When Mr Katayama came back from America and visited my department. the words he said made me determined to follow my dream. He stated that we could go on making cheap economy cars forever, but by doing so, we would never be able to move forward in export markets. Nissan, and Japan as a whole, needed to build something stunning, something original that would make foreign manufacturers sit up and take notice of us.
Mr. Yoshihiko Matsuo.
Chief of Design, Nissan
I love the way people are letting go of the cliché of car culture. Japanese hero meets English classic. Wire wheels on a Datsun isn’t something that you could articulate, you need to see it. But it makes sense. The aesthetic relates to where most of us think the 240 really came from, the E Type Jag.
But it seems the inspiration for the Z was more Italian that British. Mr. Yoshihiko Matsuo was the man behind the car. But Fiat, Ferrari and Lamborghini where behind the inspiration. You can see the lines in his 1965 sketch below.
Matsuo created a classic that has more than stood the test of time. And car culture today has taken it to the next level.
Every cover I’ve ever done (about 50 of them) has started with the same conversation. “We’ve got nothing to put on the cover”
“How about this car and that car?”
“Who can shoot it?”
“How about a rig shot?”
“Let’s get Easton Chang to shoot it”
From there the discussions with editors, creative directors, publishers, writers and drivers begin. How many cars? What location? Moving? Static? Day? Night?? What angles? Normally I’ll start with some model cars set up on a table. Just to check angles. It’s a whole lot easier to move model cars around than real one.
I’ll do ten different versions and then run it past the editor and the creative director so we can narrow it down to two different shots to actually go ahead with.
I then write a massive brief about location and lighting and mood.
The next step is the shoot. Here is that actual shot of the cars that matched the mock-up.
Then we ad a bit more mood, fix the bits that need fixing. Then add some coverlines. This was supposed to be the Joy of Six issue. But ended up being the Turbo Jets after the publisher vetoed the coverlines.
Easton Chang is great shooter, one of my favourites (www.eastonchang.com). I was working at Speed Magazine about 8 years ago and we got Easton to shoot a modified Subaru Forester, it was green and he shot it at Sydney Olympic park. I’m pretty sure it was his first professional shoot.
He arrived on the scene at the birth of digital; so the rules started to change really fast. He upset a lot of the more established shooters and he pushed the boundaries of rig photography more than anyone in the world, and to top it off he was self-taught. Legend.