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Behind the scenes with Java Post and SaskTel - Part 1

Topics:   Java Blog

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Working with Phoenix Group, Java Post Production and director Stephen Hall recently produced a new commercial for SaskTel, entitled "So Good Together."

Here is the first in a series of three posts giving you a little behind-the-scenes look at the day-long shoot, which took place on location at a private home in Regina.

Director Stephen Hall (left) and Director of Photography (DP) Adam Burwell get ready to shoot the first of the seven scenes that have to be done by the end of the day. Kristine Dowler, Second Camera Assistant, looks on in the background.

Adam and Stephen check out the shot in the camera monitor. All that matters is what the camera "sees," and what the camera doesn't see is that our art department personnel have hung a fake blind over half of the window in the background. With seven setups, in one house, on one day…the key: DRESS TO CAMERA.

Java Post Production Supervising Producer Randy Shumay (right), helps actors Kate Herriot and Kevin Moxley put on some virtual reality goggles and hand controllers, so they can "virtually" act like they're using them.

Left to right in the foreground, Sound person Kyle Parkinson, DP Adam Burwell, and First Assistant Camera Joel Tabak (operating the remote control for camera focus) record the scene.

Stephen watches on a nearby monitor. Note how the monitor has a brighter, vertical section in the middle, while the rest of the screen is darker. This is a visual guide for shooting in a 9:16 video aspect - tall and narrow, for the version of this commercial that will go on social media and be viewed on mobile phones. Many of the projects Java Post Production works on must now be shot in different video aspects, since different media outlets (TV, movie theatres, social media) require them. It's no longer "one size fits all."

Now onto the next scene of the day, this one involving laughing kids (we hope).

Director Stephen gives our young actors a little coaching before the camera rolls. To get the lens down to floor level, the camera is under-slung on a wheeled dolly, allowing the camera to move closer to the actors during the shot.

Here's a bird's eye view of the shot underway.

To get natural laughter reactions from the kids, they are watching a video of some funny scenes that were compiled earlier and loaded into the iPad. We don't see those images on camera, of course. All we see is the kids laughing and having a good time as the camera rolls.

Our director, Stephen, watches the action.

To see part two of this three-part behind-the-scenes series, CLICK HERE.


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