Tampa Bay could be considered the capital of direct response advertising. There have been many millions made by those selling products directly to consumers via TV spots. After all, we have nationally famous pitch men Anthony Sullivan and Kevin Herrington as well as HSN right here in our back yard. So it’s only natural that we’ve done our fair share of infomercial productions over the years.
We’ve done just part of productions like providing RED ONE camera services, shot inserts on our green screen stage, done voiceover recording, audio and video post-production or finished complete productions from concept through delivery like this example for a new gas grill accessory that eliminates food burning flare-ups.
So call and tell us about your sheet plastics. Operators are standing by.
So where do you go to get a caterpillar on short notice? That was the challenge when producing one of a series of spots for sod company Bethel Farms. Depicting a family enjoying their lawn and the great outdoors one shot was of a curious little girl watching a live caterpillar. Cute idea. But we live in a state where importing bugs is difficult. Finding one in the wild proved a futile search. Then we remembered that the Museum of Since and Industry in Tampa (MOSI) has a butterfly exhibit. It only took one call and a quick trip the day before the shoot. We got two Monarch caterpillars and a milkweed plant to feed them. We were told that one was likely to be just two days from forming a chrysalis.
The day of the shoot, we didn’t wait long to get the shot. Marina took on the role of caterpillar wrangler and gently moved our many legged friend onto a stick and kept the striped star in the shot when it crawled away. Using the RED ONE camera and a long lens at ground level produced an endearing shot of little Emma, the caterpillar and some of the lush hero grass.
The funniest part was when cameraman Rich Roddman was trying to keep little Emma interested after a few minutes of staring at the caterpillar. He asked her if she had a name for it. Not being a fan of bugs, she quickly replied “Ewe”.
The client wanted to stress the portability of their oxygen generator so shot the actors in everyday locales all around the Tampa Bay area, including Lowry Park Zoo. One of the specialties of this device is that it’s FAA approved. To demonstrate this unique quality, we obtained clearance to shoot inside Tampa International Airport.
Like many times before, the call came from a production company out of town. They were coming to Florida to shoot a commercial in a few weeks and wanted to rent our RED ONE camera package. As usual they needed RED support with a DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) and a 1st AC (Assistant Cameraman) but the details about the job were unusually slim. They said it was a two day shoot at a stage in Orlando but couldn’t reveal any more. They completed the checklist of requested gear in the package, sent the deposit, an insurance certificate and that was the last I heard from them until I got the call sheet the evening before the shoot.
It was Sunday. I was at home. I opened the email and read it, but ironically nothing stood out to me. I saw it was a large crew, shooting at Full Sail Studios in Orlando and the call time was 8am. I printed it out, put it on the kitchen counter and headed off to load the RED and gear for the trip. When I got back my wife said “You’re shooting a Super Bowl spot? That’s great.” I said “What are you talking about?” It turns out I had read all the details of the job except the big bold title on the front page Tebow Super Bowl Commercial. Suddenly it appeared that the job was going to be more interesting than expected.
To benefit Creative Clay, an arts program for adults with developmental disabilities, this local TV spot was created to advertise FolkFest, held every Fall in downtown St. Petersburg. Featuring photos and video from previous years, this was a simple, in-house editing job. Even though this spot was inexpensive to produce, the results are perfect in capturing the folk art theme of the event.
This Florida regional TV spot is all special effects. It was shot on the cyc in our infinity wall green screen studio.
Though it appears that both of the on camera talents are on stage together they are actually independent layers made possible by shooting the footage in our studio. It was then composited together seamlessly. The hardest part was getting the novice pizza thrower to catch the “pizza” in frame. (It’s really a rubber practice pizza used for training.)
Some people think that politics is a game. Advertising this referendum issue for St. Pete Beach, Florida, took that issue literally. The board game was made for the commercial and was a recreation of Gulf Boulevard with toy block buildings similar to the actual street. Drama was added to visuals by using lighting effects on the prop as well as in our studio backdrop. Depth was accomplished by using macro settings on the camera. The angles and moves were made possible by mounting the camera on our jib.