My Classic Car Drives Ahead in HD!

Beautiful classic cars - what a perfect subject for high definition!

Every pixel soaks up the bright colors and chrome. The 16x9 canvas curves gracefully around those sweet lines. And host Dennis Gage seems all the more dapper, bringing viewers new groups of quirky and cool classics to check out - now in HD!

My Classic Car is a half-hour series airing on the SPEED Channel, produced by Bradley David Productions out of Evansville, IN. They are currently shooting their 13th season, which begins airing in 2009.

When SPEED requested they start shooting in HD last year, Bradley David contacted Big Pictures, and their other long time production partners and crews around the country, to help them decide on the perfect format.

“We waited to see what most crews were using,” said series producer Ben Woehler, “and that seemed to be the DVCPRO HD format. The Panasonic HDX900 and the Varicam are really popular cameras for freelance crews right now. And DVC PRO HD is a more affordable way to keep the networks happy and not blow our budget.”

“We also shoot to tape because it’s a safe and easy way to archive the footage.”

“I digitize the tapes and put together a rough version of the car show or collection. I edit on an Avid Media Composer 3 Nitris. Then, I send it through our Avid Unity 5 to be finished on an Avid DS 10. The Avid Unity is a fibre network that allows me to send an online resolution sequence to the Avid DS in minutes. This is the way to go if we’re trying to post three different series at one time.”

Tom Miller and the Big Pictures team had been shooting My Classic Car and other programs for Bradley David for years in the venerable Beta SP format, and were delighted when they took the leap to HD.

On Labor Day weekend, the Big Pictures team got a chance to show off the beauty of the Panasonic HDX900 HD camera and our Fuji Wideangle HD glass as they shot two new episodes for next season - which starts February of 2009.

One program is on the famous classic car collection at the Rambler Ranch in Elizabeth, Colorado. The other is on the Rocky Mountain Concours d’Elegance car show, held at the prestigious Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

When asked about how going HD has affected the look of his mustache, host Dennis Gage revealed that he has a Ph.D. in chemistry and formulates his own mustache wax. The jump to High Def forced him back to the lab to come up with a new formulation that will stand up to the higher resolution. He claimes his new HD-compatible wax keeps every hair in place and renders the stash "stiff enough to do chin-ups on!"

In October, you can catch some of our work from last year at the Mustang Roundup in Steamboat Springs, and a day with noted author and avid car collector Clive Cussler. These were shot in SD. Here are the tentative airdates on the SPEED Network:

MCC #13007 – Mustang Roundup

Sun, Oct 12 @ 9:30am E / 6:30am P

Mon, Oct 13 @ 3:00am E / 12:00am P

Tues, Oct 14 @ 3:00pm E / 12:00pm P


MCC #13012 – Clive Cussler

Sun, Nov 16 @ 9:30am E / 6:30am P

Mon, Nov 17 @ 3:00am E / 12:00am P

Tues, Nov 18 @ 3:00pm E / 12:00pm P



Written by Tom Miller, Photo Credit: Steve Roseboom, Dennis Gage photo courtesy of Bradley David Productions

This Article first appeared in the September 2008 issue of Big Pictures News.

Copyright 2008 Big Pictures Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved