NASCAR week in Charlotte was in full swing when we arrived at Hendrick Automotive Group to shoot some new spots with Kyle Larson, the star driver of their No. 5 car, and his crew chief, Cliff Daniels. With the constraints of not being able to film Kyle driving around the track at 150mph, we had to get creative with lighting and rigging to recreate the scene with a stationary car.
First, we built a mock pit lane for Cliff Daniels, reproducing the same structure and setup he'd be found in on race day. Next, we brought in the Hendrick No. 5 car, rigged it up with GoPros to mimic in-car race footage, assigned one person to subtly shake the car as if it was driving, and had several of our G&E crew run light gags to match the feel of zipping around a race track. Combined with the actual race footage provided by NASCAR, you'd hardly know Kyle was topping out at exactly 0mph.
Kyle and Cliff, as you might imagine, are used to suiting up and getting things done quickly. It was clear this wasn't their first rodeo, or I guess, race. They delivered their lines like pros, and had fun with the humor of these spots.
Over a single day of production, we filmed four different 30-second commercials for HendrickCars.com, and created a 15-second cutdown for each. So the race was definitely on, at least for our crew running circles around the No. 5 car.