Shooting K1 Speed’s New Shifter Karts for FORZA HORIZON 3

Now, down here in Southern California, no place really is ever “too far” unless it’s Las Vegas or places near San Diego (which for most people isn’t that far of a drive anyway) but still, everyone here at FEEND Media has a different definition of “far”. The entire FEEND team is more used to production days within a 30 minute radius of our home location in San Dimas, CA but having learned we needed to be at the Carlsbad K1 Speed location the very next morning (early morning, at that), “far” was the first word that came to mind.


This K1 Shoot had to be in Carlsbad because that’s the only location with K1 Speed’s newest go-kart vehicle for the tracks: The K1 Speed Shifter Kart. If you’re not familiar with what a shifter kart is, it’s basically a slightly bigger version of a normal go kart but with a manual transmission. No, not the gear lever shifting manual transmission, but with a pair of electronic paddle shifters that rest by your finger tips behind the steering wheel. It’s very, very cool and it definitely gives the driver a true sense of control that an automatic, two-pedal, brake + accelerate go-kart offers.


That was the highlight of our shooting that day and the focus was the shifter karts and their unique features. They’re bigger, faster, look cooler, and thanks to the super loud speaker system that you can’t see visibly, very loud. Its loudness is replicating the same sound as a supercharged racecar. It’s a very high pitched, smooth tone that just continues to rise up in pitch as you press on the gas. If that annoys you while you’re driving, there is an option to turn the sound off (but why would you do that?).


The big, main reason we were shooting the shifter karts was so that we can include K1 Speed’s latest go-kart model into the new Forza Horizon 3 video game trailer as a part of a promotion for K1 Speed. The FEEND Team is desperately anxious for the new Forza video game release so naturally they were all excited to play a major part of such an awesome trailer. The shots needed to be a little dark but also revealing because it matched the theme of “upcoming release” with the new video game. The shots all turned out fantastic as they used a two light setup and adjusted the angle of the light for a high contrast look.


To get the look we wanted, Kevin, Jaybee, and Tony all worked together for an active light setup. Kevin held one of the Sony A7Sii cameras via DJI Ronin for the smooth forward motion while Jaybee and Tony both held the LED light panels and walked side by side with Kevin to have constant “revealing” light on the shifter karts.


One of the funnier things to happen during our shoot was physically moving the shifter karts into the correct angle for the shoot the FEEND team needed. Of course, they could have each gotten in and out of the shifter kart over and over again to back up, drive forward, and turn left and right but that would have taken way too much time. With quick thinking and a surefire remedy, here comes Jaybee – videographer & local amateur powerlifter – to help speed up the process of adjusting the kart’s positions. He deadlifted the shifter kart’s into position which weighed less than what he had anticipated, and it was a lot of fun to watch. He even did a little bit of preparation as if he was actually at the gym!



All that work just to get this metal peg underneath the rear of the shifter kart so that the “go” pedal can be pressed down to record the screen on the steering wheel showing its track-inspired digital rev readout (just like in S2000s).



K1 Speed | Xbox Forza Horizon 3 Launch Contest from FEEND media on Vimeo.

It was definitely an awesome day of shooting and the FEEND Media team cannot wait to reveal the final K1 Speed x Forza Horizon 3 game trailer (coming soon!). Be sure to go to your local K1 Speed location to enter yourself in the K1 Speed & Xbox video game launch contest! Points will be awarded to the driver for every win, racers beat, and for having fast lap times.


Once again, thanks for reading the blog and stick around for another blog addition next week!

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