For Audi enthusiasts

directors notes cover2 photo



2 May 2013

Editor’s Note: In today’s world of social media and multi-platform media consumption, the importance of well-produced video cannot be under-estimated. That point was and remains quite obvious to Audi – maker of documentaries like the “Truth in 24” series. Recently the team at Audi’s American outpost stepped up their production game even further through the addition of Joe Olesh – their own in-house lead producer and editor of video. The result, as you may have noticed, is a greater quantity and quality of video stemming out of Herndon.

Case in point is “Canvas” a short produced mainly for the internet in order to promote both the new 2014 Audi R8 and its association with the major motion picture “Iron Man 3” that goes live in theaters tomorrow. Joe shared his back story of the filming with us and, upon request, has summarized it in this “Director’s Notes” style piece below. Read it below, watch “Canvas” below at the bottom, go see “Iron Man 3” and… we’d also suggest… go test drive the 2014 Audi R8.  — 4T

The goal of “Canvas” was two-fold: bring the Audi/Iron Man partnership to light and celebrate the new 2014 Audi R8.

Per the concept, we decided to keep it simple: present the car –– it’s lines, curves, design elements –– in an unabashed fashion and “embed” the film –– Iron Man 3 –– right on to the car itself. The use of a strong backlight was key, as that level of illumination would help bring the finer details of the R8’s design to the forefront. Finally, a proper sound mix was essential as a story device, one that had strands of an “Iron Man” soundtrack and the mechanical precision of Audi engineering.


The exact R8 featured in the piece is a Misano Red 2014 Audi R8 V10. For more on the car itself, click here.

To execute the shoot properly, I had the RED EPIC at my disposal. The 5K capture capabilities of the EPIC delivered optimal resolution in post. To put it in common terms, this resolution carries more than six times the information per frame (13.8 megapixels) compared to that of 1080 HD (~2 megapixels), which equates to more than twice the width at 5120 px vs 1920 px.

For those fond of the slow-motion key chain shot at 0:31, that was captured incamera at 120 frames/second, Alura Zoom at 30mm and f/2.6, at 800 ASA, with our focal length around 4 feet. (I’d be happy to address any more specific questions re: creative or technical aspects of the short on Twitter at @josepholesh.)

After wrapping the one-day shoot in Southern California, the footage was gathered and formatted so that editing could start immediately. The story was relatively segmented, so I knew time to tinker with juxtaposition of elements would be key. The timeline for the piece, from shoot to delivery, was about 6 days.

A wildcard going into shooting was the projection of the Iron Man 3 footage onto the car itself. We had ideas, but couldn’t be sure if the image would be captivating or interesting enough to work as a story element. After some testing, at the end of the day’s shoot, the footage captured of the “reflected projection” quickly became one of the more exciting elements we’d rolled on. We covered the rear windshield, with the V10 engine just beneath, at different focal lengths and orientations, then swung to the rear fender of the R8 to allow the film to cascade over the car’s more human curves.

Moving into post, I realized that an arc could be created by the shrouded imagery of the projected-reflected film into a dramatic reveal of the new R8. This formed the basic structure of the short piece.

I cut the initial timeline together on the return flight from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. With some valuable input from my colleagues at Audi of America HQ, I had a final cut finished by the following Wednesday. Some rotoscoping and color work was attended to by my DP for the project, Patrick Lawler, and sound design was executed in a partnership with Clean Cuts, a sound design studio in Silver Spring, Maryland.

With picture and sound finished, I continued to tweak, making sure the timing was as sharp as possible. A few more reviews from the management team at Audi brought about final revisions and the piece was ready to go live less than one week after shooting.

See more photos from this shoot via the photo gallery linked at the bottom of this story. Watch “Canvas” here.

Production Credits:
Supervising Audi Executives: Joe Jacuzzi, Loren Angelo

Audi Director/Editor: Joseph Olesh

Audi Producer: Lindsay Whitman

Executive Producer: Dana Vorhees

Cinematographer/Visual FX: Patrick Lawler

1st AC: Rich Hawkinson

2nd AC: Joe DiBartolomeo

Key Grip: Mike Asinger

Gaffer: Corrin Hogson

Actor: Tyrone Galgano

Sound Designer/Mixer: Andrew Eppig

Special Thanks: LA Prep (Car Prep), Clean Cuts (Sound Studio)

Camera: RED EPIC

Post Production: Apple Final Cut Studio 3, Adobe After Effects


Additional Photos


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