The Making Of An Olympic Image Promo. C300, Sigma 18-35 & A Couple of Arrisun’s

February 24, 20146 Comments

It’s promo time again! With the Olympics on schedule we had to come out with a few new news image spots. Lots of eyes on the Olympics and San Diego viewers like the games a lot. It’s a great opportunity to introduce a lot of new faces and of course our talented main players to a potentially new audience.

The Camera

Sigma 18-35 on C300

Sigma 18-35 on C300

When I first heard what we were shooting I have to admit I got a little nervous. Thankfully I didn’t have to shoot any sound. This was going to be the perfect shoot for the Canon C300 and new Sigma 18-35. I picked up the 18-35 a month before. Lucky to have it since it’s always back ordered. I really like the Sigma 18-35. It’s very sharp and super fast at a continuous f1.8 aperture. This is the fastest zoom lens ever made. I only used the Sigma for the whole shoot and I believe it performed flawlessly. I set the camera up to shoot C Log and varied the ISO. Nothing to crazy camera wise. The crazy is yet to come…

This spot was simple as far as camera work goes, but the setups were a huge effort. We used everybody that was available from our creative services department and the agency’s EP, editor and compositor was with us. Great team effort and we really worked well together.

EP plays grip

Our EP Dylan even helped out. How cool is that!

We had five locations and three days to do it.

  • Salk Institute La Jolla
  • Pier at Pacific Beach
  • Parking Garage
  • UCSD Geisel Library
  • San Diego Convention Center

Rain or shine they had to get done before sundown. With The locations picked we did a quick scout. I have a great app called Sun Seeker on my iPhone. I knew the exact location of the sun at each location. Really handy app. We rented a UHaul to carry several pieces of furniture and a big whiteboard with chroma key paper taped on. I had the HMI’s and grip. The van was packed!

HMIs On The Cart

Two Arrisun 12 Plus with grip stands barely fit on my cart!


Arrisun with 4X4 Scrim Makes A Nice Broad Soft Source

UCSD 2 HDMI Setup_

Two Arrisun 12 Plus 1200 Watt HMI PAR with 4X4 Scrim Ready For Group Shot.

UCSD Reporter Team Setup

At UCSD staging the reporters. Roll cameras!

I needed some big output lighting to get them to pop on camera and of course my budget was small. I initially wanted to hire a lighting director and a grip truck or someone who had both. The numbers didn’t workout so I rented two Arrisun 12 Plus 1200 Watt HMI PAR and a grip package. I’ve never used these amazing lights before and I have to admit I was a little worried if they would be enough. They performed great. Each Arrisun 12 HMI had it’s own gas generator solving power issues. I knew I wouldn’t be able to mould the lighting so my goal was to give the talent a little fill. Using the 4X4 scrims softened and made the light broader.

The Storry Tellers

Final shot screen grab

Setting up for the news Makers shot

Setting up for The News Makers shot

The first one is always the hardest, but after we figured out how to set up and move the lights it went very smoothly. The News Breakers was the first location and the second largest group.

I like shooting in the winter because the sun is at an angle all day and never gets overhead like in the summer. Downside is less daylight to in a day. When I scouted the location at the Sulk Institute I picked a placement that would have all the talent in a shaded area. This will help keep harsh shadows to a minimum and fill with the Arrisun’s. The sun took a little longer to get behind the building and when it did we knocked that shot out. It was nerve racking because we had everyone and everything ready to go but the sun was still hitting on the right. I pleaded to wait just a couple more minutes. Yes! The sun creeped behind a building and we started to roll.

The News Breakers Setup

Screen grab from promo

Erik Happy

Happy! Great location now on to the next location.

Weather Team Under Pier Ready To Go.

Weather Team under the pier getting staged.

The Storm Watchers

The Storm Watchers. Screen grab from promo

This one was crazy! The wind kicked up at the beach so strong we had to change the shot. Same location but reversed it. Bummer. No ocean in the background. The wind was so strong it would have blown the hair right in the talents face. That wouldn’t work. Ironically with the shot reversed it almost looks like we used glamore fans. Very funny, but it does look like a storm is rolling in.

Weather shot under the pier

Weather shot under the pier

For extra safety I set up the 4×4 scrims up against the pier. The Arrisuns worked really well in this shot. A little smaller group allowed me to get the lights in a more. This setup was hard.

What I used.

  • 2 Arrisun’s and 4 stands.
  • 2 4×4 scrims
  • 2 Honda gas generators
  • C300, Tripod and slider
  • Panasonic Field monitor and table
  • Several couch like chairs
  • Bigg ass whiteboard

Camera in a shopping bag

The wind so bad to protect the camera I used a grocery bag and gaffers tape. It worked!

Convention center setup for The Specialists

Convention center setup for The Specialists

The Specialist

The Specialists. Screen grab from promo

Investigates Setup 2

Investigates Setup

The Investigtors

The Investigators. Screen grab from promo

For the Investigators we set up on the fourth floor of a parking garage. I pushed that god forsaken white board up to the location because it wouldn’t fit in the elevator. Funny how everybody disappeared…..

Lighting was a little more interesting since I had more output to play with but with only two lights I can only do so much.

All the scenes have just a little slider move and faster ones into the chroma key board. I used a Kessler CineSlider with a older Manfrotto 502 head with a Kessler Kiwk Clamp. These clamps are great. I’m addicting to them and need help. I will never use those Manfrotto ones again. No explanation needed. The 3′ CineSlider is pretty nice but I have a bump in it that I can’t figure out how to fix. I Really need to figure this out because it’s annoying.  A three foot slider was perfect for this shoot. I dont think my New Duzi would have been long enough. The Sigma 18-35 performed so well I didn’t need to pull out another lens all day.
All the editing was done by an outside agency and they always do a great job. I’m impressed with how well the chroma key compositing and tracking worked.
It’s always fun to play with new gear and have a few challenges that you can learn from. This shoot had all that but a big take away is team work. We were a motley crew but a darn good one!

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Filed in: C300CanonCanon Cinema EOSFeatured PostLensesLightingPost ProductionProductionSigmaSupport and Grip
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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (6)

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  1. Duane Cabot says:

    Great job!
    How do you like the 18-35…do you miss ”IS” with this lens?

    • Erik Naso says:

      I don’t really need IS for the 18-35. I wouldn’t mind if it had it but not a deal breaker. It’s my go to low light lens. If I need IS for handheld I pull out the Canon 24-105.

      • Duane Cabot says:

        Thanks for ultra fast response!
        I want to buy a lens too bridge the gap between my Tokina 11-16 (which I like very much) and my 24-105. Hesitating between the Sigma 18-35, Sigma 17-50 and the Canon 17-55.

        By the way, I’m new to your website…great job!


        • Erik Naso says:

          I have the Duclos 11-16 and the Sigma is a perfect fit between the 24-105. It’s so nice wide open at f1.8. I look at it as a super speed multi prime. The tough part is getting a hold of one to buy. Backordered for ever.

  2. Ian says:

    Totally agree. Looking at this lens too

  3. Allan Crocket says:

    Very nice post Erik! Love all the info, thank you very much!

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