Provenge, DDB

Early 2013 offered a chance to work with some of our favorite people out of DDB Toronto, Karen Ross and Tony Miller, on a project shooting stills alongside a television commercial production for a pharmaceutical product, Provenge. The shoot took place in late January in Pasadena, CA , which offered a welcome dose of Vitamin D as Utah was pounded by another round of winter storms. Beautiful Southern California did not disappoint, with temps in the low 70’s through the week.

It was critical for this project that the still photographs and video were intrinsically tied. Before we broke out the cameras, our team joined the film crew and  L.A.-based director, David Harner for pre-production and scouting trips. We also made sure our vision aligned with that of DDB art director, Enza Pitrolo.

We’ve worked on joint film/photography projects before, so we knew we’d have to move quickly to get our shots in. In these types of projects, still photography is sometimes an afterthought, no matter how important the final use of images is. We had a minimum of six different scenarios to capture within two days of filming, and from the beginning we could tell our allotted shooting  time was going to be tight. From the first shot of the day, it was evident that we were going to have to be prepared to take what we could get, and be at the ready to shoot anything we saw at a moment’s notice. As the day wore on, actual time spent shooting was diminishing, as the film portion continued to take precedence.

Luckily, we kind of thrive and enjoy this type of pressure. Time spent waiting for our call to set was spent planning our attack so we could rush in, set up shop, do our business, and clear set as quickly as possible for the commercial director and his crew of 50 plus people.

In the end, we managed to capture more than we’d hoped for, let alone more than we’d feared. The review process back at the hotel was filled with gasps of both joy and disbelief at the bounty of options presented, always a good feeling after a couple high stress days of shooting. Job well done, we headed home and started work immediately on the retouch. And before the weekend was over, we had final files delivered to the agency. Some of our favorites are below:




Here is a peek at the finished commercial that we shot alongside.