Shooting a Commercial: Slider and Zoom

Today we're starting a new segment of the show called how we do it and this is where we shoot a little scene and then we show you how we do it plain a simple. first things first, somebody has to write it. I looked on YouTube of course for old classic 1970s commercials and I found a couple that I really loved from the old total commercial ads. that's the video style that we wanted to kind of imitate but of course we want to update it a little more and make it a little silly and brand it to us.

the hard stuff? the cereal. because there's no such thing as pull my focus here so we decided to look at services that created cereal boxes. we could get a pull my focus cereal box created if we had a minimum order of 250! okay, we don't need 250 pull my focus cereal boxes. we only need like two. so the next thing you're gonna do is think about okay creating it on your own. I'm not terribly good at Photoshop but my buddy Paul Marino is an amazing graphic artist. he's also amazing CG animator and such. so I sent him an email I said hey we need a pull my focus cereal box. in the next couple of days he delivered it right to me and this is pretty much the design he came up with. we altered it a little little bit to change it to our brand. I had to create the side and the top; any part that will be seen by the camera. once that's done how do we get it on the box? I started collecting cereal boxes in long time ago. you want to make a couple of hero props. I made a couple of these in case when something goes wrong. you want another one for backup. fortunately for me I didn't print it on paper. my wife happened to have some 8 1/2 by 11 sticker type printer paper. I was able to print out the entire sheet and then stick it right on the box. If you're gonna be creating your own props definitely give yourself plenty of time. 

Now we just have to talk about production. we have to find a nice location at my house for the scene since we shoot a lot of things out of our houses. there's some bay windows that work really nice it gives that nice old-school 70s look. we decided to use that. plus it gives us a lot of nice sunlight. since Frank is the king of lighting he set up our key fill and a rim light above the top. in addition to the light that's coming into windows now we're using a lot of bounce light. we're gonna bounce some light off with some white walls so we can get it some nice fill light going on. other than that it's our newer softbox one of our fluorescent strips and later in the shoot we decided to add an eye light which is one of our LED pars on a dimmer aimed right at the talents face to give her a nice kind of glow. otherwise sometimes you end up with dark shadows on the face and that's not what you want. for this shoot we used our Canon c100 mark 2. we had it mounted on top of a Manfrotto slider because we had a move where we pull the camera back slowly to reveal the extra bowls of cereal and that needs to be silky smooth. we also mounted it all of that on top of our Manfrotto tripod and we sent it out to an external monitor, an Atomos Ninja so that I could watch the footage and have had a backup recording. we had two different versions; one recording on the c100 and one recording on the ninja. the c100 has some nice scopes but the ninja has even more scopes and I love scopes. 

for miking, we use basically what I'm using right now a road link wireless lav kit [Music] you know we love that so that gets the voice nice and close to the talent we're all set our sets right here we have a table milk orange juice bowl of cereal placemat spoon all ready for a lovely young lady to eat an elaborate cereal breakfast alone right now's the time to run some tests Courtney who was our amazing talent she always shows up and does the best job ever that's why we love using her so she comes over early before lunch and sits down in the chair so Frank can do some lighting set up some props figure out where the camera is gonna be figure out what the lenses are gonna be and then we're gonna shoot a little bit of footage before lunch and we take that back to the office and have just a couple of discussions about where things should go maybe one glass here one glass there I don't know maybe the milk is here yeah I like this yeah I would prefer the bowl here actually yeah I grabbed the glasses because and then I was like no let's go to the lunch cuz that could be filled right there I also might want to try the toast I'm not sure but it might get too busy with the toes and once that's done we're gonna sit down and look at the script and Frank's gonna give a little bit of direction for what the character Courtney is playing would do that I was gathering from when she was talking she was talking to somebody else he was doing and she told him reminded me of like a long that was later I actually noticed it like Craig knows that I didn't noticed it because it's like if it's like mom or maybe more you know cuz 70s so it's like she's a businesswoman right right the way she's dressed so but it's more and she's she's you know Jane Doe she she could be anybody all right [Music] one thing you gotta do is you gotta keep him fed actually didn't eat cereal we ate actually check the chicken now oh man it's so we have right now you're ready to shoot we already you so what we'll do is we'll do a run-through of timing everything we've any my skirt yeah now that we had a hearty lunch and here in makeup is done by Cortney herself since this is a three-person operation we just have a few other notes from the director we surprised and then and that way the one thing we can't stress enough is time management make sure you have plenty of time to do whatever scene you want to do this scene ended up just being two shots one is a master shot and one is an insert shot of the cereal box but we we made sure to have plenty of time to do those two shots for example we wanted some different variations of things and actually there are some variations that we didn't even know we wanted we went in thinking that Courtney was gonna look off camera at the person who was giving this speech about try my pull my focus cereal and we went in thinking that was gonna be perfect and we shot a little bit of that and then we looked at it and then we were like that's not what we want maybe she should look at the camera so we tried that and that actually worked it was like Oh looking at the camera actually makes us feel better about the scene and it's something that we maybe wouldn't have discovered if we didn't have enough time another thing that we actually planned and we made sure to have time for is to show you guys the difference between practical pull of the camera a zoom and tilt of the camera and a digital pull of the camera so let's take a look really quick at that practical pull where we use the slider and the camera is physically moving backwards revealing the extra plates in the scene the other one is a practical move also but it consists of a zoom in a tilt of the camera we were basically zooming out from 40 millimeters to about 36 millimeters while tilting the camera at the same time if you don't have a slider or some kind of way of moving your camera that's a way you could do it we ended up not using that to pull up a move like that could be quite difficult since you're trying to do multiple things at the same time the other option and the last option is to do it digitally in post and here's what a digital pole looks like this can sometimes be used as a safety you didn't think that you wanted a digital pole but now you do we knew we wanted a real pull so we didn't do it but sometimes I'll do that with our videos where you slightly push into a move or slightly pull out of a move but just remember that when you do these digital pulls you lose that parallax of the actual camera moving through 3d space so it's gonna look a little different so it really depends on what you're going for I'm not getting any sound but it should be working okay so important okay okay okay yeah actually already for breakfast yep why that's right pull my focus ah no thanks I'll be with my grant hope you're hungry but starving good because you don't have to eat four goals and repeating YouTube videos to get my free information pack into one ball and for my focus the four roles well that's just fucking ridiculous all my focus has 100 percent of the recommended environment inside tips to making great digital video takes four bowls of those other channels to get back Wow what pull my focus I can get the information I mean quickly so I have to learn to do that elsewhere and then I can make myself look pretty for when my husband gets home from work wait it's the 7000 my focus One Bowl 100% yeah cuz that person walking and all the cider that I hit the tension it was a little two types of construction post-production on this thing was pretty simple we only had two shots so I'll just give you some of the details one of the things that I did was I was able to take one take from one half of the video and another take of the other half of the video and use both of them so there's that insert shot of the Box in the middle those outside shots of the masters are actually two different takes one of the performances was better than the other I thought so I use the two when you have more performances you have more choices people that's how it works one of the other things that I did was we were originally gonna go with like a more retro look but we spent so much time in set design and details that I didn't want to put like a dirty VHS look on it to just blow away all the details that we we used and it's an homage to that kind of commercial so we don't really need to drill it down your throat that it's an old school commercial another thing is we use a service called voice one two three which is a great website to get our voice talent and with voice one two three we were able to throw a script up throw up a project and many different voice actors would audition for the job and then we were able to listen to all of them and then figure out which one was right for the task so it came in really handy we've used the service before they're not sponsoring us at all but we like the service and so there you go so that's it for today's show don't forget to check out pull my focus TV for all our articles and videos we'll see you again with another how we do it there's no way in hell I'm gonna take a sip of orange juice with milk how I know [Music] how did they text in the savage piece it's not on Instagram I don't know it I hit the button [Music]