PREPARATION

BEFORE SETTING OFF, HERE ARE THE THINGS TO KNOW FIRST




This is where you start, your very first step to making your production going, prior to yourself and your team’s time. This is great for coordinating among your crew, planning your schedule and taking precautions in case things get out of hand. Patience is needed.




1. LOCATION

Planning to film in a closed location or on public roads? Scout for a location first and review its point of interest and hazards. Public roads can give a sense of real street racing but are harder to manage than in a controlled, closed location.







2. BASE

The setting or the location chosen should have a base or a meeting place for preparation, planning, setting up equipment, resting and checking the footages right after filming.







3. RE-ROUTES

Either in a closed location or in public roads, the set should have u-turns or access get to the initial point for the vehicles to do re-takes, instantly.







4. DATE & TIME

It is easier to finish the production by avoiding heavy traffic, unpredictable weather conditions or fiestas. The best day for filming would be during Sundays and holidays to avoid other public vehicles or for quiter environment.







5. MAP

After knowing all the location’s details, drawing a map for the set makes it easier to consume time, navigate, undergo retakes, and experiment camera angles. (You can do better than my map.)







6. STORYBOARD

This is more useful than a script if filming in fast phase, looking at the storyboard scenes will make it easier to understand what kind of shots are needed right away and how the subject cars are to be positioned than reading a line of script. Although bringing a script is also useful, the script is great for breaking down sequences.







7. EQUIPMENT

After planning the map and the storyboard, know what equipment are to be used to set up faster. If there are Go Pros, then the whole production would be easier to film. But if not, at least a camera, a tripod, some ropes and cables with hooks are enough. (For my 3 car chase short films, I only used 1 camera and its lens is already faulty during those times. You can do a lot better.)







8. CAMERA CAR

A hatch-door car, small or big, is good for having a ton of mounting points inside, a place for a camera man to sit, more weight at the back keeping the car stable on bumpy roads, and unstoppable for unpredictable weather conditions. Or a pick-up truck, better for all around camera angles but too stiff for bumpy roads and can put the production on halt if it’s raining.


The camera car is an important thing to include for filming car chase scenea, as mentioned by Allan Padelford (AP Cam Cars, The Fast & The Furious camera car operating team) to the camera cars being used, “That’s the main storytelling piece of equipment.”







9. CREW

Fewer people is much better, makes mobility of production faster. A director, camera man, sound man, actors, scouts and drivers should do well. Much better if they are interchangeable in their duties.







10. SCOUTS

Always have scouts that can look out for the location either be it in a closed or public roads. Scouts should report directly through cellphones or walkie-talkies for any cautions and hazards.







11. PERMITS

For granting access to filming legally, the Public Information Office (PIO) of city halls will need a request letter in full details of the schedule of the production, scripts and storyboards.


The process will be received by the Mayor for approval. Then the PIO will request permission to the barangay of the location for filming.


After the barangay, the location will be granted, but the PIO will have to request assistance to the MMDA for organizing the closure of roads, the PNP as well for security measures and safety.


Different local government units have different requirements for legal permits, also depends on what city ordinance the production will accumulate. (Sourced from Public Information Office, Valenzuela City Hall by Ms. Ahna Mejia)







12. GUERILLA

For faster production in an instant, going guerilla is the other way, you don’t need permits but risks can be anything. Timing the traffic light is the key to avoid other vehicles during filming on public roads. Wait for other vehicles to stop on an intersection and see if the road is clear or nearly empty to start filming. Keep caution on intersections and for pedestrians. Don't forget to follow road rules and regulations.


On a closed location, behave, be friendly to other people and avoid having too much commotion so that no one will report to a barangay for public disturbance.







13. SAFETY

Before the production starts, locate the nearest hospital and police station and make sure all the cars involved in the set are insured. Be ready to call towing services for any vehicular failures. Plus driving fast is not entirely needed to film a car chase. Leave it all to the camera movements, angles and post production. Like what Allan Padelford (AP Cam Cars, The Fast And The Furious camera car opereting team) said, “If we can’t go as fast as we want to go, we use the motion (camera movement) of the arm (camera crane) to give it more action.”







14. BUDGETING

Now that you understand the things needed to keep in mind, how much do you think your production would cost? Gas and food are needed the most. This is the key to keeping the production on a limit and straight forward to what is only needed. Once you have that budget in hand, plot out your shooting days and make a schedule.







15. SCHEDULE

This is it, the final thing to keep in mind before you step out of that door and say “let’s shoot.” Scheduling will keep you on your budget and will keep things done, fast. Everyone will be well-coordinated by sticking themselves to the schedule just to finish the whole activity.


Got everything sorted out? Are you ready to shoot? Then you need to know how to rig your camera for the camera angles and shots you wanted. Go to the production page











HERE ARE SOME INTERVIEW VIDEOS OF THE PRE-PRODUCTION PROCESS



MS. ELIZA CORNEJO

PRODUCER, WRITER, DIRECTOR

Talks about the things needed, what to do, and additional tips before fiming a car chase scene.





MS. AHNA MEJIA

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE HEAD, VALENZUELA CITY HALL

Talks about the process of legally requesting permits and assistance for filming a car chase scene.