…and corporate? Now we’re talking! I recently had the huge privilege of Directing the profile piece for Redmond, WA based company B.E. Meyers. Alongside my co-creative Isaac Marchionna, we sat out to tell the story of this company for their 40th anniversary that would engage the audience with the excitement that comes from products being used by Special Forces and warfighters in every branch of the service. Without further intro, check it out here https://vimeo.com/96955772
[While Directing was my primary role, on day 3 I did operate and got this shot while barreling down a road. It was worth it :-).]
I think a common misconception is the speed at which a corporate piece can be done. Thankfully B.E. Meyers was willing to take the time to get it right: we did a unique and special development trip/process and then later shot for four full days to get the footage necessary for the video. The first two days were spent onsite at the factory doing interviews and gathering b-roll of the design/manufacturing/test/shipping departments. During these days I also was the one interviewing the on-camera personnel, which was a unique challenge to wrangle but enjoyable and rewarding at the same time. I definitely learned a lot about how to get people relaxed and engaged without going off a script.
On a gear front, we had a ton of fun with our toys on this gig. We used the Red Epic camera paired with Arri Ultraprimes. Then on the first two corporate days we used the Fisher 10 dolly, which greatly aided our speed and precision. As the Director, I never operated a shot on the Fisher, but still was extremely glad we had it because of how fast I could request a height change, a dolly push or even just the speed of being able to move the setup without the hassle of sticks. Also, the DP Domenic and I devised a nice strategy of on-camera filtration. Use of Schneider Digicon, Hollywood Black Magic and Blue streak filters really helped get us a more visually interesting piece than otherwise.
[DP Domenic Barbaro rides his chariot.]
On our second day of corporate, we needed to get quality blackout product shots. We didn’t have time or budget to do another day at a studio, so we shot in an unused portion of their facility and rigged lights to the drop-panel ceiling. Several viewers have thought these were CAD renders and not actual shots, so I’m extremely proud of how well these shots came out. Isaac did a good writeup of what it took for him in post to complete the circle 360 shot http://lawndartdesign.com/blog/revolutions
[Temporarily on the Fisher to check framing. I insisted on the 32mm to fill the screen and help dramatically bring the flash hider into view on rotation, then I hopped off the dolly to eat donuts while everyone else did the real work. Photo by Isaac Marchionna.]
The last two days represented a significant production strategy shift and felt much more like making a movie. We spent two days at two different sites filming up-armored HMMWVS, night vision, live-fire machine guns, mountain tops and more. You know it’s a good location when you have to get your crew convoyed in on 20 minute ATV rides!
The hardest shot of the shoot, and also the most rewarding for me, was our most noteable non-Ultraprime shot. We used the Red 300mm to shoot two Operators walking a distant hill in profile. This shot took a lot of scouting, coordinating, and being in exactly the right place for the few minutes the light looked like that.
[BTS and final result.]
Isaac did a great writeup on our thought process in putting the spot together http://lawndartdesign.com/blog/2014/5/21/the-cinematic-corporate. Also a huge shoutout to DP Domenic, Gaffer Casey Schmidt and crew Tyler and Alex for bringing incredible visuals to screen.
I’m really proud of this spot and look forward to doing more like it. Though now I’m spoiled, any shoot where this is your location at end of day, is a good one.