Based in California, Driving Plates is the world’s leading source of HD and 4K 360-degree driving stock footage from around the globe for use in television, feature films and commercials.
Driving Plates is also a full-service production company offering custom driving plate production services on set and on road using state-of-the-art camera rigs.
Founded by CEO David Smith and CFO Shawn Lawler in 2011, the company’s stock library holds more than 7,000 clip sets from across 16 territories worldwide. Recent footage features in Hollywood movies ‘Tag’, ‘The Commuter’, ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ and ‘The Post’ as well as TV series ‘The Big Bang Theory’, ‘Designated Survivor’, ‘Grace and Frankie’ and ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’.
Driving Plates’ production services use crews who integrate with main film and TV units and shoot on set with vehicles, stunt drivers and actors. The company also travels to bring specific plates back from anywhere in the world.
In November 2017, Driving Plates launched sister company Third Law Productions, with a focus on providing innovative solutions to complex productions through VFX technology.
In September 2018, the company launched a division in the UK as it looks to expand its presence in the worldwide.
ian sharples —Production Consultant — as our local partner, ian brings over 20 years of experience in the uk film and television industry to the table. ian shares our passion for delivering innovative and unique solutions to the production process.
david c. smith —Director — Throughout his career, David has always been a forward looking technologist and inventor. As a Director of Photography, david has been able to create high tech and forward thinking processes that enhance the believability of the storymaking process. drivng plates is a result of that creative process.
m. shawn lawler — director/producer — with over 10 years in the film and television industry, Shawn brings both creativity and business acumen to the project. Those skills helped build the company into a key player in the US market. shawn has been the driving force in expanding driving plates to the uk market.
See below for detailed biographies
Started in 2011. Driving Plates, has developed a system to create high quality HD and 4k stock footage that spans the globe. Driving plates is the worlds leading source for high quality 360° driving plate production services and stock footage from around the globe.
Our plates are shot with a patented (US Patent No. 88141812) multi-camera array that is designed for the sole purpose of shooting driving plates using a configuration that is optimized for the best possible footage for compositing. All nine angles are captured simultaneously and in sync. the director of photography and visual effects supervisor will both be relieved when the production decides to use driving plates footage.
"professionalism and quality of work" — the commuter
"driving plates always puts the client first with great customer service and has the best driving plates around" — empire
"Best product " — blindspot
Ian Sharples has worked in the Film & TV industry since 1989 and across all genre of programmes including commercials, documentaries, sport, interactive, feature films and TV drama. He has credits on TV and features as a Line Producer, Producer and Exec Producer.
He is co-owner, Producer and MD of The Mob Film Company in London and has produced or exec produced their entire drama and factual slate for nearly 20 years, bringing three multi award winning Terry Practhett Discworld mini series to Sky viewers as well as completing several feature films including One More Kiss, which was Gerard Butler’s first lead roll, and The Virgin of Liverpool, starring Ricky Tomlinson and Imelda Staunton.
2017 saw the release of two features productions: Cruel & Unusual, a documentary following the story of the Angola 3, three Black Panthers in Louisiana who have spend more than 100 years in solitary confinement between them for crimes they did not commit, and seasonal comedy The Man Who Invented Christmas starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce. Directed by Bharat Nalluri the film follows Charles Dickens through his complicated life as he writes A Christmas Carol and was released around the world in November 2017.
Ian won a TV BAFTA award in 2006 for Interactivity on the Hogfather digital media campaign.
He is currently in development on several TV and feature projects with partners such as Channel 4, Lionsgate and BBC Films.
On the physical production side he has always been interested in the constantly changing face of film making technology and the potential benefit for creativity, quality and efficiency and was the first producer to undertake a “real” production using the Arri D20 (remember those?),. Having worked with the Driving Plates team in early 2018, teaming up with Shawn and David to help bring their new technology to the UK seemed like a natural thing to do.
David C. Smith
David C. Smith is the CEO and creator of DrivingPlates.com LLC, the world leader in 360 motion environments for driving scenes in television and films. Their projects include The Post, The Irishman, The Commuter, S.W.A.T., Scorpion, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D, and hundreds of others. From the success of DrivingPlates.com, David and business partner Shawn Lawler created Third Law Productions: a full service production company specializing in VFX production services. Together they have provided set extensions, 360 elements, VR research and custom camera systems for projects such as Creed II, Man in the High Castle, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Through Third Law, Smith continues to distinguish himself as a producer and cinematographer. Since Third Law’s inception in the fall of 2017, they have produced a first person VR short and two feature films: For the Love of Jesse, a poignant family drama and A Violent Separation, which is due for a wide theatrical release in 2018. Also in 2018, Third Law is poised to produce its third narrative feature and a feature length documentary.
David’s background is in cinematography, with over twenty years of experience, he has lensed over a dozen feature films and numerous national commercials for companies such as Keystone, Meguiar’s, and Jaguar. In addition, he has DP’d many reality based shows such as Living With Ed, Overhaulin, Car Crazy, Punk Payback and Are You Faster Than a Redneck, which required a staggering 45 cameras including 7 units shooting simultaneously.
Throughout his career, David has always been a forward looking technologist and inventor. In service of a creative vision, he has continually innovated the techniques and tools for bringing a story to the screen. The patented camera array at the foundation of DrivingPlates.com is one such innovation that has become the industry standard. With an eye toward the needs of the next generation of content, Smith is pursuing multiple endeavors that promise to impact narrative production for decades to come.