Budding filmmaker Damon Ristau obviously has a thing about VWs because having made a movie called ‘The Bus’ which has been screened around the world in film festivals, theatres and back garden barbeques, he’s looking for funding to make a prequel – this time about the Beetle. ‘The Bug’ aims to capture the historical significance of the what he describes as ‘the most beloved and recognisable vehicle on earth’ and the fun it’s bought to people’s lives all over the globe. And from that synopsis, and the clip here we reckon it well be worth a look when it’s finished…
Like his last film ‘The Bus’ (www.busmovie.com), Damon hopes to finance his new feature length documentary on a site called Kickstarter but at the time of writing less than $8,000 had been pledged, some way short of the $40,000 goal that needs to be reached by the second week of July. Despite this, according to the Facebook page, which has over 4000 likes so far, he’s has already started filming in Wolfsburg which bodes well.
Said an eager and obviously enthusiastic Damon on the site: “This is the greatest automotive story ever told. From race car to art car and grocery getter to road warrior, the VW Beetle has served humanity in ways only limited by the owner’s creativity and needs. The Beetle has enabled progress and captured the hearts and minds of the human race over the better part of the last century. A machine rooted in practicality that has brought love and stability where there was none. A car that fulfilled dreams and gave mobility to the masses. It’s become an icon, bringing smiles to faces around the globe.”
From the taster on Kickstarter it looks like the film will include snippets of home movies and accounts of actual owners across the world, and the intention is to shoot the film in the countries where the Bug was widely produced and driven including, the US, Germany, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and South Africa.
The quality of the photography looks excellent and there’s some really interesting archive footage of the Beetle being driven in the ‘Sixties – including a great clip of a Beetle descending a mountain pass, overtaking a row of stricken classic American cars, bonnets up, obviously overheated on the hard shoulder. Another heart warming moment is when an adoring owner of an early Beetle lovingly refers to it as ‘a member of the family that sleeps in the garage.’ Ah, how cute!
One story in ‘The Bug’ will follow the complete restoration of a 1960 barnfind Beetle – and apparently there’s a surprise ending!
The team of filmmakers, who predict that hours will be spent shooting, transcribing and editing countless hours of interview footage, admit that “Nothing in this world of scrappy independent documentary fimmaking is easy.” But add that as they’ve made a decent movie already about the Bus, people can rest assured that they will be able to do it again for the Beetle.
We wish Damon luck.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage