This is a photo of my Sonic Spouse Brian and our minivan set-up from our night shoot in April.
So today was our main day of shooting; we met at 7am for make-up and wardrobe here at the hotel, and then headed out the Sonic around 8. In the morning we shot spots for the Tuscan Grilled Chicken Sandwich. We’ve gotten pretty good at eating as little of possible of the product, not because it isn’t tasty necessarily, but because we could be shooting one product for 4 or 5 hours. So you have to be careful.
Basically what happens when we shoot is that Brian and I sit in a minivan that has 4 small cameras on the dash. There is one person, Russ, who sits in the way back of the van and is basically in charge of all the cameras. He has monitors back there and tells us when we need to adjust the cameras (according to when the sun is out or in the clouds) or ourselves. He’s also the one doing the recording.
Meanwhile, in a big white van, are the people from the ad agency and Sonic – usually 5-6 people. They have a monitor and are the only ones who can see and hear everything we’re doing. They give us a series of scenarios, usually 25 or so for each product, on index cards in our van. They’ll then tell us which one to do, and then we’ll do each one around 2-8 times. Usually it’s something like “Molly says she can’t imagine anything more romantic than sharing a cookie dough blast on a hot summer night. Brian says he can think of several things, like going to a monster truck rally or watching action movies.”
And so it goes from there. We improvise and get direction and ideas from the agency folks. Meanwhile there’s another car or two full of production company folks – PA’s, lighting and sound, make-up, etc., and a motor home with other PA’s and food stylists.
Today we shot until about 4:30, but it was a little bit easier than past shoots because nothing after our lunch break involved food. We spent an hour or so shooting some scenarios with a carhop (the servers at Sonic, who bring food to your car window), and then doing some bits for an upcoming Sonic convention. Tomorrow morning we finish up with a breakfast sandwich, and then it’s back to Chicago late in the afternoon.
I have to say, it’s a great gig. I really like all the people who work on these shoots, and it was nice to see everyone after a few months off. Hopefully we’ll be back for more in the future.