Behind the Scenes Filming a McLaren 675LT

Posted by | March 10, 2016 | Blog, Photography, Video Production | No Comments

When we were provided a brief from our friends at Opti-Coat to produce a video of their ceramic coating being applied, we had a few crazy ideas we wanted to try. When we were advised that the car to receive the treatment was a limited edition McLaren 675LT I can tell you we were excited. Being no strangers to working with exotic toys, we immediately began crafting a story around the treatment process and the McLaren in action.


The idea of a spectacular intro was one of the first ideas to the table, as we considered our options and looked at what might work. A massive flyover shot was our into of choice. The only time I could imagine us getting the road even partially to ourselves was 5am on a Sunday morning. Utilising Google Maps, I designed a loop, then was out at 5am on a Sunday morning testing and timing the loop. With no traffic it would take just on 6 minutes. With the capacity of the drone only having a 15 flight time, this would allow us two passes.


There was a safe spot to launch the drone from South Brisbane so set up our base of operation there, with comms running between the aerial team and the car.


We could time our shots to be able to achieve the fly over. From the final shot used in the video, comms from the McLaren told us when they were entering the freeway southbound, allowing us to dial up the speed on the drone for the flyover. This resulted in one of our favorite shots of the production that is the very first shot in the video.


We also shot the close up water spray shots seen at the end of the production here, with Kim from Detail Evolution providing just the right look! Our Sony FS700 is a great bit of gear for capturing detailed slow motion footage.


We spent two days shooing at Rencal Motors at the team from Detail Evolution put in a extraordinary amount of effort preparing every square inch of the car ready for the Opti-Coat application.


The sheer time that goes into the process was astounding, but gave us plenty of time to work on some creative shots!


Like when we pinched one of their trolleys from the garage next door to use as a makeshift dolly with Phil using the Ronin with a Sony A7SII. Remember, it’s not silly if it works!


Shooting in a workshop, naturally the overhead lights were unsuitable for filming and would have given a colour cast, so we lit our shots with LED panels. Using the Opti-Coat signage as our rim lighting for this shot, we were getting the drop onto the applicator pad.

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In order to get the most out of the space, we used the Ronin often to get the camera off the tripod and moving. Getting the calibration balance is a fine art as any operator would know!



In between shooting video sequences, we took the time to shoot a few stills of this beautiful car with a Canon 5DII.

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With the application process completed, we had two weeks until we had a session booked at Queensland Raceway. We had tested our shots using our existing rigging, but we simply couldn’t get the shot we were after as we wanted to get the Ronin super low to the ground to match the height of the McLaren, so a plan was drawn up and we called our fabricator Dan Rasell.


As they say, it takes pressure to make diamonds and this has never been more true. In the space of 10 days, we drew up, had CAD drawings done, the steel cut, a mount imported from the USA, custom bolts sourced and then had it welded together for a test less than 24 hours before the shoot.




We roughed it all together with tape and zip ties for the test so we could make rapid adjustments, but when we saw the footage we were jumping around with excitement!



The camera feeds a signal via HDMI to an Odyssey 7Q monitor in the back of the car and the Ronin is controlled by remote.


Here is a shot from our very first test run.


With the set up prepped and ready to roll, we sorted out our cable management and had the rig ready for service. With only a very small window of time available at the track we had to work fast and communication was essential. With comms to Rob Gooley in the Evo through the headset to be able to speak to him through his helmet and a call in progress to Mark in the McLaren it was all go.


Take a look at how it came together on the day in the clip below.

We knew exactly what we wanted and the rig worked better than expected getting us some stunning rolling shots and letting us use the full capacity of the Ronin.


From here, it was now just a case of bringing the production together in post!

Our sincere thanks the the entire crew that made this possible. Special thanks must got to the team at Opti-Coat, Rob Gooley, Mark Rayner, Kim Krogh and HexFlix for all their work on this production.


Until next time…

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