Stella Mann College
After working with Stella Mann for over five years, shooting all of their brand and marketing photography (including their annual brochure, life-size pop-up banners, and online content), it felt like high time we produced a TV advert for them.
Our stylised 30-second commercial was produced for use at live events, as well as on television and online, and featured a dozen of Stella Mann’s best and brightest dancers.
All the toys...
This shoot saw us bringing out all the big toys… we needed to shoot high-speed frame rates to capture slow-motion shots of dance moves, but also needed to shoot RAW to give enough data for a specialist colourist to work with in post-production. Enter stage…
Lights, camera, action
We shot on the RED Raven 4.5K cinema camera with the Sigma Art 35mm lens. Slow motion, check. 4K resolution, check. RAW recording capability, check. And beautiful images to boot.
We used our Aputure C120dii light and dome rigged from above as our key light, with a couple of flexi-LED panels for fill and tube lighting for style. Oh, and a great big smoke hazer and wind machine just to give it some extra flair...
Ronin-MX stabiliser rig
Part of our creative treatment was that our camera moves should mirror the choreography to give a more dynamic, involved feel. This steadicam system enabled us to shoot smooth, fluid camera movements to match the dancers’ movements.
Teradeck Bolt unit
This fancy little gadget wirelessly connected the camera to a director’s monitor at the back of the room so that our client could watch and approve the shots live, without compromising the camera’s freedom of movement.
This was essential in getting the best performances from the dancers. Dance is incredibly precise, and what might look impressive to us may not be technically correct - we absolutely needed a way for our client to check their students’ technique in real time.
Tilta Nucleus M
This follow-focus unit allowed us to stand at a distance and pull focus to ensure crisp shots throughout - a must when both camera and subject are moving around!
Social media content
As well as the main advert, we produced over a dozen pieces of online content to increase the longevity of the campaign online. We optimised these 10-20 second clips for social media, and provided them in both traditional widescreen format and portrait-orientation format for Instagram stories.
Client: Stella Mann College
Producer: Alysia Wildman
Director: Joseph Madden
Director of Photography: Jack Ayers
Makeup Artist: Katie Jude
Stills Photographer: Bethany Halford
Music: Let It Rain On Me - James Pickering and Matthew Clark (via Audio Network)