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Devoted to collectors' cars

It's a wrap: filming of the first episodes of a new TV series devoted to collectors' cars is well underway. Entitled World's Finest Cars, the series is produced by London-based Mark Stewart Productions (run by Mark Stewart, younger son of triple F1 World Champion Jackie Stewart) and directed by Patrick Mark (who began his career filming Christie's car auctions).

The series will be broadcast in the US on the soon-to-be-launched 'Smithsonian Networks' channel. The new channel is a collaboration between media behemoth Showtime and the venerable Smithsonian Institution,and it will showcase an eclectic variety of documentary programmingrelating to areas covered by the Smithsonian's seventeen museums ownexhibits (including themes as diverse as kamikaze pilots, diamonds and panda bears). Expect the first episode of World's Finest Cars to hit screens across the US in May 2007.

bugatti_veyron__seats  bugatti_veyron_boot
Left: Choices, choices...
Right: Ready for take off with the McLaren F1 GTR

Both Mark and Patrick are old friends and we've talked about a carseries for years, so I was delighted to be invited to help out on thisnew project. As a newcomer I was surprised by the amount of effortwhich goes into getting the 'perfect shot' - on average we spent a dayfilming just to get 3-5 minutes of on-screen footage, but the results,shot in the latest High Definition format, are amazing. The firstprogramme, Road to Pebble Beach,deals with the world of collectors and their motivations, and, morespecifically, focuses on the lengths to which owners will go to win anaward at Pebble Beach. We were fortunate enough to beinvited to view some of America's best known private collections, andto interview the individuals who created them from scratch, culminatingfor one of them in the Best of Show trophy at last year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

The second programme, entitled 'The Supercar Story',looks at the genesis and evolution of the supercar over the past halfcentury. This was great fun to shoot and involved traveling to Molsheim(again!), the Alps and even the Middle East, where a generousbenefactor put his entire country at our disposal for four days. Therearen't many places where you can drive an unsilenced Le Mans car flatout on the public highway without registration, but we found it!

More in the next newsletter.

For more pictures on the "World's Finest Cars" TV series, click here.