Lazarus Brewing Breakdown - Part 2.2 - Production Day 2
THIS IS PART 2.2 OF THE LAZARUS BREWING BREAKDOWN, WHERE WE'LL GO THROUGH DAY 2 OF OUR SHOOT
You're stepping into Part 2 of a multi-part blog breakdown of this commercial we did for Lazarus Brewing - Click Here for Part 1. This post is going to focus on Day 2, as the post would be way too long if we did everything in one go! Plus I have more room for pictures now ;)
Scene 1 - Brewing - 4:30am
After coming home, dumping the footage, charging the batteries, and taking a quick shower we finally catch around 4 hours of sleep before the iPhone starts ringing again. The sun isn't up yet, but it's time to start the brewing process.
By the time we arrived at the Brewery the guys were already there getting their equipment ready, and we quickly moved lighting around to facilitate the next scene. We positioned them against the opposite wall as the blueprints yesterday so we could catch the sunrise light coming through the east-facing windows. We then set up our booklight again decently far out to function as a fill/key depending on the sun level, and threw a 650 in the back to augment the sun as a rim light. The majority of the brewing footage was shot at 48fps like the blueprint scene, and I was at 4300k on the Alexa Mini. We probably started brewing and rolling camera around 6:15am
The brewing process is slow - like 6 hours or something - so we had a lot of time to kind of chat and drink coffee in between interesting things happening, as well as munch on the delicious breakfast tacos that Christian got for us. I would alternate between my 28 and 50mm and just snag shots whenever there was action, making sure to get things to cover our script of "water, hops, etc". We let the sun roll in and somewhat change the feel of the scene as time went on, with the hope that you could sense that this process takes some time. This was also a scene where I was ok with higher contrast levels, more dark, and a little more drama/mystery. At one point we had a break for around an hour while we waiting on a temperature change (or some other such brewing magic) so that was when I took the Phantom up and grabbed a few aerial shots of the neighborhood.
It was probably around 8am when we hit the next big "dead spot" in the brewing process, so I decided to play with shooting some beauty shots of beer being poured into the Lazarus glass we had. We quickly assembled a little stage using the old suitcase from the night before, and grabbed our 2 spare 650s to light it. Thankfully there was lots of beer around we could pour on camera haha. I found that the best way to add light to the glass was to let one of our window beams key the right side and then add a 650 slightly behind on the left side to make a highlight and add some shape. We then added the other 650 almost on top of the camera, which helped make the laser-etched logo pop.
I quickly tossed the camera over to 200fps and we got 2 or 3 takes of Denis pouring beer before we got called back to film the next step in the brewing process, so it was a fun little distraction for around 30 minutes which actually made the final cut! This project taught me that I love filming products and food. After a few more interesting brewing shots we decided around 9am to split off, get lunch (more like second breakfast), and work on shooting our 2 mystery scenes.
Scene 2 - The Stained Glass - 1pm
I unfortunately have no BTS pictures for this section. Also: we took a while to get food and go hang with some friends before proceeding to Scene 2, so that's why there's a few hour gap.
We had reached the part of the shoot that was unknown - how were we going to shoot something like a grocery store beer selection, and how were we going to film elegant stained glass?
Denis had called a few churches which he found online that had stained glass in their church, and no one seemed totally opposed to the idea, but no one was super on board either. Thankfully the first church we went to had a receptionist who was super on board, so we quickly popped into their sanctuary and shot some abstract stained glass footage. This was mostly 48fps and 4300k, with the added trick that I pulled out my set of broken diopters and started moving them around in front of my 90mm Macro lens - this created the weird colored flares you see in the edit. (more on that later)
We thanked our kind new friend at the church, and stopped by a startup company Denis used to work at to say hey. We asked if they had any ideas as far as our hunt for a beer section, and they suggested a few places to check out. We immediately hopped back in the car and started typing names into Google Maps.
Scene 3 - The Beer-Seeker - 1:30pm
The first place we decided to check out was this convenience store someone at the startup had mentioned. We hopped out of the car, took a look around, and bought a few gatorades (Texas is HOT). This place had more beer than most liquor stores in Massachusetts, so it was perfect for what the scene needed to show. I then proceeded to straight up ask the manager if it would be ok if we took a few quick shots in his store for a video we were working on. He said that was totally fine, so I ran out and grabbed the Alexa Mini and my 21mm, no easyrig or anything. I had to play with my shutter angle to stop the store lights from flicker super hard in slow motion, but we were able to quickly get the few shots of Denis meandering and looking at beer that we needed. To thank the guy for helping us out we ended up buying a few armfuls of snacks and drinks haha.
Mid-day editing break - 2pm
We went back to the house for another shower, and Denis took a nap while I went through and rough-cut all our interviews. I just wanted to make sure that our performances were solid and we didn't have any technical issues - once I left Texas it was going to be hard to replace stuff. I got everything imported and trimmed down as quickly as possible, and once I was satisfied that everything looked good I took a quick nap too ;)
Scene 4 - The Party - 5:30pm
While we had been off filming churches and beer stores, everyone from Lazarus had been working on transforming the warehouse into a party location. We had moved all our gear into one corner of the room before we left so it wouldn't be in the way. When we got back they were finished up getting kegs and chairs ready, and we started adding in some lights. We also ran the hazer again for a while to bring back our signature light beams as the sun came in.
My general lighting theory for the party was to have our booklight in one corner of the room, and a 650 in each other corner of the room. This way if I needed to add some shape to a particular set of people I could quickly swivel a 650 from some corner to help cut them out. We had tons of awesome window light pouring in though, so I didn't really end up needing them much.
Once people started showing up and hanging out, we would identify a group of people that looked friendly and outgoing. We would then bring a set of Lazarus glasses up to those people and ask them if they'd be willing to go get a drink and talk about whatever they wanted on camera - all they had to do was look like they were having fun. We'd then shoot them for a few minutes, leave them to finish their beers, and give glasses to a new set of people.
Aside from people having fun in the space, we needed a few quick shots of Tacos, Coffee, and Beer being poured, so I made sure to talk to the people in charge of each of those things and ask when the best time to shoot them would be. Once those were in the can I quickly ran outside to grab some exteriors of the building and the banner on the building before we lost all our light.
Around 9pm we hit the point where I felt we had gotten as much good stuff as we were going to get, so we started scratching all the lights and breaking down gear. We stayed until around 10:30 just to enjoy the people at the party, then we finally loaded everything up and called a wrap on all our shooting in Austin! We did our best to catch up on sleep before returning to gear by 9am the next morning, where we learned we hadn't lost or broken anything! I ended up staying in Texas for 2 more days to have a few meetings and spend time with Denis, but those first 2 days were our only shoot days in Austin.
Next up is our last production breakdown! That one will be on Day 3 of the production, which happened back in Massachusetts.
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What's the earliest you've set your alarm for a shoot? How has your luck been with getting permission to shoot in odd locations?