Video Production Emphasis
A Narrative Spec Commercial
For my senior project I set out to create a video that could showcase my storytelling abilities and demonstrate my ability to oversee and participate in all aspects of a production. I wanted to create a commercial for a product that focused on emotional engagement and brand awareness, rather than a more traditional commercial that explains a product’s features and shows it in use. I took on the role of writer, producer, director, production designer, and editor. I enlisted help from others to help bring this vision to life, including cinematographer Joseph Kitchens.
I started by writing the script, then sending it for feedback to several trusted mentors and friends. After writing several drafts, I moved into preproduction. I found crew members, a shooting location, and picked shooting dates. I oversaw casting through remote video auditions, and acquired and/or built all the necessary props. Since the story involved some science fiction elements, there was some light prop/set construction that I did. I storyboarded the commercial in a program that I also used to create three-dimensional mock-ups of our shooting location. This enabled me to collaborate with the cinematographer and adjust shooting angles, lens choices, and lighting placement long before we were on set.
All throughout this process I held crew meetings and consulted with trusted experts to make sure I was planning adequately for the various needs of the production. When it came time to shoot, I organized a carpool down to the shooting location in Utah, provided meals, and picked up the rented equipment. I also handled all of the communication prior to the shoot including sending out call sheets and a shooting schedule to all of the cast and crew. I served as director of the shoot, and managed the cast and crew of 12 people.
There were many hurdles in the course of production, including the difficulties that come from working with a small child, pieces of equipment that malfunction, and the inevitable constraints of time. In the end we acquired the shots that we needed to move into postproduction. In postproduction I served as editor. I organized and sorted footage, found appropriate music, and edited the commercial together. The final result is below:
Behind the Scenes: