Ben and Kirk shoot a commercial for Zach Scott's rendition of Xanadu.

Xanadu for the stage is a send up of the movie version from the early 1980's.  And this is the TV commercial that Ben and I worked on to promote the show:

It's fun, it's silly and it's 15 seconds.  Ben and I loaded up the car, set up the green screen and shot a bunch of variations with two of Zachary Scott's talented actors.  Ben acted as grip and sound man while I ran the camera. Creative Concept and Postproduction were done in-house at Zachary Scott Theatre by web marketing guru, David Munns.

Tech Notes:  We used a Westcott muslin ChromaKey green background (10 by 20 feet) lit by four 500 bulb LED fixtures.  The key and fill lighting was done with two 1000 bulb LED fixtures.  The actors are backlit with two of the battery powered Fotodiox AS-312 LED panels, gelled with a weak magenta filtration.  Both of the 1K bulb panels were covered with diffusion materials and the fill was further softened with a Westcott FastFlag diffuser.

We shot with a Sony a77 in the AVCHD 1080 60i setting alternating between the 16-50mm kit zoom and the 80mm Hasselblad Zeiss Planar lens on an adapter.  Focusing was done manually, assisted by Sony's really cool Focus Peaking.

Ben was wrangling a Rode Videomic on the end of a no-name "fishpole." When I looked at the footage on a 27 inch monitor I was amazed at the quality.  Even better, under controlled lighting, than my previous Canon 5Dmk2.  

The theatre is also editing down a :30 second spot to follow up this teaser.

Ben and I will be at the dress rehearsal next week. I'm shooting stills for publicity and Ben will be shooting BHS ("behind the scenes") video for the web.

Just thought I share a little project with y'all.

Edit: Several people asked if I filtered the LED lights that were used as the main lights on the actors.  The answer is no. I did a custom white balance at the beginning of the shoot and it seemed just right.  As the sensors in cameras get better and better so too does the ability to do really good white balances; even with sources that have lower CRI's.


Anonymous said...

Kirk, very cool! Thanks for sharing this, and for telling us about the equipment that you and Ben used to capture it.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

My pleasure. It was fun to do a project with my own teenage kid. He's now volunteering at Zach's marketing department. He'll be shooting video for some of their projects this summer.

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Great result Kirk & Ben. Glad to read that someone from the next generation is also doing creative work, and doing videos for Zach Scott's. You must be a proud dad indeed.

Frank Grygier said...

Very Nice Work! The second scene really shows of the lighting. Congrats Ben, It will be great experience.

Bill said...

Regardless of the equipment used, and not to minimize the talent, but it's amazing what today's equipment can help accomplish. I'm very impressed.

theaterculture said...

Cool execution of a great concept - love the 80s "voice of god" commercial parody for this context. Totally flashed me back to the ads that used to run with "The People's Court" on KCAL 9 in the afternoon. With Judge Wapner, of course.

atmtx said...

Yikes, ONJ flashback. Great work.. When is Ben starting his blog.

Bold Photography said...

This is a product that doesn't quite exist yet -- but could: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/11/cinema-rig-nex-5n-richard-gale/ something Ben could really use!