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Commercial Digital Cinema Production with a Small Footprint

Posted by Meredith Kain on September 25, 2014


When Angela Ruiz, the Business Development Leader US of Joseph’s Toiletries asked Crews Control to crew a promotional video that would be showcased on Joseph’s Toiletries’ website Production Manager Brittany Conley knew just the right DP for the project. The storyboard called for a cinematic look with exterior night shots, interiors of a grand staircase, a dramatic entrance into a boudoir, and close up of a mysterious box as the talent slams the bathroom door with her foot. The shoot was completed with a lean crew, which allowed the production to move quickly, with Angela at the helm. They were able to capture just over twenty final shots which equaled about ten setups in ten hours. “When you need to work quickly with a minimal crew and shoot exterior shots at night, the Canon C300, with its super wide 35mm sensor can make a huge difference when it comes to quick setups with minimal lighting” says Director of Photography Braden Barty. Braden shot with Canon Log Gamma with the internal Canon XF codec at 23.98fps, 1080 HD which was matched seamlessly in post with a Red Epic Dragon that was operated by Camera Operator and Gaffer Kyle Wright.



Josephs Toiletries driveway“We set up a 2K practical light that pointed down on the front balcony. The house was already very well lit and we brought a ton of lights but were amazed by how much we could depend on natural house lighting” says Barty.



Joseph Toiletries staircase“Again, this shot was mostly natural house lights. We had one 650w Arri open face on the second floor landing just behind the rail. It served as a back light that bounces off her head.” says Braden.



Joseph Toiletries Staircase Red camera“This shot was captured by the Red Epic Dragon and was mostly used as a voyeur type POV in order to add to the mood” added Braden.



Joseph Toiletries door opens“We used one 300 watt fill light just to the right of the talent. A china globe was used just above camera as she looks straight into the lens” recalls Barty.



Joseph Toiletries Bathroom door“The script called for the bathroom to be bright and inviting in contrast to the dark bedroom. The plan was to use a 1200 PAR Lee Colortran but that kept short circuiting the house so we switched to a 575 Silver Bullet and that did the trick” says Braden.


“JOSEPH’S Toiletries is about creating extraordinary toilet paper. We disrupt this commoditized category in two ways: quality and appeal. When taking on such a challenge, you have to have a team that thinks outside of the box and is willing to put new terms on a market. You need to have partners who are willing to take risks and act on new ideas, essentially pushing the envelope – such as a luxury mood video for toilet paper. Thank you to Crews Control and Brittany for doing this with us” says Ruiz.




Q&A On-Location with Angela Ruiz the Business Development Leader US for Joseph’s Toiletries



Angela RuizQ: What is the purpose or end deliverable for the video within your organization?

A: “The purpose for JOSEPH’S Toiletries video is to show the essence of beauty and care in an area of life that is usually very unsexy. This film like sequence we shot is meant for our members, so they can enjoy and understand where JOSEPH’S Toiletries stands when it comes to bringing them the best quality products available.”



Q: How many people did you have on location for this project?

A: “Eight people. We were a small crew and I know that helped us move along quickly and very efficiently. Every person on location played a very important role and they knew that. I think this pushed everyone to perform at their best in whatever role they were delegating. Everyone wanted to create a beautiful piece.”



Q: What percent of your budget was spent on location?

A: “This was our first time producing a short film for JOSEPH’S Toiletries, so learning was happening the entire way through. Location budget being one of them; Location is crucial to the piece, so this was a big part of the budget, but not the biggest. Next to our shooting crew, location was the highest cost. When you’re looking for a house to shoot in and your looking to create a timeless piece, it’s worth to spend a bit more and have the beauty of the location shine through the final project.”



Q: What was your experience like working with your assigned Crews Control Production Manager Brittany Conley?

A: “Brittany was very helpful. She was very quick in responding to anything that was needed and stayed quite calm throughout the entire process. Even when things would get a bit hectic and time pressured, she seemed to be calm and collective. That helped a lot to have someone like her on board.”



Q: What was your experience working with the Crews Control’s crew onsite?

A: “Braden, Kyle and Matt were incredible to work with. As this was JOSEPH’S Toiletries first production, I let them know that I would need them to really bring forth their expertise, and they definitely did. They were efficient, creative, fun to be around, and worked very hard to make sure that the vision we had as a company was brought into existence.”



Q: Who is responsible for the creative vision of the project?

A: “Most things in our company, ideas beyond Ltd. and within our brand JOSEPH’S Toiletries are done collectively as a team. This was one of them. We wrote the script and re-defined it until we were all in love with it. Then the wheel started rolling and we set in motion to find our entire crew, which for camera crew ended up being Crews Control with Braden Barty & Kyle Wright as our DP’s and Matt Waltz on lighting, Alayna Brand as our model/actress, Georgeanna Walden as our makeup artist, my dad allowing us to use his classic Mercedes for the shoot and my mom and cousin as production assistants. Creativity usually works best in a community. One person can have the vision, but without the rest of the team, it would be very challenging to pull it from imagination to reality.



Joseph Toiletries ZurichJOSEPH’S Toiletries creative team Alexander Mohr – Commercial Leader, Sabrina Risch – Business Leader, Tobias Thayer – Operational Leader.





The right hand-picked crew can make every storyboard come alive and execute the creative team’s vision. In this case, the combination of choosing the right production crew and cameras that are very sensitive in low light allowed the worldwide production crew to use minimal lighting and move quickly to get the shoot done on time and on budget.




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