One of the things I love about our team is their ability to adapt to changing situations. In 2005, we produced a one hour documentary on a cross country solar car race. The North American Solar Challenge took our crews across the U.S. and Canada as well. We were shooting on public highways, covering 20 teams, and each hour of each day brought about unexpected surprises.
It would be easy to miss key events, and we probably did miss a few. Overall, however, combining the use of radios, text messaging, and multiple camera crews, we were able to stay on top of the action. This was also our second one-hour HD production, and we shot more than 150 hours of video. If only today’s tapeless workflows existed for a reasonable price back then!
Every time I see this show, I think about how important it is to have talented shooters. Cameron Barrett was fantastic at knowing how close to get so the action lept into the lens – without her intereferring with team, drivers, or safety issues. Our assignment shooter, Jim Lahr, was terrific with motion shots, and overall, being able to grab what we needed, when we needed it was a joy to behold.
The key to this show was taking the time in pre-production to assess all of the possibilities that could arise while on the go. We often shoot in a run and gun style, so it’s important to know that we might run into. The experience of this cross country jaunt will help us with a variety of new projects as we move forward. There’s no replacement for experience.