Why Every Reality Production Should Monitor with iPads feat. Graveyard Carz


“On our show, we get one chance at capturing the repairs we do, so we need everyone on our team - including the talent - to see the shot and work together. With the Serv Pro, we’re able to set up a situation where the talent can monitor the shot and help us know exactly where to point the camera. When you have a show to deliver and customers waiting to have their cars fixed, speed is critical.” - Matthew Pryor, Production Manager of Graveyard Carz.

Reality shows don’t have the luxury of doing multiple takes until the shot is achieved. In fact, on Graveyard Carz, the crew really only get a single take before they have to move on. The challenge though is that, with such a specific and niche industry, the people with the most expertise on set are the talents themselves - antique car repair techs that both fix the cars and tell the story behind them.

So to make sure the camera captures the right angles and moments, Matthew Pryor added two Serv Pros (paired with a Link) to his kit. The Serv Pros send video from both A and B cam to iPads and iPhones on set so his team can monitor without needing to be at video village. Check out their amazing story here:

1971 Phantom ‘Cuda

Graveyard Carz began premiering in 2012 on the top-rated Velocity Channel by Discovery, which was eventually rebranded by Discovery and made into the MotorTrend channel. The show was conceived by the owner of this auto body shop, Mark Worman, and a client's son Aaron Smith. Together they also own the production company that makes this show called The Division Productions.”

“For 15 years before the show started, this shop was just a normal collision repair center. Then around 2008, Mark got a job to fully restore a 1971 Phantom ‘Cuda that was painted Hemi Orange. It’s a beautiful car and one of the most desirable Mopars in the world. His friends told him he couldn’t do it, so he decided to not just restore it, but film the whole process too. This eventually became the pilot episode of the show, which got picked up by the Velocity channel for 6 episodes.”

“We spend more time with our cars than other car shows do. Our viewers love that we take the time to explain the reason behind every repair in a way that sort of teaches people at home how to do it themselves. All of our methods are factory recommended and makes us that authentic resource that people can trust for Mopar restorations. Last year we were working with another 1971 ‘Cuda from a guy whose car was destroyed in his garage fire. This year, our main car is a 1970 Dodge Challenger RT. We tell an entire story behind each and every car we work on.”

Talents As Directors

“Our show is a lot more reality than many people think. We’re shooting a show on location in an auto shop using cars that belong to our customers. Compared to traditional TV shows or other reality shows, we don’t have the luxury of controlled sets, schedules and gear. And the biggest thing is: once we repair a part of a car, we can’t just go back and reshoot it. We get one take so we need tools that help us maximize our angles and save us time.”

“We have 2 primary camera operators for each shoot - one is for filming faces and one for the work being done on the car. Each camera has a Serv Pro on it and our director carries an iPad on him for monitoring close to the talent. We often turn the iPad around at our talent so they can see where our cameras are pointing. It helps tremendously with the stories we’re able to tell. For example, one of the most important things to classic car collectors is ‘matching numbers.’ This means that all of the parts that get installed on the car were originally on the factory build sheet in the 60s and 70s (think OEM). In a lot of these parts, these numbers can be really hard to find, but Mark knows where they are. Since the crew don’t know where they are, Mark uses the iPads and show us where to point the cameras. Even though he’s the talent for that scene, he’s helping us find the angles that we should be capturing from because those shots are what’s important to our viewers. We were never able to do this before we had the Serv Pros.”

“Speed is important to us too. All of the cars we work on have clients waiting for them, so we have to make sure we’re not spending an eternity to repair each car. We need to maximize the opportunities we have to get good coverage the first time without redoing shots multiple times. A lot of these shots are irreversible too. You can’t simply take a car part off after attaching it. With Serv Pro and VUER, our talents, who are the main experts of the show, help us pick out what’s important so we don’t miss those slim opportunities to get a good shot. They allow us to work smarter, not harder. In the end, they allow us to create a better show for Motor Trend and for the viewers at home.”

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