Although I have done plenty of narrative projects that worked out really well, I didn’t have the equipment to handle the demands of corporate clientele. This is primarily due to the differences in the intent of the subject matter and the messaging direction to the viewer.
Narrative drama and thriller works can have an edgy, gritty feel to them which plays well with:
- Hard light sources, like open face and Fresnel.
- Creative use of colored gels to complement the story.
- Handheld camera use of un-stabilized shoulder rigs to jar the audience in action sequences.
- Most talent upstage lit for better modeling.
- Plenty of time to do lighting setup (relative to the time afforded you on corporate shoots).
- Freedom to stretch the truth to support the story!
Corporate works have very different requirement that result in very different equipment needs such as:
- Soft light sources, like Kino-Flo, or diffused LED light panels. Looks good on the subject.
- Diffusion panels to turn hard lights soft.
- Accurate color is highly desirable when representing products.
- Present honesty and trustworthiness about the subject, which usually means downstage lighting and traditional three point with a background light (possibly cookied).
- Invoke action in the viewer so they can buy the clients products and services. This is quite possibly the hardest part, but that has to do with the client wanting to do the writing, when they aren’t professional script/advert writers. The last thing in the world you want is this beautiful visual you’ve sculpted to be marred by corny narration!
- Setup must be slightly longer than instantaneous but no longer than the time to grab a cup of coffee! These clients are really busy, and they don’t have twenty minutes to sit in place while you get your lighting ratio’s dialed in. You must come in the room quickly asses lighting placement. From rolling in to setting up for rough placement needs to take 15 minutes or less.
- Next is some equipment you must have, but you can’t rent it or buy it. You must present assurance and confidence to the subject so he can deliver the same to the public, even though they aren’t the trained talent your used to working with. If this point fails, its no matter if you nailed all the previous points. You will never, ever get hired by the client again, and very well may have your name dragged through the mud, thus losing future clients.