D.A. Sebasstian is a signed recording artist (Cleopatra/EMI), feature filmmaker, public access television producer and automotive magazine writer & photographer. His music has been featured on several MTV Shows including Made and The Real World. Sebasstian’s automotive articles, columns and photographs have been seen in Rat Rod Magazine, Gearhead Magazine, Ol’ Skool Rodz and Car Kulture Deluxe. He has Written and Directed two Feature Length Hot Rod B-Movies entitled Hot Rod Girls Save The World (2008) and Rat Rod Rockers! (2010). His love of cars, especially American Muscle Cars and Hot Rods started when he was a young boy playing with his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.
His latest work is a documentary series called Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride, which explores underground Hot Rod, Rat Rod and Gasser style car builders and the car kulture that surrounds them.
Says Sebasstian, “I wanted to tell the story of many of the car clubs and builders who helped me make my last two feature films, Hot Rod Girls Save The World and Rat Rod Rockers! I had been asked by several big, national hot rod magazines to write articles on some of the cars that they had seen in my films. After about the second or third article, I started thinking that I should do a feature length documentary about these builders who, being in the Northwest, do not get the exposure of the guys in NYC or LA. After two years of filming I decided that this may be more amazing footage than can be held in a one or two hour documentary. I started thinking this should be a Series.”
Sebasstian began filming interviews with various builders and fabricators whose work was different, artistic and note worthy. Some took the Traditional Hot Rod approach; while others were bent on breaking all the rules with waist high, rust laden Rat Rod creations. However one stipulation remained- the cars had to be driven! Sebasstian went out to each builders shop, filmed the interview and their individual car in action. Then he would come back for a follow up photo session (sometimes with a pin-up model in tow) to capture each car in detail and for potential magazine and book publication. He found that by using still images, in a “Ken Burns” style, he could get extremely high definition detail images of these cars into an HD video format. This is a technique he used extensively in his public access TV Show, Go-Kustom TV, which aired in the Greater Seattle Area on SCAN Channels 29/77 for four seasons (also available on DVD and paid download).
Besides interviews with builders, Sebasstian put together an ambitious Pin-Up Calendar Shoot with Photographer Tina Tang, featuring four different cars and models for the four different seasons. This PG-13 segment is a behind the scenes look at how pin-up models and photographers work with cars for magazine shoots.
He also filmed Pinstriper Don Charbonneau pinstriping D.A.’s bass guitar and explaining the process, Lance Lambert of the international television show The Vintage Vehicle Show about the history of Hot Rodding and Tattoo Artist Matt Sawdon, explaining the significance of tattoo art in Hot Rod Culture. Also explored in this Series is the history of the Hot Rod and the more recent controversy within the Hot Rod Community between the Hot Rodders, Rat Rodders and lowly Junk Rodders.
With over 64 hours of original footage, this Series could be edited in many ways. The current vision for Rats & Gassers as a Series is 6 - 45 minute shows. Each episode will include interview segments and live and still footage of each car as well as interviews with Pinstripe Artists, Tattoo Artists, Pin-Ups, Photographers, Lo-Brow Artists and others who are knowledgeable about the Kustom Kulture genre.
Primary filming for this Series is complete and the project is currently in post-production. Most of the footage is HD and HD photograph stills, with some interviews in high quality SD (shot on a Panasonic AG-DVX100), with occasional historic public domain hot rod footage and a little lo-fidelity b-roll from various sources.
Being a signed recording artist, the music of the Series is of the utmost importance to Sebasstian. His original music is kustom tailored to suit each scene and interview. Also included are exclusive tracks from Splatterhouse Wreckords, whose band rooster is one of the biggest and best in the Psychobilly and Horror Punk genres.