Daniel Haggett

London based Lighting Cameraman / DoP 

Branded content is a big deal these days. Over the past few years I have worked with a large number of brands from Nike to Rolex to Dior to Heineken the list goes on and on.  If there is one thing that is really important when filming branded content, it is the packshot.  A packshot is a shot of the product, pure and simple.  It should be obvious, this is what the client is trying to sell, so of course the packshot should look amazing.  However, as the scope of branded content grows and the filming gets ever more elaborate, it is easy to forget this.  Think of it this way, the marketing types and those high up in the company might not notice the quality of the camerawork, the music, the audio etc, but there is one thing they will notice for sure: the brand.  Whether the brand is an object, a logo or just a name it needs to be given a bit of attention.

This is a frame grab from a slow move in on a test shot.  Lighting this was a bit of a challenge.  Watches are always a bit tricky to light.  The problem is, glass reflects.  You need to shine lots of light into the face to bring it alive and get the numbers and hands on the watch to pop out, but you don't want the light bouncing back into the lens.  It's also tricky when you have a black background as you don't want light spilling all over the backdrop causing it to look grey rather than black. Finally, the hardest bit, and probably the most important, the brand name must be well lit.

 

Each light source hits the watch at an angle to reduce glare from the watch face.  The main light source is reflected from a large poly behind the watch.  This helped light the lower section of the watch, but left the brand name in darkness.  The smaller polyboard was then used to highlight the brand name and the upper portion of the watch.  The light here was a small dedo (anything more powerfull could have spilled onto the black background) which was reflected back using a silver poly just infront of the watch (left of the watch in the diagram above).

 

This was filmed with a macro lens and around 2.8f.  The wide aperture was used so that the face would be sharp but the watch strap was soft.