Visual engineer Steve Giralt from NY is known for is breathtaking commercials shot with advanced robots and sophisticated equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Youtubers Alex Gasaway and Armando Ferreira decided to try and see if they can recreate some of Giralt’s commercials using much more accessible gear in a more basic studio environment. The result, well you can be the judge of that.
We have posted a video showing some of Giralt’s work with shooting robots here on LensVid in the past (this one is worth watching) but what he is doing is unique and requires not just deep photographic understanding but also very extensive knowledge of robotics, engineering, electronics, and lighting (besides building a whole range of advanced robotic and mechanical devices for shooting different commercials he also build a very unique super high power lights which are required for the ultra-high-speed work that he is doing.
So how can you recreate all of this with a tight budget and with no in-depth engineering skills? the simple answer is that you probably can’t. But you might get fairly close – depending on how much time and effort you are willing to put in and how creative you are.
In the two videos Ferreira and Gasaway made showing the behind the scenes of their project (see above and below) they tried to use more basic and inexpensive like sliders or slypods. It seems that a lot of the work went into timing the moves. It is also extremely important to be able to position the light in the right angles (especially if the camera or the subject – or both, are moving). You should also keep in mind how you hold your subject/s and do that in a way that will be easy to remove in post and not get in the way.
In the end these are good exercises in thinking out of the box and creating relatively high value out of a very small budget and we can only hope to see more creators trying to do the same.
Alex Gasaway and Armando Ferreira trying to recreate a Hershey’s commercial