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"Thunder" Director - Brian FitzGerald

Brian FitzGerald looking urbane
FitzGerald photo Courtesy of an Unknown Cruise Ship Photographer who does "Grade A" work

""Ever since I moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1980 I noticed a great love for the American Automobile here. It was an interesting discovery for me to be at a business lunch one day back in the 80's and to be introduced to Daryl Starbird the Auto Show Magnate. I learned in that meeting that his headquarters was in the Wichita metro area. I remember his traveling exhibitions back in the 60's when I lived in California. I saw them again in other states I lived as our family traveled about the country from Air Base to Air Base. After moving to Kansas I was amazed to find out that one of the great entrepreneurs of the Custom Car business was from my new home area Wichita. I had always thought he was a Californian.

About that time I started going to car shows and developed the opinion that the creations I marveled at these shows were art works of a high order. I decided that, notwithstanding the beauty and value of the traditional sculptures one finds in a museum, the "arts community" had completely missed the boat by not recognizing the wonderful quality of craftsmanship and pure artistry found in the work of innumerable car crafters. I took a lot of 35mm still shots of these motive sculptures back then but had no venue for showing them. I had not yet acquired the equipment I need for producing movies. In the back of my mind, though, I was developing a plan...

Toward the end of the eighties I was producing my first documentaries about my own personal favorite sport - Ultralight Flying. I love making movies and I love flying so that was a 'natural'. After making a number of movies about that type of flying I determined to branch out. I remembered my earlier impressions of the great artistry shown in the work of the car crafters I had talked with at all the car shows I had been to. It was another 'natural'.

I decided to make my first Automobile Documentary about the American Muscle Car.

This genre of car represents so much of what appeals to me about the America I grew up in and to a great extent still exists today. Power. Technology. Sleekness. Competition. Speed. Personality. Adventure. The idea of 'No Limits' & 'No Fear'. This is the America that isn't afraid to take on the tired, old ideas of the old world and run them down. Expressive NOT Introspective. The Beach Boys used to sing about these cars as did Jan & Dean and a host of others. I learned to play the guitar by lifting licks from The Ventures and their songs about cars and surfing during this time period.

After doing some research, I discovered that the Muscle Car phenomenon basically came and went during a 10 year period between 1963 and 1973. That 10 Year Span makes a decade and the idea for the movie title was made manifest.

In order to give focus to this piece, all 5 cars featured fit in that 10 year window, have 400+ cubic inches of engine, are more or less 'Original' as to their restoration and are All American.

In "Decade of Thunder" you will meet Bob Murguia and his '68 Hemi Roadrunner; Guy Lamoreau and his '70 Corvette 454; Rick Plush and his '70 Chevelle SS 454; Butch Dysart and his '67 Impala SS 427; and Earl Lauer and his '69 Shelby Mustang 428. Muscle Cars ALL!

In addition are three music videos to provide the flavor of just a few of the many Hot Rod and Custom Car events that occur every season in Kansas."

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Brian FitzGerald of Wichita, Kansas is an independent video producer and recipient of numerous awards for TV commercials and documentaries. He has 31+ years experience in the television business working in production, news and advertising. FitzGerald is the cameraman for all of the footage used in "Decade of Thunder", does the editing and interviews - Your Basic One Man Band.

©2014 Brian FitzGerald