As a creative, I have been ripped off more times than I can count. I’m sure it happens to all creatives at some point. Sometimes the would-be thieves appropriate it in one way or another… altering it from what was originally created. Sometimes they take a slogan and create their own design around it, or just half-ass a rotten knockoff altogether. It happens all the time.You can imagine my surprise, when a kind fan from Poland e-mailed me inquiring about the usage validity of the Keep Drifting Fun logotype on t-shirts by the Polish Federation of Drift. Imitation is supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery. In this case, it is outright theft.This is the original logotype I designed in 2009.rnThe “OR ELSE” was later dropped, so that Will Roegge and Joshua Herron could use it (with full rights/usage permission) for their grassroots documentary, aptly titled… you guessed it… KEEP DRIFTING FUN. Here, you can see Lieze in front of the KDF van with the guys (May 2010), sporting the first run of orange KDF tees. Look familiar?rnMeanwhile, in Poland..rnOut of all the times I have been ripped off as an artist… this instance infuriates me the most. It violates the entire ethos surrounding what the logo means, and I cannot for the life of me understand the lack of moral code involved to think that it is perfectly fine to plagiarize like this. They even went so far as to conveniently drop my Slide Style™ logo from the sleeve in lieu of their PFD logo.In addition to printing the logo on shirts, they also chose the same shirt colors, and made printed collateral/pop-up displays to show off ‘their’ line? The internet has made the world infinitely smaller than it already is… and has made the drift community even smaller at that. I cannot fathom how someone would do this and think it would not make it’s way back to me. Had I been contacted me in advance, I would have been happy to work together to make something happen. Especially since the message is so important to me.This is not what KEEP DRIFTING FUN is about.
Over the summer I have had an insatiable urge to shoot video. Since my car has been out-of-order, I have been catching rides to out-of-town drift events every chance I get. While it is seemingly easy enough for me to go and shoot an event – life ramps up it’s speed, making it seemingly impossible to edit anything. This video sat nearly complete as a rough cut, sans a few effects and grading for two months. Well… over the holiday weekend I was able to put the finishing wrench-time in and complete my first drift video in two years. I tried a lot of new things with this video, which is really my driving force behind making them. I want to learn something with each project. This edit is no exception. I tried a lot of new things both behind the lens, and behind the keyboard. This video was a ton of fun to create… and even though it took me forever to finish it – I think it was worth it.
Alex is coming up on the video tip! I love drift videos that focus less on the driving, and more on the dumb stuff we do in the pits… like skate, and throw hamburgers. Driver differentiation: I am running with the windows down/lights on… Axel runs windows up/lights off.
Our German DriftMechanik counterparts, Axel and Martin, made their way over to the US for a visit… and hung out for about a week. To celebrate, we made a mad-dash to fix my broken diff, get the car prepped, truck packed and get to Nashville Superspeedway for TND’s Driftoberfest.As we left, I stopped to make sure the trailer tires were filled proper. When we got the gas station, we found one tire was totally flat. So I put air in it, and as I did, a nail shot out of in from the pressure build… leaving a perfect hole in the tire. With my patch kit at home, I bought one from the gas station. It looked like a stick of bubble-gum would have worked better, but alas – I plugged it with a vow to recheck in a few miles to make sure it was holding. We didn’t even get 5 miles down the highway and I noticed sparks shooting from the rear of the trailer. Then came the vibrations and some minor sway. Just like that – I had my first trailer-tire blowout EVERI had a spare, but it was a 14″ passenger tire… which wouldn’t make it through Monteagle. All the other tires on the trailer are 15″. We called every place we could with zero luck getting a spare tire at 1:30am. The one place we did find only carried 16″ tires. Lucky for us, Sammy from Tiger Racing hadn’t left for the event yet, and had a spare for us. We limped the truck/trailer to his shop just a few miles away, where he pretty much saved our lives!We drove straight through to the track, and arrived at 7am before the gates opened. I was exhausted, and still had to break in the new diff clutch plates. Got that taken care of, and it was track timeAfter my first run, the diff was already clunking. I decided that I had too much invested in fixing the car/making the trip so we all could drive – so I made the executive decision to drive it anyway. Axel and I drove the car all day. I had a blast watching Axel drive my car. I had never had the chance to see my car in action like that. He got a TON of seat time! It looked like he had a blast.Marlow’s Corolla was knocking, so at the end of the day we put his car on my trailer, and I decided to drive the BMW on the street back to his place. Bad idea. By this time, the rear end of the car was making horrible clunking noises. Alex was shooting video out of the passenger-side of his truck, and I floored it for the shot. BAD idea. The car dogwalked to the left, right towards his truck. I thought I was going to hit him… hence the ‘oops’ faceUnlucky for me, after that… everyone took off and I couldn’t drive over 40mph. Equally as unlucky – my cell was in my truck, so I had no way to call anyone, and they all took off at a normal pace. No GPS, no phone, malfunctioning car, and no idea where to go. Eventually, Tony Schulz realized something was up, and rallied the troops. They had to box me in, and we all went 40mph for about an hour back to Marlow’s. It was CRAZY.The next day, we hit the Import Alliance carshow for a moment, and then hit the Wave Country skateparkI skated in the pool for about an hour, then we hit the road back to AtlantaShortly after our return, Martin and Axel (left to right) had to catch a flight back to GermanyI’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I feel EXTREMELY lucky that this crazy motorsport has introduced me to so many amazingly rad people. Martin and Axel are two of those people. I wish I took more photos while they were here… but I was too busy having a BLAST hanging out with them! I can’t wait to meet up with these dudes again!!