Friday, November 11, 2011

Audi: Trick or Treat

About a month ago my boss asked me to do a little research on the night vision camera that came as an optional feature in the new A6. Our ever so popular CEO was kind enough to loan us his new A7 for an afternoon to do some test shots. It was a little nerve wracking being responsible for the safety of my bosses bosses bosses car, but still, fun was had and things were learned.

Thermal Face

Test image shot with an Audi

Turns out the Audi Night vision camera is a thermal imaging camera. Rather than try to hunt down a thermal camera and try to fake it, we opted to shoot the dashboard straight on. Since we were going to be shooting from the inside of a car, space was an issue and we opted to shoot on an EPIC and use the extra resolution to fake the scripted camera move in post. It turns out, however, that it's really easy to replace the space an epic doesn't take up with some nice glass.

Mike and Steve

We shot the spot in a lovely little neighborhood just passed downtown San Rafael during and just after sunset. Since we were only shooting the dash, lighting wasn't an issue. There were however 2 technical challenges we ran into. The first was that as it got later it was hard to keep the kids, and more frustratingly their costumes, warm enough to read clearly on the display. We got around this by having someone just out of frame warm each kid up with a hair dryer right before walking. The second hurdle was the far less challenging task of organizing and directing 14 kids under the age of ten. Apparently they don't take direction well when tired and cold. Who knew?


When all was said and done we had 3 days for post on this peace. It was edited by our new (no longer intern) associate editor, Julie Logan. I helped out with some shot stabilization and comped dials that were in focus into the shots. But other than that, everything you see on the display is the car itself.


The piece was only supposed to be a youtube/hulu pre-roll spot, but upon viewing an almost complete version, our client decided they wanted us to finish for broadcast. To the best of my knowledge, it ran during a couple football games and possibly during a world series game. We also got a lovely write up on AgencySpy