Arri lights set up in a warehouse

A Massive Shoot, but Only One Shot

Amy Concannon helps push a doorway dolly on set.Hello! I’m Amy, the new intern here at New Sky Productions, one of New Hampshire’s biggest production companies. That’s me with the red hair in the image on the right. I arrived during the second week of September, just before New Sky’s biggest shoot yet, a commercial video for an auto insurance company, CU Certified.

Now, when I say big, I mean very big. The video was one long take and the set measured 150 feet from start to finish. I was excited that I had arrived at New Sky just in time for the most involved shoot they’d ever had.

A lot of work goes into planning a commercial web video; from the initial meeting with the client, to the final cut, every aspect is important. The New Sky team was already a few phases deep in the pre-production process when I arrived.

A quick rundown of how we work: At the beginning of a project, our team meets with the client and gets a good idea of what they’re looking to get from the video. We come up with about 3 creative pitches for the client, and from there we work with the client until we have an idea they really like.

The commercial went like this: our main character walks through 5 different scenes as she explains the evolution of auto insurance to our camera. Insuring cars whose loans are sold by credit unions is hard to make sexy. Grant figured that two men in tights and an attractive and friendly female lead would be a good start.

The New Sky team spent a lot of time planning the shoot before I joined. They had everything laid out to a T. After the team decided that there was going to be one very long shot, they realized they needed a lot of space. Originally we were going to rent a sound stage, but luckily Grant found a warehouse for the shoot. This saved both us and our client a lot of money.

Our shoot location was in a 70,000 sq ft warehouse in Merrimack, NH. Boyle Energy Services and Technology was kind enough to allow us to use a vacant part of their warehouse to accomplish this very large task. Our set was 150 feet long from start to finish and we needed to light it with four 5k lights, One 2k, six 1ks and a handful of Arri 650w tweenies, meaning this was going to be a hot set. We were pumping in 30,000 watts of electricity for this shoot. The average home only uses 10,000 watts, for comparison.

New Sky is one of the largest video production companies in New Hampshire and we have a lot of equipment. But each production is tailored to the needs of the script, so for the size of this set, we needed to light a lot of space. We rented a 56kW generator from Reliable Equipment to run all the power for our lighting. We also rented large lights and their cables from a big film equipment rental company in Boston, Red Sky Studios.

We dedicated the day before the shoot to prepping the massive scenery, which was a task in of itself! Make sure to check out our next blog post to hear about the day on set, stay tuned!

Here’s the behind-the-scenes video:

 

And here’s the final video we produced:

Intern Extraordinaire for Fall/Winter 2017, Amy has both a background in film and video production as well as fine art. She leverages both to bring a creative edge to crafting video marketing solutions for clients. During her time here, she's been a valued member of the team.
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