AND SO THE MODLIFE TOUR BEGINS…
We left a snowy, frigid Denver, Colorado early in the morning to begin our five-day adventure. With the sun still down, we brushed off the snow and loaded Ryan's Volvo. Our car was packed to the limits and we were barely able to fit Joel Chan. For some reason, not by choice, we usually run a little late and this time was no different. Weaving in and out of morning commuter traffic in the snow to get to our flight on time was a hell of a way to kick off the ModLife Tour. Several curse words and a few hours later, we arrived at the shuttle lot where we parked the car and hopped onto a bus taking us to DIA. En route to the airport we thought we could relax a bit. We were wrong. The plan was to fly out to LA and regroup with the rest of the team.
You can never be certain how quickly or slowly the security line will move. Speed was not in our favor that morning. After what seemed like hours, we gathered our gear in a chaotic fashion and scrambled to the gate. We noticed only a few people waiting to board. It turned out we missed our first flight which was completely full within 10 minutes. Sucks. As luck would have it, another flight was immediately departing to LA, so we hopped onto an empty plane where some of us immediately passed out and woke up in Los Angeles.
Once we landed in LA, we picked up our baggage and met up with our video guy, Lorenzo Politano, who had made the trek from Montana. Enzo had also been awake for half a day in order to drive to the nearest airport two hours away in another time zone. We piled our gear into the rental and so began the ModLife Tour.
The first order of business was to get our to our hotel and unpack our gear. Once settled in, we began to scout for locations in downtown LA. Not being from LA, we had no idea where to look for spots. We had heard horror stories of cops rolling up mid shoot and shutting everything down and worse, hitting people with a hefty fine for not having a permit. Lucky for us, our acquaintance and fellow automotive photographer, Richard Thompson, showed us some of the key locations around Los Angeles. Thanks again Richard!
You can never be sure what you'll come across in LA.
On each shoot, one of us would take the lead of the feature so to say. Myself (Corey Davis) would shoot the WRX, Ryan would shoot the FRS, Joel and Gil would shoot the NSX and Brian would shoot our final feature, the Evos. It was a different way of approaching a feature in that each lead would get the shots they wanted while the rest of the team snapped away and worked with what they had. The result was a unique blend of different styles and points of view.
Early the next morning, with blood shot eyes and jacked up on Starbucks Expresso, Brian Bassard rolled in after driving all night from San Francisco. Saturday was probably one of the longer days of the trip. It began with us shooting Andy's STi-swapped WRX near the 6th Street bridge in a dusty industrial area underneath one of the many bridges in LA.
The second shoot of the day was JJ's wide body FRS which we shot at the well-known Lower Grand. After seeing this location in commercials and in advertisements, it was awesome to finally see it in person. This was hands down our favorite location, despite being harassed by the badass bicycle security guard.
The light coming through the top of the bridge was absolutely epic. The timing for the shoot couldn't have been better.
After the shoot was wrapped up, we made our way back to LAX to pick up our last member, Gil Folk who flew in from Nevada. Once we picked him up we made the journey down to an airplane hangar south of LA to meet up with the Shift-S3ctor guys and to shoot their seven GTRs. Virtually, every color the car comes in was present. It was a beautiful sight to say the least. Thanks again Dean and VIP Jets for hooking us up with the sick photo location, and Jason for organizing the GTR's!
After catching up and chatting for a bit we drove back to DTLA for our last shoot–Regan's Comptech Supercharged NSX. We ended up choosing a nicely lit industrial wall that was actually part of an architecture school. We had many onlookers who stopped to see what was going on when our strobes fired.
Mr. Joel Chan doin' work.
Mid shoot, an officer rolled up and we thought we were going to be harassed or kicked out. Turns out he was just curious to see what we were doing. He was glad to see us in the area because only a few years ago it was not a place you would want to be at night. That's always great to hear when you're in an unfamiliar place with thousands of dollars in camera equipment! This was probably the coolest cop we've come across. He stayed and chatted with us for at least an hour and gave us some good recommendations on bars in the area.
The next day we were off to meet at Gi Motorsports for cars for coffee and a rally down to San Diego's Symbolic Motors for a car show and meet. A few Team Revv members got to ride down to SD in speed and style while sitting shotgun in GTR's, a Z06 and a AMG Black. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.
TeamRevv gearing up for the cruise down to San Diego.
Jason Huang of Shift-S3ctor. You gotta pay to play, right?
Once we arrived at Symbolic Motors, we were somewhat overwhelmed. There was quite a turnout and tons of spectators. Cars ranged from restored classics, and tuners to exotics. It was an awesome medley of cars and just shows how huge and diverse Cali's car scene is.
As the meet winded down, cars started burning out of the meet. Literally. We caught wind of a private party and were invited to check it out. We all piled back into our respective chauffeurs and headed off to the party. We were in the company of the Shift-S3ctor crew and things got wild at what we can only describe as the man cave of man caves. The venue had an open bar, free food, live music- and tons of automotive eye candy.
After a few tacos and beers we rolled out to downtown San Diego where we spent the night partying at the Hard Rock Hotel with our team, Shift-S3ctor crew and newly-met acquaintances.
The following morning we made the five and a half hour drive to Vegas. Some of us were hurting more than others. It was a long drive, but we finally made it to Vegas. Once we checked into our new digs at the Pallazo, thanks to our buddy Summerville who hooked us up. We grabbed a bite to eat at our favorite pizza joint, Grimaldi's. With full stomachs we split up in groups to go scout for locations for our last shoot of the tour, Joe and Chris warner's Evos.
The first spot we chose was at the top of the Aria parking garage, but due to some two-stepping, we were quickly escorted off the premises. After a quick cruise and shoot rolling down the Strip we got to our second location and finished up the shoot.
We were just about done when all of a sudden 10 cop cars surrounded us. Apparently Sundays in Vegas are pretty low key. Someone had tipped the police off and thought we were up to no good. Once the cops realized we were harmless, we chatted a bit and off the squad went. It was a fitting close to what was an amazing trip and our first ModLife Tour.
When it's all said and done the first edition of the ModLife Tour went off without a hitch. We met some great people along the way and hung out with some of the best people in the automotive world. It was an awesome experience that none of us will forget. We're already looking forward to the next installment of the ModLife Tour, where ever it may take us.
Keep an eye out for the features from the ModLife Tour, we'll be releasing them though out the next few weeks.