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Filming Driving Plates: We’ve finally arrived!

We are happy to officially announce that the first of our Driving Plates footage is available for download on

We’ve captured some of the most amazing footage, and there’s still much more to come. Watch our Driving Plates Demo Reel and see how valuable this footage is, and get a sneak peek at what’s coming soon.

Image Above: Shot at an upward angle, this skyline image is called a reflection plate, a vital ingredient to making a driving scene realistic. The reflection plate is placed as a semi-opaque layer on the windshield and hood of the car, accurately depicting a mirrored reflection of the scenery overhead. The reflection plate is available in both the 5-Angle and 9-Angle Driving Plates sets. A 5-Angle set also consists of four panoramic (wide) views shot from the front, back and sides of the car. A 9-Angle set is filmed in two passes down the same section of road. With this type of set, you’ll not only get the front, back, sides and reflection plate, but also the three-quarter left and right views from the front and back of the car.


Image Above: LA’s Fashion District is just one of the many locations we captured in our Southern California shoot. In fact, we shot all over Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Santa Monica during the day, evening and night to give you even more options. So you can put your characters on the same stretch of road at different times, depending on the storyline.

Image Above: Driving plates aren’t just for city dwellers. We braved the scorching desert heat so your actors can stay cool and comfortable in their “car”.

Image Above: Taking a break to move the cameras on this beautiful stretch of wooded highway. We’ve captured all different types of terrain during our travels through Oregon and California, as well as industrial areas, bridges, marinas and residential neighborhoods. Most can double as locations in your area.

Image Above: The Pacific Coast Highway makes the perfect backdrop for your drive along the coast. This footage, which is coming soon to our website, is featured in both northbound and southbound sets. So whether your characters are coming or going, the ocean will always be on the correct side!

Image Above: Whether your story calls for a leisurely Sunday drive through the mountains, a weekend camping trip in the woods, or the impending arrival at a haunted cabin, the Redwood Highway is a spectacular setting. This was one of our favorite locations to film.

You can purchase individual angles or an entire set of driving plates. Everything featured on our website is available for immediate download. Be sure to check back often for more driving plates sets.

What Driving Plates locations would be helpful for your productions?


Filming Driving Plates: Traversing the Speed Bumps

After months of testing, and even more months rigging the car, we were ready to hit the road for our first driving plates film shoots. As with every first-time venture, ours was not without its problems. In fact, it seemed that our first shoot in Portland, Oregon was the “Murphy’s Law” of film shoots. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong…from our GPS dying the minute we hit the city, to remote trigger problems, to card reader failures, to overheating, and everything in between. But as you know, “difficult to shoot subject matter” is our middle name. So we pressed on and got some terrific footage.

Our second shoot took us to Southern California and a multitude of incredible locations. This shoot was both a learning experience and an adventure. Some of the locations require that we arrange for police escort for the day. This poses a challenge when the focus of the shoot is to capture the scenery and traffic all around the car. What good are driving plates if every scene shows the car being tailed by the police?! We did get one great shot of the squad car “pulling us over”. No way were we going to pass up that opportunity! Of course it wasn’t quite so opportune the next day when we got pulled over for real because of the rig. Seems even if you have all of your permits in place, it doesn’t mean you won’t still have to jump through more hoops once you’re on location.

Heat was definitely a factor on this trip, as well. Turns out we chose one of the hottest weeks of the year to traipse around California. It’s not often we find ourselves playing nursemaid to the cameras with icepacks, but fortunately we were able to keep all of the equipment functioning properly by being proactive in dealing with the heat.

We had some peculiar experiences on the shoot as well. Our Caddy was quite often mistaken for the Google car. Go figure! And we were once stopped by a group of protestors who walked out into the street as we drove up, blocking our way and swarming the car while chanting and waving their signs. We’re still not sure what they were protesting!

So, what have we learned so far? Because of triggering problems, the RED One isn’t ideal for this type of shooting. Instead, the Scarlet is a much better choice. Running a car with five cameras and monitors takes a lot of power and creates a LOT of heat, so the car must be rigged with at least one extra battery. Bring more media storage than you think you’ll need, because there’s always one more shot you wish you could have gotten, if only you’d had the storage space. And, the best lesson we can pass on is to know the laws of the city and state you’re filming in before you set out.

All in all both shoots were very successful. The footage is spectacular and we were able to capture a wide variety of locations, at different times of day and night. It’s true we started out wondering how we would ever make it through all of the twists and turns and giant potholes in the road. But in the end it was definitely worth the effort.

Have you ever had a film shoot that got off to a rocky start and ended with amazing footage? We’d love to hear your experiences and how you overcame those speed bumps!

Filming Driving Plates: Before the Cameras Roll

Artbeats is getting a new perspective on shooting POV footage. 

Artbeats is committed to bringing our customers footage that is difficult to shoot, and has high production value. Over the years we’ve received numerous requests for “driving plates”. We also recently spoke with the production staffs of several well-known network television studios and the consensus was the same; they need driving plates and they need them now!

So what are driving plates? A driving plate is the moving scenery seen through the windows of a vehicle when the actors of a television show or film are “driving” somewhere.

As we began researching driving plates footage, we discovered that very few companies sell footage that is shot simultaneously from every window of a car. In fact, those that do provide driving plates use only one or two cameras, making multiple passes down the road. Later, each view must be matched up by the production company and made to look as if shot during one single driving sequence. This can be a very difficult process because each pass will have different action, whether it’s traffic, pedestrians, or the location of the sun. Now that our research was done, we set out to tackle driving plates in true Artbeats fashion!

View from the inside of the car traveling down the interstate with the cameras rolling. 

Diane & Annette ready the Scarlet & Epic cameras on the custom mounting system for a drive through the streets of Portland, Oregon.

We started out by testing different cars, mounting systems and cameras. We needed a smooth ride, a car that rode lower to the ground to allow for realistic height when the cameras were mounted, a mounting system that wouldn’t jeopardize our stabilization, and low-profile cameras that offer a high enough resolution for editors to select and crop to fit a particular scene.

The round metal plate, attached to the rail system, allows the camera to be rotated at different angles without having to be detached each time.

Scarlets attached to the back of the car to shoot the three-quarter angles.

After months of testing, we settled on a 1996 Cadillac DeVille and had our own specially designed mounting system built. We chose an older car specifically for its heavier body, which had to be drilled through to attach the mounts. A monitor rail was built into the dash, and a heavy-duty specialty inverter was included to handle the extra electricity needed to run the five cameras, laptops, monitors, and switches. The electrical system also had to be totally waterproof, with cables and wires running through the body of the car and under the seats, rather than externally.

The control center for the cameras.

Phil uses the touch screen monitors to adjust camera settings from inside the car.

We also chose RED’s Epic and Scarlet cameras. Both are high quality, low-profile, and very light-weight. An entire 9-angle set of driving plates can be filmed in only two passes down the road, which greatly reduces the time needed for matching up the views in post production. The Epic and Scarlet also provide the wider resolution needed for those situations when a second pass isn’t possible.

Stay tuned as we take you along on our journey of shooting driving plates. You never know, you just might see the Artbeats camera car on the street in your city!