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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mitsu Cover Shoot, behind the scenes

I don't have a whole lot to share lately because the last few weeks have been kind of slow.

I did however find these shots from when NR 1 was shot in the studio in October of 2002. The truck was later on the cover of Mini Truckin' Magazine on February of 2003. I remember the date of the shoot so vividly because I wanted the truck to debut at Octoberfest, the Severed Ties show that month but decided not to rush the truck and instead get it shot and debut it at Reso that year.

When I took this pic, the flash popped. I knew I was in trouble then lol

The story of how this truck got shot was actually pretty cool, especially since you always hear people complain that they can't get shot unless they're in a "big" club. Well it's nonsense. Mike Finnegan first approached me when my truck was in primer to shoot it. He told me he was a fan of Mitsus and wanted to know what I was going to do to it and when I would finish it. After me drooling and tell him a whole big ass story he told me to stay in contact with him and that he would shoot it when i finished it. That gave me a ton of motivation and withing weeks of that talk I pushed to finish it first by body dropping it. Later that year in September of 2001 my truck was in construction zone. At that time No Regrets was a single chapter club with only about 6 members. We were very unknown to say the least. Again, Mike told me to stay in contact with him and when I finished it he would get me a shoot. He never said cover, but I had my sights set on it. He told me Lance had a soft spot for Mitsus and would love to see it in the mag finished.

Months later I sent the truck to paint and kept the ball rolling, by chance I one day found out through a friend in Forbidden Fantasy that Lance was at a local shop where they were building the desert dragger. I decided to stop by and show him the truck with paint to see what he thought.

When Lance Martz first saw and asked me to shoot the truck it actually wasn't done. The truck was only painted, no interior, no chrome, no polish, nothing. He asked if he could shoot the truck and when would it be done. I told him I would probably finish it sometime in 2003. He chuckled and said if you can finish it in two weeks he'd put it on the cover that upcoming issue. I chocked and said yes. WTF was I thinking I thought to myself. What had I got myself into? With no time to spare I sent the truck to interior the next day, and gave them a timeline of 6 days to finish it. In the meantime I gathered up parts to get chromed or polished and painted. The interior guys ended up being a few days late, but who can blame them.

In the meantime I remember talking to one of the Editors on the phone when they called to check up on the progress and he said "If you had the chance to choose, what model would you pick for your cover shoot?" Quickly and without hesitation "Jamie Medeiros" I blurted out. "What are the chances?" he said. "That's who I got." Jamie had been on the cover with the previous Mitsu  in 2001. It was a yellow Mitsu built by the Chop Shop, one of my favorites of course.

9 days or so later we got the truck home. We took it all back apart, ripped all the suspension out and went to town detailing the shit out of it. Steve Wilk a good friend and member of No Regrets spent an entire week at the house cleaning it up, looming it and whatever else was necessary while I went to work. Eventually we got it done and just in time for the shoot. I have so many great memories from this shoot it's amazing. I remember pulling up to Mike Finnegan's house at about 5 am or so. He asked where we parked the trailer. "Trailer?" I said, what trailer lol. We drove the truck there, and he couldn't believe it. I remember following him to the shoot at the studio and dragging the truck a little bit on the 91,  I had to show off.

When we got to the studio I remember how amazing it was to me, a young mini trucker from so cal getting his unknown truck and club onto the cover of MT mag, it was incredible to me. To top things off Jamie was hotter in person than on the cover. As the photographer did his magic I remember pulling out a disposable camera where I was able to get a few shots off. The thing about this is it would later get Mike Finnegan in trouble and cause a bunch of problems for mini truckers in the future. Because of me, no more cameras were allowed in the studio for a really long time after. You see when I got home, I had the pictures developed and later popped one of these two shots on the net with the caption, coming soon. Word got back to Lance, and well, he was pissed. I got a call from Finnegan asking me to take them down. These days it's very common for owners to post shots of their trucks being shot, but back then it wasn't.

An interesting fact about my shoot is it was the first Digital Cover for Mini Truckin' Magazine, before that they were all shot on film. I wish I had more of these shots, but unfortunately I do not. Enjoy!

The outcome!

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