Producing The Raw Driving Mazda MX-5 Video

Carhoots writer, Aiden, tells us a bit about the shambolic process of making his Mazda MX-5 video review.


This is the story of how we made this MX-5 film. It was quite a shambolic experience if I’m honest, but hopefully you didn’t notice that in the finished product. 

Anyway, a couple of months ago I got this idea in my mind that I needed to buy a GoPro camera, I didn’t really know what I would use it for, but I liked the idea of owning one and perhaps telling the people of the Interwebs all about my car in a snazzy video. 

I think YouTube is a brilliant media platform for sharing car stories and reviews on, it’s far better than simple print media because it allows you to watch the vehicle in motion, listen to its sounds, and obtain a better overall feeling of the car in its natural habitat compared to just looking at it in pictures or reading about it. And making videos seems simple enough, you get yourself a camera or two, find a nice spot, then press record, right? 

So, a month ago the GoPro finally arrived, I had a good idea of where I wanted to film, I stuffed some computer gadgetry and several boxes of Pizza Shapes into the cars boot, then got a photographer friend to come along for the ride. He wasn’t especially enthusiastic about it, mainly because the video was going to be on my car which apparently is “the most uncomfortable car in the world”, and we would eventually spend the best part of five hours driving about in it during the day of the shoot over some of the craggiest roads I’ve ever experienced. To make matters worse, on alpine roads there is very little space to turn around, so quite often I was forced to do some off roading… You could imagine how well that went… The MX-5 grazed its chin a few times while lorryists and worker Johnnies laughed. At one stage I drove off for twenty minutes trying to find a spot to turn around so I could collect Jack the camera man who I had left in a strange, cold, country truck stop to film the moment I’d come hurtling down the mountain in the MX-5. There was no mobile phone reception either so Jack thought I had simply abandoned him. 

We eventually found a spot to do all of the talking outside of the car bits of the video, where we met a chap on a motorcycle who took an interest in what we were up to and was a fellow MX-5 owner. Jack observed as we chatted about how well the MX-5 corners and eventually admitted that while the MX-5 is terribly uncomfortable, it must be pretty good at going around corners. 

Eventually we shot some video, then we ended up throwing half of that useable footage away to make the video much shorter, plus there was probably an hours worth of me just mumbling away which could never be shown. 

Last weekend when the video was just about ready to roll, I decided that one of the crucial parts of the introduction was a bit terrible, and we weren’t going to drive another five hour round trip back to the place where we did the other filming so we found a quiet place near where I live on a gravel road surrounded by large tree’s and animal excrement, hence the reason we suddenly change locations for the bit where I lower the roof and almost get killed by a lorryist.

In the end we had three and a half hours worth of footage which contained a little bit of video worthy of your viewing and the rest was of me stuttering or laughing at people driving Ssangyong’s. The most difficult thing has been talking in front of the camera, but by the end of this whole ordeal I reckon I’ve improved. Slightly. 

The next issue we faced was the wind, or simply, the air. One of the bigger problems with filming the MX-5 is the huge quantity of wind and tyre noise heard in the cabin, so the audio was always going to be a bit shite. The next Raw Driving video will be much better because we now have a proper microphone and a car that’s slightly refined. 

Next problem; what I really like about iMovie is how the audio levels pre-finalization bare absolutely no resemblance to those post finalization. And by the way, this whole finalization process takes over three hours. 

Anyway, it was still quite an enjoyable – if shambolic – experience, and the aim was to try and make the video about the adventure as well as the car, and have a bit of fun with it, because anyone can make a very strict and serious car video, but those are a bit boring in my opinion. As I’m sure you can see, I don’t try and take the whole thing too seriously and there’s plenty of other cocking about that didn’t make it into the video. When we were filming it we wondered if we could just make an entire video of outtakes, that might still happen…

Overall I’m quite pleased with how its turned out, it’s lacking some polish here and there, but as a whole I’m pretty chuffed with the video. 

Hopefully you like it and would like to see more of me messing about with cars, because I’d quite like to make some more videos. 

Aiden (@AidenT_RD)

Do get in touch on Twitter and let me know what you think of the video, I’m always open to constructive criticism! And be sure to follow @RawDrivingFilms.

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