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Shooting a Commercial With the Sony A7Sii Camera

How to shoot footage using the Sony A7Sii camera

For this feature, Filmstro went behind the scenes on a Wex Photo Video commercial shoot to show you how to shoot footage using the Sony A7Sii, Litepanel Astra LED lights, Anton Bauer V-Mount batteries and a 3-axis gimbal in just a few hours. Looking at the finished product, it's clear that the best tools really do garner the best, most professional-looking results.

Alan Stockdale of Foundlight Productions invited Filmstro to observe and assist on a shoot for WEX Photographic, in which a motorcyclist coursed through the British countryside at breakneck speed. Alan had previously scouted the area to get the most from his setting, the picturesque South East of England, and we arrived on location an hour before the talent to set up. This gave Alan enough time to rig the camera, set up the gimbal and gain even more insight into the shots he wanted. Then, he briefed the talent thoroughly – an expert tactic that not only speeds up the entire filming process, but maximises efficiency on the day of the shoot.

We started off getting a handful of shots of the bike on its own, to put the focus on its craftsmanship and power. With about 40 minutes until sunset, Alan's shots were afforded an attractive, softer golden glow. The Sony A7Sii camera was balanced onto a 3-axis gimbal to ensure smooth shots were taken, and rigged with an Atomos Ninja Flame 7.1-inch Field Monitor for recording, and gauging S-Log. Sound was captured throughout the shoot on a Zoom H4n and an ever-reliable Rode Shotgun Microphone.

Next, Alan shot our talent from a low angle with some impressive tracking shots to give him a grand introduction, getting three to four takes each time to ensure he'd got the perfect shot. With experience, this delicate balance between efficiency and perfectionism becomes second nature – trust us on that one. With 30 minutes until sundown, Alan was strapped into the back of a car with a safety belt harness, and we drove carefully and smoothly to capture professional-grade tracking shots. We can't stress the obvious dangers of shooting from a moving vehicle enough, but once again, Alan's preparation and coordination of the team led to stellar results.

Finally, we geared up for the night shoot, experimenting with light in fun ways to enhance the scene. We weren't getting the shots we wanted by mounting LEDs to the back of the bike, so Alan pulled out the big guns – the impressive Litepanel Astras. The Astras' power is admirable, and combined with the A7Sii camera's more than capable low-light functionality, we came away with some brilliantly vivid night shots. With the day's shooting behind us, the entire project was edited together with Adobe Final Cut Pro, and scored using Filmstro's dynamic audio technology to further guarantee a professional look and feel (check our Filmstro's library of royalty free music).

Our thanks go to Alan for his help and expertise during the making of this feature. To see more of Foundlight Productions' remarkable work, head on over to www.foundlight.co.uk.