A little behind-the-scenes of a TV commercial shoot.

Nearing the end of the year and just in time to help remind (or prod) those procrastinators, I was hired by an advertising agency to shoot and produce an Indiana College Choice 529 Savings Plan broadcast TV commercial.  The spot aired throughout the state in the month of December.  If you are not familiar with 529 college savings plans – “it is one of the best tools available to help you give the gift of a college education”.  That quote taken directly from their web site: collegechoicedirect.com
Now I’m not a financial advisor, but I hear it’s a no-brainer really – and a great way to save for your child’s (or grandchild’s) secondary education – while also getting a bit of a tax break for yourself.  I am, however, a video producer, shooter and post-production editor,  so for a little insight or behind-the-scenes on the production of a regional TV spot, read on.

That's not real sunshine coming thru the doors. width= This spot was shot on a dreary, overcast and rainy late fall/early winter day and luckily there was nothing in the script or pre-production planning that called for exteriors.  Spokesperson on camera in home setting, I believe was the description I was given.  So filming could be inside the beautiful confines of a home – picked more for practicality than for any specific visual reasons.  And location scouting literally happened the evening before the shoot.  So not ideal conditions.

The location did have interesting large french doors – which I quickly picked as the intended, general shooting direction.  But how not to produce a dreary looking video on such a day, without simply closing the blinds in the doors and losing some of the depth the location naturally provided? Well, the short answer …was with the supporting help of two fantastic lighting techs/grips, and one nice Eco Punch, as well as other daylight lighting instruments.  You can see the doors in the scene appear to be illuminating a bit of sunshine from outside – even though there was no sun at all that day. (And the remains of Indiana fall colors on the trees outside makes for a pleasing background too).  With the scene lit and a camera dolly set up, we mixed in some rehearsal time, stirred with a make-up artist, good on camera talent and presto! –  a little Hollywood magic right here in Indiana!

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