Posts Tagged ‘driving’

X-Box and Porche Racing Video

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

In November 2009, we had an opportunity to provide production services and support for a producer based in Charlotte, NC. The video was for Microsoft and centered on the launch of the X-Box game, Need for Speed: Shift. Click here to read a more detailed description of the video production. Once the two-day shoot ended, we turned over all the raw footage to the producer who took it back for post-production. In these situations, we might not see the finished product. However, Porche uploaded the final video to YouTube and it was nice to see how everything came together.

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The Need for Speed

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

One of the things I enjoy most about working in video production is the variety. Every job is unique. One of the most recent jobs we worked on was for a producer based in Charlotte, NC. His client, a marketing firm from Milwaukee, handles a lot of work for Microsoft. Recently, a new video game was created for the XBox 360; a racing game called “Need for Speed: Shift.” To promote the launch of the game, Microsoft and their marketing team scheduled a demo with legendary race car driver Hurley Haywood. They needed a local production crew to come out to the Barber Motorsports Park to document the event.

We spent two days on location, shooting footage of the Porche vehicles on the race track and on the Barber test courses. We covered the action with two Panasonic HVX-200 cameras, shooting 1080i HD video to P2 cards. We had cameras placed at low angles next to the track, inside the vehicles, and up in scissor lifts. For the actual game demonstration, we pre-lit a Porche driving school classroom where we could get footage of Haywood as he raced other drivers on XBox Live. To conclude the shoot, we shot a sit-down interview with Haywood as he gave us his impressions of the game. The people at the Barber Motorsports Park were great. They were very accommodating and hospitable. At the end of the shoot, they even allowed us to select an item from their gift shop. It was certainly a fun and unique experience and I had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people.

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The Numbers Game – Part Two

Monday, August 10th, 2009

budget1Last Thursday I posted part one of a two-part series on how to budget for a video production. In today’s article I want to conclude by looking at those items in your budget that are necessities, but can often be overlooked.

Estimate Your Per Diems

Once all of the items from last week’s article are taken care of, it’s time to make sure that you and your crew have something to eat throughout the shoot. Make sure you cover the cost of meals and craft services (i.e. the snacks and drinks you and your crew grab throughout the day). Per diems can range anywhere from $25 per person per day, to $50 per person per day. I have found that $40 per person per day works for me.

Estimate Your Travel

If you do need to book a flight for the job, call the airline and inquire about their excess baggage fees. You need to account for that cost in addition to the cost of your tickets (You can save money by either shipping some gear ahead of time, or by electing a crew member to drive the gear to your destination).

But even if the shoot doesn’t require a flight or hotel stay, you need to estimate how many miles you and your crew will be driving throughout the production. As of this writing, the standard IRS rate for mileage reimbursement is $0.55 per mile. Don’t forget to estimate your mileage for pre-production and post-production. And remember that with driving comes parking fees and possible road tolls.

Estimate for the Unexpected

What happens when a shooting day gets rained out and you have to add on an additional day? Did you account for that in your budget? You need to. I always add a little to the budget to cover contingency days and any other emergencies that might pop up while in production.

Estimate Your Production Fee

The final thing you need to add into your budget is a production fee. This is especially important if you are set up as a business (LLC, Corp., etc.). You’ve paid yourself and your crew. You’ve accounted for your expenses, and so you need to make sure your company has some left over at the end of the day. After all, if you want your business to grow, you will need to turn a profit.

These are my suggestions for how to prioritize your budget. Hopefully it will help you be more organized and, ultimately, more profitable as you grow your video production company.

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