Behind the scenes of Return to Driftenberg

The recently released YouTube video “Return to Driftenberg”, by ST-suspensions brand ambassador Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni, was created in summer 2019 thanks to the active support of the municipality of Fichtenberg.

During the shooting of “Return to Driftenberg”, which lasted several days, countless scenes were created which were not published in the final edit of the Directors Cut of the two directors James Gilbert and Rikki Doughty.

During the shooting, the residents were enthusiastic and were able to look over the shoulder of the team during the shooting. With the multi-part making-of video for “Return to Driftenberg”, the YouTube community now has the opportunity to see the shooting from a completely different perspective.

“Even before the shooting, we thought about shooting a making-of,” says ST Brand Manager Christina Gabriel.

“There was so much material that we could publish four parts on our social media channels instead of a short making-of.”

YouTube videos are becoming more and more elaborate and even drift videos like “Return to Driftenberg” involved more than 50 people behind the scenes.

At the beginning of the year, the preparations had already started and by the spring there were the first dates for the location scouting.

“At first it was planned to shoot the video on the KW automotive premises,” recalls Christina Gabriel. “But we decided differently after the first appointments.”

During the appointments, on-site, “Baggsy” and Rikki Doughty fell in love with the branch line in Rauhenzainbachtal, which offered numerous interesting shots for the video. “At that time, we didn’t even know that we would need this route for half the night.”

“The district office Schwäbisch Hall and the municipality Fichtenberg supported us all the way, so we could actually shoot there.”

The scenes for “Return to Driftenberg” were shot at a total of eight different locations and in the nine-minute long YouTube film, there are numerous cameo roles.

Even the mayor of Fichtenberg, Roland Miola, had an appearance and was regularly on location during the shooting.

The people from Fichtenberg were also able to take a look behind the scenes at designated locations and watch the 1,200 hp Nissan GT-R from up close and personal as well as have some small talk with Baggsy and Co.

Why in Fichtenberg of all places is quickly explained. Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni’s Nissan GT-R is a former KW automotive development vehicle and has been extensively modified for drifting.

For example, the Nissan V6 BiTurbo was replaced by a 1,200 hp US V8, the entire body was reinforced with a safety cell and numerous body and aerodynamic components were replaced by the lightweight high-tech carbon material.

All in all the shooting lasted four long days and directly after the shooting day it went on behind the scenes. All the footage had to be viewed, sorted and above all secure.

“To the delight of our colleagues from the IT department, over 30 terabytes of moving images were created during the shooting,” smiles Christina Gabriel. “And a few gigabytes of the photographers’ footage.” But it wasn’t just the memory requirements for Return to Driftenberg that were immense. After every day of shooting, the vehicles were checked and partly overhauled. Not to mention the tire wear.

Throughout the shooting, the Nissan with its turbocharged US V8 engine destroyed over 20 sets of tires due to the rough asphalt surfaces and the constant stress at the limits of driving physics.

On the Chase Car, an old Ford Mustang, the entire brake system had to be replaced even after the second day of shooting. To ensure that the shooting with its spectacular drift and stunt inlays went so perfectly and smoothly, a lot of preparation was necessary for the background and a well-rehearsed team was behind the camera as well as in front of the camera.

In addition to Rikki Doughty, cameraman Mike O’Neal, who mainly films motorsport events such as rallies, was also hired. It was almost a home game for the Welshman because he was already filming in Gaildorf at one or the other motocross race.

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