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Digital Giant, Tim Damon Team Up For "LightDrive" Spec Short


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016


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In this spec experimental short, analog and digital filmmaking are meshed to showcase the prowess of a Tesla Model S car. Filmmaker Tim Damon donned his DP cap and teamed up with Digital Giant directors/founders Alex Pickup and Dallas Carroll (with Reuben Wu) to create this film titled LightDrive.

The piece begins with streaks of light erupting from a dark void. Sparks fill the frame, symmetrical light patterns emerge, intercut with interior shots of a night drive through a dense urban landscape. Light blasts through a tunnel, suddenly shifting us to exterior shots of sun rays dancing over the Tesla’s dark exterior. Light ignites from the Model S headlights as the viewer is propelled outside for a fast go around a canyon. Fully materialized from the stage onto windy road, the car dances through switchbacks, sunlight and hillside revealing more detail. The entire film is propelled front to back with a majestic, yet mysterious sci-fi soundtrack.

“Dallas and Alex wanted to collaborate, do something, exciting, graphic, epic,” said Damon of Damon Productions. “I just love working with everyone at Digital Giant; for this short we wanted to create a balance between computer graphics and live action. Merging the two mediums created something spectacular.”

Pickup and Carroll said that their small, close-knit crew of filmmakers and collaborators tapped into the latest cameras, camera cars, drones and bespoke technologies to create a piece that they hope appeals to the sci-fi junky and fellow car enthusiasts alike.

Damon added, “We used Kino Flo lighting for the stage shots, Russian Arm 6 and Flight Arm 7, a 675 horsepower Porsche Cayenne Turbo to keep up with Tesla for the fast runs on Latigo Canyon. We also used a drone for aerial views and a robotic camera car for ultra low angle shots. It was a project where everybody on the team really had to be on their game. Nowadays, most great films are a combination of CG and the practical. LightDrive shows how far you can push it.”


Client Tesla (spec piece) Production Digital Giant Alex Pickup & Dallas Carroll, with Reuben Wu, directors; Dallas Carroll, exec producer/producer. Damon Productions/Square Planet Media Tim Damon, camera car and studio DP; Kendra Wester, producer. Editorial Digital Giant Eron Otcasek, editor. Grading Reuben Wu, Alex Pickup, Dallas Carroll (color suite Caviar Content LA). Sound Design Digital Giant Eron Otcasek, Reuben Wu. Motion Graphics Christoffer Bjerre. Camera Services Industrial Digital/Damon Productions Jeff McCoy, 1st AC; Reuben Wu, Anthony Dias, 2nd unit; Anthony Dias, John Rinek, digital tech; Keith Sherins, camera rigger/remote control HDRI camera operator. Audio Mastering Decade Studios Adam Stilson

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