Chevy has been an agressive American car company leading the charge in advertising there new line of cars and trucks across all platforms of Print, TV, and internet advertising. This bold move has increased there vehicle sales and has gotten them more exposure around American and Latin markets this last year.
Chevy’s ad agency tapped director Zack Merck at Make Productions to create and oversee these productions getting the attention of millions of people. Using amazing sets and production design, while traveling around the United States for these commercials gives a director many options when it comes to look and style. One thing this production team knows is that to show of the trucks and cars in the best possible way they have to use professional stunt drivers. This is what they did on these commercials below by bringing in T-Minus Productions and there professional drivers. Using Professional drives helps the Director and production crew display a car or truck the same way you would display a painting at a museum or show horse at a competition. It takes years of experience to have these skilled drivers even set foot on a set like these scene in the commercials below.
With the popularity of the Nitro Circus, X Games and MTV the audience has gotten even more savvy when watching TV or streaming videos on the internet. When you have these young skater kids or the guys from MTV’s Jackass filming these extreme stunts with there go pros and iphones you have to up your game when filming a extreme sports commercial.
Stern Bikes known for there aggressive riding on there mountain bikes wanted to show there customers the suspension of there bike by filming an aggressive chase between a bike and ford mustang. This was done by using a qualified Stunt Coordinator that designed and supervised the action scene. The Stunt Coordinator over saw the car modifications to be able to spin the car around to a 180. He also hired the stunt driver to drive through those turns sometimes reaching 80 mph while filming from a camera car. This was all done on a closed roads.
Lee Jeans Commercial went big with Stunts to show off there jeans. Using a stunt rider to drive a Harley Davidson down the road at 65 MPH and then standing on the seat while being filmed.
Working with motorcycles can be difficult. Different bikes have a different set of problems. Contacting someone knowledgeable in motorcycles can help a production source the right bike, the right rider and customize it to do what you want it to for the shot.
Director Colin Tilly bringing Stuntmen center stage for his most recent music video “I wanna Know” from Alesso ft. Nico &Vinz. Colin working with T Minus Productions’ Stunt Coordinator TJ White for many years came up with the concept. Working with so many stunt performers over the years seeing them putting there life and health on the line was very interesting. He wanted to show a story of a stuntman coming into work like any other day doing big stunts while not being appreciated by many. This is said to be true by many in the industry. #StandupforStunts was created to bring awareness for stunt performers trying to get recognized by the Academy of art and sciences for Film to receive an Oscar.
Stunt performers usually work in the shadows in the film industry to give the illusion that actors are performing there own stunts. Colin’s experience with stunt performers over the years excited himself to be able to feature them in Alesso’s most recent music video “I wanna go” with over 3 million views on youtube in a week or so. Another thing to add to the creative genius of this project is that it was shot in one day….
Stuntman Wyatt Carnel getting chased by Stuntmen Oliver Keller and Ray Siegle
Check out Marshall Mathers / Eminem” exciting music video for the film South Paw with Jake Gyllenhall. Using high concept action you would see in a marvel film. This music video pushes the limit when it comes to action, stunts and octane in 5 minutes. Marshall did an amazing job doing his own stunts on wire flying over a flat bed truck after crashing on a motorcycle.
DNA films brought in veteran Action Director / Stunt Coordinator Andy Armstrong from Armstrong Action and TJ White from T Minus Productions to design and supervise the action for this music video. Using professional Stunt bike riders, Parkour, fight specialist, Wire Specialist and a stunt driver to safely perform these stunts within the 5 day shoot in LA. Andy Armstrong best know for the last 2 Spiderman films was able to show the production team a design of his action to be able to shoot in all in the time they had. Most films take weeks to achieve what you will see is this video.
MTV VMA 2015 nominated Kendrick Lamar’s latest music video “Alright” filmed mostly in San Fransisco and Oakland California and parts of Los Angeles has gotten over 16 million views on a little over a month. This visual piece is from the uber talented director Colin Tilly “Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Enrique Iglesias, Little Wayne” from London Alley a Music Video production company in la. Colin decided to go to his root in Oakland and create visual art that could capture Kenricks voice in the video. Putting Kendrick in very dangerous stops was done by using his Stunt Coordinator “TJ White” that he has worked with for years on such video as Chris Brown, Justin Beiber and David Guetta.
TJ stated ” Working with Colin is challenging , He likes very dangerous shots that makes people think the stunt is fake or that we are not using the real artist, but in fact it is so real that many safety parameters have to be put in place to make it happen. In this video you will see the artist Kendrick Lamar on top of two light pole 2o feet plus in the air standing rapping. This is done through using cranes and specialized stunt equipments and a crane. It takes a team of stunt riggers to set up these gags so that the director will be able to shoot almost 360 degrees around the artist and keep the artist safe.
Colin also really wanted to see some high performance stunt driving in the video to capture the feel of this area and there car culture. This was done by using cars that were altered for drifting and having qualified stunt drivers for Los Angeles in San Fransisco to do the driving.
Stunt Drivers take years of experience to get in the car and drive a car. There are many terms used for a Stunt Driver. Precision Drivers, Performance Drivers, Stunt Drivers just to name a few.
They are also background drivers and these specific drivers do not have the training or skill set to drive in front of camera as a principle. These are drivers that drive in the background of a shot on driving scenes. These drivers are extra or background drivers or even called extra precision drivers. They drive everyday vehicles to fill a frame. These drivers should never be upgraded to be a precision driver unless a qualified stunt coordinator or Driving coordinator is on-set to supervise and has OK’d the driver and their ability. These are not stunt drivers nor are they precision drivers.
Working with Sevyn Streeter ft. Chris Brown “Don’t Kill The Fun” we were driving expensive cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini at high rates of speed in a tight area. This can make a director and producer very nervous. This is when experience takes over and hiring the right experienced stunt coordinator and stunt drivers for the job is a producers best option for a safe and exciting shoot. It could take 5-10 years of stunt driving for a stuntman or stunt women to get a chance to drive on screen. Stunt Coordinators do not let inexperienced people get behind the wheel. There is a lot to learn about cars and the technology that drives them.
Stunt Drivers rely heavily on the transportation department of a project to prep the car for them to drive. The right tire pressure, tires, breaking system, engine torque and suspension of a car will help the driver perform the stunt that the director wants.
When using very expensive fast cars, a lot goes into the prep of the car. Usually the stunt coordinator is in total communication with the manufacture of the cars. These cars are like fast computers on wheels. What you must realize is that new and luxurious cars don’t come off the lot being able to do 360’s, power slides, and drifting around corners. They must be De-programmed to shut off various traction controls, and safety parameters that are normally put in place for the daily driver. But if you want high speed action and stimulating stunt driving?, then you’ll need the proper mechanic that knows the specific vehicle. Car prep is vital and sometimes overlooked on the production side. Our Stunt coordinators work closely with car prep companies in order to tailor the vehicle to match the shots wanted by the director and producers. Safety is always top priority, and while stunt driving is one of the gags often requested, make sure your production hires the right stunt coordinator so then he or she can hire the best qualified stunt drivers. Your insurance will thank you and you’ll minimize your risk.
Stunt Driver Alyma Dorsey on set of Sevyn Streeter ft. Chris Brown “Don’t Kill The Fun”
TJ White Stunt Coordinator on set of Riveting Entertainment Music Video
Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen Testing a 2013 Hot-wheels Ford Mustang from Galpin Motor Sports for a Justin Bieber “Boyfriend’ Music Video
Riveting Entertainment and Director Richard Shepard (“The Matador”, “Ugly Betty”, “Girls”) had a vision for this video that had high expectations and a dangerous situation for 5 members of the band “Bleachers”. Using Director of Photography Morgan Susser (“Paramore”, “Linkin Park”, “Christina Aguilera”) and his dynamic sense of space and color, production was able to capture the band in a vulnerable state. Using the ZCrane Camera Car they were able to shoot the band on top of an Ice Cream Truck driving down the road in a desert setting outside Los Angeles while playing their instruments.
Director Richard Shepard knew his budget restraints when it came to filming a big action driving scene with talent. This would normally be shot on green screen or a process trailer. But Richard was adamant to have his band on the top of the ice cream truck driving down the road. To achieve this an experienced stunt coordinator and stunt rigging coordinator is needed to pick the right vehicle , fabricate it, reinforce it to be able to hold 5 people on the roof, while being able to hold them in place while driving down the road.
T-Minus Stunt Rigging , and Stunt CoordinatorTJ White from T Minus Productions worked closely with producer Andrew Listermann and Riveting Entertainment. T-Minus was called in to design the rigging and safety for this video. Two days of design and fabrication was needed to satisfy the safety concerns of the stunt coordinator and stunt riggers. Once this was done the Stunt riggers wired in the band to the roof while they were wearing custom designed stunt harnesses much like the ones used for Cirque Du Soleil. These special harnesses helped keep the talent safe while being comfortable.
This video was shot in one day making it essential to use a precision camera car like the Z Crane Camera Car, which has a gyrostabilized remote system driven with a Mercedes ML 55. This system is driven by Founder Ross Jordan (“Wanted”, “Live Free Die Hard”, “Iron man”) who is a very experienced camera car driver, race car driver and stunt driver.
See All The Action Below In the “Bleachers” music video “Roller Coaster”.
“Bleachers” band waiting to start filming
The “Bleachers” trying stay cool on set
Stunt Rigger Terry James setting up for the stunt. Behind The Scenes safety work needed to keep the band safe.
Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen Crashing through Plate Glass
When planning a car stunt, Directors, Producers, and Production Designers utilize the expertise of a Stunt Coordinator, Action director or 2nd Unit Director to guide them. Many people have seen the Ken Block drifting videos or the high octane stunt driving in Need for Speed or Fast and the Furious Franchises. But being able to have these cars perform like they do in those action scenes takes months of prep. Just like this Subaru car that has been modified before it came to the testing site at Willow Springs raceway to test. Even with the added modification from the owner of this vehicle, it took additional modification to make the car do what it needed to do for this particular commercial. You have to remember the cars used in the big drifting videos and films have hundreds of thousands of dollars in modification to perform these dynamic stunts.
Testing is a very important step for a Stunt team to prep a car. It comes down to the type of tires you use, the air pressure, the temperature of the environment, the horse power of the vehicle, and the breaking system. To have the vehicle dance around like a ballerina on the asphalt takes preparation, time, and experience. A Stunt driver must have the proper breaking system in the car. This breaking system has to be installed by qualified car prep riggers. During testing and even on the day of the shoot there are adjustments that are always made to tweak the car to be able to do the action the director requires. This is when you need your car prep to be savvy, efficient, and knowledgable. These systems can be well over $2500.00 for just one car.
When looking for a vehicle to use in these exciting action scenes contact a qualified Stunt Coordinator to assist you in prepping and choosing the right vehicle. This will save you time and money on the day of shoot. There is nothing worse then getting to set and not getting what the director wants while shooting. It also takes a qualified experienced Stunt Driver to perform the stunt driving.