I shot this UFC 124 commercial in the summer of 2010, George St Pierre vs Josh Koscheck. It aired nationally, leading up the title fight December 2010 in Montreal. I received some behind the scenes pictures a couple months ago and finally got around to putting them up.
Here’s the Commercial, UFC 124 George St. Pierre vs Josh Koscheck
Directed by Jason Hehir (the original 24/7 director) and shot in Las Vegas in Randy Cotoure’s gym. We shot on the Canon 5D Mark II with some 7D in there for slow motion. We had a small crew, but had to work really fast because we only had a couple hours with each fighter, and only 8 hours in the gym. Not how I normally like to shoot a commercial but it worked for the down and dirty approach.
It was a fun shoot and the HDSLRs were great for this sort of action, these guys are both insane fighters…and maybe insane themselves…especially Koscheck as you can see below. Both very professional and easy to talk to while shooting.
We really pushed the contrast ratio and used tungsten lights off a generator as the main source. Our biggest light was a 5K which was used primarily for back light. THe 5D handled it all pretty well, If I had time and I knew I was doing the post color correction, I would have lit the shadows a little more. When you light the shadows you can bring everything down more and crunchy in post and you get less floor noise. However, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do post color correction though and so I shot it in camera how I would want it to look.
Even with a small crew we were able to use a Fisher 11 Dolly, a doorway dolly, a slider and a 18 foot jimmy jib crane, as well as a few hand held configurations. It’s all about strategic placement of your gear and planning your shots. AT some points I even just popped the 7D off and hand held the camera itself while the fighters came at the camera…I live on the edge!
My favorite part of the shoot? Randy Cotoure’s bathroom.
The 5D and 7D handled pretty well for our needs. Because it was a fast shoot with a small crew, working with the RED or ALEXA might have been a bit more difficult and we certainly wouldn’t have gotten all the shots I needed. I did miss the latitude that they could provide but for the budget, time and shotlist the HDSLR’s worked really well.