By Randi Altman
Cleats on a hardword floor. Yes, cleats… on a hard wood floor. That hurts just to type. And that’s only one of the cringe-worthy floor offenses shown in a recent spot for Bellawood and Lumber Liquidators out of agency Big River Advertising.
There’s tap dancing, skateboarding, a dog with less than perfect drinking habits, broken glass, coffee spewing…. you know, life. And that’s the point of the spot: the Bellwood floor depicted on A Bountiful Life has had a well-lived life. To help tell that story, Big River called on Trademarky Films and director Ruben Latre of Hostage Films, who also shot and helped post the project.
Trademarky Films’ executive producer, Mark Meyers, a believer in sourcing talent, called on Latre to direct; he also served as DP during the four-day shoot, which was captured on three cameras: the Epic Dragon, the Phantom and a Blackmagic Pocket Camera.
Why all three cameras? According to Latre, the principal camera, the Epic Dragon, was chosen because of the flexibility of high speed, allowing the ability to shoot 96 frames per second at full resolution. “It was a great chance to work with 6K, in lieu of film,” which is Latre’s first choice when possible. The Phantom was used for the ultra high-speed shots and the Blackmagic camera was attached to a tricycle and skateboard for those unique vantage points.
Meyers also pitched in on the shoot, using his tabletop experience for the scenes capturing shattered glass and exploding food. Hostage’s Melissa Beth executive produced along with Meyers.
Director Latre, in addition to being a DP and director, also served as editor and sound designer on both pieces. The music featured is by Keith Kenniff, with whom Latre has previously collaborated.
The edit and sound design were both done in Adobe Premiere. Color correction was via DaVinci Resolve. Live sound was not recorded on set, so Latre recorded all of the sound effects separately as part of the post process.
“I very often direct, design and edit projects, which is a wonderful opportunity to shape the work as I see it in my mind’s eye,” says Latre. “Having a holistic approach also streamlines the process for clients. We are in the collaboration from inception through completion, so the expectation and outcome are united in this core creative team. Even if I am solely directing, I like to be involved in the process to the end when possible.”