One of the big challenges shooting commercials is keeping things interesting.  We would all love to be shooting amazing stories and getting all the time to source locations, test looks, and make sure we were delivering our best effort.

The reality is you get called on Monday for a Wednesday shoot and the location options are dictated by the client to help keep costs down.  

Enter the Arri Master Anamorphics.  

We have talked about these lenses before.  We have done podcasts on these lenses before.  They are my personal favorite at the moment so we are going to double dip on them.  

This is a run of the mill commercial shot with some great people and some unique lenses.  

Let's take a look!

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2x Anamorphic - Mask the Mundane

2x Anamorphic lenses have been a go to in the commercial world since the release of the Arri 4:3 sensor in 2012 and they show no sign of going away anytime soon.

The real draw to these lenses is the ability to use depth of filed to direct the audience to exactly where we want them to look.  The only downside to this approach has been 2x anamorphic lens set dismal  

Camera Gear:

Check out the gear I use on all of my commercial shoots by clicking the link below:

Wandering DP Commercial Cinematography Gear

The only kit not listed on that page is the set of Arri Zeiss Master Anamorphics.

They are nice.  If you've never used them do yourself a favor and talk them onto a job.  They will make you smile.

Lighting Gear:

The World of LEDs was upon us.  A few Arri s60 Sky Panels, some Area 48s in the mix, and a bevy of Dedolights helped on the interior stuff.

Outside it was all the usual suspects: 12x12 Ultra Bounce, 20x12 Neg, 12x12 Neg and some 4x4 floppies to help us out.

2x Anamorphic: The Set Ups

Shot #1 - The Introduction

The Shots

This is the opening of the commercial as our main talent starts his walk across various sporting arenas.  He starts in a betting facility and he will continue walking until the final shot in the ad.

The Lighting

The space was a tiny enclosed box so to make it interesting we faked some big windows camera right.

With the sensitivity of the camera and the lenses we only need two S60 skypanels through 2 12x12s to do the job from camera left.

We used a slightly punchier backlight with a 1.2k HMI and then we balanced everything to the practicals.

Because we wanted some polish to our talent we had him backlight with a travellingArea 48 to create a bit of edge to him.

The Result

Set Up #2 - On the Field

The Shots

Our talent shakes hands with a team of winning football players as they carry the winning goal scorer off on their shoulders.

The Lighting

The sky was hit and miss on the day so to create some contrast we used a combination of a 12x12 Ultra Bounce and a 20x12 black to suck up as much of the ambient light on the camera side as possible.

The Result

Behind the Scenes

Set Up #3 - Don't Scare the Horse

The Shots

Our talent walks out on the track and high fives the jockey on the back of the horse.

The Lighting

We shot this just before the previous set up and it was even more overcast in the morning.  To counteract the lack of contrast all we could do is neg fill everywhere the camera couldn't see.  

The main issue was not putting up so many blacks that it spooked the horse.  

We also positioned a 12x12 Ultra Bounce in a spot that could give us a bit of punch if the sun ever popped out.

The Result

Set Up #4 - Taking it Down

The Shots

The bar sequence closes out the commercial as we go from day to night.

The Lighting

We used a ton of lights on these set ups but the element that tied everything together was the atmosphere we added with the help of haze.

Haze is always a tricky one to get set to a point that works for the shot but doesn't feel gimmicky.  It just helps the low end blacks get a bit of milk to them.

Couple the haze with the Black Pro Mist and we are off to the races.

The Result

About The Author

Cinematographer and host of The Wandering DP Podcast. You can see select examples of work at my personal site or follow me on instagram.

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One Response

  1. Matt Mahoney

    Nice work Patrick. It’s a shame how the final piece was graded with all your contrast and shadows lifted, except for that last scene. This tends to be the case with my own work, not that I’m quite at your level yet. Makes it tough for me to want to show my work off.

    Thanks for doing these.