Cars & things

In addition to my role as sound designer and video editor, I’m the resident car guy on the team. It’s probably genetic, as my dad was a teenager during the hot-rod craze of the ’50s. As my first vehicle, he gave me a small pickup truck. Since the engine of said truck was in pieces around our garage, I couldn’t exactly grab the keys and take off. He and a high-school friend of mine (who was way more of a gear-head than me) spent various weekends over a couple months rebuilding the engine, and getting the thing rolling again.

From these people and others, I learned about a variety of different cars, hod-rod conversions, 60′s sports cars like MGs, late 60′s early 70′s muscle cars, etc. I read a lot of Car and Driver, and gained an appreciation for expensive, high-tech sports cars and exotics, ogling exquisitely designed sheet metal, and poring over details of vehicles I would never own.

When I finally was able to invest in a vehicle that rose above basic transportation, it was Japanese, and I discovered that there were many people trying to make them faster, and doing increasingly well at it. The community of owners on the internet was a big part of sharing information about performance modifications and troubleshooting. This really helped accelerate what is now called the “tuner movement”.

One of the themes of this film is a clash of cultures, young vs old, tuner vs hot-rodder. As a group we have spent a lot of time poring over image searches of chop-cut 32 fords, t-bucket roadsters, ridiculously winged civics, massive bejeweled rims, and many types of modern aerodynamic attachments. It is my hope that we represent these cultures well and they become an intrinsic part of our story.

So what’s the story?

No need for a “Spoiler Alert!” label here. I’ll give you a little background about the story, maybe share a few pics, but the punchline is a secret until the end! So, here we go…

In the beginning…
So, at least 10 years ago, while delivering pizzas and totally not paying attention to anything besides the thoughts in my head, I thought up an idea about an old man, a scooter and a race. It was always an unfinished idea and it went through a bunch of phases while I developed it on my own. I always knew the old guy was going to drive through town and the real story would start when he was confronted by something much younger than himself. What I didn’t know was why he was bothering to race, what he cared about and, most importantly, how it would end. (Funny enough, there was a version where the old man’s powers came from Viagra! Probably not a family show…).


Drawing from Redshift storyboards.

…and then the mind meld…

One night after a party, the three of us started talking (I think we were soberish) and I told them the very basic idea. Within minutes, there was pacing, talking, excitement. I knew it was a great decision to finally let this story out and take on a life of its own. After a few hours, we decided to move forward with a few ideas and talk more when we were in a better state of mind. But it was official – the old man had a reason to “live”. He had life and, more importantly, he had an end.

The old man (often referred to as OM) had gelled in to a grump who thought his life was over. At his age, what did he have left? He was alone, wandering the city on his scooter, only carrying his memories. He’s a tinkerer, passionate (especially about hot rods) and hard working… and in stereotypical old person fashion, he has no tolerance for younger people (especially those who play loud music from their tuner cars!).


Drawing from Redshift storyboards.

…and, finally, in the middle was the end.
Finally, OM had an end. The best part was it came from the development of the bulk of the story. A man who has nothing left and really has plenty to live for. It takes OM reliving his life, realizing what he’s gone through and what he’s had to finally realize what he wants from the rest of his life. It became a story about living in the moment and appreciating that time instead of dwelling on what isn’t any more. It was so much more than Viagra. :D

Major character of Redshift

Drawing from Redshift storyboards. A major character in Redshift.

So, that’s where we are. You know enough to realize this isn’t a shallow story, it’s also action packed and, hopefully, hilarious. See you next post!