As a documentary DP and filmmaker, so much of my work centres around telling true stories and because of the responsibility not to distort reality I am often somewhat limited in the technical tricks I can bring to bear on productions. It is almost never feasible to bring a full lighting set up to a run and gun documentary shoot, and crew sizes are usually tiny. And while I love this way of working and wouldn’t change it for the world, sometimes it’s a nice change of pace to work on something several orders of magnitude more complex. So when Jaguar Motors asked me to work on the commercial for their new electric car in front of the Mexico City Formula E race, I was excited for the challenge.
Unlike the bare bones style of documentary production, there was no shortage of people or gear on this shoot. With dozens of people operating multiple cameras, drones, Steadicams, Movis, dollies, and reflectors, this was one of the more technically intensive projects I’ve worked on since moving to Mexico. Considering that the whole commercial was shot in one day, edited the same night, and transmitted the next morning to sports channels around the world, I think the output is more than impressive. I probably won’t abandon the doc world for commercials any time soon, but having the chance to work on something outside my comfort zone and pick up new skills is always an opportunity to be seized. Plus we got to race Tesla’s all day!