How We Filmed a Commercial From Start to Finish

We decided to film a commercial for our neighborhood in Puerto Rico. It was much more difficult than we expected. 

Fujifilm and Music Bed wanted to sponsor a behind the scenes video on how we would film a commercial. They didn't specify what the commercial would be for or how long it would be. I think we all assumed it would be a 30-second finished product, but we made things a bit more complicated.

We first thought that we would film a commercial for our friend, Ricardo Casillas, who owns Casillas Realty, inside of our neighborhood, Palmas Del Mar. After our initial interview with Ricardo, we realized that we should probably film a commercial for Palmas Del Mar in general. Ricardo could use it on his website to promote not only his services but also this incredible community, and we hoped that all of the families in the neighborhood would be proud to share it as well. 

Over the course of two months, we filmed additional interviews with three families living in Palmas as well as b-roll of all of the best features of the neighborhood. We shot slow motion, time-lapse, drone shots, and underwater video of everything we could. 

We filmed everything we could on the Fujifilm X-T3 and GFX 100. I was nervous that these cameras would not be able to compete with our video-focused Panasonic GH5s, but I actually preferred the look of Fujifilm's cinema color profile to our standard Cinelike D color profile on the GH5. I certainly wouldn't go out and buy a $10,000 GFX 100 to exclusively shoot video with it, but it's extremely exciting to know that your medium format still camera is capable of shooting incredible 4K cinematic footage.

Above this post is the behind the scenes video, and here is the finished product. 

We cover a lot in the two videos above, so I'm not going to try to summarize it here, but for those of you interested in any gear that we used, I've made a list below. 

Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm 16-55mm

Fujifilm GFX 100

Fujifilm: 32-64mm

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic 12-35mm

Dji Mavic Pro 2

GoPro 8

Rode NTG5 Mic

Rode Wireless Go

Sennheiser G4

Zoom F6 recorder

Rhino Slider

Fiilex Matrix Light

All of the music in the videos above are from our sponsor, Music Bed. If you're like us and you're constantly in need of new music, you can save money by paying a monthly fee for unlimited songs and packages start at just $9/month. But, don't take my word for it; test it out yourself for free for 30 days

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14 Comments

Beautiful work.
Could possibly have used some more graphics like identifying the person speaking, graphical locators like some type of map. Logos? It's a great piece. Now can you cut it down to 2 shorter versions? A :15 and a :30?
Liked it.

Lee Morris's picture

Absolutely all of those would raise the production value even further. Being that we aren't getting paid for this though... I am so glad to be DONE.

LA M's picture

Oh but Lee.....what about the benefits of doing TF/Free work??

;-)

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

Watch out, Patrick! There's a bus coming at 22:10.

Patrick Hall's picture

I was thrown directly under it. Leave it to Lee to always find a way to pass the blame from him to someone else :)

Great video! I've gone Through 3 XT-3's. They all over heat like 3 min in so I ditched Fuji for good. I should have ditched them in the XT-2 days when those cameras only record 10 min at a time and over heat all the time but i was invested into their glass.

Chad Andreo's picture

Never had any heat issues shooting with the XT3 since day one and I live and shoot weddings in Miami.

Patrick Hall's picture

Yeah we have never experienced this either.

I wish I didn't have this issue, I have sent back my camera so many times to Fuji. They even swapped them 3 times and I still get over heating issues. I still own a XT-2 and man I can't do anything video with it. It just over heats. I would be willing to make a video about it if someone wants to take a look at it. can post it here later.

All i own now is a XT-2 and Canon C100.

You keep calling the location your "neighbourhood", when what you're really talking about (and living and shooting in) is one of the two most massive private tourist and resort developments in the Caribbean. 2800 acres of private resort doesn't have anything to do with any sort of local Puerto Rican neighbourhood.

This video is an advertisement for the 2800 acre resort development, one of the two largest in the Caribbean.

I wonder if you should have made this clear up front?

Lee Morris's picture

I think it’s very clear this is a resort community.

Ah Lee and Patrick, I don't know how you post a piece of quality like this and deal with all the anonymous opinions. This video didn't reflect the ramifications of the geo-political situation of Chad. This video isn't mirrorless, blah blah blah. Nice job. Well done. Clearly shows the work you put in. You set out to make an appealing commercial about your home. You succeeded nicely. I'm moving down there now.

Paul Ferradas's picture

I haven't looked at any of the other comments so I may be the only one but there are two things that stand out to me. I don't like the audio of the single person interview. It's to "dry". It sounds like he's in a sound proof room ( I know he's not, lol ) and this just doesn't go with the B Roll of a tropical location with the palm trees blowing in the wind, the ocean waters, birds, its tropical, he sounds like he's in a clean room. The audio of the couple, although it has reverb, it sounds more "open" and it just breathes more if that makes sense. It matches the scenes of island life and not a sterile environment.

Lastly, not sure I like the choice in music, it has too much of an epic blockbuster feel. Too dramatic for an island life. I would look for a track that is more upbeat, fun, tropical with a hint of leisure. I wanted to hear some steel drums and birds singing.

The footage looked great! Good job gents.

Steve Gunn's picture

nice work