Ok, the headline we actually borrowed from the show’s own logline, which sums it up pretty well—”It’s like an all-you-can-eat Corvette buffet!” Vette Garage, a new indie reality web series obsessed with everything Corvette, and the people that make them even faster than they already are.
The series is niche, sure, and so are the companies it features, like Utah-based performance parts maker Pfadt Race Engineering which makes custom mods for racers and Corvette junkies looking to soup up their rides. The first three episodes of Vette Garage, which premiered in late November, center around the Pfadt team as they prep for the annual SEMA Show.
Shot in HD, the images are crisp, professionally cut and skillfully mixed so we pick up the office chatter and phone calls we’d expect from modern docu-reality format. “You eliminate the need for a lot of that negative camber, because those bushings deflect so much you lose a full degree of camber just in bushing deflection,” says Pfadt’s CEO and chief engineer Aaron Pfadt on the phone with a vendor. Bushing deflection? Yes, this series doesn’t dumb it down for the layman. You instead have to come up to its level if you’re going to keep up. And for most self respecting Corvette lovers, that’s inevitably the appeal.
It’s a low budget shoot nonetheless, and funding for each 10-minute episode was cobbled together by the show’s creator Patrick Gamm and his producer Daniel Bowler. Still they manage to deliver a compelling behind-the-scenes look at “famous (and not-yet-famous) Corvette shops, customizers, race teams, restorers, tuners, manufacturers, and rising stars in the Corvette world,” as Gramm puts it.
“We are documenting their reality and telling their story. And, when the cameras roll, whatever happens, happens.” Gramm adds, “A lot of companies are doing some pretty cool and amazing things for the Corvette world, but few would ever know if it weren’t for us filming it.”
For distribution, Gramm and his team went pretty wide, hitting most of the major web video sites like YouTube, blip.tv and Dailymotion. There’s also a few niche greasemonkey sites they went out to like Streetfire.Net and Cardomain. And taking a nod from other niche web series, it’s cozied up to fan forums like DigitalCorvettes, where Vette-heads have been chatting up each of the three episodes out so far. They’ve even cut in a brief 30-second ad spot in the middle of the episodes.
Back in the early days of online network Next New Networks, Gramm actually had a similar series with NNN called Vette Dogs that ran for 18 episodes back in 2006-2007. The series was a little rougher, and seemed to spend more time inside the cars than the reality show format of Vette Garage. Gramm also had a follow-up web series, sticking to what he knows, Vette Girl: An American Adventure in 2008 that is planning a return in 2010.