If you followed last year’s SCCA Speed World Challenge series, you may be familiar with Blackdog Racing and their driver Tony Gaples. The flat black Corvette started off the year in stellar form and then everything that could possibly happen to a team did.
Based on a jumble of video tapes that were recorded during the year, independent producer Patrick Gramm has been sorting the material and recreating one of the most comprehensive racing stories ever done. The first six segments are available, from what is scheduled as a 21 high-definition segment program series. The first three episodes take place at Infineon Raceway, while the second group covers Portland.
We tracked down the series producer, Patrick Gramm, and asked him about this project and what else is going on.
GMD: Patrick, what got you involved in this effort? Twenty-one episodes at thirty minutes each is two full seasons for a regular TV show.
PG: Race car driver Tony Gaples owns Blackdog Speed Shop in Lincolnshire, Illinois. I’m a filmmaker and my production company, Gramm Productions, had just finished doing an episode of Vette Garage: The Series that featured Blackdog Speed Shop. While I was at the shop, Tony Gaples introduced me to this very large box of tapes from a previous effort…. 281 tapes to be exact! Tony told me a bit about what was supposed to be there, and it sounded pretty amazing, so I left with the tapes. It took months to review and document all 281 tapes.
To understand the story, we had to connect all the dots and it was quite the undertaking. The end result is everything you see in the show, The Speed Business. It’s a real-deal behind-the-scenes look at a privateer race team who puts it all on the line, race after race, battling it out with their Corvette in SCCA Pro Racing’s Speed World Challenge. And, everything that could happen, did. You just watch!
There will be 21 episodes of The Speed Business – each at 10 minutes because of internet distribution limitations - and that will cover seven races.
GMD: Unlike some producers of web TV shows, you’re not a new arrival on the scene. Tell us about how you got here.
PG: Simply, one morning in early 2007 I woke up and decided to be a motorsports filmmaker. I got in touch with the right people, and somehow they thought I could be a filmmaker too — they gave me a 10 episode deal to produce a show called “Vette Dogs” for web distribution, and off I went. We had fun and almost got killed by a tornado, but it got my career started, we’ve expanded, added another show producer (Daniel Bowler) and a music producer (Becky Anderson), and now we are doing “The Speed Business”, our 4th hit web TV series. You won’t find many production companies that started doing web TV way back in early 2007, nor can you find many that have created nearly 50 episodes for the web, as we will accomplish by this summer.
GMD: And what about the future? Are there upcoming plans that you can share with us?
PG: The future looks great for The Speed Business, Blackdog Racing and Gramm Productions. By the time we wrap up season 1 later this summer, we should have something to share about where this might go from here. Keep an eye on TheSpeedBusiness.com or VetteOnline.com for announcements!
GMD: Thanks, Patrick. We look forward to what’s upcoming, as well as future installments of The Speed Business.
Now available on a YouTube Channel for easy access, each episode is broken into three segments for easy viewing. That’s a full thirty minutes of race action per episode. You’ll have to schedule your own commercials. Catch the first episode segment below and then skip over to The Speed Business for the rest of them.