As a custom set design and prop rental firm, our team works on a lot of fascinating projects. No two are exactly alike. Movie Prop Rentals built the set and furnished props for the iconic 2016 Sony ActionCam “Turtle Cam” commercial by Dutch directors Lernert & Sander. At the time, it was their directorial debut, but they’ve since developed a reputation for using brilliant colors and geometric patterns in their work – all of which you can see here in the set we constructed for them. We had to conjure some interesting movie magic for this job so that no turtles were harmed in the making of the spot!

It’s all in a day’s work for us. We love the design, the build, the tests, the challenges, the problem-solving, the laughs, all of it. In this industry, finding an experienced, easygoing team to work with is everything. No project is too big or too small for our innovative team. Call us today for a free quote!


About the Ad

In the 60-second digital spot, five turtle jockeys film racing hounds speeding down a dirt track in their own slow-motion way.

“The camera is so simple to use, that it could even be used by a turtle,” explained the directors. “The capability of the camera retains the turtle’s slowed perspective; it’s able to capture the glorious slow motion of the dogs’ bouncing hair as they race down the track, as well as the glorious photo finish,” they added.



What We Did


Our setting is a pretty desolate storage hangar, so we really had creative license to build whatever sort of space we felt was needed to convey the race experience. We built racing kennels, a fan zone, the dirt race track, the finish line, and the entire after party.

We wanted to use vivid colors that “popped” for the racing doors (matched to each dog’s jersey), juxtaposed against a black-and-white checkerboard fan zone, where additional turtle videographers were stationed.

“In this way, the backdrop mirrors the brand messaging we want to convey – that the Sony ActionCam is so slick and so amazing, it’s like shooting in color versus black-and-white; it’s a moment of perfectly captured clarity, against the haze,” explained lead set director Jerry Blohm.

The turtle jockeys were actually a combination of custom-designed robots, five turtle shells we procured, an actual 7” long turtle head, two turtle puppets, and a 14” long exact replica of a box turtle with the same shells as the other turtles, sculpted face and legs, and an accurate paint scheme.


Insider’s Perspective


The design sketches and construction were the easy part. There were ball firing tests and lighting challenges to follow, but we found a way to create the perfect backdrop to show precisely what the Sony ActionCam can do under the most challenging circumstances.

The turtles were a fussy lot on-set. “The real turtles were not big fans of their fake friends,” Jerry laughs, “but the props were so necessary. You’d be surprised how fast a turtle can move off a podium when you need him to sit still for a few seconds!”

Not only that, but we didn’t want real turtles falling off the dogs as they ran!

“The ending was fun,” he added. “We’ve done a lot of rapper music videos, so we borrowed from their celebratory endings by adding in the exploding champagne bottle and confetti finish. The dogs were such impeccable, unflappable models – no stand-ins necessary!”


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Movie Prop Rentals designs custom background set builds and props for commercials, film, television, theatre, music videos, private parties, corporate events, and more. If you dream it, we can design it and build it. Our home bases are in Atlanta, GA and Miami, FL, but we travel nationwide, wherever our services are needed, and routinely work with international directors and Fortune 500 companies.