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Behind the scenes

Passion Never Fades‘ is something that we’ve been talking about since the first Fitted Festival. 

It seems to be the most reoccurring theme among enthusiasts in general as with every epic build comes the many difficulties that surround it. You often hear the saying “Anything worth doing isn’t easy” and this is where the passion behind the scenes comes into play. 

Fitted Festival was established with a dream in mind, to bring people together who share common interests and have plenty of passion and this culminated in our first show – a JDM event. Over time, it gradually evolved into bringing together larger groups of like-minded people from all walks of life with specialties, from Low riders, Mini trucks, European Tuners, American muscle, Aussie Muscle, Hot rods and even Bikes.

While the type of vehicles may not be the same, true enthusiasts appreciate the amount of work that goes into a build and the passionate people behind them who overcome adversity to turn their vision a reality. 

That is why for the Fitted Festival VI production, there was no better person to tell the story than Mad Mike Whiddett. Travelling back in time 7 years when I first met Mad Mike, he was still a sign-writer and only owned the one Rx7, at a time where instead of having properly built motors he drill ported his motors just to add flavour and extra brap to the car because everything was done on a budget. Today Mad Mike is in a very different place, having a sponsorship partner with Mazda supporting his love for rotaries and drifting.

He worked with a vision in mind, adding passion and his family as his driving forces to succeed. Mad Mike was the perfect person to play the role for Fitted Festival VI, as he has experienced the challenges and difficulties involved in achieving a dream. Having Mad Mike drive a rotary powered Rx7 in the video was not only appropriate as it is his signature vehicle, but the videos script evolution also brought Fitted Festival back to its roots. Fitted Festivals growth from a JDM event into the premium show that it is today, that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, all genres, all cultures and motorsports mirror the dream that is the Mad Mike story as well.

The script took over 12 months to pull together, aided by MEGA, a new company that has been assisting Fitted Festival, the brief was to create a detailed storyline and dream-based concept that would do justice to the evolution of the show.

The entire storyline was based upon my own personal experience with cars, my business and life in general. My first encounter with modified cars has fuelled my passion and has shaped me into the man I am today.

Fitted Festival has successfully staged 5 events in Sydney with the last event in 2017 held at Sydney Airport. This was a milestone achievement as it was the first time any event of its kind had been held at such an iconic and high-profile location. However, the show had yet to cross any state lines until now. We are so excited as we have successfully negotiated to stage the event at Australia’s’ second largest airport in the country, Melbourne Airport, where we aim to showcase the diversity of cultures from the Melbourne automotive scene and show the rest of the world what Australia is truly capable of. 

In order to pull this off, we have spent weeks looking for truly passionate individuals, people who understand the goal at the end of the vision and who have gone through similar difficulties of their own. What we have managed to achieve is the bringing together of a group of extremely talented individuals who had never met one another but who have shared a similar passion and their love for all things automotive. People who appreciate the work that goes into cars of all different types, not solely restricted to their own.

The production itself was no ‘walk in the park’ either! With the first film crew not capable of handling the job, at the very last second, I had to make a difficult decision to reschedule the entire production. But with Mad Mike and his family already on a plane. The entire storyline and vision for the production had to be pitched to over 30 companies with none of the companies believing they could deliver the job at the quality I was after. It was only when Fitted Festival and the ‘Reel Factory’ crossed paths, in addition to my passion, perseverance and the constant motivation I drew upon from hearing encouragement from my family and my closest advisors did I see the light at the end of the tunnel again and realised that we were going to make the script come to life.

The video was postponed and organised for a later date, this time with the Reel Factory coming over from New Zealand. The video was shot in a total of 4 days, not an easy feat when you include having to organise logistics and the coordination of Mad Mike and his family, props, the schedule, catering, flights, accommodation, the film crew and the 20 different vehicle owners that were featured in the video, all while managing all the other aspects of the storyline. The total effort required multiple weeks working 18-hour days in order to get the job done but with a clear vision in mind, I never once faltered. Something many of the vehicle owners in the video will attest to.

The highly customised vehicles are not just your regular day to day vehicles either as many of the air-cooled vehicles in the production also faced their own technical issues during the shoot making the logistics and coordination even more difficult. Thankfully, many of the owners pitched in and helped us to continue making the task that much easier.

I am extremely grateful to know that these passionate individuals were willing to help to make this production a success and, on that note, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved. 

Behind the scenes, we brought together a small group of individuals, both young and old who had never met one another and who gathered at the shoots’ location and simply enjoyed the introductions and getting to know one another. They spent the afternoon sharing each other’s stories, visions and future plans for their cars and bikes that to them, are no longer just a form of transport, they got to experience the thrill of what it’s like to be a part of the Fitted family. 

This is exactly what I believe Fitted Festival will achieve at the next Fitted Festival event in Melbourne. Fitted Festival is not meant to just be a festival of bikes and cars but a chance for a community of like-minded people, perhaps from a range of cultural backgrounds and demographic groups to come together and enjoy a common passion.

Once again, I’d like to say a big thank you to all involved in the making of this amazing experience that was the creation of part 1 of this promotional video series for Fitted Festival, with part 2 to be focussed on Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Fitted Festival hopes to share our core values on an international scale and show how our love for all things automotive brings families together regardless of race, diversity and age. 

For now, enjoy a behind the scenes look that is brought to you through the lens of the talented PT Works, and I look forward to seeing you at Fitted Festival VI 9th of February 2019. 

Remember, “Passion Never Fades

Written by Tarik Aly, Director  Fitted Festival.

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