Larry Chen: Shooting The Nismo Z Behind Closed Curtains & On Track w/ Chris Forsberg Video

Shooting The Nismo Z Behind Closed Curtains & On Track w/ Chris Forsberg

Posted: 2023-08-01 01:30:14
Author: Larry Chen
Many thanks to everyone who helped with this project, including:
@nissanusa @MSI_USA @CanonUSA @CineMilledUSA @vaxis4183 @movmax7044

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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Foreign Foreign Hey guys Larry Chen here I hope you guys enjoyed the director’s cut of the global release video for the all-new Nissan Nismo Z the new Z as you guys sometimes call it the 400z is a car that is so near and dear to my heart as you guys

Know I’m a big Z fan I love Nissan Z’s and Nissans in general being able to launch a car with Nissan globally was such a big deal for us so we actually had a chance to shoot the Proto in Downtown LA we also shot the global release photos and video of the

New Z as well as shooting in Times Square during the release I’m going to take you guys behind the scenes and show you what we did in the studio as well as what we did with Chris forsberg at Willow Springs Let’s go If you guys follow my work you guys know that I’m a natural light photographer I’m not a studio photographer I’m not a Photoshop biographer I try my best to get everything in camera and if I have to bring it into Photoshop or Lightroom it’s mostly to fix my

Mistakes not to actually change the properties of the photo with that said Nissan asked me if I was comfortable with shooting in a studio and doing the initial release photos from the studio I’ve shot in the studio a couple times and I’ve done a couple shoots where it’s

More practical lighting I actually did one with Toyota where we took the RAV4 Prime and we shot it in a studio but we actually placed it in the real world so we made it look real as possible this one was going to be different and I

Needed to stand out so I actually hit up my friend V he is a great Studio photographer and he’s just has a different eye when it comes to photography with cars but his real skill is actually behind compositing and putting different images together so we actually work together

For this shoot I composed the photos I took the photos and he gave me tips and suggestions on how to light it and where to actually add light or take away light we ended up using so many different methods of lighting we used a bunch of

Re Hot Lights light painting and we used some profoto strobes so many different ways combine in one just for one outcome because we had to stack so many photos on top of each other this actually meant we had to shoot from a laptop we actually hooked it up to our MSI

Z16p Creator laptop which allowed us to change the settings from the actual computer and we were able to see every single photo as we took it so we would initially do our settings right away on the camera make sure we have like a good Baseline then as time went on as we were

Developing the shot we would just use Lightroom Tethered on the MSI laptop to shoot each photo and we would change the settings and we would review after every photo just to make sure we’re getting the right details to make sure that we’re omitting things that we don’t want to show on camera

For the light painting portion I was really proud to actually use my type S video and photo light so this is the lc360 you can get it from Type S but it’s cool because we were able to tune the brightness in and tune the color temperature in to exactly what

We were doing so we use the type S light for all the wheel shots all the interior all the light painting panels we lit every single panel separately that way we could take or add light away in Photoshop later on I’m just so proud of how the photos came

Out and my original Vision really came through I am such a big fan of what V does and him being able to stitch these photos together to create one final perfect image of the Nismo Z really opened my eyes to what studio photography is about don’t get me wrong you won’t be finding

Me in a studio that often while I love it I just would much rather be at a racetrack or outside in a beautiful city scene shooting at night shooting in the rain shooting in all different types of situations foreign but I definitely see a place for studio photography

There it is it’s a wrap very happy with all the shots that we got this car honestly looks amazing I also love the fact that it matches the R35 color I think it’d be cool to shoot both of them side by side but definitely wanted to thank Nissan as always for letting me

Do all of these Global releases on these vehicles also thanks to MSI for being such an amazing technology partner we push our computers to the absolute limit and we only use PCS and I’ve always only use PCS so partnering up with MSI just made so much sense we have all their

Laptops all their desktops all the monitors all of that and we edit everything on all of MSI computers so Thank you Foreign the second portion of the global release for this vehicle was a video element so Nissan actually reached out to me and they’re like hey we want you to put together this action sequence to really show off the vehicle show off what it can do at its absolute limit and we want

You to use Chris forsberg as the Wheelman I’ve been shooting with Chris pretty much since 2006 going forward Chris is probably one of my longest term clients he actually reached out to me very early on and since then we’ve just been working together on as many

Projects as we can over the years he is without a doubt the best Nissan Z driver in the world he’s a Formula Drift Champion he drifts a Nissan Z every single time he is competing in Formula Drift and on top of that he has more sideways time in a Nissan Z than anyone

Else with that said the work was definitely cut out for him I had a chance to try to drift a stock Nissan Z and because of the electronic nannies and because it’s so safe in terms of like a street vehicle it really doesn’t want you to be sideways and if it does

Get sideways it really doesn’t want you to do any extra things like left foot brake or transition or whatever there’s just so many things that it’s not happy to do because part of it is that it’s not meant to do all that stuff my personal 2008 350Z has all of that stuff disabled

I had to pull all the fuses for abs and traction control and all that stuff so we pretty much expected that it was definitely challenging at first we decided to shoot this at Willow Springs at the balcony because of a couple different reasons one it’s a big open

Skid pad area and it’s just really easy to be able to get really nice shots especially with a vehicle that you’re not really sure with in terms of what it can actually do you can’t really thread the needle with a stock vehicle because it’s just not meant to do the things

That we’re asking it to do on top of that this was a code red shoot in that we could not shoot this in the public there could not be any prying eyes because this is way before the actual launch of the vehicle we needed this to

Be shot in secret and there’s just not that many race tracks or skid pads around where we could just rent the whole thing and shut it down we had Nissan security there to really watch for anybody that was coming through the desert or coming around anywhere just because we wanted to make

Sure that this vehicle did not leak before our hand Chris just on his own figured that there was actually three levels of traction control that you have to turn off so once we were able to turn everything off and you essentially held down the traction control button for over six seconds I think

It actually let us pretty much do anything we wanted [Applause] that’s kind of when the video really kicked off because he was able to do 360s he was able to initiate transition do really nice Smoky burnouts and donuts it was so much fun so this was actually

The first time that I rented my own Boom Lift so we rented a 85 foot boom so we can get some nice top-down shots we also got some nice shots of him doing 360. we ended up setting my Lexus LX 570 as a camera car

And we hit up our friends from move Max and vaxis they make a really cool camera arm so we were able to mount and with the vaxus wireless video feed we were actually able to control it from inside the vehicle with a perfect feed so that

Way we can kind of just watch exactly what the camera is doing where Chris is and we can make our moves depending on how fast the two vehicles are moving between each other all that it was so much fun to be able to do that but what I’m really excited about is

That we actually ended up picking a ronin 2 after this because I just realized that this is just something that we need in our arsenal we actually hit up our friend Pedro from Cinema and he worked with us to build an incredible kit that goes off the rear hitch that

Goes to carbon fiber speed rail and it’s awesome that he’s able to make all this stuff because he’s a racer at heart and he ended up making all this stuff from a lot of race car knowledge and just building things for his own purpose but now he’s doing all this camera stuff

Which is so cool and we’re able to build a very nice compact kit for our needs that will allow us to shoot pretty much anywhere anytime and of course in terms of the arm we actually hit up our friends at move Max and they are letting

Us borrow the and to air arm which actually uses a bicycle shock it’s super cool it’s very tunable and it’s so Stout and it holds the run into perfectly it’s gonna look so cool moving forward with that said I am super stoked on how all of this came out I’m definitely

Moving in the direction of doing more directing and I’m really focusing on doing more video work while I love photography the point is that there’s a place for both and the cool thing is most of the time I do get to do both I get to shoot Stills and I get to direct

And I get to do something different and do something greater and being able to work with these OEM manufacturers just means so much to me it means the world and it’s such a big honor so definitely go to the Nissan Channel and their social feeds and check out their cut of the video

That we actually shot and let us know what you think hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall foreign [Applause] [Applause] What’s up