Viewers hoping for beautiful footage and slick edits of some stunning cars will not be disappointed. However, you’ll also find out pretty quickly that this is so much more than car porn…
In fact, as soon as the end credits rolled I decided to get in touch with the film’s creator Rikki Doughty and find out more…
CTRL: What came first for you, creating videos or the car scene? How did you get into all this?
Rikki: I was brought up around cars. My dad has been a mechanic since he was 16 and then went on to car sales, mainly American imports and high end stuff. So it definitely started with the cars for me! But I have always had a love for film, and started with that in my early teens. One day the two worlds collided when I went and filmed a car meet in Essex back in 2012. Since then its just snowballed.
CTRL: 50K+ views in like 2 weeks and people are loving it! Did you expect this level of response?
Rikki: To be extremely honest, I never expected this kind of response. It’s a feature length documentary, and I was prepared that an hour plus video on a platform like YouTube is ambitious. But the feedback has been overwhelming, and the views have been racking up. It’s been great to see the response and support from everyone.
CTRL: The Enthusiasts was 3 years in the works.. you made the fans wait man! Was it a labour of love? What were the main challenges in making it?
Rikki: I love documentaries, and have always wanted to make an indie documentary myself. 3 years ago another film was released by another media outlet with the main subject being modified cars (you all probably know the one I’m talking about). It was at that point I decided to make ‘The Enthusiasts’. Its a subject I have a lot of passion for! I set out with a plan, but I can’t tell you how many times the direction of the film changed. The final project what you see, is completely different to the first ideas I was having. But I’m glad I stalled the release, as the film contains footage from the past three/four years, and gives a bit of history to the scene. And I feel the final product has a strong story.
As far as challenges go, trying to fit it in around my main work was another factor to the stalled release. I was working on zero budget with the film, so sometimes it had to take a back seat. I had a hard drive go down on me, but I managed to recovery that thankfully. And I guess deciding on the final look/feel for the whole film was another challenge. Like I said before, it was constantly changing and a huge learning curve.
“The main reason for the film was always to get the message across that you can’t stereotype the culture and those involved.”
CTRL: We’re familiar with your work making cars / events look awesome and The Enthusiasts is all that, but also a lot more and kind of has serious message – Did you set out to make a point with the film?
Rikki: Thank you. Yes, the main reason for the film was always to get the message across that you can’t stereotype the culture and those involved. The media seem to label anything to do with modified cars or young drivers as ‘Boy Racers’. I never intended to deny the boy racers existence. But I wanted to show there is a difference between a ‘Boy Racer’, and the guys and girls that take this as a serious hobby or lifestyle. The idea is to give an insight into the world of UK modified car culture from those who are involved, and not a biased or uneducated view of mainstream media. Hopefully it has changed a few peoples minds, and highlighted how big and interesting the community is. And for those already involved in the scene, it gives them an insight into some of the people and brands backgrounds.
CTRL: Everyone featured seems to be an Enthusiast who has made a business out of their involvement in the scene. It’s a real eye opener, and for anyone not familiar with this world it certainly dispels some myths! But also I’m sure it will inspire a fair few people who are already enthusiasts into doing something cool themselves. Was that your plan all along?
Rikki: From the start I always wanted to have a focus on people in the scene that had either turned their love of modified cars into a career or profession. I think a lot of people that have the view everyone is a ‘Boy Racer’, tend to believe its just a phase or anti social behaviour that young people go through when they first get their license. I wanted to show that these people have go on to make businesses and careers from modifying cars, and going to car meets etc. Some of them have been doing it 20+ years, they have families and are putting money back into the economy. And on top of that, everyone featured has strong roots in the scene, they started by building cars in their sheds or on driveways. I think they give a great background into how it has evolved. Plus the possibility to inspire people to do something for themselves can never be a bad thing, especially if it helps the scene grow.
I feel that those featured are showing that you can turn something which usually has a negative stigma attached to it, into something really positive. That has a strong message in its own.
CTRL: Jay McToldridge talks about having to persuade Goodwood to consider The Players Show involvement… and how it’s since gone from strength to strength… do you think this has kind of flipped around now, and in fact places like Goodwood are looking to the modified scene to try and make events like Goodwood more relevant with the next generation?
Rikki: I definitely think its flipped in recent years. Like Jay says in the film, he had to persuade the guys at Goodwood to hold the Players Classic event. But now they love it, and are giving great support for the Players guys. Even going to Festival Of Speed at Goodwood, you are now starting to see more modified cars appear. And they have a whole section dedicated to drifting. A motorsport born on the streets, is now a highlight of the biggest automotive event on the UK calendar. And like you said, it’s bringing in the next generation, and giving new life to these events and establishments. I’m also seeing more of the older generation attending modified car events, and its great to see it becoming more socially accepted.
“I’m also seeing more of the older generation attending modified car events, and its great to see it becoming more socially accepted.”
CTRL: Next one could be a hot potato, but I’m sure you’ll tell it like it is… There’s no women interviewed, is it still a very male dominated scene? Do you see that changing?
Rikki: You’re not the first to ask.. But I will start by saying there was no reason for this. I don’t think it is a male dominated scene anymore. More and more females are entering the scene each year, and some of them have a real big presence! More females are attending the events with their partners, building cars of their own and starting businesses/professions etc. There has also been a big increase in females becoming drivers in all kinds of motorsport disciplines. It’s great to see more females getting involved, and bringing their own flavour and influences to the scene.
CTRL: As the film unfolds we get a feel for how the car scene has kind of evolved to where it is now… do you have a feeling for where things are headed? What do you think the scene will look like in say 5 years?
Rikki: Like I said before, everyone featured in the film are veterans in their own right and have been about for a number of years. They give a good example of how things have evolved so far. And there is quite the age range. I started with modified cars when I was 17, and I’m 32 now. A lot has changed in the last 15 years! I definitely think the scene is going from strength to strength. The shows are getting bigger, more and more companies are popping up and there is a constant wave of fresh faces coming through. Like any culture, it will have its ups and downs. But right now its on the up! Trends are constantly changing, and everyone is thriving to be different. So its great to see everyones creativity coming out. Also the internet has changed how we do things now. Sourcing parts is so much easier, and the options are endless. Plus setting up events/meets is more accessible to the masses, and media coverage from these events is amazing. The scene isn’t going anywhere, and its only going to get stronger in the next five years.
“The idea is to show the true behind the scenes of UK car culture, and how its growing. And yes, females will be involved 😉”
CTRL: Finally, what’s next? On the back of the films release you dropped a fairly hefty teaser. Can you tell us anything about TETV yet?
Rikki: Ah yes, TETV.. Well “the Enthusiasts’ film was only the beginning. I always planned to continue with it, if the documentary done well. I feel we have only just scraped the tip of the iceberg with the film. There are so many sub cultures and key players that were not included. I could of made the film 12 hours long if everything was included, but it would never have worked. So thats where TETV (The Enthusiasts TV) comes in. Its going to be a monthly release (like a video magazine) the continues on from where the film left off. Its going to involve the people behind the builds, events, sub cultures, brands, influencers and more. The idea is to show the true behind the scenes of UK car culture, and how its growing. And yes, females will be involved 😉 Its going to be a fairly big project, which I’m really looking forward to. Work has already started, and we have some great people already lined up to be featured. Maybe in a year or two we will look at ‘The Enthusiasts 2’, but thats a whole different story.. But again, I just want to give a shout out to everyone involved in the documentary, and thank you to everyone for the support and response so far! Stay tuned for more!
Thanks for taking some time out to enlighten us Rikki!
Stay tuned for more from The Enthusiasts // TETV // Thirteen Media here:
Enthusiasts Website- www.theenthusiasts.co.uk
Thirteen Media Website- www.13-media.com