’s fault)! This event was pretty darn good; the track was fun and had a nice flow to it; I did a few laps with Adam Drake’s eBuggy. Incidentally, it took Mark Santa Maria 2 days to beat my hero lap from my 5 minute practice session. Shit. He is going to be on a mission at Silver State.

Peter Husser working hard to make the track the best it can be

The Venue was really good; the air quality was amazing for a small indoor venue; a testament to the ventilation system. The organization was top-notch and they ran a smooth racing program. I was impressed by everything. The vibe at Ice Breaker was very similar to SoNats; laid back and not a lot of pressure. The all night practice was also a big hit. This is definitely a race to put onto your bucket lists. Rumors are that this is the last Ice Breaker held at Indy RC; they want to move this race to a larger venue. Personally, I think this would be a mistake. I loved the ambiance at IRCW; sure it’s small, but that just puts everyone closer together and makes us feel more like good friends instead of strangers. I would maybe suggest just capping the entries to something in the 350 range instead of moving the Ice Breaker to an arena? Plus, there are so many arena events already… just my thoughts; the event was a ton of fun as is.

The Calcutta

Pain. Lots of pain.

I’m not going to explain in detail what this is; this has been done already. If you need to know what it is before continuing you can just google it; but this was the first time I’ve seen this at an RC race. For me as the producer of a doc the Calcutta was awesome. It injected a ton of fun into the production and makes for some really good (positive) drama. Especially
Maher Ouda, who put 2,000 cash bucks on Adam Drake Winning Truggy. The only thing more exciting than the actual bidding war was when I was standing 8 feet away from Maher (just out of punching/strangulation range) when Adam broke in the closing minutes of the Truggy final. Classic scene of anguish! Adversely, Mark Santa Maria of “On the Tone” fame made out pretty good. He had formed a bidding posse end they won the bids for Joe Bornhorst & Jared Tebo. Joe went for the bargain basement price of $600; both Joe would win the Truggy main and Jared, after having technical issues in the Truggy main, would go on to win the Buggy class. Each member of Mark’s group walked away with around $1,000!

Mark Santa Maria after Joe & Jared won their A-Mains.

As an enthusiast of R/C I’m not sold on Gambling at RC races. Sure it’s exciting, but is it a precedent that we want to set? In the end, it was seemed to be a big draw; so if that’s what it takes to make our sport exciting so be it. I’ll guess I can support it.

Lots and lots of Editing…

After DNC & the Ice Breaker my backlog is significant at this point; but I think this is the release schedule that I’m aiming for:

Come Drive With Us – Perth Worlds: May
Come Drive With Us – JBRL (Pending)
Come Drive With Us – DNC II: August
Come Drive With Us – The Ice Breaker: October


I haven’t been keeping up with this blog quite as much as I’m very focused on the Perth edit right now.

Even without any narration, the cut is flowing really well which is always a good sign as my last two nitro worlds movies had this same trait. I’ve got 4 of the 6 rounds of Qualifying fully edited and the script for those sections is taking form quickly. The final day of qualifying is always the hardest because I need to ensure that I setup the story lines for the semi’s & the final properly. Also, one of the story lines for round 5 is pretty complex. Adam Drake extremely candid interview at DNC about Ryan Maifield’s REDS/OS deal and I’m trying to decide if I should put this interview in the Perth movie or save it for DNC II. It’s also a delicate topic and it’s taking a bit of time to do it right.

I’m really loving the content in this one, and I had quite a few different drivers frequenting the podium throughout qualifying so it one of the most diverse groups of featured drivers I’ve had in a CDWU episode yet.

I’m starting to get a bit worried though; Warner Chapelle hasn’t given me license for the music that I want to use as the title song. I’ve gotten really attached to the song and don’t want to have to replace it. Hopefully it works out! My plan is to release this episode in May; I have Silver State and a Conference with the Day-Job but I’ve made some great head ways on it in April.

Later on this week or possibly early next week I’ll be doing a short Silver State teaser for Joey so stay tuned…

IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 51

It’s been a busy 20 days since I last posted.

While at DNC I did do a couple video’s in addition to the CDWU episode. I shot a video for my pal Adam Drake on his engine break-in service; check it out! I use this service for my own engines and quite frankly, I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it. You’ll see why in the Perth Worlds movie. This segues me into a couple other topics I would like to talk about this week…

I actually race!

Well, I’m not sure you could really say what I do is racing; at least from an American Standard. It always cracks me up when locals think beating me is an accomplishment. I can hold my own in the 40+ class at races like DNC, but if I entered the pro-class, pretty sure I would be in the J-Main (or worse). But I love RC Racing! It’s been a passion of mine since 1991.

Hmmm…I just realized that people will read this who weren’t even born then.

This past summer my Dad passed away and my Mom gave me a stack of VHS tapes to digitize; in doing so, I actually found footage of my very first club-race ever with my Team Losi JRX Pro 2WD Buggy!

The scene up here is quite different to that of the US. The tracks aren’t nearly as polished; and neither is the racing. It really epitomizes grass roots up here.

My home track: the R/C Racers of Edmonton!

Even our biggest of races still have a club-race feel to them. Given that my filming schedule is nearly 2/3 done for the season, I am hoping to do a bit more racing in Western Canada this year; because quite frankly I love racing up here.

I truly believe that being a part of the racing side of this sport/hobby does help me produce CDWU in a way that resonates with people inside the industry. Where I think I might fail a bit on is catering to non-RC folk. The early episodes definitely did more of this, but because the series is now 17 episodes old, I’m not rehashing the history of RC and why we all do this. But I have a plan around this. More on that later…for now, next topic: IFMAR Movie!

Keyboard Warriors

Image result for keyboard warrior image

The Perth Worlds Movie, is going really well. I’ve got about 25 minutes fully edited; the cold-open is done, as is the opening credit sequence and I’m mostly done the practice session. Just cleaning up a few things and making sure I’m not missing any critical practice interviews. Next up will be the 3 days of Qualifying and the Finals. The qualifying portion should be pretty easy (until the final day). My day-Job has been pretty nuts lately as I have a major project on the go so I’m about a week behind “schedule”. But all-in-all going really good and the stories are working out really good.

One thing that has been bothering me over the past couple years is the keyboard warriors. These are people who think they know the whole story but in all actuality they know absolutely nothing; and yet, they are spouting their opinions on everything that happened at a particular race. The post-final tech was a perfect example of this. According to the Internet, this was started by the Tessmann’s…when it wasn’t. I’m not going to go into a ton of detail on this as you’re going to have to wait for the episode, but it really frustrates me when I see people getting slammed for something they didn’t do.

5150 really needs to invest in a Parabolic Microphone

The whole Reds / Ryan Maifield is another GREAT example (one that I’m covering in both the Perth Worlds Movie as well as DNC II). Even Elliott Boots leaving Kyosho; people were really hard on him on his own page, and I, a member of the RC Media, don’t even know what the full story is. So how is Billy from Tennessee gonna know? And why are we so hard on these guys anyways?

I have to admit; I’m guilty of this to a degree.

In the past I’ve cast judgement on some of the drivers I cover (Watch Reedy Episode to the Very end). When the top drivers would complain about the watering schedule for example, I truly used to think that they were just being cry-babies. The thing that we all have to realize is that this isn’t a hobby for them…it’s their job. It’s their livelihood. And something as innocuous as a watering schedule can impact them. Pretty sure I’d be a dick to anyone that sticks a camera in my face at work when things aren’t going well…or pretty much anytime that I’m at work for that matter…just sayin’…

…So when you watch the Perth movie, and you hear the top drivers talking about traffic troubles with privateers or puddles of water on the track, think about this before posting that you think they’re babies.

Anyways; I’ve got some exciting editing waiting for me, so back to it…