On Thursday, we spent the afternoon at Vaught Hemmingway stadium on campus filming an upcoming commercial for Ole Miss Football with Senior star running back Brandon Bolden. The spot is a “Nike-esque” commercial with Brandon going through a rigorous training regimen in preparation for the upcoming season ending with a leap that’ll make Superman jealous! I wanted to quickly share a few notes of the shoot in case you’re interested.
It was a crazy hot day and we only had a limited amount of time with Brandon to get all the shots we needed so we shot with multiple cameras to double our coverage. The primary camera was the RED One Digital Cinema camera which filmed at 4K resolution and 2K resolution for some of the shots that were filmed at 100 fps. Former Producer, Micah Ginn (now the Creative Director for Ole Miss Sports Production) filmed with Panasonic’s new AF100 camera with a PL mount Red Zoom lens. Pictured here you can see most of our crew including student workers Matt Minshew and Chris Williams, summer high school intern Joseph, and Athletics Producer Bethany Peters. Not pictured is our summer college intern Felicity Flesher. An additional shout out goes to Darrias Thomas and Ole Miss Track long distance runner Logan Waites for their help on the shoot.
I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with my old Glidecam 2000 after seeing some really nice uses of it online. We recently purchased a vest and arm for it so this was the perfect opportunity to put it to work. My Glidecam could only support up to 8lbs so we used the Canon 5D with it which was great since it shoots at such a high resolution anyway. I knew there was absolutely no chance that I would ever be able to keep up with Brandon at a dead sprint so I shot out of Athletics gas powered cart (our electric cart was no match for Brandon’s speed!).
All in all I was pretty happy with the way the glidecam footage turned out and it was actually pretty cool to wear the vest and arm. Although looking at this picture I realize it’s very difficult to determine who the star athlete is and who the camera guy is.
One of the more challenging shots to pull of was this shot that happens at the beginning of the spot where Brandon spins the football down toward the ground to start his workout. I wanted to basically have the camera at ground level looking up at him. Unfortunaly, Ole Miss Athletics was not into the idea of digging a giant hole in the football field for me to get the camera low enough, so we got Brandon as high as we could with the camera below him. We clamped a sheet of plexi-glass onto two tripods just above the camera lens and had him spin the ball right down onto the camera. I think it turned out pretty well and will be a cool way to start the commercial.
It was a fast and furious shoot but I really felt like we got some great footage. A huge thank you again to Matt, Chris, Felicity, and Joseph from MDP and Micah, Bethany, Darrias, and Logan from Athletics for setting up the shoot. And of course, an ENORMOUS thank you to Brandon Bolden for his time, patience, and stamina running sprints on camera for me for 2 hours! Keep an eye out for him this season!! I really enjoy short projects like this because you totally get to flex your cinematic muscles in terms of visual storytelling. Check back soon for the final spot!