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 Coordinator /Stunt Driver TJ White and Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen getting ready to speed through the canyons for Calvin Harris Video.
English DJ Calvin Harris featuring artist Example team up on new single “We will be coming back”. Picking a beautiful location in the Malibu canyons of los angels was just one of the decisions Calvin and his team decided on. Going with a young edgy director Saman Kesnazarz known for “The Penelopes – Sally in the Galaxy music video. Saman developed this concept of a Steve McQueen style car chase with a 1970’s feel through the canyons of Los Angeles..
This was achieved by bringing in stunt coordinator TJ White from T Minus Productions and the Z Crane camera car. T Minus Productions is a full serviced production company that designs stunt sequences from inception and gives productions the tools and the talent to achieve in a manageable time.
Action Director TJ White also known for directing 2nd unit for such action sequences for N’Sync, Velvet Revolver, The Hard Easy and soon to be released “Feed the Dog” helped design the driving sequences. TJ being a stunt driver himself knows the limitations you can have with specific cars. In this particular video they choose very old classic cars that have not been driven this extreme in years.
Stunt Driver Mike Owen talking with DJ Calvin Harris about safety.
Car chases are very technical and take time to plan out. It takes an experience stunt coordinator and 1st Assistant Director to plan out the scene. Stunt Coordinators usually pull out hot wheel cars that little kids play with to show the crew how the driving scene will go. This is done many times so that every crew member is able to see where the cars will be going and where the real danger will be. Once that is done the Stunt Coordinator will have the stunt drivers get in there selected cars with the camera car and drive the route at 1/4 or 1/2 speed this is so the camera can practice there shot and everyone could see the action.
Z Crane getting ready to shoot chase scene with stunt drivers.
On this particular music video the Stunt Coordinator TJ White was also the Stunt Driver / Doubling for Example driving a 1974 Porsche 911. These cars not having the same technology as the newer ones relies on the experience of the driver to perform the stunt safety.
Driving though the blocked of canyon roads in the access of 70 + MPH gave the speed needed to make this particular video the same feel as a Steve McQueen or a Fast and the Furious film.
Feel free to watch the Calvin Harris ft Example music video below.
These two films, Fast and Furious, and Drive have two different variables that make up their own unique story but both have one constant. One is a franchise based on amazing driving, the other is a story about a driver. Both have accomplished stunt drivers, but who was really behind the wheel? And who gets to choreograph all those scenes? Training actors to look natural while being pulled behind a truck, go-mobile, mic rig, process-trailer or on a green screen is one thing, but to get those intense, hart stopping, and precise stunts takes professionals.
Hours upon hours and sometimes even days go into the set up and filming to just get one shot or a series of shots to make up a 2 minute chase sequence. Stunt Coordinators, 2nd Unit Directors Action Directors and stunt drivers alike pride ourselves in that safety is first, and second would be to get the shot without mistakes. Using a wide variety of vehicles adds complexity to any driving scene. The Stunt Coordinator works closely with the producers and directors to design a high octane chase scene while pushing the envelope on there stunt sequences. On the last Fast and Furious film Dodge got involved early on to help design the look for some of the cars and rig them for the performance needed for the stunt drivers.
The Fast and Furious franchise started out with Veteran Stunt Coordinator Mic Rogers best know for stunt doubling and stunt coordinating for Mel Gibson for years. The last couple Fast films have been Stunt Coordinated by Mike Gunther and 2nd Unit Director Spiro Razatos “Expendables,Total Recall, Death Race“. On the film Drive, Stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott “Indiana Jones, Dukes of Hazzard” also served as 2nd Unit director giving this very stylized film a new way of filming car scenes.
These experts in the industry of filming car chases allows a production to capture the intensity needed for the audiences.
We know what looks good on screen and what excites the viewer. Whether its for a NASCAR commercial, Music video, or action film, we can produce the intensity needed for the project.
Flamingo Films produces music video for Daughtry’s newest single “Out of My Head”. Directed by Shane Drake, Executive Produced by Sandy Hadadd and Produced by Brandon Bonfiglio they brought in the very best to shoot a high octane action video using BMW ‘s RT 1300 motorcycle and Dodges RT8 Challenger. Co- Staring in this action video was actress Kelly Hu “Martial Law, Young Justice“.
Shane Drake directs Daughtry for “Out of my Head” Music Video
The Production being under a time constraint brought in Stunt Driving expert and member of Generation x Driver TJ White and T Minus Production to create and supervise the stunt driving. TJ White is not a stranger when is comes to stunt driving performing and directing some of the memorable action scenes for N’Sync, Fuel, Bon Jovi and Static.
TJ stated working with a director like Shane was a pleasure, i have been a fan of his work for a while and know he has had extensive car work working with Ford and American Idol. So i knew when we went over the concept the best way to shoot the Fast and The Furious style action we would need the equipment they used in those films like the Z Crane. The Z Crane with his great handling Mercedes ML 55 and there customized one of a kind remote head makes is easier to get the kinetic shots this video will need.
Z Crane getting Reading for a Shot with Stunt Driver Jim Zahnd
Dodge Challenger Hero Car and the Z Crane Camera Car on set of Chris Daughtry Video
Stunt Driving got its start during the Prohibition Era when bootleggers would make illegal whiskey and moonshine deliveries throughout the US. These drivers were notorious for using modified high-speed cars to transport their goods and for using daring driving maneuvers to escape authorities. Drivers would modify their cars for speed, handling, and increased cargo capacity, and most came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads. When Prohibition was repealed, the love of aggressive driving and modification spawned the first Stock Car and NASCAR races.
Shortly after, Film and television audiences became infatuated with America’s need for speed. In the 70’s and 80’s, Hollywood developed their version of stunt driving while filming shows like Dukes of Hazzard and films like Bullet with Steve McQueen. This type of driving has tested the limits of vehicles and the skills of drivers for years.
Stunt Drivers are like puppeteers who perform a choreographed dance with their vehicles. Modification and precision control make the vehicles perform in a way they are not designed, yet on camera it looks like a creative, smooth, skilled movement showing off the lines and performance of the car.
To capture the raw adrenaline of these stunts, Hollywood destroys thousands of cars each year. To safely and precisely execute these stunts, drivers train their entire lives. Even the smallest of mistakes by a driver can cost a production thousands of dollars. Car damage, cast/crew overtime and insurance expenses inflate if the driver is not able to get the shot the first or second take. T Minus Productions works with the industry’s best professional race car drivers, stunt drivers, stunt driving teams and precision driving teams. We mix and match to efficiently meet all vehicle sequence needs while saving production money. Our safety record is second to none.
Generation X Drivers
A Stunt Driving Team located in Los Angeles California