Robert "Videobob" Moseley, the star of Screen Machines, in which he and his team make replicas of vehicles from films and television shows, talks about building his dream machine.
Where did your love of "star" cars come from? "When I was 10 years old I watched all of these 1980s movies and TV shows, and I'd fantasise about the cars I would see on Knight Rider, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, The A-Team. What was so great about these shows was the love of future technology - that a car can talk to you, or fly, or have special weapons. The A-Team's van wasn't special, it was just a custom van, but, for me, it was the star of the show. As I got older, I learned how to work on cars and found it was easy for me to convert them. By the time I was 16, I was already driving a 1982 Firebird, just like Knight Rider. In 2004, my dream was to build a DeLorean time machine. I spent many years researching at Universal Studios and watching the movie and trying to figure out how I could take a DeLorean and turn it into a time machine. It took me about 10 years before I could truly figure out exactly how it's done. I was fortunate to become friends with some of the people who worked on the movie, which made it a lot easier for us. Unfortunately, we haven't really figured out how to make [a DeLorean] go through time, but we're still working on it."
How do you go about making a replica? "The first thing we do is watch the movie carefully. We'll take screenshots of various angles of the car and try to figure out exactly how the paint and other things are done. We also try to get hold of the actual vehicle itself. A lot of these screen-used vehicles exist at theme parks Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, or maybe in a car museum. We will take pictures and measurements and do everything humanly possible within the realm of science and physics to make the car as close [as possible to the original] in the film."
We are you called Videobob? "Because I was a video producer. I made music videos, worked on television commercials and was also a chief engineer of a television network. I used to build mobile production news trucks in my early 20s. We would take a van and put cameras in it. And that's where I learned a lot of wiring and fabrication skills that I later used to hook up electronics like in Knight Rider or the Back to the Future car, or the Ghostbusters car."
What's your biggest challenge? "Finding the cars. It's easy to find the DeLorean in America because they made about 9,000 of them and no one ever threw one away. But for a Knight Rider car, that was a cheap car, and when it got damaged, people took it to the junkyard and it was never seen again. Another is the A-Team's van, a simple cargo van used by tradesmen like plumbers and electricians. It's almost impossible to find one of those in good condition."
Screen Machines airs on DMAX every Tuesday, at 9.50pm.