How We Tackled A Big & Tough Scene For A Recent Commercial

Late last year we got the chance to film a commercial at the icon Champagne Bar at the Miami Surf Club, a Four Seasons property.

This is a 1930’s bar that feels like you’re stepping into a totally different world. This was quite the place to be with folks like Frank Sinatra having been known to show up and sing a tune.

So of course if we’re making a film for the property we would want to include this legendary Champagne Bar.

The problem was that the natural light was very, very low – so we effectively had to start from scratch.

And the bar had to be open for guests shortly after lunch, which meant a 4am call time.

We brought along a community member, Josh LeClair, who filmed some BTS of the production so we could share it with all of you.

The commercial itself was shot on a Red Monstro with Zeiss CP.3 and Supreme Primes.

The commercial will be airing on Four Seasons’ channels in the coming weeks and we’ll be sure to share it with you.

This video is a behind-the-scenes look at the process of lighting a large and challenging scene for a commercial at the Four Seasons Miami’s Champagne Bar. If you’re interested in the art of commercial lighting and want to learn how to create a cinematic look in big and tough scenes, this summary will guide you through the key techniques and thought processes presented in the video. For those who want to cut to the chase, here’s what you need to know:

The Challenge of Lighting a Global Destination

  • Introduction to the Location: The video introduces the Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Miami, a global destination with a powerful design, but with terrible natural light, making it a massive challenge to shoot.
  • Going Big for Four Seasons: The team emphasizes the need to go big for a brand like Four Seasons, creating wide shots that capture the grandeur of the location, and the complexity of lighting such large environments.

Layering and Shaping the Light

  • Layer by Layer Approach: The video explains how the team took apart the scene layer by layer, being intentional about where the light is coming from, and balancing it to create a consistent and cohesive final frame.
  • Creating Magic with Haze: Haze is used to give atmosphere and depth, adding to the magical and powerful feel of the place.

Challenges with Large Mirrors and Historical Elements

  • Large Mirror Reflection: A large mirror reflecting the hand-painted original ceiling from the 1930s posed a challenge, requiring multiple lights to bring up image and detail.
  • Capturing the “Wow” Factor: The team aimed to create visuals that make the jaw drop, capturing the Four Seasons’ brand essence, and also reflecting the history of the bar, where Sinatra used to hang out.

Grounding People in the “Why”

  • Understanding the Specialness: The video emphasizes the importance of grounding people in why the scene is different and special, and how it relates to the opportunity to create something unique.
  • Overcoming Challenges: The team’s vision was to create the best thing they’d ever shot for Four Seasons, embracing the idea of overcoming challenges and going bigger to create something really special.

 

Whether you’re working on commercial projects or passion projects, these insights can help you elevate your lighting techniques and create cinematic visuals that resonate with your audience. 🎥 If you’ve got any questions after watching, please ask away. And if you want more content like this, be sure to jam those reaction buttons to let us know!

 

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