Here’s what makes working on videos and commercials freaking amazing.
Our team here ain’t too old, but we’ve done enough productions where we can sit back and go, “Yep, remember that….” Sometimes the memories aren’t so awesome – we’ve had a few crash and burns. And they’re usually not without challenges, but mostly, our shoots are pure satisfaction.
And some productions are so fun, we remember them for years and years after. So what makes these shoots so darn good?
You ask anyone what makes or breaks a job, and they’ll usually say the people they work with. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially Silicon Valley, everyone is cool and everyone is a pro. They know what they’re doing and they do it without the drama. The guys and gals help each other. And everyone likes to have fun and add humor, including during stressful situations. That’s what makes a job especially great – when you’re in a pinch and everyone works together to pull it off.
All jobs pay the bills. Some jobs pay the bills and give us a sweet glow inside. Usually, these are jobs that require some type of challenge. A shot that requires a special rig. A large group of actors. An interesting location. At some point, it may get a bit stressful, especially during pre-production when we’re scrambling to get special insurances and permits, and wrangling all the actors and crew together. But when it’s actually happening on set, it’s freaking magic to see everything come together.
It’s also enjoyable when it’s a creative and artistic project. A dance. Humor. A narrative. Actors get to be actors. And we get to have fun with toys like steadicams and dollies.
We love shoots with interesting locations. It could be as simple as an Airbnb house in the mountains. Or a busy city square. We’ve shot on roller coasters and on a jet. Usually when there’s an interesting location, fun stories come out of them. And we love to grab a beer and share those stories.
Example of Fun Commercials
Just a few of the most enjoyable commercials we’ve worked on.
We got a bunch of actors, like 30 of them, dressed them up into three categories of cheesiness: ’80s breakdancers, punks, goths, etc. And then we had them go crazy. Just bonkers. So this faux trailer makes our list. Have to mention, sometimes when you get so many actors, there are a few weirdos. Not this time. Everyone was a pro and super fun.
We shot this at Pershing Square in downtown L.A. We had dancers and like a dozen extras. There was a parkour sequence to choreograph on day of. There were homeless people walking into shots, asking to get cast and munch on some of our craft services. We had to get a scissor lift during rush hour. We had one day to shoot this. One of our most enjoyable projects.
We made a special rig for this first-person series of shots. That was only the beginning. We had to get it on a roller coaster, a fighter plane, a skateboard, a boxing ring, etc, etc. Logistically, one of our most challenging but enjoyable projects to date.
A fun script to begin with and a freaking hilarious cast. Jokes at every cut. We also had to come up with creative ways to depict the various locations. We shot this on our sound stage – all of it, including the movie theater scene. Also, there was a shot of our hero suspended in mid-air. That was shot practically using boards and a rig. No special effects, which makes shoots much more fun.
Making videos, especially commercials has got to be one of the most enjoyable jobs ever. Beats sitting in a quiet office floor all day. Yep, remember that?