Behind the Scenes - When Passions Collide
“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” ― Jack Kerouac Design and photography are not just my vocation, they are my passions. They are not my only passions. These are many and varied. This part of my nature could be viewed as a flaw. To be passionate, to believe fervently in that which inspires you, the fire within, can come across as arrogance. “When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it.” - Steve McQueen When I am ardently inspired, I bring that quality to everything I do, professionally, personally, and in my pastimes. I am a film aficionado. You name it, I’ve seen it, and if I haven’t seen it, I will. Films tie my passions together. The artistic eye is hungry to learn, evolve, improve. I particularly love the films of the late sixties and early seventies. They are a graphic artist’s eye candy, combining the raw, intense and unpredictable in a controlled framework. The 1968 Steve McQueen film 'Bullitt' is one of my favourite films. I adore American Muscle cars and I own a Mustang. That is the connectivity of passions in evidence. When I discovered that Pioneer Slot Cars had produced models of the Mustang GT Fastback and the Dodge Charger from the film, I had to own them and then I had to photograph them. Photographing such beautiful cars required more than a simple background. My creative mind began to whirr. Why not build a scale model of San Francisco and shoot them against that? Why not indeed. So I did. Delighted with the results, I sent the shots to Pioneer and they responded immediately with great excitement, keen to discuss how we might utilise the San Francisco models to greater effect. One rather ambitious suggestion came out of our brainstorming sessions.- A stop-motion animated film re-creating the film’s iconic car chase in a 1:32nd scale complete with authentic 1968 buildings, vehicles and bystanders. And so it was that this unique and enthralling six month project began. Below is the story of how San Francisco came to life in miniature. Starting with the single street scene I had originally built, I animated a test sequence and posted it on Youtube expecting a mild response. What I got was an overnight sensation with over 150,000 views in the space of 3 weeks. The story crossed the 'pond' and I was interviewed by the New York Times and Jalopnic about my creation. After the original trailer was published, new San Francisco street scenes were built and the movie was reshot in higher definition at a smoother frame rate for uploading on to Pioneer's website. Below I detail the stages of this build and at the foot of this page you will find the original movie trailer and the final, higher definition, movie trailer. When my passions come together, as they did here, they create the perfect storm, a love of design, photography, muscle cars, model making and an obsession with attention to detail. Jack Kerouac was probably right. I am out of control.
A few samples of the coverage received for the trailer including The New York Times and BBC's Top Gear.
Having completed the original trailer we proceeded to build 'the rest' of San Francisco. Below are a few of the 'shoot' images.
And so, we present to you the original trailer produced as a test-piece to establish interest (which turned out to be far beyond our wildest expectations with over 150,000 views).......
...... and the final movie using all additional sets and shot at a higher frame rate and greater screen resolution.