Top Gear Australia, Burnout, Moog and opportunities

Top Gear Australia, Burnout, Moog and opportunities

Appreciation post. Here goes: 16 years ago we kicked off Mighty Car Mods. For a few years before that we worked in recording studios. That bit isn’t news to most of you. Know what else I did when I wasn’t recording, playing in bands, or working on a shitbox car? Like nearly everyone else, I was watching Top Gear. If you were into cars nothing came close and for the first few years of the new format, YouTube and streaming didn’t exist anyway. When Blair (Moog) got the call up to do a new series of Top Gear Australia my response was ‘man you HAVE to do it’. They didn’t ask me, they didn’t want mcm+1. Or maybe they didn’t want a James May type with less hair and more Daihatsu’s, we’ll never know for sure.

So an audition came and went, then months later they called him ‘hey you’ve got the job’. What does this mean for MCM? My answer was unchanged, “you have to do it”.

Technically any car show is competition, why? Read the blog on our website about who pays. If the viewer doesn’t pay (streaming, paywalls) then someone else does. In our case, advertisers, sponsors, merch, means we can pay for the costs of making the show. Top Gear could just blow away every single advertiser and sponsor for every car show ever and they all disappear, likely? No. Possible? Sure.

In my mind, experience is worth more than the $ you can sit and count over and over, and thanks to years of work building our little show into a small business, taking a few months to go and do a very intense shooting schedule and make 8 x 1 hour episodes of TV was going to be difficult but possible. The process of making the biggest kind of car show you can possible make would be an incredible learning experience. ‘You have to do it’

Then came planning, meetings, contracts, schedules, all time away from nuggets at mcm and Supergarage, and that began only a few days after we landed back in Australia from Malaysia in November last year. We’d decided that during the TG shoot I’d crack hard into the Gemini series and tie up a bunch of half finished projects. There’d be a few days inbetween trips where Blair would be able to come down and we could shoot a unicorn or the odd episode, then within a day or so, back into the plane and off to some far flung Colombian hill he’d go.

Fast forward to the past 8 weeks and the TGA show is out and done. Promo finished for it a few weeks earlier so we’ve been back hard into making episodes and working on cars and ideas for future adventures. It’s been an extraordinarily busy time for both of us, keeping mcm going with the day to day stuff has been a big job, most of which doesn’t involve actually filming or cars. It’s insurance, permits, contracts - or last week, a leaking toilet. Many YouTube people will tell you this is how it is.

I think my mate did an amazing job. On the surface it’s a dream job - travel the world and drive cool cars, this is absolutely a dream because reality is a production schedule comes along, logistics of 50 crew plus the enormous machine that is TV production comes and makes it extraordinarily challenging. Maybe one day there will be a book about what the experience was like, there’s definitely enough content for one.

How the show is received doesn’t really matter in my mind, because I know that Blair did exactly what he does with our show, give it 100% of his abilities. Anyone who has known him as long as I have is blown away by the creative drive and vision, along with the discipline to actually get things done. That discipline is visible in physical form in his commitment to fitness and exercise, which further fuels his creative energy.

Speaking of energy, that Gemini is nearly done, and videos will come out later this month. A bunch of other nuggets were fixed and filmed, and there’s been videos each and every week since we went to Malaysia, I’m very proud of it and also ready for a holiday to recharge some of my own energy. So I’m gonna down tools for a few weeks and have a rest. YouTube burnout is the big spectre that chases creators, it’s never got me but with half of your duo gone it’s way more difficult to balance.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the abundance of quality car content that’s around at the moment, there’s more than there has ever been, what a time to be alive. ‘You have to do it’

Photo from 2010 Autosalon, I think we got paid a few hundred bucks to go to Perth, do stage shows, film the entire thing and put it on YouTube. I’m still not as comfortable with public speaking as I am explaining how a turbo works, but I’m certainly thankful for all of the opportunities to grow and learn.

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