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Taking the Video Studio On Location

The Portable Video Studio

This summer, we were fortunate enough to go shoot a commercial for Mattress Firm in San Diego.  We produced this spot through our partners Encore Live and Top Pup Media.  Stage Works in Fort Worth provided the sets.  We had a crew of about a dozen and used a very talented Mattress Firm employee as our actor.  Often, especially in commercial production, you have call to bring studio-like production value out onto location.

The Scope

video studio on locationWe needed to do a live comparison video, showing a new Mattress Firm offering opposite a leading industry mattress.  The turn around was the extremely difficult factor in this spot.  From the two days we shot this, the first draft needed to be completed by the evening of the second day of shooting and the final had to be sent to the media buyers two days later.  Incredible fast turnaround.  But we love challenges like that!

To pull this off, we needed to shoot studio quality out on location.  We rented a five ton grip truck, used three primary cameras (Canon C300’s) and one time lapse camera (Canon 5D mark 3) on the Kessler Second Shooter.  We used a 20x silk overhead to keep lighting consistent through the day as the sun traveled.

Once we had gear, cameras and crew on the site of the fair grounds north of San Diego, our portable video studio was complete.

The Shooting

Once we were all set, Encore Live helped us gather fair goers who were walking by to ask them if they wanted to try a blind test.  We would cover the mattresses and signs and the audio guy would mic them up.  We’d quickly slate the cameras and the action would begin.

We used a camera for a wide shot, and then coverage with the other two (one close up on person and one on the talent).  After shooting was complete, we’d offload right there and start cutting on the set due to the quick deadline.

The Editing

First cut of the spot was done on site while we overnighted the footage back to our studios.  Then the project file was sent to the studio where the edit team could take over.  Once the client had approved the draft, we had a colorist lined up for tweaking and completing the look of the piece.  Then closed captioning was added and the spot sent to the media buyers.  We actually beat deadline by half a day.

After that, we cut a longer version (90 seconds) for social media play.  The finished 30 second commercial has been airing and has 1.6 million views on YouTube so far.  You can check out is out right here: