Car has retained the services of Traveling Light Media to make and
produce Champ Car specials for TV. The TV product Champ Car has
had the last few years has been at times dreadful and the series TV
ratings suffered because of it. In that regard, Traveling Light
Media is just what the doctor ordered for Champ Car - a company that
will create TV programming that will take Champ Car up close and
personal with the race fans.
We talked to President Adam
Friedman at his offices in California.
How did you and Champ Car
get to know each other?
I've always been a fan. In the '70s I raced Formula Fords and became a
huge Champ Car fan when Nigel Mansell came into the series. I thought
what he brought to the series was much needed -- an international
presence. And in fact, it produced some of the best racing I've ever
Being from Pittsburgh, I was pretty close to Chip Ganassi and '96,'97
and '98 were some of my favorite years in Champ Car as I got to hang out
with Jimmy and Alex.
It was also around that time that I saw how deficient the series was in
how it was presented on TV and in the print media. I screamed and
shouted, but not very many people listened to me.
All that changed when Kevin Kalkhoven, Jerry Forsythe and Dick Eidswick
came on board. We may not always agree, but they always are willing to
listen. And while I'm not always right about Champ Car and its relation
to the various media, I'm not often wrong.
Have you worked with
Champ Car before?
In April, 2004, Kevin and
Dick asked me to put together some commercial promos for Spike. We wrote
them, shot them and the result, we thought, was pretty spectacular.
Ryan Hunter-Reay driving a 750 hp Champ Car through Times Square seemed
to us to be the perfect synthesis of a modern urban setting and the raw
power and beauty of a Champ Car.
What will be your
relationship with Molstar?
This year we will be working
closely with Champ Car and Molstar to create programming as well as promos
that tell the Champ Car story. We've done a commercial that invokes the
history of Champ Car (Since Forever is the name of the spot) and have
just finished "Champ Car Experience," a humorous take on a civilian
driving Paul Tracy's Lola. All of this will be towards making Champ Car
more accessible to a wider audience, as well as selling that unique
combination of technology and speed that is Champ Car. People have heard
that terrible sound like a vacuum cleaner full of marbles that is the
IRL and Grand Am and have turned it off in droves. When they hear the
sound of a Champ Car, they are hooked for life.
Who will you be working with?
At Champ Car, we work very closely with Dick Eidswick, Joe Chrnelich and
Steve Schunk. Dick is wonderful to work with because if there is
something about racing that is new to him, he comes right out and asks
about it. On the other hand, what he does know about is business. And
it's good to know there is an experienced hand on the tiller. Joe
Chrnelich is a marketing genius and he understands that marketing must
be television driven. Steve Schunk gives Champ Car a strong PR presence.
I like the whole team. And that's rare.
Have you made any new
hires for this project?
I'm also very pleased to
announce that Gordon Kirby, one of the great writers of auto sports and
the American editor of Autosport Magazine for the last 32 years, is
coming over to Traveling Light. His expertise, knowledge and insight are
On the production side, I'm bringing in Jason Markham, a driver and a
true gearhead who has worked with me on many auto racing projects for
the last 12 years.
Of course, my crew at Traveling Light will be the core contingent of the
Champ Car experience and without them, this would all remain a wisp of a
notion on someone's drawing board. We can't wait to start racing.
Adam Friedman Bio (So you
understand what a versatile guy Champ Car has helping them)
Producer ~ Director ~ Writer
Adam Friedman, American University School of Communication graduate,
founded Traveling Light Media in February of 2002. His two-hour A&E
Biography on John Travolta that same year tripled the usual audience,
giving A&E its highest ratings in years. The program was nominated for
Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and Adam for Best Director at the 2003
Emmy Awards. This year the riveting and poignant documentary The Crash
of Flight 191 received some of the highest ratings ever for The History
Channel. Adam recently wrote and directed three cutting-edge promos for
Spike-TV involving a 750 horsepower racecar circling the streets of
Times Square. Adam also produced, wrote, and directed the feature film
“and she was….” The film stars Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld) and
Oscar-nominated Brad Dourif (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Lord Of
"I just adored it…utterly charming and original, completely endearing.
This film says so much about celebrity and how quickly we forget."
- Jeffrey Lyons-WNBC-TV
Adam began his career by convincing ABC Television to let him direct a
documentary entitled Wolves In Winter, about jazz musician Paul Winter
and his conservation efforts on behalf of wolves. Wolves In Winter was
nominated for three Emmy Awards. His next directing effort, Color Me
Blue won him his first Emmy Award.
Expanding his horizons, Adam jumped into the world of MUSIC VIDEOS. His
work with The Rolling Stones, Daryl Hall and John Oates and Jean Luc
Ponty and the Joffrey Ballet, among many others, defined the cutting
edge of the genre. His Rolling Stones, Emotional Rescue video was part
of the Whitney Biennial, and his video for the Rap group Whodini, Big
Mouth, is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
After creating and directing more than 40 music videos Adam directed his
first feature film: Medium Straight.
"Medium Straight was the major surprise hit of our line-up. . .
Receiving a crowd response unlike anything we saw in the other festival
screenings which included Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues, and Charles
Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger.”
- Darryl MacDonald, Director, Seattle Film Festival
In 1990 Adam started his own production company, Perpetual Motion Films,
after producing and directing the award-winning series Air Combat and
Masters of War, he produced over 120 hours of documentary programming
including the CINE Golden Eagle Award nominated Kevin Costner Biography
and 10 EPIC BIOGRAPHIES for A&E’s BIOGRAPHY SERIES. This work resulted
in Biography winning a Cable Ace Award for best documentary series. The
Michelangelo, George Washington and Ben Franklin Biographies have been
number 1 or 2 atop the Amazon.com documentary sales charts for over 10
years now. His 9-year old daughter, however, still prefers Pocahontas.
In 2000 Adam formed Traveling Light Media – and the rise has been
meteoric. Starting with the Emmy nominated A&E John Travolta Biography
and a series for The History Channel, Probable Cause. Adam and TLM have
been able to provide quality programming for a number of networks such
as HBO, Spike TV, A&E, The Travel Channel, The History Channel, Court
TV, and Discovery. And under his Mercury Films banner, Adam has acquired
the rights to Joe R. Lansdale’s powerful coming of age story, A Fine
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