Making a major motion picture requires much more than just some film and a camera. Movie sets are like a cross between small cities and military operations, and they require an incredible amount of logistical organization to ensure the film is completed on time and within budget.
Film companies can improve their management of important assets like vehicles and trailers by using GPS equipment tracking devices. The film industry uses a lot of vehicles, whether it’s stunt cars for amazing scenes, vintage cars for historical accuracy, trucks for hauling equipment, buses for transporting extras, or golf carts or other vehicles for transporting cast and crew. These vehicles represent a big investment for the film company, and keeping up with them is vital to managing budgets and appeasing insurers.
What Is GPS Tracking?
GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking has become a widely-used technology employed in a variety of devices, including our cell phones. GPS uses a satellite system that communicates with devices on earth to provide accurate time and geolocation information.
GPS was first developed by the U.S. military to provide accurate navigation systems. Today, anyone with a GPS receiver can make use of the system, although the U.S. military has selectively denied access in the past, such as in 1999, when it cut off access to the Indian military during the Kargil War. More than 30 satellites are part of the GPS program, and the first was launched in 1978.
Ways GPS Tracking Can Help the Movie Industry
Automobiles play a big part in many movies and even a leading role in some. Consider the latest installment of the Fast & the Furious Series, Fast & the Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious. The movie, filmed in 2016 in Georgia, spent $1.6 million on transportation and truck rental and a little over $1 million on rental cars. The film spent $435,772 on gasoline.
Another great example is the early 2000s hit Gone in 60 Seconds, which featured 50 classic and high-end vehicles, including a rare Ford Mustang, “Eleanor,” that recently sold for $1 million at auction.
Other films require specialty vehicles to be made, such as Mad Max: Fury Road. The post-apocalyptic film developed many expensive custom-built vehicles, including a humongous 18-wheeler with two V8 engines and modified cabins. The cost of the vehicles helped contribute to the film’s $150 million budget.
Some movies spend millions on cars, just to destroy them, such as the James Bond film Spectre, which spent $37 million destroying seven Aston Martins, or the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers, which destroyed about 60 junked police cars.
Keeping track of these vehicles—even the ones doomed to destruction—helps film directors better manage budgets and ensure that resources are available when the film schedule demands it. Consider these benefits GPS equipment tracking can provide the film industry:
- Preventing theft and loss – In a frenzied production environment where dozens of vehicles are being used in filming and to transport cast and crew, it’d be very easy for one or two of those vehicles to end up getting stolen. GPS tracking helps prevent losses associated with theft by allowing film producers and directors to track missing vehicles.
- Tracking talent – Films run on a very tight schedule, so knowing where crews and stars are at all time can help directors and producers ensure everything happens on time. With GPS tracking, directors and producers will know where vehicles transporting key members of the production are, enabling more effective communication and better-informed scheduling.
- Tracking trailers and large-scale equipment – Vehicles aren’t the only major capital investments used in films. Trailers and heavy equipment are also important to many productions. With GPS tracking devices, film producers and directors can keep track of these high dollar investments, deterring theft and misuse and preventing accidental loss.
- Gathering data – By using information gathered from GPS devices regarding vehicle use, astute film directors and producers can find efficiencies they can apply to the film they’re currently shooting or future films. GPS asset tracking data has led to a revolution in efficiency in the transportation industry and can also help film companies make better use of their assets.
- Making insurers happy – Insurance can be a big cost for films. Filmmakers can reassure insurers that their risk is minimized and, perhaps, convince them to offer lower premiums by installing GPS trackers in expensive vehicles and other equipment covered by their policy.
- Reducing overall costs – By preventing theft and loss, keeping films on schedule, and lowering insurance premiums, film directors and producers can reduce costs, allowing them to spend more money on more mission-critical parts of a film or cutting the overall cost of making a film.
10 Most Expensive Vehicles from Movies & TV
|Back to the Future||DeLorean DMC-12||$541,000|
|Chitty Chitty Bang Bang||Chitty Chitty Car||$805,000|
|Gone in 60 Seconds||1969 Shelby Mustang GT500||$1 million|
|Spinout||1929 Duesenberg Model J||$1.2 million|
|Le Mans||Porsche 911S||$1.37 million|
|Goldfinger||Aston Martin DB5||$4.6 million|
|Batman TV Series||Batmobile||$4.62 million|
|Redline 7000||1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona||$7.25 million|
|Ferris Bueller’s Day Off||1961 Ferrari 250 GT||$10.9 million|
|Le Mans||1968 Ford GT40 Gulf||$11 million|
A Pivotal Plot Device
GPS isn’t just a logistical superstar; it also plays a pivotal role in the plot of many movies. Consider these films that have featured GPS tracking as an important plot device:
- GPS, The Movie – Yes, there’s really a film called GPS, The Movie. In the film, a group of friends joins a friendly GPS scavenger hunt, but the light-hearted hunt becomes more serious when they must use their GPS devices and tracking skills to locate an alleged kidnap victim.
- The Dark Knight – In this second installment of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Batman uses a technology developed by Wayne Industries to employ all cell phones in Gotham City as a tracking system to find the location where his arch-nemesis, the Joker, is holding hostages.
- Enemy of the State – In this late 90s Will Smith action film, Smith plays attorney Robert Dean, who has been framed in an espionage plot involving a rogue intelligence agency. GPS tracking plays a huge role in the film, as Dean must constantly elude agents who have slipped tracking devices into his clothes and other items.
- The Bourne Ultimatum – In this film, hero Jason Bourne uses a cell phone equipped with a GPS tracking system to track an assassin and prevent him from killing his target.
For film companies that want to employ GPS tracking equipment as something more than just a plot device, working with a qualified GPS company is a must. Filmmakers need a GPS tracking provider with a track record of success that can provide
US Fleet Tracking provides the film industry and a variety of other industries with a proven method of keeping tabs on some of their most expensive assets. With US Fleet Tracking’s GPS tracker devices, clients can track their assets live from smartphones, tablets, or other devices.
US Fleet Tracking uses the best car GPS trackers on the market, allowing clients to stay abreast of current traffic conditions where their vehicles are traveling, playback vehicle activity, check weather conditions in their assets’ area, and get alerts if assets leave designated geo-fenced areas.
US Fleet Tracking also provides clients with the tools needed to generate reports to help them determine if their assets are being used in the most efficient manner.
With US Fleet Tracking’s logistical wizardry, producers and directors can reduce costs related to tracking big assets and improve efficiency, allowing them to spend more of their time and money making movie magic.
Get a first-hand look at the features of their GPS tracking service and see exactly how they can help.