Thread: Fair/Uber

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    Fair/Uber
    #1
    Director of Photography
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    This was a series of spots for Fair, Uber's vehicle leasing arm. The concept was actual drivers in their cars, free-driving while being interviewed on their experiences. Jumping off from the "carpool karaoke" type of coverage, the director and I wanted to bring a more cinematic look to bear while maintaining the intimacy of keeping the cameras inside the car and close to the subject. I like the look of a fast wide angle lens on a full frame camera so I suggested the Sony A7III's.

    We picked a few hero angles and on prep day, my key grip Bodie (who has been with me since the Key & Peele days) worked out builds with suction cup mounts, bracing and some clever adjuncts like inflatable bladders set between camera and dashboard to eliminate vibration. My gaffer orchestrated a variety of LED ribbon cards and blankets that could be rigged in various places between cameras, on the passenger seat etc.

    To maintain the shallow look, I opted for my Sigma Cine Primes (via PL adaptors) but had to work out how to maintain a T1.5 stop throughout changing lighting conditions as we drove along the road. Normally we would be using Preston FIZ units from a follow vehicle to adjust focus and iris. After some experimentation, I ended up spec'ing Tiffen variable ND's with gears attached to dovetail with the Preston motors. This allowed us to remote "pull ND" to maintain exposure and keep the iris fixed. I sat in the follow vehicle with my 24" Sony A250 mounted in front of me, dialing in the two cameras, with my gaffer next to me riding levels on the LED blankets via Luminaire, and my AC sitting behind with his own monitors pulling focus. Building out the follow van was itself an adventure!

    We were scheduled to shoot three cars a day over two days, sometimes with multiple camera positions in each car requiring a re-rig. We also had exterior beauty shots of drivers and cars, plus drone shots. This all required some serious coordination with the AD to schedule. My other challenge was working out optimum driving directions--depending on where the cameras were mounted for a given setup, there was usually a 120 degree range where camera shadow would be thrown on the subject. I built a master plan for each hour of the day that showed which direction(s) we could drive for best light and the AD incorporated that into the schedule. For one early morning setup where the sun was low enough that it was going to flare the lens too much if we shot into it, I had the follow van driven in a given orientation to the picture car so that it would act as a huge moving flag (it made it into the spot at :3).

    Other than the A7III's, we used an Amira for the hero shots of the drivers outside their cars and a separate drone unit with an Alexa Mini.

    IMG_6886 (1).jpg

    IMG_6885 (1).jpg
    Last edited by CharlesPapert; 06-11-2019 at 03:36 AM.
    Charles Papert


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    #2
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    Thanks a lot Charles. Now, not only will my low-budget clients ask for the carpool karaoke concept - they will also want that "cinematic look" achieved in the Uber | Fair spot on that same mini budget. Kidding of course. Great BTS post of actual work completed.


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    #3
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    I think the sonys look really good.. did you use recorders..? Log or baked? the arri has that slightly too log look but it would take a harder grade.

    Interesting to put the light below eye level.. one reason I want led matts is to pop them on the roof of a car. Low works good though was there a logic for that?

    Any troubles with green light from the outside through the windows vs the ctemp/tint of the matt - maybe its RGB and dialed to be a bit green?

    The drivers vision looks poor/unsafe.. almost illegal. Whats the score there? Lead car and chase car?


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    #4
    Director of Photography
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    I think the sonys look really good.. did you use recorders..? Log or baked? the arri has that slightly too log look but it would take a harder grade.
    As usual is the case with commercials, the grade is out of my hands. I did use external recorders on the A7's, Shogun Flames.

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    Interesting to put the light below eye level.. one reason I want led matts is to pop them on the roof of a car. Low works good though was there a logic for that?
    I think we did have a bit on the headliner as well as next to them in the passenger seat. The low bounce can feel like sun hitting the passenger seat, so it's not an unnatural place for light to come from.

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    Any troubles with green light from the outside through the windows vs the ctemp/tint of the matt - maybe its RGB and dialed to be a bit green?
    It was just bicolor litemat, we didn't seem to have too much green from the windshield (rendering the mat magenta).

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    The drivers vision looks poor/unsafe.. almost illegal. Whats the score there? Lead car and chase car?
    I would have been much happier if we had been towing the cars, but it was a mandate that these be the actual driver's cars and them driving, so I put it in the AD's hands to make the determination of safety. They sat in the driver's seat on each setup and made the call. In a few instances we adjusted some gear to increase visibility. I don't recall if we had other vehicles in front of or behind a car, other than us in the follow van. Normally we would do so (a la Carpool Karaoke). Had this been a scripted scenario vs an interview setup, I would probably have engaged in the safety conversation more aggressively.
    Charles Papert


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