APEX MOTORSPORT LAUNCH //
Last week Subject Media Group sent out to do some video work for Apex Motorsport, which is this totally badass company that gives the average joe the opportunity to learn how to drive supercars the way they were meant to be driven. During the whole experience the customer will spend time in a class learning all about driving on a track, the do's and dont's, and so on. After sitting through a class they make you drive the track on a simulator which is pretty damn accurate. They scan the racetrack and get EVERY little detail including skid marks, brunt grass, and so on. You are also simulating driving the actual car that you will be driving on the track.
Technology is awesome.
I must say...this was probably one of the most awesome experiences I've had on a video set in my life. We rigged up a suction and pole mount to the front of my car that would hold the Red Epic sitting on the DJI Ronin. From this we were able to run a First Person View monitor so Darren could see everything that was being shot AND control the camera with a remote to pan and follow cars as we chased them. I wish I had a picture or something to show you how this worked....you just gotta trust me when I say it was fuckin' AWESOME.
I've never driven a chase car before, and it was a little tough to figure out entry points of turns and where the car needed to be to get the perfect shot. We had no chance to test this on the actual track before we were shooting the hero shots, so we had to learn real quick like. After a couple of laps we pretty much had it down and got some awesome shots. I don't have anything to show form that yet, but hopefully soon there will be a release on those! The best part of the chase cam sequences was hearing Darren's reactions when we were in the middle of the good shots. "OHHH YEAH" "THIS IS IT" "MY NAME TYRONE." hahahaha this was definitely one of my favorite shoots I've been on to date.
Since we were shooting around the schedule of the actual event we were pressed for time on what we were able to actually shoot, and only had a few chances where we were able to shoot specifically for the video, this is always a bit of a struggle but trust me when I say that through the lack of shoot time...these shots are going to be awesome.
There was a small amount of downtime from shooting video when one of the photographers arranged for some track time to shoot stills. Lucky for me I was able to tag along and jump in the back of the car with him to get a few shots. Shooting car to car has always been something I've struggled with, and after we took something like 2 laps we were cut from shooting stills. I'm pretty happy with the couple of on track driving shots I got for sure. I used a wide angle to try and catch as much of the car and track as possible. I wish we had more time for this but for the time we had I think these turned out pretty well, especially since I had almost no time to setup for exposure, shutter speed, etc. I was actually freaking out on the inside and just trying a shitload of different f-stop and shutter speed combinations, haha! Gotta love those freak out moments!
There was one pretty badass moment in the day. We needed some audio of a GT3 going balls to the wall around the track so Bernie brought his beauty and was willing to give us some sexy sounds. We mounted the mic and I jumped in the front seat for one of the most fun experiences of my life. Bernie is a monster in this thing and he also holds the Gateway Motorplex track record of 53 seconds. 53 SECONDS!!!!!! THATS FAST AS SHIT. After probably 6-7 laps we brought it back in and it probably took a solid 15 minutes for the smile to fade from my face.
I've had some of the most fun experiences of my life within my job.
...and I couldn't be happier.
After we had gotten the majority of our video shots and were basically wrapping for the day...I grabbed the Radical and staged a little set for a Virtual Rig shot. I've never actually done one of these before but I had an idea of what needed to be done. We shot the car and got a few exposures and then pushed the car out of the frame to get a blank plate for the background and got the correct exposures. Then in post I pulled everything up, processed the car and background separately and then put them together and had to figure out how the hell I was going to make this look real...after a couple of hours trying to get it handled and a youtube video later I got a couple of things that I'm content with, but they're not perfect. I'm definitely looking forward to messing around with this type of shot in the future to see how refined I can get it! WOO!
Since I wasn't a hired photographer out on the track I wasn't able to really stage anything to make certain types of images, Hopefully we'll be able to get some more time to shoot some killer media! Also! If you're feeling a little froggy and want to take a Porsche GT3 on the track and drive it like you stole it, check out Apex Motorsport and see how you can get hooked up!