Dylan Lane is a Ponte Vedra High alum that is doing some unique things with his 2005 BMW 330ci, which has become known as the “camera car.” He has always been passionate about cars and looks to capture their speed for others to enjoy as well by filming a variety of high performance makes driving on the open road.
Can you please tell us a little bit about your background?
I am 19 years old and bought my first camera roughly two years ago.
I started shooting photos for the Ponte Vedra football team in the 2019-20 season and for basketball as well.
While I was paying off my camera shooting sports, my heart was in cars. I went to countless car events shooting photos of whatever I could get in the frame and slowly learned how to shoot in the basic scenarios.
As things progressed and I moved to Orlando for school, I dove headfirst and learned everything I could and put myself in as many scenarios as possible to network and get involved.
After working like crazy this last year or so, it is really cool to see the direction things are heading in.
Have you always had a fascination with cars and speed?
Since day one. My mom could tell you better than I can, but cars were a part of my life from the very beginning.
My grandfather and I were as close as could be and together we covered thousands of miles in his cars, and it was honestly the core behind our relationship.
Without him I wouldn't be doing any of this. I grew up and eventually someone thought it was a good idea to give me legal rights to drive a car, so here we are.
Please talk a little bit about your “camera car” and how it works.
So, the “camera car” that people see today was actually my grandfather’s car.
He was the one that introduced me into the automotive world and was honestly my best friend growing up. He gave me the BMW when I turned 16 and immediately after I dove into this world of cars.
About a year ago, he passed away and immediately following his death my entire life changed.
I dedicated everything to growing my skills and eventually all of it led to me building his old car into my film rig.
Three speed rails/poles are put together and mounted in two places on the roof with 9-inch suction cups and then bolted to either the front or rear tow hook depending on how I want to film.
That is the general structure. From there I have the arm which hangs the camera and acts as a suspension to keep the camera steady and away from all the bumps and vibrations of the road.
Everything from the camera is fed into the car to a screen I have mounted on my dash that records the footage and allows me to see what the camera sees from inside the car.
What are some of the projects you have done?
I’ve been really lucky to have worked on some cool projects since I started in film. I have covered Ferrari events, exotic car rallies, filmed for a large YouTube channel, the list goes on.
In October I covered a cancer awareness rally from Orlando to Jupiter. My job was to essentially retell the story of the event and highlight the real cause behind what they do. We ended up losing a participant to cancer just weeks before the event, and one of his dying wishes was for his wife and her brother to still come along in his honor. Of course, we had to give a tribute to them in the video and putting that together was just indescribable.
These jobs that I expect to be all about cars and going fast just seem to always work their way into things that are so much bigger than all of that.
What are some of the challenges that you face when during the filming process?
The biggest issues I face are honestly things I must take care of prior to even turning on a camera.
Just like any business there are tons of costs associated with growth, and for me, the hardest part has just been overcoming the first stages of equipment costs and building a network/clientele.
Filming is shockingly the easy part for me. There really is not much I have to plan for other than timing and location, so film days are honestly just days for me to have fun and enjoy the work I have put in to put the cars in front of the camera.
The rest of the details related to filming I like to let work themselves out. When you have cars going down the road mixed in with other traffic you just have to let it play out.
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
The people. Plain and simple. I have been blessed beyond description to have grown up in this area.
The support I have received from day one from teachers, friends and everyone else I was around growing up has been pretty incredible and I owe a great majority of my success to the people of North Florida.
My family is here and alongside everyone else it really makes this part of the world home for me.
What do you like to do in your free time?
On top of film, I’m also a full-time student at UCF.
Between school and everything else, I really don't have a ton of free time, but whenever I get a light day or have some time, I just go drive.
Growing up my grandfather and I spent so much time together riding around Colorado in his cars and to this day my favorite way to go relax is just to get a Red Bull or something and go drive around and listen to music.
I don't like to go with anybody or talk on the phone because driving just lets me dig really deep into my thoughts and separate myself from this crazy world we all live in. The goal is just to get my mind completely removed from all the noises and notifications. It may sound cliche, but that's what I do.
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