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


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