Just Drift at Willow Springs Speedway

by thebradmiskell

Underground Diaries, Part 12

Like Kevin Sites’ solo-journalism site “In the Hot Zone,” Underground was to feature written, photo and video journalism. As I got underway with Underground, Neeraj made clear video was his priority. Web video was all people were talking about in 2006 (and still is). Both Neeraj’s video journalism experience and his growing influence at Yahoo at the time Underground came together meant it would be mine, too.

Our biggest disagreements always seemed to be about what order to present the videos in. I generally had a clear idea what I thought, and cut the vids, voice-overs and soundtracks accordingly. Neeraj often over-ruled me after the fact, and despite my rationales. He saw accessibility and catchiness as important aspects of storytelling, and of having an audience to tell a story to.

So did I. We merely had different ideas about what was catchy and accessible sometimes. We also, in this case, had a different idea of who the feature should feature. I was interested in the broader import scene or tuner subculture. Neeraj was more focused on drifters, who were gaining dominance within tuner culture over illegal street racers.

I understood drifters were only a part of the import scene, though they were a part of it I’d found to be the most authentic and least commercial. Maybe that come through in the videos. Neeraj decided the vid on drifting I thought should come last would lead, while the vid on the broader import scene I’d intended as the opener would actually run last.

Que sera sera. In this vid, I’m taken drifting at Willow Springs Budweiser Balcony track by Charlie Ongsingco and John TK of Los Angeles/Las Vegas-based Just Drifit organization. We’re accompanied by a nice loop by Dirk.


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