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Thread: My Race Car And Me

  1. #1

    Default My Race Car And Me

    Just like buses....... nothing for ages then two come along at once.

    This is the 3rd in my "Me & My..." series.

    51 Year old GP Russell Thorpe chats about his 25 year old, race prepared Renault 5 GT Turbo.

    My Race Car And Me ( a window into our world)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Blimey enc! That intro knocked me right back into my seat. The whole rapid shot intro follwoed by the opening sequence of mainly action shots were a whoe leap forward from what we've seen before. In fact te shots and editing throyfghout were very impressive indeed. Well done. I only hope that one day I'll be able to take shots like that.

    (Can yo feel a "but" coming)

    The scrolling text. Difficult to read because the lines were too close together. I didn;'t actually have time to read it all, even though it was creeping slowly and stopped in the centre of the screen (I was expecting it to scroll off to match how it started - in which case it would be far too slow ...whatever, it didn't "feel" quite right. Watch capitalisation. Surely it's "General Practicioner" or possibly "general practicioner" - definitely no"General practicioner". Similarly the only time you talk about His car is if you are referring the the vehicle belonging to some deity. I'd also put a comma (or possibly some other form of punctuation) both in and after "Yes that's correct ... " eg "Yes, that's correct, ..."

    You end with (and I only know this because I'm looking back over it now - I couldn't read it on first viewing) "Here Russel shares with us some events from the past 18 years...." That sounds promising. Unfortunately apart from a brief description of when he bought her and the fact he uses it to visit his parents we got nothing of the sort. We just got a list. A description of all the mods done to the car. This is probably fascinating for petrol heads but means absolutely nothing to the likes of me. Example "The engine is controlled by an adaptronic engine management ECU from EFI parts in Runcorn" That might just be of interest if he gave eny indication of what effect that had on the car. You took loads of great different angled shots of the car and where possible matched the shots to the chat (eg shots of the brake callipers when he talks about the brakes) but that simply isn't enough to engage anyone but a petrol head. The shot at around 3:52 stood out as being a still (probably if the audio had engaged me more I might not have noticed).

    it livened up at around 4:15 when he starts talking about what he's going to do today. the bit about the timing strut I found interesting because (a) it had never occurred to me that such a device might be needed and (b) I could understand it without being a petrol head - he explained it well and succunctly. Recommending sprits as a way to get into motorsports was good too until he talked about having to get an MSA (NSA?) licence without any explanation of what the MSA (NSA?) was - in other words it got a bit jargony briefly - but only briefly.

    Overall then. Superbly well shot - and I loved the movement you got into all thiose static shots, very well editied, but a disappointing choice of subject. VW man had bags of character which came over. Despite being of a young age and therefore lacking a little in character Rocky's rider's sheer enthusiasm and love for his hobby came over. Here we had a series of facts presented in a matter of fact way.

    And we didn't really get to share any of the events from the past 18 years ....

  3. #3


    I was expecting Jeremy Clarkson to appear. Very professional job, well edited with good choice of fonts for the titles and credits and good quality video. And like Tim said the scrolling captions were to close together and jerky to read. I think this would be better placed at the end. Well Done!

  4. #4


    I agree about the titles needing more leading and it did get a bit car techy but that said I was very well shot and edited together. Great human slider and crane shots. It did lack the human emotion element of the previous Me and My videos which I personally liked about them but this is only because you have raised the bar so high, I don't see how you could always get over it with the next one. (that is supposed to be a compliment) For me it would have been better if he had talked more about how he feels about the car and driving it rather than it's spec.

    Having said that this was still an excellent piece and I'm wondering why you are not a pro. May be turning pro would spoil the fun of doing it so forget that stupid comment.

    Well done.

    I liked the fast cut random bit at the beginning as well.

  5. #5


    Ok, a bit of background to this.... its been a very difficult edit. . its been said on here before but when your working with regular people who are not used to this sort of thing it can be very difficult...

    @Tim, with VW man (as he is now known) he's a natural story teller so he's quite relaxed in front of a camera. With Russell, we shot this on a race day and had under an hour to do it (in a break for lunch) this was the third take and is a much edited to camera piece. we got about 10 minuets on this take but had problems with the mic catching on his race overalls hence the reason you can see the lav mic...absolutly nothing i could do about it ..... you canb see his nerves here but what you dont see or rather hear is the err's and umms .... there were lots !!! Russell goes into far greater detail but i tried (in this edit) to keep things flowing with the action. i take on board that it probably wont appeal to non petrol heads.

    The idea was for a quick fire opening a chilled bridge then a mixture hopefully Ive achieved that.

    The first 10 seconds are my new indent which ill be putting before of all my films from now on. (or a variation of it)

    the scrolling intro .... previously i had it fixed on screen with a fade to black but that didnt work either. im not keen on it as it is or the way russell starts his to camera piece after it, i tried all sorts of variations still working on it.

    @ caption world.... cheers mate

    @MB.... thanks, im happy people are saying its well edited because Ive spent quite a bit of time on it. yes there are some shaky shots and jump cuts but i think theu add to the atmosphere of the rac day here.

    BTWTim, its visiting his patients not visiting his parents

  6. #6


    Hi, I'm a car enthusiast myself so I was looking forward to this and to be honest I was kind of disappointed. It's a race car story, so I believe that the pace should be fast. I would have liked the vid to have the same content but to be half as long (between 2 and 3 minutes), shorter shots, voice over action shots during the interview itself (as you do at times), embedded titles and much, much more worked images. Like this shot with what seems like a steadycam around 3'40", the shot itself is not a bad idea, but you didn't need the guy talking.

    the mic wire also felt as an issue for me.

    I would have like to see something more dynamic also for the car specs presentation, something "a la best motoring"

    car related media is more often than not of very high visual quality and when you're used to shows such as top gear or best motoring (just to name a couple) this vid is definitely a setback. Not because of the lack of talent from your part, but because what already does exist, the standard, sets the bar actually extremely high.

    So to sum it up

    - shorter, faster paced
    - rehearsed interviews, more enthusiastic voice tone
    - pay more attention to the details, the mic cable just killed it for me. I understand the technical limitation, but art is about overcoming those, and that's what, in my opinion, makes the difference.

    maybe a concealed portable recorder and a good ole clapper could have solved your problem.

    so there is definitely some good, in my opinion, the pace was the main issue here, then the overal graphic quality, then the details.

  7. #7


    Thanks for your input hadoq, some interesting points raised. but can i just say the film isnt supposed to be like an episode of top gear fact ,thats the last thing its supposed to be like its part 3 of my series "me and my" its more about the persons interest in their chosen subject. I think Russell may have been slightly offended if i had said to him "come on russell, bit more zip.... lets hear that Richard Hammond Deeejaay pronunciation it would have been easy to slap on the FX in magic bullet but then It just wouldn't have fit in with the rest of "me and my" series.

    Totally agree with the mic issue but on thye day it was either that or the cameras on board audio. Its all a learning curve

  8. #8


    yea, please do not take all as I've said as criticism towards your work. But rather, I tried to give a few humble pointers you might want to follow for your future work. I still completely understand all the work you put into it and I totally respect that. I wouldn't be able to do half of what you did there.

    When I was mentioning top gear and best motoring, I wasn't asking you to do the same thing, rather to aim for the same standards, which is a different thing all together.

    Also, when you get someone to speak on a video, there are some standards, you have to think about the rhythm and the intention, the purpose. it doesn't matter how "professional" your guy who speaks is, it's up to you as the director to make sure what he says is up to your standards and that you can make the most of it.

    I remember a few years ago I was invited for some TV show on a major channel in France (France télévisions) it was a talk show with people talking about their issues, the regular low quality afternoon stuff, housewives stuff. prior to the show, I've had at least 4 phone calls with an assistant, going over and over my story, the questions that will be asked to me by the host, and the anwsers I was meant to give (according to the story I originally told them). And there was one more rehearsal the day of the shooting.

    my point here being, we were no professional actors, we were all your average joe with absolutely no camera experience. but the producers and the whole team actually, made absolutely sure that we were as prepared as we could.

    It is not easy to make sure your guests are prepared, but I believe it's absolutely necessary as a poorly prepared guest can ruin your entire vid which would otherwise be very good.

    so it's not about copying what we all know (and love), by all means, do your own thing, but challenge yourself.

    This also applies to me, I recently opened a business and I'm doing promotional videos and products presentations, and this is only then that I realized how much the spoken parts have to be prepared (and actually linked it to what happened, years ago on that TV show). It is less to improve the quality, but more to avoid ruining the vid by destroying the rhythm. So if you really want to make the most of the beautiful footage you get, I believe you do, you want to make sure that every and all aspect of whatever it is that you're shooting, is as perfect as humanly possible, and then some more.

    and I agree that this is extremely difficult and probably nearly impossible if you're doing all by yourself on a low budget (like many of us here)

    sometimes my post appear to be all negative, but understand it is not what I mean. We all like the usual "great job" comment, but we need criticism as much as praise. You're getting some praises already from other members, and I want to focus on some points that I think I can help you improve (either because I'm working on them myself, either because I found out earlier on and I realized that it helped me a great deal)

    filming is a great thing to do and I'd like everyone to be successful. We are all learning, this is why we're here, to help each other.

  9. #9


    again, some fair comments there hadoq. of course its good to get complimentary comments about your work but equally as important getting comments offering critique..... the latter is the reason i post my videos here. its all to easy to get blind to your own work especially if you've been working on the same piece for a while. thats why having a small rest break for a coffee then coming back to your work it can look veryy different. i find its the same with music ..... spend a couple of hours mixing a track and your ears become tired. better to leave it untill the next day. anyway, where was i ? the reason i post here is to be told the intro is too long or the music is too loud in the mix etc etc things i miss because either A/ its my own personell chioce (very possibly i could be wrong) B/ ive been working on the same piece fo so long i become blind to it.

    I listen to the advice given here and more often than not act on ot.

    As i think we both agree, when working with the bloke in the street who may have been approached at random, for no fee you have to give a little leeway and work with what you have. as i said its a learning curve.... a very slow one for me

    thanks for the advice.

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