Sunday, 4 March 2012

Take a look behind the scenes

Seen our highlights programme from Autosport international yet? No? Well here it is again


Now, lots of people have been wondering what goes into making a programme like this, so here's a special view of the first 5 minutes. Watch closely and you can see the feeds from both cameras, where all the cuts are made, why we show alternative footage occasionally, and even if you're very sharp eyed, colour correction in progress...


Some facts, figures and answers to frequency asked questions.
  • It takes a road crew of 4, and a post production crew of 2 an average of 14 days to complete a programme - All of whom have other jobs!
  • The programme is funded by the crew themselves... We do, however, want to find some sponsors!
  • Overdrive is shot simultaneously on two identical Sony HD Tapeless camcorders usually operated by Kevin McMullin (Director and Producer) and Hywel Jones - Typically one camera is mounted on a tripod, and the other is on a shoulder mount.
  • Despite being made of carbon fibre, the tripods are some of the heaviest pieces of equipment carried with a combined weight of 20kg - the cameras weigh a mere 6kg (approx) each in comparison.
  • 2 cars are needed to move the kit and crew from Overdrive's South Wales home to Birmingham's N.E.C. - It cost £32 in car parking charges alone. A larger support vehicle is being considered for when we actually get some sponsors!
  • All the music in Overdrive is original, and is composed especially for the programme by Ulrich Wehner - however so Ulrich has an idea of timing and style a temporary music track is used, in this case, music by Moby and Status Quo. During production Ulrich doubles as the sound recordist.
  • There are 5 different versions of the Overdrive theme. 3 of them are identical apart from their length, 1 omits the bed, and one is only 9 seconds long.
  • None of the music - bar the action sequence - has a title per se : The theme in this case is called R.S.T TITLES 52 SECOND VERSION. The Action Sequence music is called "Overdriven". R.S.T. stands for "Race Sport Track" which was a working title for an early version of Overdrive (which didn't work)
  • The slow motion shots in the action sequence are filmed like that rather than having the effect applied in post production. They are filmed at 50 Frames Per Second and played back at 25 FPS to give the slow motion effect.
  • This programme is edited using Final Cut on a Mac - Specifically Final Cut Express 4- but it depends who is actually doing the editing. Kevin prefers Final Cut, and Iwan, the other editor, prefers Avid on a PC.
  • For you technical types out there, Overdrive is filmed at 25 frames per second (or in other words, PAL) at a resolution of 1920x1080 using a progressive scan. This means that there are 45025 individual frames (or pictures) in the programme...
  • Three microphones are used - Rosemary's handheld microphone and two short shotgun type microphones, one of which is a Rode NTG-1 mounted on a boom. The Boom extends to a length of 4 metres (13 Feet)
  • The shotgun microphones are often seen in their furry coats - nicknamed "Dougal" by the crew after a certain shaggy dog. (Although they are more correctly referred to as a "Dead Cat"). For some reason, most people seem to want to stroke them...
  • Each camcorder has a total of 128GB of memory (4x32GB cards) allowing for 6 hours of footage in total - however "only" 4 hours were filmed.
  • It took 2 weeks to research and write the questions - And most of that was Rosemary's own work.
  • 14 Cue cards were used to get all the questions for all the interviews. 3 of them were signed by famous drivers afterwards. Rosemary prefers to use cards or memory rather than an autocue. Which is just as well, as we don't have one.
  • John Surtees was delighted to find out that we were from Wales, and Rosemary in particular from Pontypridd. It turns out he won his first race in Aberdare Park.
  • The "Voice" is attached to David Malins, who you can see on screen for the first time here. David rarely travels to the location and records his lines after the edit has been completed
  • There is a script, otherwise we wouldn't know how to start, end or link sections to each other... it's not always strictly adhered to.
  • The interview subject's answers are also on the script to give an estimate for timing. Fairly obviously, we take the answer that they give rather than the one that's on the script!
  • The Caterham and Ginetta interviews were added into the plan when we realised that both companies had developments from last year. The crew had approximately 2 minutes to prepare for each one.
  • We did not prepare at all for being asked to interview a bear...
  • More than 2000 people have watched the Caterham interview. We think that this could be down to the presence of the F1 car!
  • The finished programme is 10.01GB in size, and took 3 days to upload. We really need a better internet connection!
  • At the start you'll see Rosemary raise her hand into the air - this is to sync both cameras together afterwards. Look closer and you'll see that her cue card is blank!
  • The start, finish, and interview with Ali Rushforth all take place on the Pirelli Stand.
  • Ian Cook's interview took place after the show had closed on Saturday.
  • It took 4 takes to film the interview with Alex Brundle on the Radical Stand... mostly due to people walking though the shot - Watch out for the "background jumper" during the Time Attack feature too.
  • The font used in the Overdrive logo is the same one used by Porsche - although ours is italic. Sharp eyes will note a difference between the logo font on the video and that on the website - The website font is Bank Gothic, which has replaced "Porsche" to give a cleaner look. Future videos will use this variation.
  • Loudly begging us to film your car is a sure fire way of ensuring that we won't.
  • The Overdrive crew can conduct interviews in English, Welsh, German, Herefordian and to a certain extent French. To date, only English has been used.
I hope you find this brief look behind the scenes interesting; anything else you want to know? Please feel free to ask on the comments box below, or drop us an e-mail via the contact us page. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter... Look forward to hearing your questions!