Firing On All Cylinders!

Posted: March 17, 2012 in 300ZX Build, Documentary
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s been crazy the past few weeks! Between the Z build, working on the documentary, and just working in general (to earn a living) – I’ve barely had enough time to sneak in a date night with my fiancée, let alone manage the blog.

So I thought I’d compile a sneak peek of a few things I’m working on to give you an idea of what’s been happening up to this point.

On the documentary front – I took the plunge and purchased (on credit cards) a used but capable HD camera, hard drive recorder, and associated gear. Up to this point, I’ve been calling in favors and borrowing pretty much all the gear we’ve used to shoot.

I’m funding the doc out of pocket at the moment, and all the expenses of a shoot add up quick! So I’m eternally grateful for friends like Barbara Kopple (and the Cabin Creek Films family) as well as Frank Caratozzolo for the use of their equipment.

But with the car build and documentary in full swing, I really needed equipment on hand to shoot at a moments notice (and stop bugging my friends in the process). All it took were weeks of wading through mind numbing technical specs (and pestering tech savvy friends like Frank and Jack Wrenn) to settle on a camera… For you tech geeks out there – I went with a Sony HVR-V1U HDV camera and Atomos Ninja HD recorder (allowing uncompressed HD capture out the HDMI port). Full review of this setup coming soon.

Speaking of Jack Wrenn, I’d like to take a moment to introduce him. Besides being one of my closest friends since college (where we both pursued our Media Communication & Technology degrees), he’s become an accomplished all around film & TV guy in his own right.


Jack’s been with Philadelphia’s Center City Film & Video for over 6 years and worked on shows for networks such as – A&E Biography, DIY Network, WE Channel, SI Network, and Comcast On Demand (as well as met a number of high profile celebrities!)

So when I decided to pursue the crazy idea of making this documentary, he was the first person I called. Jack’s been down since day one, volunteering his free time to be my principal Director of Photography (as well as Grip, Gaff, and Audio all at the same time), and I wouldn’t be at this point without all his dedication and hard work.



We had a successful shoot a few weeks back utilizing all the new gear. I spent a day ripping into the Z, removing most of the stock parts in anticipation of all the shiny new stuff!

Click past the break to see a sneak peak of the upcoming installs and sponsors.

Ashspecz Charge Pipes, Planar Intake Pipes, Massives

First up on the list is Ashspec’s 2.5” Intake/Charge Pipes as well as their Massive intercoolers. Ashspec was my very first sponsor! I can’t thank Nick and Ash enough for believing in the project and pledging their support.

Nick was originally my point of contact with Ashspec and an invaluable ally in the early stages of the build, he really helped me get the ball rolling. He’s since moved on to other opportunities, but Ash has picked up where Nick left off. Their customer service has been outstanding and their products second to none.

I plan to do a full mock up of all Ash’s parts (and film) in the coming weeks before I blow it all apart to paint the engine bay.

Pic courtesy of EP Racing.

Mitch over at EP Racing was the second sponsor to pledge support for the project and has been a fantastic ally as well. I plan to run his 8qt oil pan in the future (as the Z suffers from oil starvation issues at the limit), but for now Mitch is busy coating my upper intake manifold with his Thermal Dispersant Coating.

The coating helps to shed heat and limit heat soak (something the Z desperately needs in its cramped extremely hot engine bay). I plan to do a full write up on the process and install once I get the manifold back from Mitch.

As I wrote in the previous Suspension- Part 1 of… post, SPL is on board as well with their trick suspension components. Once the parts get to me, expect a full write-up of the install as well.

Finally, I’d like to thank Harry of Ztuner. Harry is not only a sponsor of the build, but someone who can truly relate to the film, as he’s coincidentally missing a hand himself. What are the odds that the car I’m building, and one of its premier tuners/mechanics, is also missing a hand? Crazy right?!? I’m not one to believe in fate, so I’ll leave that one up to your interpretation…

Harry’s wealth of knowledge never ceases to amaze me. He’s helped to really steer my build in the right direction since coming aboard, offering his advice and services (as well as in house products like custom ECU tunes, PCV relocation and waterline reroute kits).

Once the build is completed I plan to drive the car down to Florida (where his shop is based) and have him Dyno tune the car to really dial it in (and capture it all on film)! He’s truly one of the best in the business.

It’s getting down to the wire and I have a lot to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. My goal is to have the car running by the beginning of April, and a trailer for the doc completed within the next few weeks (fingers crossed). After that, it’s a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds and awareness to continue the film. Stay tuned!


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