Project Binky – The Inside Track
When we dreamed up the idea of Project Binky, we knew there were a few things we needed to do before the build got started. The first thing we did was design and make a few of the extra devices to make the project a bit easier.
We’d made a simple spit or rotisserie a long time ago for other cars but simple isn’t exactly what we’re about so a significantly more complicated jig was on the cards. Six months later the big blue jig was complete. Each of the holes along the main bed was hand drilled three times and there are hundreds of holes, the lifting and tilting mechanism was tested and refined and the adjustable legs and removable castors were the final part of that puzzle. Sadly, there are no plans or drawings so if you want one, you’ll have to work it out for yourselves, like we did!
The grinder scarecrow was just a simple way of making things quicker and easier and the small raising bed thing was made out of necessity to make lifting the engine and box in and out simpler.
The next thing for attention was the build area. The shed we work out of is copious enough but was a little untidy and not suitable for filming in so we created a mezzanine area to store a bunch of stuff that was on the floor overhead while giving us a ceiling to hang the lights from. Anyone who’s done some work on cars in a garage knows that good lighting is half the battle and it had the added bonus of being suitable for the video camera too. The walls were clad and painted along with the floor and numerous electrical sockets were installed around the whole area. To the left of the main build area is the machine shop which contains the lathe, mill, pillar drill, fly press, bender, bandsaw, bench grinder, sander, parts washer and a bunch of other random shizzle.
We decided to film the project instead of creating a photo album but neither of us had any experience in video production whatsoever; so we researched what we needed, bought a camera that looked okay, a shotgun microphone and a tripod and off we went. Our very first attempt at filming you can see in the ‘Trailer’ and the start of the first episode. We hadn’t got a clue what we were doing, we just shot what we thought would look okay and sorted it out later in the edit.
Ah, the editing. Nik’s laptop couldn’t handle full 1080p HD editing so it fell to me to learn how to use the newly acquired editing software and attempt to put a coherent video together. Our earlier episodes show how green we were when it came to video production.
The logistics of bringing Project Binky to you are quite ludicrous really. Nik and I live one hundred and twenty miles apart and Nik lives nearly thirty miles from the workshop. Every weekend for the last two years, Nik has made the trip to the shed to work on the Mini. I go up to the unit every few weeks to assist, make tea, lark about and generally get on Nik’s tits.
When we’ve got enough footage to start the editing process, I save the clips to my laptop, head down the motorway and start the 3-4 week process of sorting through the film. Meanwhile, Nik continues to work on the car and uploads the newly filmed footage to the cloud on Sunday nights for me to download and add to the episode. The last few minutes of each episode is filmed just a few days before the episode gets released.
The edit starts by reviewing and making notes on every single clip we’ve recorded. The latest episode was made up of over seven hundred individual clips. That’s a lot of footage to review. I start writing the script and record a draft voice over on my laptop microphone to include on the episode. When I’m nearly done, I upload a low resolution draft privately to YouTube for the two of us to chat about. We argue over changes, plan what we still need to shoot and agree where the episode will finish. Once we’re happy with the draft – and there’s normally half a dozen by now – I record the final voice over and spend a huge amount of time obsessing over every detail before rendering it in HD and uploading to YouTube.
We’ve got better over the 10 episodes, I can’t stand to watch the first few now but we’re never totally happy with the finished show. There’s always something we’d change or re-shoot to make it better but time marches on and it’s impractical to try and make it perfect.
When we started out on this project, we figured a couple of hundred people we know and friends of friends might watch it; we had no idea that so many people would join us for the ride. We’ve both got full time jobs and I’ve got six month old twins to look after and Nik,well, he likes the sauce so progress isn’t as swift as either of us would like but we’re getting there – slowly but surely. Thanks for watching, thanks for buying our swag and for supporting us on Patreon. We look forward to bringing you episode 11 just as soon as we can.