Filming Without a Film Office

In 2012, after 4 years of raising funds, Sidecar Productions set out to shoot their first feature, Eternity: The Movie.  Unfortunately, earlier that year, funding had been cut to the San Diego Film Commission and the remaining staff was moved into the Tourism Authority Board.  Later that year the office officially folded and the four years of prepping to shoot in San Diego came to a head.

“We had no idea how crucial a central film office was to making a film until we tried to make Eternity without the San Diego Film Commission.” said Eternity’s producer Eric Staley.  

“A Film Commission facilitates all film productions in a given area. It helps communicate between the police, the city, event staff and mass transit.  It assists in coordinating locations and proper documentation for rights, permits and public safety.  Without a film commission you could have very large groups of people executing their projects with out concern for the surrounding area.  No paper trail to cease productions that damage parks waterways or city streets and no governing board over productions filming with unsafe practices or against union guidelines.” added the local producer.

Staley went on to point out an even bigger issue, “Without a local film office there is no liaison bringing in larger productions from outside San Diego.  This liaison helps productions work comfortably in our area bringing million-dollar budgets and hundreds of jobs to the city.”

Sidecar and their team spend a full year after filming to assemble footage, tracking down colorists, renting studio space to record the final soundtrack and finding professional post-houses to complete the film.  ”Most of this could have easily been accomplished with a film commission.” explained the film’s director, Ian Thorpe.

“With a film commission comes a large network experienced in creating and finishing films.  When we wrote Eternity we had our network of grips, directors of photography, colorists, and composers but sadly, without a county-wide film commission, these professionals have started to leave the area,” said the director.

Against all odds Eternity: The Movie opened in theaters across the U.S. and Canada in 9 cites in October of 2014.  ”It was a great experience filming in San Diego” said writer Joey Abi-Loutfi.  ”Great weather, beautiful people, and no traffic” boasted the LA native.  ”To have this playground only 70 miles from some of the largest blockbusters and to not utilize it would be a shame.”

Jon Gries answeres his phone on the set of Eternity: The Movie

Actor Jon Gries, of Napoleon Dynamite, answers his phone in his penthouse office. (Department of Transportation old building

Eric Staley and Francine Filsinger on Fox 5 News in San Diego

Maxboost and Ambrosia power – Case Study SCP

Ambrosia Video

In June of 2014 Sidecar Productions was hired to create two unique videos to create brand awareness for a tech start up in the San Francisco area.  Knowing that the client wished to add value to the project we created a script that was energetic, funny and modern.  Time constraints also added to the project’s needs with the product set to launch in less then two weeks.

Maxboost’s Brand Consultant, Marketing Director, and Sidecar’s Senior Project Manager, Eric Staley got together over Skype and hammered out two 45 second scripts that loosely would translate to two, one-minute videos for online distribution.  Bryan Decker, Sidecar’s Production Designer, hired Maddie Moon clothing to recreate the look and feel of a high-end fashion show while the show’s producer, Eric, reserved the locations, received and scheduled castings, and hired the 10+ person crew.

The crew consisted of a Director, a Director of Photography, an Assistant Camera Man, the Production Designer and an Art Assistant, a Lighting Technician, a Boom Operator/Audio Monitor, a Fashion P/A to help with wardrobe, a Hair stylist and a Makeup Artist.  Also, many on the Sidecar team helped with the production including a Graphic Artist and an Assistant Editor while in post production.  Having these resources helped us stay on time and on budget.

The result is a humorous video that has different levels of marketing, humor, and dialogue creating an environment that viewers want to watch over and over.  Please enjoy “Maxboost Power” and “Fashionable Slimcases” by Sidecar Productions.

Ambrosia and Maxboost videos by Sidecar Productions

uNu – Ultrapack: Content for The San Francisco Tech Startup

uNu

In May of 2014, uNu (a San Francisco based company) hired Sidecar Productions to create, write, and produce a 30 second low-budget commercial to be aired at a Live 105 Bay Area concert event.  The commercial had to be written, filmed, and edited within two weeks of signing the agreement. Screen replacements needed to be added when the product arrived and it was not camera-ready but our in-house staff was able to solve the problem with After Effects and Mocha.  Within a week we had our script and began the pre-production process.  Actors, equipment, locations, crew, and catering had to be quickly assembled with a delivery date only a week away.

Production designer, Bryan Decker, was able to use a majority of the furniture found at the location.  By adding plants, a slider and some great soft lighting by DP Donnie Eastman, the shoot was dynamic and colorful. Here is the result:

After completing the 30 second commercial spot, the client asked us to create a 60 second overview.  This video was created to inform customers about the UltraPak when they visited the product’s website.  Sidecar wrote, directed and produced the following 60 second and 30 second spots.

The 30 second cut from the 60 second overview.

 

Please contact Eric Staley at Sidecar Productions to learn how we can help your product reach market.

eric@sidecarproductions.com

(858) 384-9937

SidecarEric