Landing the Role: On Set of a National PSA for Toyota & Discovery

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

In this business, it's important to make sure you're getting your name out there. ProductionHUB plays an important role in helping me do that as a cinematographer. The ability to bid on jobs has been a great feature, but even better is when a client approaches you because they’ve seen your profile and are interested in hiring you. Instead of a cold email, you’re now getting a direct lead that ProductionHUB did all the work for! Those kinds of leads are great because the client has already vetted your work and is interested in getting a quote from you. This can lead to lasting relationships with new directors, agencies, and production companies.
For this project, I was approached to shoot a national PSA about texting and driving for Toyota and Discovery. Director Mike Ring from The Garden Creative found me through ProductionHUB and reached out. They needed to recreate an ad that had won a video competition and wanted it done at a much higher quality.
After some initial emails and phone conversations, we determined that we would like to shoot this ad on a process trailer to provide us with maximum flexibility. I provided my Alexa Mini camera, and Mike wanted to make the images nice and creamy so I decided to go with TLS rehoused Cooke Speed Panchro primes.
BAIRD brought the process trailer up from Atlanta to Charlotte, where we were filming, while Toyota supplied us with two RAV4s for the spot. For this job, I knew I needed a top-notch car rigger, so I brought on Mark Rainsford, who was key grip on the movie Tombstone and had rigged up just about everything out there. As gaffer, I brought in Chris Gorman, one of the best guys out of D.C. and who had worked on Absolute Power. The additional crew hired out of Charlotte included Chris Lymberis as 1st AC and Josh Duncan as audio technician. Our 1st AD was Brendan Medairy, also from The Garden Creative.
We assembled before dawn to discuss the rigging on the car, then while Mark got to work on that, we moved to the house location to shoot the night scene where a policeman visits the house with bad news. At that point dawn was coming on strong, so we eventually had to black out the front porch in order to get the right level. We use both practical cop car lights and a Litepanels Gemini to achieve the strobe light effect.
Moving back to the process trailer, we set up our lighting and grip as well as a silent cat slider that I would be operating from. Chris brought out his Mole Richardson LEDs through the front windows and a Litemat up on the roof to achieve consistent lighting. Then we were off, driving up and down the road numerous times to get all the shots on the list. We also had to rig up a hostess tray for a forward POV of an oncoming vehicle. 
Naturally, safety was our top priority working out on the road. Local law-enforcement locked up the roads for us prior to each take, and everything was securely strapped down to the process trailer for the shoot.
It was a fun day, and the completed spot has been airing on various many of Discovery’s networks for a while now. Even better, this job led to other projects with the Garden that has turned into a great collaborative partnership. 
Without ProductionHUB, it would be much more difficult to get my work in front of agencies and production companies in this way and to develop relationships that lead to lasting partnerships and multiple projects. This is just one example out of dozens, if not hundreds of leads that have come through ProductionHUB and is a big reason why I highly recommend taking advantage of all the services they provide. Let ProductionHUB do your marketing for you!
Watch the full PSA:

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About the Author

Joshua Ausley
Joshua Ausley
Joshua Ausley is an ICG Local 600 Director of Photography and an international award-winning cinematographer for commercial, narrative and documentary filming.

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