Small, medium, large or extra-large? Honda has it all -and they tasked us with communicating that message, visually. We love their agency’s creative brief; it told the story beautifully. And we knew we could find locations that would work for this shoot. It was the timeline of the project that represented the greatest challenge...
We realized right away we couldn’t produce the content the client needed in the two days they had available, so we decided to approach the problem differently.
We built four sets on a stage to represent the small, medium, large and extra-large; a smoothie shop, surf shop, TV store and Honda dealership.
Since we needed to produce content in both English and Spanish, we opted to cast bilingual Hispanic talent to make things simpler. The Spanish lines were not difficult to master, but we felt that the native Spanish speakers would add a level of authenticity to our work. .
Doing the work on the front end really helped us maximize our production time on the second day. The set design was spot on and really worked to tell the story quickly. Once we started e filming the actual cars at a dealership we were quickly able to get the footage of all the vehicles on (and off) the road.
Getting permits had taken weeks but it allowed us to restrict traffic on the Coronado Bridge, Hwy 163 coming out of downtown and Black’s Beach (all in and around San Diego). To make this work, our production had to take place on a Sunday when no football or baseball games were scheduled. Sunday is a popular day for beach-goers, which worried us a little, but we scheduled that part of the shoot later in the day and they approved the permit.
With a big day ahead of us, our call time was just after midnight, and we gathered at the tollbooth on the other side of the Coronado Bridge. Our loadout for the day included picture vehicles and a camera car with an arm for the driving footage. Prep went well and we finished on time, with just a hintof light appearing over the eastern horizon as the assistant director called for us to all get ready.
Just as we were about to start filming, five police cars blew past us headed for the bridge (not the ones assigned to us). Seconds later more police arrived and closed access to the bridge. It turns out that someone had gone up on the bridge and was threatening to jump. Fortunately, the officers were able to talk them down and prevent a tragedy.
Unfortunately, we missed that shot. But we carried on and the production went off without another hitch. Our precision drivers were excellent and we were able to capture really great footage of four vehicles driving side by side down the beach.
The spots turned out great in both English and Spanish and, even without the bridge shot, we had enough driving footage for a multitude of additional applications.