For the most recent spot promoting Sargento’s new Snack Bites, producer Jon Messner and Sargento’s ad agency, Oglivy & Mather www.ogilvy.com reached out to Fresh Coast Production Resources for a turnkey solution.
At Fresh Coast, we pride ourselves on our ability to assemble just the right combination of crew, equipment, and production management to meet our client’s needs and expectations. This job was a perfect example.
We chose RDI Stages www.rdimage.com in Milwaukee for the shoot because it would be convenient for the Gentines who would be coming from Sargento’s corporate offices in Plymouth WI. RDI was also spacious enough to accommodate the large broad light sources necessary to match the overcast lighting of the barn.
We were able to source all the equipment, and most of the crew in Milwaukee. Lighting and grip came from Blue Moon Lights www.bluemoonlights.com and DP Mike Gillis www.mikegillisdp.com provided the client-specified Arri 4K camera and lens package. www.arri.com/camera/amira . Gaffer on the shoot was Ryan Brooks. Tim Moder served as swing grip and AC. Tom Beach handled the audio mix, and the makeup artist was Jhousy Leon www.blushmilwaukee.com.
Two non-Milwaukee exceptions were Director Ray Dillman who the agency brought in from New York http://rabbitcontent.com/directors/ray-dillman , and Chicago Stylist Martha Heppler because she had provided wardrobe for previous Sargento spots featuring the Gentines.
As we expected, everyone did a great job. The shoot was quick and painless, and by mid afternoon the footage was on its way to Optimus www.optimus.com in Chicago for post-production.
See the finished TV commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ginlh0ADG2E
On the first day, they toured Chicago neighborhoods on the verge of gentrification. We got some great footage of them cautiously poking their way through dilapidated buildings destined to soon be rehabbed into $300,000 condominium units.
Days two and three were devoted to speaker presentations at the J.W. Marriott. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chijw-jw-marriott-chicago/
Normally for us this would have been a “no brainer”. Put a camera in the back of the room and try to stay awake for two days. But this one turned out to be a little more of a challenge.
Because the attendance was much larger than expected, the sessions were moved from a well-lit, video-friendly meeting room to a huge 6,000 square foot ballroom illuminated only by dim chandeliers hung from the 20 ft. high ceiling. There was no time or budget to bring in a lighting grid. We had to find a way to make it work.
Canon claims their C100 cinema cameras will make a perfectly acceptable picture at ISO 8000. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c100#Features
Actually they claim even more, but ISO 8000 would be enough to allow us to pull this off, and worked!!
The footage, shot from the back of the ballroom with a Canon 100-400 L zoom looked amazing. We were able to keep our promise of “providing solutions”, not just crew and gear.
So what does all this have to do with Fresh Coast? Apparently even though Replay Technologies’ systems are used at major sporting events throughout the world, Major League Baseball was not totally convinced the resulting computer generated imagery was accurate enough for the official replays viewed by umpires and coaches. They wanted to test it for themselves and reached out to Fresh Coast for help.
Three high speed Phantom Flex 4K camera packages http://www.visionresearch.com/Products/High-Speed-Cameras/Phantom-Flex4K were rented from AbelCine in L.A. and Fresh Coast’s Chicago office provided three Phantom-certified camera assistants, three PA’s, and a key grip.
The testing took place over four days at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. Actual and simulated game action was recorded in 4K slow motion with the Phantom Flex cameras. MLB Advanced media would then compare the Phantom footage with Replay Technologies’ “3D Pixel Recreations” to confirm its accuracy.
No idea what MLB learned from the experiment, but thanks to the efforts of our crew, Tim Moder, Mike Pavisan, Shaun Fleeger, Andy Cook, Nick Turner, Ricky Rudolph, Thomas Andrejek, and Eyliece Richardson, MLB Advanced Media left Chicago with a whole lot of terabytes of high speed, 4K footage to study and analyze.
Their question was: Could we provide a crew with the specified camera package for two days of filming at the Wisconsin State Fair beginning that Sunday at 7:00 AM?. Our answer was: “We’ll try”.
38 hours wasn’t a lot of time to pull this off – especially on a Friday evening. Our only option would be to locate an experienced Wisconsin DP who not only owned a FS7, but who was available on such short notice. We reached Milwaukee DP Jon Kline late Friday evening and he was available. Even later that evening we got lucky a second time. One of our go-to Wisconsin sound recordists – Thomas Beach – was also available and willing to get up very early on Sunday morning.
We got lucky (as did Emergent Order). Thanks to the great relationships we’ve developed with crew people in the Midwest, we were able to “take care of the rest” - even with only 38 hrs. notice.