In 2009 I took it upon myself to convert a 1990 Toyota Sera from
an internal combustion engine to an all-electric vehicle. At the
time you couldn't purchase a commercially available electric
vehicle in New Zealand. Everyone thought I was mad, but three years
later, with a lot of hard work and help from friends, family and
colourful EV enthusiasts, the car was completed and became my daily
driver. This whole agonizing process was captured on video as I
converted my knackered Toyota Sera to electric, in true recycling
Now, after years of procrastination and reflection, I'm in the
process of making this story into a retrospective documentary. It
will look back at what we did then and the perception of EV's at
the time compared to now.
What has changed, why are people embracing EV technology? Are we
about to step into an electric future after all?
I class myself as a technology-based practitioner with a broad
range of experience in theatre, film and audio production. I
currently work as a podcaster, audiobook producer, creative
director and film, TV and music technician. The reason that I have
all of this video content to help to tell the story is because at
the the time of building the EV I was working as a Film/TV
coordinator and video editing lecturer at Unitec School of
Performing and Screen Arts. My colleagues and students at the time
embraced the project and I enlisted some unexpected support from
people including Master Carver Dr Lyonel Grant, who built the
Unitec Marae. Not only is Lyonel an amazing artist but he has
a passion for cars and sustainability - we put his welding skills
to good use.
What is the aim?
I have hours and hours of footage from the actual conversion shot
by myself and film students who assisted on the project, I need
help to sort through the footage to refine the story I wish to
tell. We still need to shoot new interviews with my crew of helpers
and new acquaintances in the EV movement and then edit it all
together using post-production services.
We have estimated that $5,000 is needed to complete this
project, with a breakdown as follows:
45% on video edit
40% on audio mix and mastering
15% on video grade
$5,000 will allow us to assign a team to the project and finish it
off to the highest standards.
My love for EV's didn't just stop with this EV conversion. I now
produce and host "The Electric Vehicle Podcast" downloadable where
you get your podcasts or at www.evpodcast.com.
- Theo Gibson