Responses by Scott Boyajan, producer, Electric Theatre Collective
Background: In “Parking Lot,” two Audi drivers go head-to-head careening through a mall parking garage, showing off the precise turning, the immediate acceleration and the braking power of the Audi. With help from San Francisco–based ad agency Venables Bell & Partners and Los Angeles–based production company Biscuit Filmworks, the spot comically and dramatically highlights the horrors of the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Reasoning: Our main focus was being there to collaborate on set with director Steve Rogers and the Biscuit Filmworks team. We were also there to help solve unforeseen challenges, be it adding extra computer-generated cars on the upper level of the adjacent parking structure at the last minute, or adding line markings and arrows within the parking structure.
Challenges: The real achievement of the spot was the sheer amount of shots used for the two-minute film, as well as the climactic jump scene. After the main shoot, we went and shot some second unit pickups with our in-house drone department. Capturing digital stills and footage from impossible angles provides us with a great toolkit to begin our post process.
Favorite details: The trick of “Parking Lot” was keeping every shot full of cars—whether the drivers are racing to the only open spot, stalking a slow-moving shopper who can’t find her or his car or putting the pedal to the metal in attempts to jump off a ramp to an adjacent parking structure. The crew shut down the top three levels of the parking structure and had 70 cars to work with, so there was a ton of maneuvering to ensure the background appeared full on all three cameras.
Time constraints: “Parking Lot” was completed within a compressed schedule, which meant we had to be super savvy on set and make sure we captured every possible element we could to make the post process run smoothly. As soon as we saw a shot that would have been impossible to complete in the time we had, we chose another angle to approach the shot in a different way.
Specific demands: Strict delivery deadlines always keep us all on track. Decisions were made, and they were made quickly. This was so important.