Owning the classic Mercedes has given me a passport to meeting some interesting people
over the years from the world of music videos, films, and television. It was my intention to
register the car for media work once restored. A large amount of my media work has been
based in London where to be honest it is not pleasant to drive in as in common with so many
other cities it is very built up and congested.
Below are just a few of the jobs I have been on. Looking back I should have taken a camera
more often!. The first music video I was asked to bring the car too was for Moby, the car
would be featured in his latest single release ‘Lie Down in Darkness’.
The filming was a combination of central and outer London. A special team were brought in
to fix the camera frame and camera onto the bonnet. This is quite a long job and very
through, more due to the cost of the camera and lens. From memory, I was told that the
combined costs were around £85,000 back in 2011. The camera operator crouches out of site
behind the driver’s seat. As I looked suitable I was asked if I wanted to drive and be in the
video. I said yes as i thought it would be good to look back on.
Moby was a very decent person to work with. He was at the time on part of his European
tour, so time with him was limited as the music video had to be filmed and Moby back at the
hotel late afternoon for an interview with a leading music magazine before flying out to
another part of Europe later on.
Moby pictured here in the back seat. Interestingly Moby is friends of Donovan who originally
owned the classic Mercedes.
Sometime ago the Mercedes was called out on hire to the Maidstone studios for the ‘Shake it
Down’ music video with Tony Mortimer from East 17.
The longest time the car has been out for television hire was when the car was chosen to be
featured in the ITV drama ‘Lucan’. This was a combination of filming in central London and
in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire.
JMO 9K pictured here while filming in central London. This were long days generally
starting around 10 am and finishing at 2 am..yes sixteen hours!. The film company
were granted permission to shut the road off while filming.
Here again a special team were brought in to fix the camera frame and camera to the bonnet.
This time the camera operator had to lay down in the boot as he was too big to crouch down
out of sight behind the driver’s seat. He certainly did earn his money this day as it was a very
hot day and inside the boot was intensely hot. At this point in the filming we were in the
Chilterns for two days. I took a quilt and pillow and slept in the car to save driving back and
forth…who said filming was glamorous!
Rory Kinnear pictured here with JMO 9K, again in the Chilterns. Rory was very a very good
person to work with. I was a passenger while Rory drove around central London late one
night to familiarise him with the car and controls before he was filmed in the car. The car
normally gets attention due its rarity but that night we got more looks from the public who
were outside pubs as some people recognised Rory as the driver.
I once got a call to see if the car was free to hire for an all night music video in south London
Peckham. It was a windy affair as we were a few stories high in a multi storey car park in
early March. I slept in a deck chair with a quilt over me for a few hours until vandals who
tried to steal some of the filming equipment broke the fire alarm emergency glass. It took
about two hours before the caretaker came out at about 3:30 am. While we were waiting we
walked around and put tissue in some of the sirens to try and quieten the ear piercing noise
which was bouncing off of the concrete walls. Fortunately the music video was being filmed
silently. The music video was A-L-X ‘Timebomb’.
Later on I was very fortunate for the Mercedes to be used by Vogue Italia which the worlds
best is selling fashion magazine. I was also very fortunate as the Photograph was taken on
Kodachrome film by one of the top worldwide Photographers Miles Aldridge.
Moving on a telephone call from Icon films who work for the BBC got me working for the
‘BBC One Show’. The filming was carried out near and on the Nene valley railway with
gentleman broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. Looking back this has been the most relaxed day out
I have had in hiring the car out.
Another fun day out was filming the ‘2Nite’ music video for Sean Dampte in Canvey Island.
This turned out to be a very long day as I offered to drop the two models, and makeup artist
off in London after filming as the transport back was poor. We eventually got into Trafalgar
square at midnight…but of course as it was Saturday night in London it was packed. I parked
up for a while to let the traffic recede, and eventually got back at 4am!