Today I want to talk about product videos... No not Bill Mays OXY clean. Those are too legendary to touch. I want to show you my approach to product videos. Specifically with two amazing companies, SOG Knives and H&K Firearms.
Nearly two years ago neither of these companies even knew who I was. Now I do all their video/photo marketing. I always say, never let an opportunity go to waste right? Here is yet another example. I had a buddy who ended up gaining both of these companies as clients in his social media marketing company. Him and I came up with this wild idea of me doing parkour and throwing tomahawks. We reached out to 11 companies to have them send me all kinds of tactical gear to make this video. In the middle of July with 105 degree weather we shot this video over two days. (2 days because I almost had heat stroke).
Yes that is me jumping around like a crazy person in that video. The talented James Kelley shot the video on his glide cam, he did a stellar job. I also took the opportunity to make some spec product videos for HK and SOG with the gear they sent me. After seeing this video and the spec videos I created, they decided to give me a shot. The rest is history!
For SOG I go with a "cinematic" feel to the videos. My goal when creating product videos is to make the product look so cool that you just have to have it. I use high action music and edit on beats similar to a music video. They are very dramatic and fun to watch.
With HK it's a very different market of consumers. For these I stay a little closer to the "normal corporate" line but I use cool camera movement and angles while filming the gun action. I also try to shoot unique "product" type shots of the firearms with a textured background such as wood. For HK we use someone explaining the features as well. I add subtle "actiony" music in the background to keep the intensity up a tad.
Next time you are tasked at doing any type of product video try to think outside of the box while still holding true to the culture and what the consumer will expect to see. If you have the time, create your own spec ads for products for practice or to pitch to clients. It can't hurt!
I see and hear people often saying "If only I had *insert gear here*, or *my equipment isn't good enough*. A lot of people let thoughts like those hold them back from progressing in their careers or even starting them. If there is one thing I have learned, it's to never let anything hold you back. Where there's a will there's a way! I'll show you a quick example of a high profile shoot with some very small portable gear for some great results.
Last month I was in Georgia for a video/photo shoot with Heckler & Koch. For the photography I chose to use the A7s with the Zeiss 24-70. The full frame 24mm on this camera is just lovely. I like to use the wide/low angles for really empowering shots. We used the natural light and a silver bounce from a typical circular 5-1 reflector. When photographing dark objects, especially guns to get that real nice shine on the gun you want to hit the light on the opposite side of the camera so you are basically reflecting light off the object and back into the lens. By using the silver side of the reflector I was able to keep the subject and the sky exposed.
Above you can see a BTS shot of the finished photo. My assistant James Kelley who is also an awesome camera operator was a huge help on this shoot. We also had an ikan 1000LED with a battery that we used for some fill light on some of the bigger shots. Here are some of my favorites.
Perks of the gig! Getting to shoot my all time favorite, MP5! Let me know if this post helped or inspired you in your work! Stay tuned for the next post where I talk about the process of making the videos!
As you can see you don't need the biggest baddest newest gear. You just need some quality stuff and a creative approach. I had the great opportunity to do a video project with HK 2 years ago. I took full advantage of that time and I shot some creative photos and video. Because I was willing to go the extra mile and put in the work, I now have a fantastic working relationship with one of the best firearm manufacturers on the market. Don't be intimidated by anything, get your gear and go shoot!
With over 8 years of experience in the film industry one of my biggest passions is giving back to the community. Visit, learn, share, love.