Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dean Kirkland Talks Racing Through The Forest Pre-Release Screening Post AutoMoto Detroit

Dean Kirkland shares a moment with Slot-Mods creator David Beattie and car designer Camilo Pardo about ten minutes before the pre-release screening. Image Credit: AutoMoto Film + Arts Festival

Dean Kirkland Talks Racing Through The Forest Pre-Release Screening 
Post AutoMoto Film + Arts Festival Detroit 

Interview Script:

Dean Kirkland has quickly become a highly accomplished commercial, television and film director by combining his keen visual eye to unusual and powerful subject matter. His unique style and sophisticated approach have allowed him to transition from a-list photographer to well-respected filmmaker with an esteemed client list that includes the Home Depot, Lamborghini, Antonio Tetro, Clint Eastwood and Martin Sheen.

Dean is recognized for his innovative and unique style of automotive photography and is regarded by many high-profile collectors throughout the nation.

In 2012, he combined his talents with the knowledge and racing experience possessed by his production partner, Le Mans winning driver Rick Knoop, and the two men established K&K Productions.

Their first collaborative project is a beautifully engaging look into the Pebble Beach Road Races from 1950 through 1956 titled, 'Racing Through The Forest' which has been scheduled for a Autumn 2016 release.

Illustrating these wonderful stories through documentaries allowed Dean to photograph, interview and film some of the world's greatest cars and drivers.

Dean is currently developing several documentaries which include Parnelli Jones, Bobby and Al Unser, Mario Andretti and Sir Stirling Moss.

The ability to continue capturing and preserving this valuable automotive history in his unique style and aesthetic vision is the goal for K&K Productions and the living dream for Dean Kirkland.

Welcome Dean Kirkland ...

The very first screening of Racing Through The Forest was held in conjunction with the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach on August 13, 2014 at the Inn at Spanish Bay. When did you first meet Rick Knoop and became involved with and accumulate the materials from which to draw the story that has now become Racing Through The Forest.

After this first screening, what were the impressions received?

In 2015, an interest was expressed to prepare the documentary for broadcast over public television ... how did this shape the documentary?

When did this version air and what were the post airing impressions?

I understand that the latest version of Racing Through The Forest is in its 4th and final revision. You are fresh off a pre-release screening of Racing Through The Forest at the AutoMoto Film + Arts Festival held in Detroit May 12-14, 2016. Tell us a little about how this screening came about, and your impressions as to the size of the attendance and make up of the crowd at the screening.

Every filmmaker is confronted with issues of distribution and broadcast content access - where is K&K Productions on this arc of awareness and access to the Motor Culture and Documentary consuming public?

Are there any future pre-release screenings planned for 2016 before the scheduled Autumn release?

A documentary film produced by renowned racecar driver Rick Knoop and filmmaker Dean Kirkland entitled, “Racing Through the Forest – The History of the 1950-56 Pebble Beach Road Races” .

The documentary was filmed over approximately three years and includes 50 interviews of legendary names in road racing such as Fred Knoop, Mick Marston, Bill Pollack, Jim Hall and Phil Remington. It chronicles the events from the first through the last Pebble Beach Road Races, which included legends like Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill and Bill Pollock in 1956. Some of these racers will attend the private screening reception and Q&A session emceed by racer Derek Hill.



Internet Movie DataBase:

TAGS: Racing Through The Forest, AutoMoto Film + Arts Festival Detroit, Motor Culture, Documentary, K&K Productions, Dean Kirkland, Rick Knoop, Parnelli Jones, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Sir Stirling Moss, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Automobile Week 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Racing Through The Forest Special Screening At Detroit's Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival

Invite Poster - Click image to see full size.

Racing Through The Forest Special Screening At Detroit's Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival

This week will see the return of the Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival, “an event that embraces all the incredible aspects of our emotional attachment to all things motoring."

Detroit, The Motor City is the perfect venue for films about international motor sports, and the festival features its fair share of stories that are guaranteed to be a hit with the Dream Cruise set. Among them are Penton: The John Penton Story, a documentary about the American motorcycle pioneer, "Racing Through The Forest", a look back at the Pebble Beach races of the 1950s, or The Montana Dodge Boys, about a group of Treasure State gearheads who fabricate a 1928 roadster and race it at Bonneville.

The biggest labor of love documentary that brings an attention to detail from those who lived the post WWII time that spawned Automobile Week - the world renowned "Can't Miss" annual motor culture event in Monterey, California (Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) - "Racing Through The Forest" is set to be shown on the big screen, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival - Saturday May 14th – 7:15pm at 1515 Broadway.

Photo of the track shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks 

From 1950 -56 The “Del Monte Trophy” was held on the twisty, leafy, and very narrow town roads in Pebble Beach, California.

Before there was Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, young brilliant mechanics in California who had dreams of becoming race car drivers wanted to compete in their Jaguars, Ferraris, MGs, and Alfa Romeos, and they needed a place to race.

They chose 17 Mile Drive to be their dangerous track.

Graphic of the original track layout as shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks 

Not all of the road course track was paved; the original 1950 route consisted of both paved two-lane roads and sections of dirt or loose gravel. Races started along Portola Road near the present-day equestrian center. Cars then turned right onto Sombria Lane, then right again onto Drake Road.

In 1950, drivers would turn right once again onto Forest Lake Road; in 1951 and later years they turned left onto Alvarado Lane (now Stevenson Drive), then sharp right onto Forest Lake. The final corner was a sharp right-hander at Ondulado back onto Portola and past the start/finish line.

Although the course was always tight and twisty with tall Cypress trees hemming in the track on either side, accidents were scarce and relatively uneventful. The exception came in 1956 when Ernie McAfee (no relation to fellow racer Jack McAfee) fatally slammed his Ferrari into a tree. This spelled the end of the popular Pebble Beach Road Races, although it was the genesis of Laguna Seca, its modern-day successor.

Visitors can drive most (but not all) of the old race course today.
[ht: Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival]

Crowds and the track as a Triumph TR2 misses a corner as shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

The goal behind making "Racing Through The Forest" was to unearth what these pioneering, fearless young drivers did in the 1950s and gather film footage that would otherwise be lost over time. The film was written and directed by filmmaker Dean Kirkland and produced by renowned race car driver Rick Knoop.

"What began as a tribute to my father, Fred Knoop, has evolved into a celebration of one of the world’s greatest road races," Rick Knoop said at the Spanish Bay movie first-screening. "We’re thrilled to share this incredible story with audiences at the Pebble Beach Concours. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to explore this incredible history, especially just feet from the road where the men and machines did battle."

Rick Knoop and Dean Kirkland delivered on the promise these photographs stored in an album and held in a box, to be brought back to life with heart, in a way an image could never do ... through film.

A must see film where the heart of the making of the presentation comes through in every frame and leaves an indelible and permanent impression.

Again, "Racing Through The Forest" is set to be shown on the big screen, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival - Saturday May 14th – 7:15pm at 1515 Broadway, Detroit, MI.

TAGS: Racing Through The Forest, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Motor City, The EDJE