Elon Musk describes how he got taken by the hit TV show Top Gear. Elon allowed the guys of Top Gear to do a review of the Tesla Roadster. While dropping off the car Elon notices that the script had already been written. In the script it has the Tesla breaking down. Top Gear is a TV show that doesn’t have Elon’s best interest in mind.
Usually, a script along with a story board is reviewed with the partnering company (client) in the commercial video production industry. Scripting is a crucial stage of pre-production. It’s one of the creative tools used to plan and optimize production days. It helps to prevent errors and wasteful budget spending. A script writer produces a script in collaboration with the producers and director.
However, in the TV world of Top Gear things can be a bit different. TV show producers do NOT always have the best interest of the partnering company/brand in mind. This is why they did not offer a script review session with Elon during the pre-production stage. Moreover, Elon points out that a script had already been produced even before Top Gear producers recieved the Tesla Roadster. How can a writer script a product review without first experiencing the product? These are two red flags that signal a sketchy production.
If I were in Elon’s position I would have been more demanding in Top Gear’s production process. I would not deliver the car to Top Gear until I approve of the script and storyboard. I’d request the guys from Top Gear come to Tesla’s testing grounds and spend a least a couple days test driving the roadster. From this test drive experience they can write the script. Also, from the test drive the cinematographer, camera operators, and director can start to plan unique shots for their Tesla roadster episode. This would achieve two very important production processes with one stone. Planning and being efficient are important factors in video production.
The lesson here for brands and companies is to have a script and/or storyboard review session with the producers before moving forward with production. Good video production companies with your best interest in mind will already have this in their pre-production process.