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Pinewood Holidays

Client:  KiP Media

Benjamin Hodder: Lighting and Camera

My role was to take the brief that was discussed by the agency with Pinewood Holidays and turn it into the final video product. On the day I was responsible for the lighting and camera work, with some insert shots of the local town that was done by a second camera operator. As well as this, I was also doing the post production of the shoot, the editing and titles.

The brief was to show the joy of holidaying at Pinewood and used two actors who played a couple, to represent the potential customers to the resort. The look that had been agreed was to make a soft looking, ‘Center Parcs’ style video, that showed all the featured facilities, as well the type of holiday that you could have here. It was important to put motion in to video, which kept the film feeling carefree to allow the audience to imagine unwinding at the resort themselves. I achieved this practically using a slider and a camera jib in order to provide nice gentle motions in the cinematography.

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The filming schedule was for one day, with the facilities insert shots and the location shots filmed in the morning and the actors filmed from midday until the late afternoon. This was to give a sense that we spent an entire day on holiday, from breakfast to dinner and this was reflected in the natural lighting.

The lighting was kept very even to provide the look they wanted, it is called ‘high key lighting’ and provides an easy going look; a technique used often in commercials. The pool room interior was very dark for filming requirements, so the lighting in here was changed to be able to keep the look we were going for consistent with the rest of the shots.

On discussion about the lighting with KiP, we settled on a particular rule. As we knew there would be lots of available natural light on the day, it was always going to be difficult that when filming inside, the look would differ to the exterior and this wouldn’t be good. For each shot, I stove to get a similar exposure ratio on the actors to their background, and I suggested a slight overexposure in the background lighting was a good idea, as it made it seem a bright and tranquil place.

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Once in the edit, I referred to the initial storyboard and began piece it together on the timeline. I was not only looking for the best take, but a take that fitted well with the neighboring shots. It was important that the editing also reflected the calm and relaxed pace, which the actors and cinematography had already provided. The shots were designed so that they had a different motion, but the editing ensured that if shots were placed together, they didn’t look too similar in terms of a particular filming style. The final edit took a few more days to complete, as there was a lot of footage that had been filmed and time was also needed to finely tune the cut afterward.

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I am happy with final result and I think all the techniques worked well together. It shows that a well-planned video production can be completed in only a few days, with great results.