Filming A New TV Advertisement For Acura : Behind The Scenes

Our process trailer with police escort

The past week or so, I have been in New York City shooting a couple of projects. One of my projects was a doozie… I was hired by the ad agency Tier 10 Marketing, under the creative direction of Scott Rodgers, to produce and film a new tv ad for Acura via the New York Acura Dealers Association. As some of you may know, I co-founded a video production company, 8112 Studios, a few years back and we have been very busy with a variety of projects.

The ad starred the amazing Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees driving around the new Acura MDX. The underlying themes were strength, dependability, perseverance, and dedication. This was my first time using a process trailer and police escort, which was pretty wild to arrange and setup, as you can see. You use a trailer so you can film driving shots, but be able to mount the lighting and camera anywhere. Obviously it would be a hazard having a driver or actor driving the car around New York City with 12k watts of  lighting and diffusion and camera mounted to it. The tow truck has a generator on board so we can power the gear on the fly. Thankfully New York City provides a free police escort with your film permit. You technically need to have a police escort if you are filming any production on the streets of New York and have anything video-related mounted to a moving vehicle.

As a producer on my own shoots, I’ve learned that painstaking planning and pre-production is crucial on big video shoots like this. In fact, the shoot happens 80% in the planning and actual filming is merely following through the motions. That’s a lot different than with photo shoots, I have found. When we started out with video production, I put emphasis on the shoot day, not realizing that if I planned everything out beforehand, I would have a lot less to worry about since video productions have so many moving parts.

On a side note, Mariano Rivera is an incredible guy. Aside from being a baseball legend with incredible talent, he is really one of the most genuine and kind public figures I have ever met. Just being around him, you are inspired by his gentle warm nature. Seriously, could not say enough things about that guy. Despite blowing out his ACL a couple of weeks back, he powered through and helped us shoot a great ad.

I’ll post the ad when it airs!

Filming with the Red mounted to the back of the process truck with the trailer removed for chase shots
Setting up the car for filming on the trailer
Mariano getting his close-up
Mounting the red to the side of the car for interior driving shots
Filming the car stationary with a bunch of little league extras
(left to right) Nicholas Cambata (director) & myself (co-founders of 8112), Mariano Rivera, and our Creative Director at Tier 10 Marketing Scott Rodgers
Our two stunt vehicles from Paragon Acura in NY being delivered

3 thoughts on “Filming A New TV Advertisement For Acura : Behind The Scenes”

  1. I must say that this post inspired me to write about your talent on my blog. I loved the behind the scenes. It’s hard for fiilm students to get just a little taste of the industry. So thanks again for sharing.

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