Behind the Scenes: The Final Send
Imagine being able to shut down the main street of an entire town. Now add in crazy-fast cars, some of the most talented drivers alive, and, to top it all off, World War II veterans: literal living legends.
In just a few hours, you won’t have to imagine it because you’ll be able to watch The Final Send, a production that is the brainchild of Black Rifle Coffee Company and Hoonigan. It was all made possible thanks to the generosity of Boerne, Texas, and its local officials.
These two brands have begun to overlap more frequently in the motorsports world, as competitors at American Rally Association events, when filming Gymkhana with Travis Pastrana, and now here in a full-fledged production in honor of Veterans Day. The Final Send is more than just fast cars tearing up the streets of a small town; it’s a 10-minute production that honors those who have served the country with a message of living life to the fullest.
“There’s a lot of parallels between what Hoonigan does with cars and what Black Rifle Coffee is doing,” said Ron Zaras, vice president of brands for Hoonigan and the director of The Final Send. “We’ve been talking about doing a project like this for quite some time, and this year it finally became a reality.”
After scouting Boerne back in June, the team compiled the cast list, selected the cars, and finalized the script. Between Travis Pastrana’s custom-built Subaru Brat and “Texas Dave” Carapetyan’s Jeep, the vehicles were keyed up to highlight the drivers’ skills and safely transport the Best Defense Foundation’s WWII veterans, Rondo Scharfe, Wally King, and Bill Casassa.
Photo by Lauren Warner/BRCC Blog
The absurdity and general badassery that are so commonplace in BRCC content are clearly present within this production; however, there’s also undeniably a level of heart befitting a veteran-focused production.
“This is just such a different project for us,” Zaras explained. “The stuff we typically shoot, there are two heroes, one is the car, and one is the racecar driver. And the storyline is focused on car action. Instead, here we have this guy, Hank, who’s a World War II veteran, and really the message we want to get across is that veterans have done so much for us, and they come back to this [civilian] world, they should have that fun too. They should be able to enjoy what they’ve made possible for us.”
While filming The Final Send, the BRCC crew sat down with each veteran from the Best Defense Foundation for unforgettable one-on-one interviews about each of their experiences serving in the military. Founded by former NFL linebacker Donnie Edwards, the Best Defense Foundation honors and celebrates veterans from past conflicts, including WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War with the primary mission to “take care of the ones who took care of us.”
“Your eyes are the camera to the world. And your mind the memory. It never goes away. Your memory cannot forget what we saw, and we had to do,” said Ronald “Rondo” Scharfe, who left the US Navy as a petty officer first class. “There ain’t no cure for PTSD, boy. None. Don’t let anyone lie to you.
“I’ll never forget those days. I see them clear as day, just like I’m looking at you here now. But I’m on the right side of the dirt, so I’m the lucky one.”
Photo by Lauren Warner/BRCC Blog
The gravity of having three WWII veterans literally along for the ride was not lost on any of the crew. Especially given that the storyline for The Final Send is written with a WWII veteran as the main character.
Carapetyan plays the role of Hank, an aging World War II military veteran who carjacks a Hoonigan-modified Jeep after receiving a life-changing diagnosis from his local physician. Pastrana plays the role of Sheriff Pastrami, the local lawman who takes to the streets in a customized Subaru Brat-turned-police cruiser in hot pursuit of Hank.
The two drivers make the Texas small town their playground with a full-throttle, “full-send” exhibition of drifting, donuts, and tire-burning action, while a host of actual war heroes and Black Rifle Coffee Company military-veteran influencers make cameo appearances.
“Putting these amazing Hoonigan vehicles through the paces with Dave was a blast, but to shine a light on these war heroes and Best Defense Foundation made this project extra special,” said Pastrana. “The team at Black Rifle Coffee Company is doing incredible things for the veteran community, and it was an honor and a privilege to tear up the streets of Boerne for such a worthy American cause.”
Photo by Lauren Warner/BRCC Blog
In addition to highlighting Best Defense Foundation, the video serves as a dramatic and entertaining kickoff to Black Rifle Coffee Company’s annual Veterans Day celebration. Each year, the brand uses the holiday as its preeminent celebration of American military veterans, offering 20% off its entire website product lineup on Nov. 10 and 11. More than a sale, the brand’s Veterans Day celebration is another example of its ongoing mission to honor and give back to American military veterans who’ve put their lives on the line to protect and preserve our freedom.
“Every Veterans Day, we try to do something extraordinary to honor and champion the cause of military veterans, and this year, we were thrilled to collaborate with the incredible team at Hoonigan to create something truly special. If you couldn’t tell from the video, we all had a lot of fun with this,” said Evan Hafer, CEO of Black Rifle Coffee Company. “It’s one thing to showcase the amazing skills of Travis and Texas Dave, but promoting Best Defense Foundation by featuring actual war heroes and veterans throughout the video is what we’re most proud of.”
The Final Send story releases Nov. 8, just ahead of Veterans Day, with the hopes of bringing together the veterans and motorsports communities to honor and celebrate the veterans we know and encounter throughout our lives.
“It’s just really cool to see so many people come out to put together a project like this,” Omar Avila, BRCC influencer, said. “You know, we’re well over 20 years past the beginning of the war, and I feel like people forget how many veterans are out there.”
"People like Travis [Pastrana] and Dave [Carapetyan] coming together to make a fun video that the community will appreciate — this is an opportunity to bring Travis’ viewership into our [the BRCC] community and also maybe plant a seed in their minds,” he added.
“Maybe they have veterans in their life; maybe this brings the thought of Veterans Day to the forefront of their minds and puts the attention back on them so they can thank a veteran in their life.”
Black Rifle Coffee Company’s Veterans Day Sale runs Nov. 10 and 11, offering 20% off all products website-wide. For more information and to purchase Black Rifle Coffee Company products, visit www.blackriflecoffee.com.