Lots of car manufacturers require b-roll video and broadcast footage for news outlets around the world. Why ? Cost and time savings. News outlets don’t want to fly people in and out all the time just to collate 30s worth of footage for a news item. Rather, they log into the car manufacturers portal and select clips, re-edit them as to how they want and then broadcast. Much easier and simpler.
The main object for car manufacturers is to show the best possible footage to show the company in the best possible light. So, for all you commissioners of production companies to get this footage, here are the mistakes to avoid:
1- Shoot the best parts of the plant. What is the best? Hi-tech, clean, well lit and where people look well dressed and groomed, ideally in appropriate plant uniform. This would ordinarily include automated parts of the car manufacturing process, parts of the process with a great looking bit of kit that humans operate and parts of the process which people would not know existed e.g. how paint is sprayed onto cars or what engine marriage is.
2- Prior to shooting, and in knowledge of knowing where you are going to shoot, get the necessary approval from line managers and from potential staff that will be filmed. We have had stalls in the process when staff either do not sign or refuse to sign clearance forms which can cause re-shoots or time delays.
3- Get externals! The broadcasters may or may not use it but an external of the plant with appropriate logos etc everywhere is a good start as it shows context.
4- When colour grading, get the grade suitable for broadcast. Whites and blacks need to be within the acceptable range of what they want. If in doubt, get the suitable technical guidelines from broadcasters.
5- In terms of style, stick to tripod and slow movements. Sometimes timelapses can work and sometimes steadicam shots work but the bulk of it should be conservative footage suitable for news.
6- Ideally, for each discipline e.g. assembly, paint etc, have at least 1.5-2 minutes with each clip lasting 10 seconds. The broadcaster can re-edit as they see fit. That means roughly 9-12 set ups in each discipline.
7- Export what they want. FLV, MP4, ProRes 444 etc. Have a range of export formats and bitrates so they can choose appropriately.
Any questions, do ask!