The shoot started more or less at the expected time and the filming of takes was frantic. Suddenly, we noticed that they began to record long takes, something we didn’t really understand since the scripts asked for short shots. It turns out that the director wanted to shoot longer takes and then cut whatever was necessary, something we found out a bit later.
It took us by surprise, even more so when shots began to be approved at an accelerated pace. The fact that we weren’t there, onsite for the shoot, had for some reason taken away a bit of that control we had in pre-COVID filming.This time, due to the pandemic, we went with the flow a lot more; we let go and really doubled down on trusting others. Letting go –what a difficult concept to put into practice– but one we should keep after the Coronavirus is gone.
The new normal
So, the morning progressed as planned, like any typical filming of a commercial. Well, if taking a COVID-19 test during a shoot is synonymous with normality. Times have changed so much and seem to get so crazy that I had to take the test the same day of the shoot since I’d been in contact with people who had been positive with COVID. So, there I was, in the middle of my living room with a swab poking inside my nose reaching the top of my throat, while being asked urgently whether I agreed with a take or not. It sounds funny now, but I’m not sure if it felt that way at the time –he he.
Yes, something had changed:
As I was thinking about the people I had been in touch with days before, the recording progressed at a good pace. The shots were beautiful thanks to excellent camera work and solid art direction, leaving us completely satisfied. For her part, our client was also great: she too “let go,” did her share, and let others do theirs. We couldn’t ask for more. We could only thank her and do our best to give her a spot that she would love.
And so we did:
We all added our grain of salt. The necessary decisions were made taking into account the guidance provided by the client.
Certainly, filming during a pandemic brought many challenges to our table, but it also gave us a pleasant surprise: it helped us raise our own bar in terms of production. Either because of the “letting go” phase or the fact that we organized our feedback better –I’m pretty sure that the director and studio selection had a lot to do with the quality of the final product, in addition to the fact of looking for new aesthetics to speak to our Latin public in the United States…
Our day was pretty intense, to tell the truth. And, in the end, we almost beat the race against the arrival of the night…