The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #221 – Straight to Camera

Today on the show we split our time between the doom and gloom of the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and a breakdown of a recent commercial.

Lots of changes coming to everyone in the industry plus a few tricks and techniques to help you out when your next job finally roles around.

Commercial Cinematography Course: The Foundation

IF you like this type of content and you are looking to get up to speed with the concepts we discuss in this breakdown and all of our other podcasts this is the course for you.

The Commercial Cinematography Course provides an actionable blueprint for young cinematographers to get their head around the commercial industry and maximize the pre-production process of any project.

I am super proud of the course and the response from everyone has been fantastic.

IF you are interested in learning more you can see the entire course outline here:

Commercial Cinematography: The Foundation

Patreon Podcast: Knives Out, Power Windows In

On the Feature Film Podcast this week we take an extended look at Knives Out shot by Steve Yedlin ASC.

Steve made some very bold choices in the film and we go over what factors would have impacted his decision making and how he made the most of a difficult location.

You can find this week’s Patreon content by clicking the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon Group

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.

Straight to Camera – The Spot

This was a single camera shoot over the period of 3 days but most of what we are looking at on today’s show comes from the 1st day of production.

Camera Gear:

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

Wandering DP Commercial Cinematography Gear

We shot on the Arri Alexa Mini LF in Open Gate mode with the Sigma Cine lens set.

The majority was shot at T1.5 – T2.0.

For lighting we didn’t have access to a generator so it was only house power.

The Location – The House

The house was the product and the main location on Day 1.  We started outside to take advantage of the aspect and then worked our way inside as the light became toppier.

The Spot – Shot by Shot

Shot 1 – Outside the House

The Shot

Our presenter is outside the house talking through the features.

The Lighting

This was the first shot of the day and scheduled that way to take advantage of the lowish sun.  The backlight was key to getting enough level on the bounce frame left.

We added a T bar Neg camera right and then softened off the harshness of the sun with a 4×4 frame of HiLite.

The Result

Sun Path

Set Up #2 – The Lounge Room

The Shot

Our presenter walks through the house and lands here to deliver the final line of the ad.

The Lighting

This was the most challenging interior shots because of the time of day coupled with the lack of any lamps bigger than an Arri M18.

We keyed with the M18 through an 8×8 of 1/4 grid cut with a 4×4 of diffusion.  Inside we added an Arri Skypanel in a softbox to help wrap the key light from frame right.

The Result

Director’s Viewfinder

Set Up #3 – The Texture

The Shot

A tighter version of the above lines.

The Lighting

Similar lighting set up but we flattened the light for less contrast and jumped o a longer lens to really melt away the background.

The Result

Set Up #4 – The Side Wide

The Shots

The same walking through the scene action as before but for a different ad with different lines.

The Lighting

The sun is lower here making it easier to mix our artificial light source with the existing sun light.  We used the sae lighting as above but adjusted the levels to have them sit with the natural light.

The Result

Set Up #5 – Tight Side

The Shots

Tighter version of the above frame.

The Lighting

No change to the above set up.

The Result

Shot #6 – The Streetscape

The Shot

Our presenter walks towards camera as the camera dollies back.

The Lighting

I had originally tried to shoot this facing the opposite direction but the director needed more blooms in shot so we adjusted on the fly.

We built a platform for the presenter to walk on then broke the harshness of the sun with an 8×8 diffusion frame and added a Neg Fill wedge at the end of the walk to add some contrast.

The Result

Shot #7 & 8 – The Entrance

The Shot

Same as above but closer.

The Lighting

Same as above.

The Result

Shot #8 – Tight Spaces

The Shot

The presenter is seated on the couch as she lists some of the benefits of the product.

The Lighting

The challenge here was the physical size of the room coupled with where this shot had to sot in the schedule.

With little space to work and no interesting natural light to motivate from we had to BYO our own sources.

We used an Arri Skypanel S60 through a loosely hung 6×6 for a key then added a Joker 800 outside on a goalpost rig for the hair light. 

The Result

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