Texas Restaurant Crash

Texas Department of Transportation (TX DOT) is running “Restaurant,” a 30-second PSA featuring a casual social encounter that ends up in an incredibly violent slow motion crash scene. Film director Josh Miller says, “This was a great concept for an important cause”. “More than anything, it’s a reminder that sometimes all it takes is a single drink to impair your judgement. We each have our own personal threshold, and a casual dinner and drinks with friends can end in disaster. That’s what I wanted to capture in the most simple, visceral and visual compelling way.”

TX DOT Restaurant

B-Reel film director Miller and his team went to some extraordinary lengths to create the effect he calls “beautifully violent.” After shooting the wider shots in an actual Mexican restaurant, Miller built a small set that matched the scene from the restaurant, and then mounted the set on dolly tracks. By making the set movable, the B-Reel team was able to capture the entire crash moment in camera, and at 600 frames per second. The camera itself was locked to the moving set, so the viewer can’t detect the movement before the moment of impact. So when the crash happens, it feels abrupt and real. Miller captured everything in camera, including the smashing beer glasses and food and drinks flying through the air. As a result, the team was able to avoid CG and heavy post effects, making the spot look as authentic as possible.

Credits

The Restaurant ad was developed at Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, Austin, by executive creative director Charles Sbre, creative director/copywriter Paul Hicks, creative directors/art directors Matt Mowat and Julie Pippin and producer Angie Dewees.

Filming was shot by director Josh Miller via B-Reel with executive producer Susan Anderson, line producer David Wolfson and director of photography Shane Kelly.

Editor was Sarah Iben at Final Cut, Los Angeles with producer Jennifer Miller.

Post production was done at The Mill by executive producer Jo Arghiris, producer Adam Reeb, coordinator Jacqueline Sand, shoot supervisor/Flame lead Nick Tayler.