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It was another successful trail run for Steel Rock Films and Bestop.  As someone who had almost no off-roading experience three years ago, I can almost call myself an expert after several trail runs with Bestop in 4 different states across the country!  Each run has its own unique flavor to it- beautiful views, crazy jeep rigs, dangerous maneuvers, and filming challenges.  After a few 100 degree Jeep shoot days in Moab and Missouri or freezing temps at 13,000 ft in Colorado the weather in Big Bear, California seemed almost too perfect.  Sunny – mid-70’s.  Its what I’ve come to expect after living a month in Santa Monica.  The purpose of the shoot was to capture the new products – Bumpers – Dusters – and Tops of the Jeeps without the marketing being too over the top. Secondary, its supposed to capture the thrill of a day of off -roading and highlight trails in Big Bear.  And third, some of the footage will be used at this years SEMA auto show in Las Vegas.  The video will most likely be added to the Bestop Facebook Page.

After meeting our Jeepers for the first time in the morning we hit the trail grabbing spectacular shots along the way.   Equipment, like always on a trail run is at a minimal.  However, I did add one of my favorite pieces of equipment – The Cinevate Atlas 10 Slider (pictured above).  This provided some awesome tracking shots over branches or rocks.  I ditched the Glidecam for this shoot.  As for the other equipment – a small Manfroto tripod that I can extend one leg out and use as a mono-pod.  This is what I used for about 80% of my shots.  The rest of the shots were handheld with the HoodEye viewer that I could use for support when it was pressed against my eye.  Nat sound was provided by a small shot gun mic made by Azden.  I also picked up the opening comments with the shotgun mic.  It doesn’t do quite as well as wireless lavs but when you are on the go you have to make it work.  I tied down everything in the back of the Yellow Jeep which was my ride for the day.  By using less equipment I could easily jump in and out of the Jeep without having to put anything away.  The idea is not make the shooting take over the day.  Let the Jeepers do what they would normally do if there was no camera around.  You get happier Jeepers and natural documented footage.    My Lowepro camera bag carried my extra lenses and batteries but I pretty much stuck to the 16-50mm 2.8 Tamron Lens on the Nikon D7000.  The bag got a bit dirty (pictured above) but thats the price you pay as an action sports videographer.

Editing was done with FCP.  Colored in FCP.  I experimented with some new light leaks overlays that I got online and overlayed them to help with transitions and add a more cinematic experience.

  • Please check out the video below from Bestop’s YouTube page!  Thanks for checking out my blog!

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