Tuthill Porsche: Emergency Rally Car Repair

Tuthill Porsche: Emergency Rally Car Repair

Tuthill Porsche is based in Wardington near Banbury, Oxfordshire and is famous for unforgettable Porsche adventures. Alongside building bespoke driver-focused classic Porsche 911s and restoring vintage Porsches to original condition, they also build, prepare and support Porsche race and rally cars for all forms of historic motorsport, including circuit racing across the UK and Europe and marathon rallying all over the world. All the work is carried out in-house, from bodyshells and fabrication to paint and restoration, engine and gearbox builds, servicing and repairs and the supply of unique and rare parts.

This was a fun project documenting a very fast emergency rally repair to a car before it was shipped back to continue a race (the Peking to Paris). There were a total of just 18 hours for repairs to happen, but the Tuthill Porsche technicians like a challenge!

We filmed this piece is a documentary-style fashion, mostly using our workhorse Sony FS7 camera on a shoulder mount to cover the unpredictable actions being performed by the technicians without getting in their way and holding them up. We had a second camera on standby set up on a sider, which we could use for more stately shots around the car at floor level when there were less busy moments. This gave a nice blend of slicker-looking shots with the rough-and-ready handheld approach. Another key component was setting up a time-lapse to show the process of the car being jacked up and having pieces swapped in and out throughout the day. A second time-lapse outside showed the clouds rolling past. We always knew the majority of the film was going to come to life in the editing, so we made sure we were capturing lots of little details of the tools being used for maximum choice. The repair finished in time and we captured the used car being driven off. 

Back in the editing room, we started with a kinetic music track that sounded like a ticking clock and designed the whole piece to fit around it. We used a soundbite from the lead technician at the beginning to set up the challenge and what was needed, and then set about creating a frantic, fast-paced montage of the repair. We added details such as a macro close-up of a ticking watch to crank up the sense of a time crunch. Inspired by a scene in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, we used fast-paced cuts to the car’s blueprints to build the idea that these technicians are experts (this is almost what’s in their head while they do the work). We used rotating, twisting movements of various tools to intercut with the clock face’s moving hands, and added an enormous amount of creative sound design to sell the processes involving power tools, winches, levers, and all kinds of mechanical sounds. You can practically smell the engine oil! 

To illustrate the operation continuing overnight, we re-used our exterior clouds time-lapse and with some creative editing replaced the clouds with stars and added a dull dark blue ‘day-for-night’ colour tint (a trick you can often see in old Hollywood westerns). A macro shot of an opening eye and the shadows of the garage door opening bring us back to the workshop the following morning, in time for the finishing stages of the operation as the engine is re-inserted and the car lowered to the ground. 

In just 60 seconds the piece demonstrates the valuable skills Tuthill Porsche technicians used in the emergency rally repair and puts the viewer alongside them.

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