Handheld B-roll: the Morning Coffee Version Behind the Scenes

On this video, photographer, Daniel Schiffer takes us behind the scenes at yet another food-related commercial – this time for Kahlua coffee-flavored liqueur with some real epic handheld shots and how they were made.

This is certainly not the first of Schiffer’s epic handheld b-roll BTS videos and with each video that we publish people ask (both us and Schiffer himself), why go to the trouble of shooting handheld when you can just work with a gimbal.

On this video you can see that Schiffer actually starts with a gimbal but quickly moves over to handheld and there seem to be a few reasons for that – first going really low (on a table typically) can be very difficult to do with a gimbal (or even a slider for that matter – although not impossible with some sliders). With some motions using you hand is just way easier than any gimbal (especially more complex motions where you need to drop down/up or sideways very quickly).

Although Schiffer didn’t address this topic too much on this video, on previous ones (see link below) he explained in detail that his clips are not only shot hand-held but also almost entirely using manual focus. We do wonder however if that might change with the new tracking capabilities of the A7R IV, however for someone as experienced with pulling focus hand-held like Schiffer it is possible that racking the focus exactly right will always be manual (tip: sometimes if there isn’t moving in the shot – it is best to start at the end of the shot in focus and to the movement backwards and reverse the whole thing in post – just remember that this will typically not work with moving subjects in the frame).

So what else do we have in this video – well, in a typical Schiffer-style we have roll transitions, time ramping, zoom-ins, as well as some great sound design (super important for these types of clips) and of course some grading and music. What’s new here is the addition of some Kahlua shape assets which are very minimalistic but add a little extra touch to the video.

If you liked this video (and we are pretty much sure you did), go and watch some of Schiffer’s other epic B-roll videos on LensVid – here. For more epic b-roll videos – check out our new epic-b-roll list.

Also, if you are into food photography and videography we have a special sub-section here on LensVid dedicated specifically to food photography.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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