On location in a Wisconsin cheese factory
LOS ANGELES—I directed Grande Cheese’s “Taste the Difference” campaign, which was shot by cinematographers Ryan Booth and Justin Hamilton. The campaign profiles the Wisconsin-based artisan cheese manufacturer through a series of six one-minute commercials. The majority of products that Grande manufacturers are sold to independent restaurants and the goal of these commercials was to educate the restaurant-going public about choosing dining locations based on a commitment by their operators to use only top quality ingredients in their menu selections.
LIGHTING THE BIG CHEESE
The seven-day shoot proved challenging due to the food safety restrictions placed on our production team as we shot throughout multiple manufacturing plants and farms across Wisconsin, so it was critical that we work as fast and nimbly as possible. A big issue centered around control of lighting. This was especially problematic in some of the cheese manufacturing areas due to fluorescent lighting fixtures with mismatched lamps. We often ended up turning off the overhead lighting and supplying our own light.
Due to the marathon nature of the assignment, our lighting package had to be compact and portable, yet had to pack a real punch. We chose to go with BBS’s Area 48 LED lights based on their powerful light output, as well as their ability to quickly be changed between daylight and tungsten color temperatures.
One of the most challenging setups was lighting a warehouse where provolone cheese is aged. The room was huge—very long with a 30 foot-high ceiling. We had three BBS Area 48 lights and used these to punch light into the areas that needed illumination; we also added edge lighting. This was perfect for the look and dramatic feeling we were trying to convey. I was extremely gratified that we were able to pull this off and make it look so good with just three relatively compact battery-powered lights.
SHOOTING IN SMALL SPACES TOO
To complete our shoot, we set up at a restaurant that uses Grande products, as it was important that we capture the finished product in a restaurant environment.
The restaurant selected was small and we were shooting in confined spaces. For camera lighting, we set up two Area 48 LED lights and a Force V LED (BBS’s LED-based elliptical light source). The Force V was instrumental for getting good results here, as we often needed to increase ambient light levels without creating a lot of spill. The Force V LED was perfect for generating targeted shafts of light to help bring up the light levels in just the right spots.
I came away really impressed with the performance of the BBS Area 48 LED lights. I’m really sold now on using them both for their convenience and the quality of light that they produce. They have a high color rendering index and it was nice to not worry about dealing with spikes of green, which some LEDs are notorious for. The footage turned out great and we were able to stay compact and move quickly which really helped us pull off the production. BBS’s Area 48s instruments will be a staple in my lighting package in the future.
Jon Carr is a Los Angeles-based director and producer. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact BBS Lighting at 800-820-6610 or visit www.bbslighting.com.