I got the idea for a technology spot last New Year’s day shooting a friend’s modern minimalist cabin outside of Naches, WA for the site Cabin Porn. It’s a very cool space. No running water, no electricity, and no neighbors. Fast forward 6 months when I was tasked to
Create a lifestyle spot for a video editing software and a chip manufacturer to showcase the capabilities of the software.
and how it utilizes the embedded graphics chip on the CPU. In dreaming up a scenario, I thought of Rancho Nacho. Wouldn’t it be a great story to incorporate this location into a technology spot? That’s what we did.
I scripted and storyboarded this spot around a couple of “filmmakers” shooting a film with an adventure motorcyclist. The story had a lot of panache-remote interesting location, believable characters, great software, a large adventure motorcycle, speed, 4K video, aerial shots and GoPros mounted to a motorcycle. I got the green light and away we went. Trying to squeeze every penny out of the budget for this technology spot, I opted to shoot it all in one very long day including 6 hours of driving.
I cast Seattle actors Hannah McBryde and Sean McBride along with Ralph Smith and as our body double, and on motorcycle was Matt Webb of Webb Powersports in Ellensburg.WA. This technology spot was lensed by DP Randy Peck and since the software boasts 4K video capability, we shot all the footage in 4K using a similar camera set up we recently acquired. A Sony F55 and a AXS-R5 recording to 4K raw, and our DJI Phantom 2 drone and POV camera with a GoPro Hero 4 shooting in 4K as well. Altogether there were 11 of us in the cast and crew. Basically, it was a technology spot shrouded in a movie of a couple shooting a movie and editing it in their cool hip hideaway. Since we were waiting for the sun to get lower on the horizon, which took some time up here in WA in the beginning of summer when the sun takes it’s time to set at around 8 or 9, we started with the interiors. It’s always fun to direct actors to react to a blank screen with awe and have a genuine wow moment when they are supposedly interacting with the software.
Actress/Model Hannah McBryde quite convincingly playing a filmmaker Sean McBride as the other filmmaker Hannah and Sean playing a couple of filmmakers
The fun really started when I got to direct the body double motorcyclist to ride up the hill. It really took me back to the days of shooting a ton of motorsports in the 90’s and early 2000’s for such networks as Reuters, ESPN and TBS. Along with following the moto up the hill we also got coverage with a drone that was getting some high and wides of the area along with various angles on the rider and bike.
Exterior scene from adventuring motorcycling and technology spot
At the end of the shoot, I was so amazed that everything came off without a hitch-almost. Our drone pilot, Travis Erdmann, was spreading his wings so to say and flying the drone around this vast valley and unfortunately, our visual display had not arrived yet, so he was flying line of site. Well, things kinda got away from him and we lost the drone about a 3rd of a mile down the valley. Luckily 3 guys kept their eye on the spot and ran out to fetch it. Forty-five minutes later we hear someone yelling that they found it! Phew, it really was a flawless day.