Kmart “I Can”

“I Can”


Role: Gaffer
Agency: Havas
Camera: Sony FS7

This was one of the biggest lighting challenges I’ve ever faced– light a huge 40’x40′ space with an extremely tiny budget and no pre-light day. I went in by myself to Essanay Studios before the shoot to see the stage and troubleshoot with their staff to get the most bang for my buck. Ultimately, we used a combination of high output SpaceLites hung from the rails above combined with an arsenal of Mighty 2K’s and all the Ultrabounce floppies I could afford.

We had more 2K’s behind the backdrop also hitting on Ultrabounce with the white taped cord to be removed in post.

The Spacelites gave us general room light, but we shaped a nice, very soft ratio on the talent with 2K’s hitting Ultrabounce placed in their walking or modeling pathway. Because the space was so huge, we had an intense amount of output from above in broad strokes and then relied on shaping it better on the ground.

When we had our featured actress in the letter smashing zone, we gave her a key light that was carefully framed to not spill over onto the white letters next to her, hence the gaggle of solid floppies.

When I gaff commercial spots, I typically have a very small window of coming up with a plan. In this instance, I was so happy that I got to get into the studio the day before in order to have a plan coming into the next day. I joked with the staff at the studio that this project felt like a game show challenge for lighting and they seemed very skeptical that we could pull off what we needed to do with the money we had. I was pleased that we did against the odds, but I definitely wished I had more time, one extra set of hands in G&E, and a bit more money to work with next time.