It is early morning in Moab, Utah; the streets are empty, with only the occasional big rig passing through. It is a lonely time of the day; it is my time. My day starts early and ends late. My motor home is already parked at the location; I arrived yesterday and position it at our base camp. It is a scrappy dirt lot, that a water truck has to keep wet otherwise the camp would be buried in a red clay powder when the winds hit. My ride arrives and in fifteen minutes I am at the motor home getting it ready for the day. I check the generator to make sure it is not low on oil; today the generator is going to run long and hard to cool the motor home. I do a little last minute cleaning; it is going to be a challenge to keep the RV clean, I will need to keep my broom nearby.
I am at an event called “Rally on the Rocks”, at the Old Spanish Trail Arena in Moab, Utah opened to UTV/SXS. A UTV is a small 2-person, 4-person or 6-person, four -wheel drive vehicle also known as a (Utility Task Vehicle). A SXS is side-by-side off-road vehicle, essentially the same as a UTV. All the major manufactures like Can-Am, Polaris, Yamaha, Artic-Cat, and others are showing all their latest vehicles and letting people do a test ride. The course is great; it has a lot of banked curves, and places to really open the throttle. I know this because I had a chance to take a demo on the Can-Am UTV, the Maverick and their ATV the Outlander.
I went inside the convention hall and dozen of venders were selling third party upgrades like tires, suspension systems, clothing and other items essential for the off-road experience. There was even a company selling a trailer for the UTV, which had two queen size beds, a kitchen and a bathroom, that could easily be pulled by one of these vehicles or a small car.
This was not a typical commercial for me; there was no clothing stylist, no make-up and hair artist. The crew size was small, a few production assistants, a couple of grip people, a few camerapersons, the clients and the production crew. The talents are owners of UTVs/ATVs and/or people interested in purchasing UTV or ATV for the first time. Cameras were mounted on the vehicles and the drivers tested the UTV or ATV on the course. This was repeated throughout the next several days with a few variations. This is what it takes to make a thirty or sixty-second commercial, a lot of repetition. The commercial looks really cool because it (Commercial) took a lot of people including a good editor to make the product a must have item. Personally after taking the Maverick for a spin, I was convinced that I wanted a UTV.
When I first got the job I had to do a search on the Internet for Moab, Utah. Moab is 725 miles from Los Angles or 354 miles from Denver. It took me about fourteen hours to get to (Moab), driving up the Baker grade, past Las Vegas, through the top of Arizona and then taking Interstate 70 east for about a hundred and thirty seven miles, then south on US-191 for about 31 miles.
Moab is great place to shoot; there is the Arches National Park, a large rock arch that is a Utah icon. The valley itself is amazing, something you can only find in Utah. In the town of Moab, there are numerous places to stay; I stayed at the Roadway Inn & Suites Landmark Inn 435.259.6147. It was a nice Inn, the rooms are spacious and clean, adequate parking for cars, large vehicles can park on the street. There is a pool with a slide and there is a 4 x 4 four tour. It was a busy week in Moab; therefore our crew was placed in several different hotels. Moab is a small town, very RV friendly; there is a dump station in town, plus numerous RV parks. There are a number of gas stations that also sell diesel. I stopped in Green Valley, Utah at a Pilot (truck stop) before I landed in Moab. Restaurants lined the main street in Moab; my clients and crew had plenty delicious options in terms of ethnic and American foods. There is a super market in town, so picking up our favorite foods and beverages was not a problem.
At last it was time to go home, the next morning I stopped at Denny’s for breakfast, then drove to Interstate 70 heading west. I stopped off for the night in Primm, Nevada at Whiskey Pete’s 702.386.7867, played my favorite slot machine, lost a couple of bucks then called it a night. If you have a CDL (commercial drivers license you get a discount at Whiskey Pete’s.
If you plan on filming in Moab, Utah, call the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission at 435.259.4341. If you any questions or need a motor home please feel free to call me Mike Green at 818 317 7099.