BMW Performance Center Palm Springs

The Situation

I was told right before Thanksgiving break that we may be going to Palm Springs the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving to film some footage of the BMW Performance Center in Palm Springs. Now you have to understand there are so many times that I am told that we are going to do something that falls through somehow. There are just so many moving parts in production that it isn’t uncommon for things to not always come together just right. The biggest hurdle is always the location agreement and we never book travel until we have that signed.

It was Monday morning and we still didn’t have it signed. Our boss came in and said it was getting signed right now and we should book a flight that night to be there Tuesday morning to film. Oh also we needed to find a drone pilot for the shoot the next day. So we booked a flight, packed up equipment needed, found and hired a drone guy, went home packed and jumped on a 8pm flight and were able to film the next day.

C200 at BMW Performance Center

The BMW Performance Center

For some context a few years ago Janssen and I did go film for Qualtrics at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta Georgia. When we got there we got little to no access to anything. I was yelled at a few times for going places I wasn’t suppose to. We weren’t allowed on the track and out of pure persistence from Janssen we were able to film in a a car on the track but only for 20 minutes. So when we showed up at the BMW Performance Center I was expecting a lot of the same regulations and policies. But it never hurts to ask for what you think would give the best results for the project. We asked for a professional driver to go out on the course with and film, for complete access to the track before the other non professional drivers show up and to film out on the track with the professional driver. They said yes to everything and it made it so much better because of it.

DJI inspire 2

First this place is in the middle of no where. The track is very open and easy to see the whole track. Now I have a rule of thumb it never really hurts to ask so we meet up with our contact Brittny and she walked us through the building and we kept asking for things like your best driver who could take us out on the course and get some shots with him. Can we film out on the course? Can we pick any car to film with? Things like that and she was totally cool with all of it. Than our professional driver was super cool. We were able to go right out on the track, pick the turns we wanted to film and the driver would do them a few times for us and than move to the next spot. We also hung out the windows with cameras to get some shots from the POV of the car. For that we used the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and a Gopro Hero 6 on a little gimbal. We had no idea were were going to get that kind of access it was awesome.

The only major hiccup we had was the Canon C200 we rented stopped recognizing the lenses on it so we could close down the aperture at all. Which in a way was funny because I rented the C200 as the main camera because I haven’t fully been able to trust the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K yet. I thought I might have issues with that camera so I wanted to be very safe and bring the C200 to make sure and of course that one dies.

After we filmed on the track with the professional driver than we had to get off the track and let the people there for the performance center come on to do their driving. At this point our drone guy showed up and we filmed the most of the rest of the day with the drone.

The footage turned out amazing. It was a super fun quick shoot and not at all what I was expecting. It is always fun to get out shoot some really cool shots and not have to go through a bunch of crazy red tape to do it. It was a nice change.

Micah Brown