Monthly Archives: January 2018

Friends of Mental Health shot for Ad Council

Working with director Max Sherman, I shot this piece about the awkward silence around talking to a friend that doesn’t quite seem themselves. Gideon Glick (The Good Wife, Elemntary, Oceans 8) became Awkward Silence, and gives some helpful advice, popping up between friends and asking if they are OK.

I really enjoyed create some interesting compositions with Max to allow the awkwardness of the spot to thrive. We decided to shoot with a widescreen 2.35 aspect ratio to allow lots of space between characters, and further the visual awkwardness. We chose to shoot on Cooke Anamorphic SF Lenses. Its was my first time using the SF versions of these lenses, and I was thoroughly impressed. They were very sharp, but light did interact with them much more than with the original versions of Cooke Anamorphics. I wasn’t looking for any strong flares, but pushing backlight into these lenses didn’t soften then image out nicely.

I wanted each location to have a difference feeling, and push color into the scenes when they felt motivated. We pushed Reds into the hot tub scene to make it feel slightly creepy, blue accents into the basement lounge scene to create color seperation with the natural warmth of the 1970s vibe basement really stand out, and kept the bedroom neutral but bright, making the awkwardness of teenage romance that much more obvious.

Here are a few production stills and the commercial.

Key Crew was as follows:

  • 1st AC – Jay Vettese
  • Gaffer – Neil Munroe
  • Key Grip – Derek Teakle
  • DIT – Joe Kicak and Andrew Salkey

Technical:

  • Camera – Arri Mini
  • Lenses – Cooke Anamorphic SF series
  • Movement – Dolly

Alaska Airlines

This is another Airlines Commercial I recently did, for Alaska Airlines, directed by Vesa Manninen. This spot was kinda like a stage play, where the scenes would appear to be moved away from the camera revealing something new, and evolving the storyline.

We shot these in Los Angeles, using practical locations as well as on Universal’s backlots.

Photos below were taken by Vesa, and the spots are below those.

  • airplane set, containing only six chairs and a wall...we made the rest...

Key Crew was as follows:

  • 1st AC – Keep Koppen
  • Gaffer – Brian Lofthouse
  • Key Grip – Rudy Covarubbias
  • DIT – Kyle Hoekstra
  • Techno Cane Op – Christian Hurley

Technical:

  • Camera – Arri Mini
  • Lenses – Panavision T-Series and G-series
  • Movement – Handheld, EZ rig, Dolly, TechnoCrane

Air Canada Airlines Commercial

I spent the last part of my year in 2017 working on a campaign for Air Canada Airlines with director Kevin Foley. This is the first spot, and took us across Canada in record pace travelling to St Johns Newfoundland and Vancouver within three days. The commercial, narrated by Ryan Gosling, centres around the idea that Canada is always home. Something I relate to, having just left the country to go to the United States, Canada will always be home to me…

Kevin and I really wanted this commercial in particular to have scale, so I suggested shooting it in a larger format. Panavision was key in helping us put together a package of Panavision Ultra 65mm lenses, and shooting on their Panavision DXL camera. Having never used the camera, we tested it a fair amount before. I was really impressed with the images. Close ups looked incredible. I had wanted it to have the feel of portraits shot on a Hasselblad, and this really achieve something similar. Seeing around a person’s cheekbones, and getting such incredible details of the face. The close focus of the lenses were super impressive, while at the same time seeing such a great width in the frame. The DXL camera, to house this larger sensor was a bit of a beast. Brought me back to shooting on a film camera size package, but the ergonomics of the camera were really impressive. It fit comfortably on the shoulder and had the same feeling of a film camera.

But we needed to really move the camera with a lots of fluidity and reactiveness. I had decided to do a lot of the movement using a segway, handheld or using an EZ Rig. So the weight of this camera did at times prove tiring, but the images were worth it. For one set up, shooting out in Squamish BC, we needed the camera to be a bit smoother, to be able to cut into a drone shot. So I asked the guys at RVRD in Vancouver if they could fly it on a brushless gimbal rig. They thought they could make it work on the new Ronin 2, which they did, but it was for sure the heaviest camera package I have ever carried…

Here is the spot and some on set videos:

 

Key Crew was as follows:

  • 1st AC – Toronto – Marc Pierce
  • 1st AC – Travel – Colin Doering
  • Gaffer – George Petras
  • Key Grip – Derek Teakle
  • DIT – Gavin Keen
  • Drone Pilot – Matt Bujok and Chris Bacik
  • Movi Tech – Derek Height

Technical:

  • Camera – Panavision DXL, Inspire Drone with Zenmuse X7
  • Lenses – Panavision Ultra 65mm
  • Movement – Handheld, EZ rig, Ronin 2, Segway, Drone

 


Coke Zero Commercial

This goofy commercial was created under the direction of Terri Timely. We shot in Vancouver, during the summer. The spot was finally just released. We approached this wanting to have a visual flow, so that one shot and scene would take you to the next. So timing obviously became super important, trying to make camera moves that added to the comedy and fit properly with the scene. I had a lot of fun on this, creating the lighting for a realistic talk show, TV news and of course the sasquatch scene! Props to productions designer Katharine Reynolds!

Set photos and the spot below.

This was also during a time in Vancouver when there were some pretty intense forest fires happening around Vancouver. And the cloud of smoke hung over top of the city. Made for some pretty amazing warm light in the forest as we shot the sasquatch scene. Few of those photos seperately.

  • our talk show set.

Key Crew was as follows:

  • 1st AC – Julie Kim
  • Gaffer – Terri Kim
  • Key Grip – Mark Yates
  • DIT – Pieter Blokker

Technical:

  • CAM – Arri Mini and Panasonic HVX
  • Lenses – Hawk V-Lites
  • Dolly
  • Handheld
  • Aerocrane