Previs: Smart Car

Director of Photography: Matt Workman
Previs Artist: Matt Workman

March 29, 2013

For Smart Car, the directors were interested in using previs to design the “end shot” of each commercial. Each spot had a unique wide shot of the finished car and a camera move. During the first prep day, I was spent a couple of hours taking measurements of the sound stage and then building the stage in Maya. From there I placed a 3D Smart Car model I in the scene to start blocking.
Two of the shots/camera moves rotated from the front of the car to the back. If this was a CG commercial or we had a motion control technocrane, we could move the camera in a perfect circle around the car. In our case we had to decide between 20′ diameter track or a straight track. I built both versions of the camera moves in Maya and showed the directors the animatics. We all decided that the linear track was less distracting and that it was the best choice.

Another shot involved a long “dolly/pull out” from a close up of the car door to a full wide. The creative on this shot had gone through a couple revisions and plans for execution. I put together a quick animatic showing the background sliding in and the camera moving back, to show to the client our final plan. With all of the animatics approved I created several technical drawings of each setup to illustrate the placement of the car and dolly track.
This was a really fun job and the directors Dark Igloo were superstars. It was really great working with such a visual team, they were really receptive to the previs process and all of the planning helped make the shoot run like clockwork.