A few months back we shot a commercial in one of the trickiest set ups possible.
A non-montage, day exterior, that in film world takes place over a few seconds but in the real world took 10 hours to shoot. Plus the location was surrounded by large trees and sat at the bottom of a valley and it was the middle of winter.
This podcast is all about how we overcame the many hurdles and ended up with something in the world of decent.
Enjoy the behind the scenes look!
Advanced Cinematography: On Set Training
Are you interested in coming on set with me and seeing how I work on a typical commercial? Do you want to see the Framework in action and follow along as the various pieces are added to see the before and after differences?
If so than please check out the latest course from the Wandering DP:
This course follows a project from start to finish and you get to come on a virtual set and see how all the shots are designed. The positive feedback from students has been overwhelming and the new technology that runs the course and allows you to see lighting and framing decisions in real time has changed the way cinematographers will learn forever.
Patreon Podcast: Ozark Strikes Back
Ozark is always a fun show to breakdown and this is the second time we have a look at it.
The show certainly has a style but in this breakdown it was interesting to compare it to previous seasons as cinematographers have changed and their influence can certainly be felt.
This was another Patreon member request so if you have more shows you want to see broken down please let me know.
You can find this week's Patreon content by clicking the link below:
If you are a fan of the podcast and want more video content the patreon group is the place to be. Each and every week I release an exclusive podcast, video, or live stream just for the Patreon members.
Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show. The podcast couldn't exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.
Chasing the Sun - The Spot
We had all the usual suspects on this commercial for gear. We shot with the Alexa Mini LF paired with Cooke S7 lenses all operating from a Ronin 2 with your truly manning the Tilta Armour man rig.
Did it work? Yes.
Would I recommend it? No.
Why? Listen to the podcast.
The Location - Chasing the Sun
The location was about as tricky as you could possible make it for a day like we had scheduled.
Budgets are getting tighter and tighter and more is being packed into an already crowded day with the addition of socials and other content pieces.
We did our best to keep a consistent look but we were also realistic about what was going to happen over the course of 10 hours in a heavily wooded valley in the middle of winter.
Below is the final shot so that you can orient yourself to the aerial map above. The frame is looking almost due North. The sun is almost completely behind the little hill to the left and we were really racing to get this done before we lost all level.
The Spot - Shot by Shot
Shot 1 - Wide Reaction Shot
Couple exit their car and meet at the front. There they notice our hero talent one upping them.
The sun dud most of the heavy lifting but the heavy BG foliage meant getting a bounce on the talent wasn't the easiest. We used a 12x12 Ultra Bounce and did the best we could.
Camera right is a 12x20 Neg to try and add some shape to the relatively flat foreground.
Shot #2 - The Push In
Same as above but closer.
This is a continuation of the previous set up.
Only change is everything is closer and the position of the bounce was shifted to catch the shifting sun light.
Shot #3 - Stand-alone
The middle of the day stuff ended up being the social campaign. These needed to feel in the same world but didn't have to match.
The sun is the backlight and then bounced back to the talent via a 12x12 Ultra Bounce. Camera right is our 12x20 Neg for some contrast. Only other addition is a 4x4 frame above camera to help contain some of the highlights on the car.
Shot #4 - The Tea Sipper
The classic pour shot.
Same as above but we lowered the bounce and added a poly for more punch and we removed the 4x4 frame as it would have been in shot.
Shot #5 - A Moment of Reflection
Wider version of the above frame.
See above but removed the 4x4 Poly.
Shot #6 - Attack the Day
Camera slowly creeps backwards as our hero talent gets her gear from the truck and heads out on the hiking trail.
Sun as the backlight and a small 4x4 Poly adding the little kick to the face. Our 12x20 Neg is wrapping camera left to behind the camera.
Shot #7 - The Reaction
Our hero eyes the couple and they walk off together down the hiking trail.
Same basic set up as we have run all day. Large Bounce frame right to wrap the sun, sun as backlight, and the neg camera left.
Shot #8 - The 2nd Stand-alone
Stand-alone ad for the couple. They walk towards camera sharing a laugh.
Shot #9 - The Logo
Logo end frame as talent emerges from a day of hiking.
We were just trying to get this shot before the sun dipped behind the hills frame left. Behind camera is the 12x20 Neg to add some shape but more so to hide any reflections of crew, agency, craft tents everywhere.