Sunderland’s largest taxi firm asked Artifact Media to help create a series of videos inspired by James Corden’s infamous Carpool Karaoke segment.
This was certainly something different!
The films would be prime material for social media sharing – light-hearted, hugely entertaining and almost guaranteeing high levels of audience engagement. Each film featured one of the firm’s charismatic drivers and a special guest passenger embarking on a taxi journey through the City of Sunderland, but with a musical twist.
We encouraged the participants to be theatrical and put on a proper singalong show, but they were otherwise essentially left to their own devices; the entertainment value in Cabpool is truly authentic as the driver and passenger(s) simply put some music on and enjoyed each others’ company throughout the drive.
Those special guest passengers included BBC’s “The Apprentice” star, local hero and entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke, Britain’s Got Talent contestant Cal Halbert, and some lucky “mackem” locals.
How we made it
It’s easy enough to place an inconspicuous camera in a vehicle, but we wanted to capture several angles within the car to keep the films visually-dynamic, whilst of course keeping the vehicle safe for all and distraction-free for the driver.
Three cameras were mounted to the inside of the windshield and passenger window respectively – two GoPros and one Sony A7Sii. The latter provided the most “cinematic” look, and was therefore focussed on the driver (the real star of the show!).
With the films being geared around music and singing, audio was arguably even more crucial than the visuals. We used two Sennheiser ME2 lavalier microphones tucked into the overhead sun visors to capture high-quality audio of the cars’ occupants; this placement also avoided any unwanted rustling noise caused by clothing, which, considering there was a fair amount of dancing, may have been a problem if we’d mic’d-up our participants in the usual way! In post-production, we used various audio mixing techniques to balance the pre-recorded music tracks and the audio captured within the car.
Both the April and November shoots had tight schedules, with most guests taking part back-to-back across each day. Constant communication was paramount to the project’s success, and for that we give huge thanks to everyone involved. Cabpool Karaoke was a complete hoot – and it’s clear that its viewers thought so too…
The first Cabpool Karaoke series published in April 2018 accumulated a total view count of over 100k, with many viewers actively engaging by praising the films through comments. The 2018 Christmas Special upped the total view count to 125k.
The series also generated a slew of positive PR; Station Taxis featured in several popular publications including Chronicle Live, Sunderland Echo, Spark Sunderland, The Star and Sunderland Vibe.
Planning your own
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