I was contacted to do some TV commercials for Schrader & Co. recently. They had seen my work for the Parade of Homes tour I shoot in the Capital Region and liked my style. They wanted to have a classy looking ad that represented what their company is all about. We discussed it and decided on doing some testimonial spots for them. Getting actual customers to talk about their experiences working with them. I live over two hours away from the locations for these shoots, so we decided to do them all in one marathon day of shooting! While busy, everything went off without a hitch and the interviews resulted in some great comments. It can be tricky to edit down a 10 minute or so interview to just :30! You have to have the company name in there, then tell the “story” of dealing with Schrader & Co. and have it all fit into a 30 second TV commercial.
Here are the three different spots, keeping the logo and theme music the same in each helps make them part of a campaign, instead of just three separate commercials.
It’s refreshing when you can work on a commercial that is intended to be “silly”. This commercial was produced by adworkshop. I did the shooting and the editing for it. They had the bear costume shipped in from China! We shot it out of sequence, doing the store shots first when they were less busy in the morning and then the river shot last in case the costume got ruined (which it didnt, but did take a day or two to dry out)! There are several of these, each one has a humorous end tagline after the logo.
This is a TV commercial I shot and edited for adworkshop. They wrote and produced the spot for North Country Savings Bank. Like all their work, it’s very clever and fresh! It can be a challenge to work with kids but I must say this all went down without a hitch. I shot it with my C100 which I mounted on a jib arm to get it directly over their heads looking down on their drawings. Anne Rast and Kari Hoffman were the Producers and Directors on the commercial and lined up the kids, the location (LP Elementary School) and created the “drawings” in various stages of completion for the kids to color in!
This is a video that I worked on with Tim Kramer of Northway Productions. We actually did two videos for the Ronald McDonald House in Vermont. One was a volunteer training video and this one which is more of an image piece they could use to show people what they are all about. They (and we!) were very pleased with how it came out. I wanted to post it on my blog as an example of a company image video.
I do some local commercials for Time Warner cable from time to time. Usually it’s for the smaller establishments that want to get their message out but on a limited budget. This commercial for An Italian Affair in Massena, NY is a prime example of that. The owner Aaron clearly loves everything about his restaurant and wanted to promote it. I came up with the idea of the tired Mom, just getting home from work, and being met by the kids looking for dinner! To keep the costs down, I managed to talk my wife into being in it along with my son and his girlfriend. I also did the voice over for the rest of the commercial!
I utilized my new GoPro Hero 3 camera to get some unique angles. Its a small, 2×2 inch camera that you see snowboarders using strapped to their helmets as they fly down the mountain. Here I attached it to the pizza peel as it removes the pizza from the oven and into a box and also on the order the waitress is bringing to a table.
The food was all shot on a rotating table my Dad built a few years back for me using a chicken rotisserie motor! Food always looks better when it’s rotating.
We wanted to give off the vibe of a fun place to eat with great food. I think it worked with the help of all the great staff, great food and oh yeah….my understanding family!
This TV ad features the wonderfully talented Aengus Andrew! He was in a spot we did last year called “Boo Boo” and did such a great job that we wanted to use him again. He has no formal acting training but really loves doing it and comes across very natural on camera. I Co-Produced, shot and edited the spot, Tim Kramer Co-Produced and ran audio and Alice Hyde’s Cathlyn Lamitie was also Co-Producer. We shot this all on the Canon 7D with separate audio recorded on a Zoom H4N and synced in post on FCP-X.
This a TV spot I made for Bluff Point Golf Resort in Plattsburgh, NY. They are one of the oldest golf courses in the country! It’s very scenic being located right on the waters of Lake Champlain. It was a pleasure to work with the owner Paul Dame and his staff, as well as my niece Emily and her friend CJ who are seen in the cabin section! We are going to putting out an extended video for Youtube soon that explains the cottage rentals and golf course in more detail!
Here is another TV spot I shot and edited for adworkshop in Lake Placid. They are the marketing agency for North Country Savings Bank. Its a humorous ad based on the bank’s “We Get the Whole Story” Mortgage/Lending campaign. The spot highlights how NCSB loan originators look at more than just the credit scores when evaluating a loan applicant. I lit it with 3 LCD dimmable lights and 1 of my ARRI 350’s. There was some nice ambient lighting already in the restaurant, and believe it or not, it was during a bright winter day with banks of windows behind the camera and to the left of camera! Using the LCD’s with daylight color temperature as the outside light helped make it all match. I then set the camera for shooting at 5600k and it then it was a matter of augmenting what was there with the 4 lights I used.
As always, adworkshop did a great job of finding the actors and dressing the set to look perfect! And of course they came up with this funny way to show off a service the bank offers.
This is a commercial I shot and edited for adworkshop. The client was Canton Potsdam Hospital. It was a fun one to work on. I was going to be shooting it and doing the editing. There was some special effects for this one, beyond what we normally do, so I did some test shots in my yard with my son to figure out how to do it. We wanted a jogger to be jogging in slow motion while everyone else was running full speed. At first we thought having him run against a green screen would work, then we could composite him in and then slow down the footage, but then the realities of painting a treadmill chroma key green and how realistic it would look began to sink in! Plus the shot he was to go against would have to moving at his slo mo speed, meaning a dolly or truck shot. To avoid this he needed to be coming directly at the camera.
After some test shots, I figured out that if the camera is stationary, then you can shoot multiple passes and then just mask out certain things (the guy jogging) and it would all look seamless. With the camera locked off on the ground level shot, we had the guy jog towards us, I shot this in overcrank mode (60 FPS instead of the usual 30FPS), so the slo mo would look better/smoother after when played back at 30FPS. Then once he ran by, we positioned the other runners to run on each side of where he was, when it came time to edit, I masked out a box around him and put it over the background runners shot! Since the camera didn’t move, it looked seamless! For the next shot to freeze him, I took a freeze frame, cut out around him (And his shadow!) and put that over the same composition of others running by, again, don’t move the camera and it’ll work! What really sells it is the foreground runners, which I shot over a chromakey on location. Just frame up the chroma key in bright sun, then have some runners run through the shot! The blur is perfect, and all you need to do is composite them on top of the other two layers!
Check it out below!
Here is a spot I shot (DP- Director of Photography) for adworkshop. They are the marketing agency for Canton Potsdam Hospital. Its a great concept that was a fun time to shoot. Kari Hoffman was Producer and Anne Rast was the Director/Art Director. They did a great job of finding all the 1950’s props and also in hiring the 2 kid actors. Anne also made those cool looking baseball cards of regular people to look like 1950’s baseball cards!
TV Commercial for Titus Mt. Ski Center near Malone, NY