Shooting an International Video with a Local Crew

Recently Dream Engine were involved in an international shoot orchestrated by an American production company based in California. The shoot centred around an up and coming Australian tech company who have created a voice activated drone, capable of precision flying without having to input fiddly GPS co-ordinates. It’s ground breaking stuff, and they wanted to share its capabilities with the world. Our producers were looking for a local Melbourne based camera crew to spare them the unnecessary expense of sticking their crew on a 14 hour flight. We were more than happy to fulfil their exciting brief.


The Brief

We were contacted by our American producers, whom we have worked with before, to shoot some interviews in the city headquarters with the key players involved in creating the drone. They also wanted some “typically Australian” B-roll, showing the creators of the drone taking it out for a test flight somewhere that looked suitably Australian.


We selected the beautiful Black Rock cliffs a 30 mini drive from the inner-city interview location. It proved an inspired choice on a beautiful Autumn day in Melbourne, and we got some truly spectacular shots.


Planning with the Crew


An international shoot requires some serious planning from both parties, in this case Dream Engine here in Australia and a team of American producers. Through conference calls with all parties involved, we settled on a visual look and feel that the producers were after. They were trying to evoke a sense of adventure and excitement and the beautiful setting really enabled us to capture that. The video would primarily be shown to US audiences so that required shooting to NTSC format as opposed to the Australian standard PAL. This throws up a few things to consider like changing shutter speeds from 1/50 to 1/60 as NTSC is based around 30fps, compared to the PAL standard of 25fps.


For other planning considerations we had to take into account release forms for all on-camera talent, recording sound in a difficult outdoor location and arranging to use our drone to film their drone!



When preparing for a shoot taking place over multiple locations, you need to ensure you’ve packed the right equipment for the job. For our shoot we packed our DJI-Ronin M stabiliser to capture shots with a lot of movement and the adventure that our producers were looking for.


We also used the DJI Mavic drone to capture some stunning aerial shots of the dramatic cliffside and the operators of the voice controlled drone.

We also made use of a slider, to add a bit of movement to establishing shots and really bring the footage to life for the editors overseas.


If you are planning to use a camera crew based in Melbourne for your next shoot, contact Dream Engine today.


 Ryan Spanger


Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-profit sector to connect with their audience by using video.

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