I was approached several times to take over an established camera car company. After being employed by them for several years, an opportunity presented itself. I didn’t want to go it alone. One phone call to a long time friend and the decision was made. Oregon now had Elite Camera Cars LLC. A new partnership built by four Oregonians.
One thing that stood out, and was part of my decision was a few conversations about safety from crew members. More like complaints, how could we make this safer? So what is an “Insert car”? In short a very robust custom built machine that in my opinion is designed to avoid injury.
These aren’t your daily driver, like hanging cameras out the door of a minivan, or tied to a pick up tailgate. Every consideration of mechanics even material composites is at work. Here is a simple difference. We use tubing instead of speed rail. The reason is integrity and overall strength. Measuring two inches in diameter, almost impossible to break and safer.
There is that word again, safer? We deal with people and we often move several cars at once. The drivers are responsible to insure the safety of everyone on or even near this activity. I have had David Fincher, Conrad Hall, Michael Douglas, Drew Barrymore, Donald Sutherland, a long list of very expensive actors and directors on board. The difference between you and them is absolutely nothing! The process and consideration is equal for every person regardless!
Elite’s partners looked at all of this in the beginning. We demand a high level of awareness toward crew members including coverage on all ends of the productions. We are insured heavily by the companies. We use police and location people to underline that we can operate without issue.
So far the results have been excellent. The equipment has all undergone upgrades and inspections, again to avoid any problems or weakness. Reaching outside the state we are beginning to expand. All the income made grows this Oregon based operation and the reputation continues.
There is always more to the story. Elite has been meet with a positive response here. One producer said “finally a legit insert car company in Oregon”. Last time she hired a car it came from Canada. Filming in Oregon is good. We have excellent crews who are polite and professional.
There is a state incentive program involved and it needs to continue. Take the time to look into it, it makes cents. Actually it makes dollars, lots of them for our state!
Mark Haleston Elite Camera Cars