Now that Subaru has publicly announced their new 2019 Ascent all over the place, we're free to talk about our very small involvement in the film shoot for the commercial! Here is one of the commercials for an example:
Or you can see it here: Youtube
A film crew from Los Angeles contacted us early this spring to rent one of our T@B's for a commercial they were shooting. After we ironed out all the logistics, we ended up delivering our Sofitel teardrop trailer up to Eureka where they were shooting. Since they were only filming the outside of Sofitel we went up the day before and camped in the trailer. It's about six hours away and we needed to have the teardrop there at 6:00AM.
The shoot was at a cute little park outside of Eureka and when we arrived "TK" the Prop Master told us where to set it up. It's a beautiful wooded little park in the middle of nowhere. After that Trish and I walked up to the parking lot where the gear and crew was all set up and holy cow I was a kid in a candy store! I've got a small film studio but this was a real film crew from LA, the big guns!
Security was extremely high, and unfortunately (and understandably) we weren't allowed to take any picture on set and everyone had to put stickers on all the phone cameras. It was killing me I couldn't even snap some pictures of the gear, they had a huge 8-motor drone, and an awesome EDGE camera crane system mounted on a heavily modified Mercedes ML63 AMG SUV.
Here's a picture I found on the web.
We were given official walkie talkies and got to watch the whole filming process, it was a super fun morning for us. The crew all worked together very well, and everybody was surprisingly nice to us considering we were just there to deliver a prop. Even the Director came over and talked with us for 5 minutes and thanked us for bringing the teardrop as he thought it was perfect for the shoot. Given the flurry and fast pace of everything I thought that was very nice. There must have been 50-60 crew there, so every minute is $$.
The two Subaru cars were kept in black "ninja" costumes you've probably seen plenty of times if you've ever flipped through any car magazine, and were only uncovered when everything was set up and ready to roll film The local Highway Patrol would block off each side of the road to make sure nobody could drive by the park during filming, they'd uncover the cars, and shoot some scenes, cover up the cars and remove them from view, and let traffic flow again.
For the climax of the commercial (as far as we were concerned LOL), the car comes across a little wooden bridge and pulls past Sofitel, and then backs up and hooks up to it. For as something as simple as that, there were a lot of takes. The big crane car would have to start rolling, and film the Subaru as it followed. The Mercedes SUV crane car would hold it's driver, a crane operator, a cinematographer / gymbal operator (controlling the camera cage on the end of the crane arm), and a focus puller, and the director himself. There was also a "yeti" (my term): a fully camoflaged camera operator with a secondary camera in a hand-held gyro-stabilized cage that would move in and out of the bushes while filming from his point of view. Fun stuff!
Yep! There's our sofitel as the Ascent passes in front before it "hooks up" to it. What a movie star. I found another frame in the commercial that shows part of our Sierra Teardrops logo better:
An exciting and fun experience! We just hope it doesn't go to Sofitel's head...
The Ascent looks like a great move for Subaru, with a great amount of space and a 5,000 tow capacity!