How to shoot VIDEO of CARS! 7 tips for better Automotive videos

How to shoot VIDEO of CARS! 7 tips for better Automotive videos


– What is going on, everybody? My name is Chris Hau and
on this week’s episode, we’re talking about one
of my favorite things to shoot video of in the
entire planet and that is cars. Now, if you guys are fans
of the show Top Gear, then this is right up your alley. We’re gonna be covering the basics on how to make essentially
a car commercial or essentially shooting cars in general if you wanna start making
more YouTube videos about your cars at home
so without further ado, let’s jump into it, everybody. (Chris cheers) (upbeat techno pop music) So before we jump into today’s episode, I have to say please be safe. Follow the law because I
don’t wanna hear about anybody in the comments getting hurt or anybody’s friends getting hurt because they watched Chris
Hau’s YouTube tutorial on how to shoot a video of cars and now it’s all over the news that people are getting hurt
shooting videos of cars. You know I don’t wanna hear about that. I wanna hear about people getting jobs ’cause they learned some stuff
in this video so be safe. Now let’s jump in to the tutorial. So it’s extremely important to remember that you guys are selling a story, not so much the car itself. So yes, you’ll have a bunch of ideas on how to shoot angles of cars and different shots for cars but remember, ultimately, whatever your final
video that you are creating, that is a story that you are telling. The car is a character, the
location is also a character so make sure that the characters match. If you have a pickup truck, make sure you put that pickup truck in a location that makes
sense for a pickup truck. If you guys are shooting
some sort of really fast car or race car, put it on a racetrack. It just kinda makes sense to pair the car with the right location. So that is step number one:
location matching your car. So we’re gonna jump into
the things that you need to actually shoot a car commercial. The first thing being a proper crew. And you’re gonna need about three people to make a car commercial. The first one being yourself, the camera operator slash director slash producer slash predator. That’s what they call it,
producer-director-editor-shooter. It’s a fun term. Number two is you’re gonna need somebody to drive the other vehicle
that you are shooting and number three, someone to drive you in the vehicle that you are shooting from. The next thing that you’re
gonna need are walkie talkies. Now, communication is extremely important especially on a car commercial set ’cause you’re gonna need
to be able to communicate to your driver who will
communicate to the other driver on how close that car should be when you’re doing chase shots which we’ll talk about a little
further in this tutorial. Open communication is extremely important if you want a safe environment to shoot in so make sure you guys have
some walkie talkies on set and also, they’re just fun. You can use those things and people say like over and out or roger ’cause it just makes it more
fun so you should get some. Alright, the next item that
you’re gonna need is a gimbal and obviously, cars can get quite shaky so you want some smooth footage for this so I’d highly recommend that
you guys bring a gimbal along. The next item that you’re
gonna need is a slider. Now, I absolutely love
getting detailed macro shots of the badges and the logos
and the interior of the car. And honestly, sometimes a gimbal is just not gonna do the trick. Sometimes, you get this like
wobbly up and down motion so I would highly recommend that you gotta bring a
slider along on your shoot so you get some of those pro-looking shots of something like the little
detail things in the car. Now let’s talk about lenses. Now, there’s about three
lenses that I recommend that you try to bring
along on a car shoot. Number one being a wide lens ’cause you’re gonna need to shoot a wide of this car driving through
an amazing location. The second one is a telephoto lens and the last lens is a macro lens to capture all the beautiful details that go into the interior
and exterior of a car. And if you guys really
wanna step up the production on your car commercial, I would recommend that you
guys bring along a drone. One of the things that
I like as an extra onset is either a Onewheel or a Boosted Board. This way, you can get a
little bit more creative with your shots or maybe go
offroading with the Onewheel so you can get some
cool parallax with shots but this is obviously a little bit extra. You guys don’t need a
Onewheel or a Boosted Board but I would still recommend
if you guys have access to one or can rent one, might
as well bring it along. Alright, so we’re gonna
talk about the most fun part about shooting cars and
that is chase shots. So essentially, what you’re
gonna need are two cars. One car to shoot and another
car to put yourself in so that you can shoot that car. Now as a reminder, make sure that you guys have a secure location, a secure track ’cause you don’t want
other cars driving around ’cause you want ’em to get
creative with your shots so I would highly recommend finding some sort of secure location, block off the roads on whatever
private property you are on but make sure everything is legal and you’re paying for the
location doing things right. Now that we’ve covered that,
you guys are gonna jump into the back part of your chase car. Now, I would hope that you guys find a car with maybe a window that
just slides down at the back so you don’t have to drive
with a big trunk open. Now, I’ve done this before. It actually gets kind of annoying because the trunk just
ends up being in your shot so try to find one where the
window goes down at the back. Now, a big trend on YouTube these days is to shoot most of your
B-roll in slow motion but when it comes to car commercials, you should probably stray away from it. I would stick to 24 frames a second unless the slow motion supports the story like a big truck going through
mud or something like that. Now, in order to make the cars
look like they’re going fast, you don’t actually have to go that fast. What’s a good little trick is that you bring your
camera lower to the ground and the closer that your
camera gets to the ground, the faster the ground
looks like it’s moving. Okay, so here are a few shot ideas if you guys are doing chase shots. Now the first one being just have the cars running at the same pace,
get a nice good distance, and just hold the shot
of the front of the car. The next one is have the
car drive a little bit up on an angle so that you guys
are kinda shooting like this. This is you, this is the second car and you’re shooting at
a 3/4 angle of the car. Essentially, both cars
and people look better when you’re shooting on an angle. The next one is now have that
car go in front of the frame and then back over the frame. Shots of the car going across
the frame look really good. It looks like it’s
speeding and very agile. The next one is if you
shoot a wide side profile of the car driving. Now, tighten up that
lens, get on the wheels, get on a few details of that car so you can get some stuff of that car driving from the side angle. And one of my favorite shots, and I actually do this on the Onewheel, is when you actually go towards the car. You have your camera right here, you’re going this way, the car is coming towards you and you whip past the car really quickly so you’re going like, fum, like that. Here’s an example of that shot. Now alternatively, if
you guys don’t wanna have to hang out the back of a car, you can suction cup an Osmo to the back so that you can actually do it remotely from your phone or attach a GoPro. That’s another way to get chase shots from one car to another. Now, do you guys really wanna step up the production value
of your car commercial or whatever you’re shooting
that includes a car? Well, I would bring out a drone. Now, the thing about
drones when shooting cars is that when you’re shooting a car, it actually looks like
it’s going extremely slow so you need to find
something that you can put either in the foreground
or fly it nice and low to give an idea of how fast
this car is actually driving. So find a cool location
that either has some trees or maybe like a riverbed
that you can fly along and actually chase this car with. Now, the first shot is a top
down bird’s eye view shot. Try to find something where you get a bit closer to the ground where you can really get a sense of how fast this car is going. The second one is shoot it from the side. Get a nice profile shot of this car. Try to find a location where you can safely fly
the drone from the side so you can get a profile shot from the side of the car driving. It’s nice if you get something
in the middle like trees ’cause that’s when it really
looks like it’s going fast. It’s really nice to add a lot of movement to your drone shots so if you guys can, try to do a wrap around shot
so if the car is driving, follow it along and wrap around the front or the back part of the car. That’s when you really get
some impressive drone shots. Now, it’s obvious to shoot
the outside of the car but it’s also important
to shoot the inside. So let’s cover the shots that you’ll need to shoot the inside of a car. Number one, shooting the logo. So that’s shooting the
logo on the steering wheel, shooting the logos that you
can see throughout the car, make sure you cover all the little logos that are kind of seen throughout it. The next one is technology. So if the car has a cool radio, maybe shoot the dash of the radio. Find all the other little pieces of tech lying around the car and make sure you guys capture those. And every car is different so find the unique characteristics of that car and shoot that. Now those last shots, I would probably shoot that
when the car is not moving but if you’re gonna get some shots with the car moving from inside, I would try to get a
shot from the back seat when you’re kinda shooting
in between the seats, kind of an over the shoulder
of somebody driving the car. Now, make sure their
hands are at 10 and two. Now, let’s try mounting
your camera to the car. Now in this case, I would
start with a small rig, kinda like a GoPro rig. It’s usually pretty affordable to get into but obviously, you can step your way up and get huge suction cups
that go all over the car and you can put like REs and
Reds and like $100,000 cameras but let’s start with the simple stuff. So if you have a GoPro mounted
to the front of the car, get a shot of the hood while it’s driving. Now, let’s flip that camera around so you actually can see
the people inside the car driving and having a good time
and having a conversation. Now try putting the suction
cup on the side of the car right down by the wheel well so you can get some shots
of the wheel spinning or maybe the wheel turning. In the last shot idea,
now, in full transparency, I haven’t tried this myself but I’ve seen some friends do it is where you get some broomsticks and you get three broomsticks, you create a triangle
and use some suction cups on the back part of the car and essentially, you’ll
have your car right here, you have your GoPro in
the air shooting down and essentially it’s like
a gamer’s view of a car so have you ever played Grand Theft Auto, you can get that kind of like
camera in the sky kind of shot of like the car driving around. Try that shot out if you have
some suction cups and a GoPro. Now before we jump into the next tips for shooting car commercials, we have a sponsor for today’s episode and that sponsor is Audible. Now, I’m a big fan of this product. I’ve used it for the last year. Now, if you guys don’t
know what Audible is, it’s essentially an audiobook website where you can listen to audiobooks! And I’ve listened to about
20 over the last year. Some of my favorite audio
books actually include The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which I feel like is a
recommendation for most people and the second book is The
Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Now, the first time I
listened to this book, I remember just my mind was
like (imitates explosion) because as a creative, it
was such a game changer so if you guys are an artist or you find yourself to
be in the creative space, I would highly recommend those two books. Now, if you guys wanna access an unmatched amount of
audiobook selection, you can start your free 30-day trial and actually get a free book to start by heading over to audible.com/chrishau, all one-word or text
chrishau, all one word, to 500 500 if you guys are from the US. So the next section is detail,
macro, and tight shots. Now, I recommend that the car not be in motion during this time. Alright, quick pro tip: make sure you bring some cleaning utensils to actually clean your car. If you’re spending a full
day in a vehicle shooting it, it’s gonna get dirty and you don’t wanna be
in post later being like, oh man, there’s dust
everywhere on this shot. So bring some wet wipes, bring
some cleaning materials along so that you don’t hate yourself in post. So remember when we were
talking about gear earlier? This is the section where we’re
gonna bust out our slider. So set up your slider and let’s put that thing through the car. So open up the door, kind
of place the slider inside so you can have it go across the dash and get details of like
the different badges and the different pieces of
equipment and technology. It just straight up looks cool when a camera’s going through a car. And the next one is lifestyle. Now remember when we were
talking about location of the car actually being a character? Well, people actually have to envision themselves in this car so create a lifestyle around this car. So if you’re shooting a minivan, create a storyline that suits a minivan, maybe have a family in it
doing some sort of activity that kind of represents
somebody who would own a minivan so make sure you kinda capture the lifestyle around that car. Now, my last tip is to kind of like almost break all the rules that I talked about
there and just get weird. If you guys are learning something online and you’ve found some
sort of creative technique that you saw in another video, well feel free to apply
it to your car video because the more unique
that your car commercial is, the higher chance that you might get hired to shoot car commercials in the future. Not everything always
has to follow a template. Actually talking about getting weird and getting strange shots,
we actually taped a GoPro to the windshield wiper
blade and we had to shot it like the windshield wiper
blade going like this. This has been on one of these fun videos that we’ve created in the past. Here’s the shot. It didn’t turn out the best but it was still kinda fun to add into and I remember people commenting on it. So yes, try out new shots
and maybe tape the camera to different places on the car ’cause you never know, maybe
that will end up being a shot that somebody absolutely
loves and gets you hired. Alright, guys. So those are my basic tips
for shooting a car commercial so hopefully you go out there and have some fun shooting
your own car commercials or YouTube videos or a video
that includes a car in it. Again, a big thanks to
our sponsor this week who actually helps fund the production and have a crew to
actually make this video and that sponsor again was Audible. It’s a great sidekick for the summer if you’re out there road
tripping or running. It’s great to just listen to an audiobook and you’re gonna learn
something along the way. If you wanna start your 30-day trial and get a free audiobook, again, you can head over to audible.com/chrishau or text chrishau, all one word, to 500 500 if you guys
are from The States. All right, guys. That’s it! We’ll catch you guys in the next video. Peace out, everybody. Hit that like button and
we’ll see you next time. Peace! (light lively music)


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